Now that you've built your new app, it's time to get things going for an awe-inspiring launch. With all the related content out there, we'll cut to the chase and tell you exactly what you should do right before launching this killer new app!
Right before you get going with the pre-launch plan, you need to set goals and create a solid marketing strategy to acquire leads both online and offline. Consider marketing as a major investment that you need to focus on to hit the jackpot!
Here are our eight tips for a stellar pre-launch:
Give people a glimpse of what you are offering. It's a great opportunity to tease people and reveal what you think will grab their attention. Looking at successful case studies, we found Orobind, an app for personal fitness coaching that built a landing page that contained just 12 words along with a referral program to generate buzz before launching. The landing page focused on rewarding those who referred a friend with $15 worth of counseling. Within several days, the page received around 5,000+ signups and a 46% conversion rate.
Flood the page with interesting visuals, videos, and add an app demo right before you launch. There are endless tools that you could use to create amazing landing pages, like Unbounce, Wisita, Impact, and much more.
You'll need to add a unique call to action button that grabs people's attention. As you see above, Spotify provides a great example for stellar CTAs. Aim for as many signups as possible to collect insights about your potential brand evangelists and to be able to notify them once the new app goes live.
To really succeed in e-mail marketing, you need to prepare content that is very insightful and capturing. You could start with a simple course on the learnings you acquired developing the app, the team progress, and any updates or pictures worth sharing. It's also a great gateway to distribute your blog content as we discuss it later on. Make sure to focus on including visuals and creating a unique user experience with a single call to action.
Not only does e-mail marketing help you reach a broader audience, but it directly delivers succinct information about your launch. It's very important to establish a mailing list and get the e-mails going. Don't spam or send e-mails unless you have something new or valuable to say. Use tools like Mailchimp, Sumo, and others to reach out to the world.
Hubspot best explains it: "Before you make your app live to the public, consider an invite-only beta launch. Websites like Spotify, Google+, and Pinterest have used this tactic with great success. It not only creates an air of exclusivity that generates buzz around your product, but it also lets you get feedback from a trusted network so you can fix bugs and UI/UX problems before rolling your app out full scale".
Mailbox, an e-mail management app, created an invite-only program, granting access to a limited number of people. This created a sense of scarcity and privilege among those who successfully registered. Through a third-party service, Mailbox allowed new users to reserve their username. This simple tactic generated roughly 20,000 sign-ups before the app went live. The media buzz converted into over 300,000 signups leading up to its launch.
Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or others, it goes without saying that you need to actively engage with your users on social media. You need to be smart while selecting the social media platforms on which to be present. For instance, if you are developing a gaming app, it won't make much sense to have a LinkedIn page.
Whatever you do, make sure to post on relevant networks and ask people to share and engage. It's essential to determine what type of content to create for your relevant users. If you have a travel-related app, start posting links, pictures, and testimonials of people who traveled so that your users can relate and get inspired. Provide incentives to your users in the form of early access, inclusion in a private Beta, or a simple gift (like T-shirts or mugs) to encourage them to share your value proposition.
Use social media dashboards like Hootsuite, Buffer, and SproutSocial to plan your posts and optimize them. These tools give you access to user analytics that could help you enhance your content and style.
Make sure to link to other people's blogs, articles, posts, and status updates on all social media networks you are on. It's a great networking strategy that will help you attract more followers and people who love you.
Just before the actual launch, you could pre-release your app on several platforms to increase the hype and collect some feedback before going live. Not only will you increase your app's chances of getting attention, but you could also let people review your app for any final adjustments or bug iterations. You could distribute your new app on Betalist, Spot.io, Ziipa and much more. Also use Prefundia, a pre-release platform where you can get followers and backers prior to your release so that when you launch your app, you will have many people lined up to try it and share it.
It's never too early to start blogging. It helps in search visibility and in communicating directly with your users. In fact, creating useful content that users need enhances SEO and drives instant traffic. Take Shopify, a 1.7 billion dollar company; they grew their traffic immensely through blogging, reaching 240,000 monthly visitors at a time, as opposed to paid marketing that got them 20,000 visitors only. Check out the complete guide to building your blog audience to help your blog take off.
Make sure to prepare a killer pitch for tech and mobile journalists and bloggers. It's not as easy as it sounds, but one successful entrepreneur, Jeremy Olson, the founder of a languages app that was one of the top 25 overall paid apps on its launch day, made it. The new app got featured on The Verge and The Next Web, as well as being tweeted thousands of time. He worked hard on leveraging himself long before developing the app, as he developed another app that was awarded by Apple Designs. He didn't stop there, attending several developers' conferences and interacting with mentors, VCs, and press to lay the groundwork for the new app.
Prepare a dazzling pitch for everyone you meet that could help advocate your app. Show them the video explaining the app and give them a free version so that they can try it and recommend it to others. These people are important when it comes to beta testing your app from a marketing perspective. Be ready to answer any questions or concerns they have about the UI/UX or even the startup itself.
You need to keep people psyched about your app and its news. The best way to do it is by creating a campaign where everyone participates. This will create a spiral of excitement and momentum for your app. Use a tool like Thunderclap to synergize your campaign and make everyone post at the same time.
As they explain it on their website: "The beauty of Thunderclap is that it sets the goalposts: one message, one number, one date. It's a common threshold where you and your supporters work toward together. It's a tangible way to measure awareness by allowing a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks. By boosting the signal at the same time, Thunderclap helps a single person create action and change like never before."
Final note: It all boils down to being strategic in what you are doing to launch your new app. You need to divide the process and plan accordingly. The pre-launch phase needs a lot of thinking as you decide which tools to use in your app's favor. At all times, you must pause and look back to re-asses the effectiveness of your strategy and ensure that your new app is in it to win it!
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN: Share your thoughts pre-launching apps in the comments below.