Before you pursue your goal of developing a mobile application, keep in mind that an alarming 42 percent of apps fail because they were introduced without adequate market research.

7 Tips for Creating a Successful App

  1. Verify that the problem you aim to solve actually requires an app.
  2. Research existing apps that are similar to your idea.
  3. Set an optimal price for your app.
  4. Plan your monetization strategy, such as through in-app purchases or memberships.
  5. Develop a compelling and adaptable marketing strategy.
  6. Implement strategies to retain users and minimize churn.
  7. Keep the app simple and avoid adding superfluous features.

Additionally, it’s estimated that 80 to 90 percent of mobile applications are either deleted or never used again after just one use. Moreover, tens of thousands of new apps enter the market every month.

Are you still interested in developing an application? If so, here are five principles that can help improve your chances of success.

Ensure Your Solution Requires an App

Firstly, it’s important not to assume that the problem you’re addressing requires a mobile app, especially when data suggests otherwise. Research has shown that 91 percent of people dislike being forced to download apps, and the trend of creating unnecessary mobile applications has cost companies billions of dollars.

However, if you believe that the issue you’re addressing does indeed require an app, start by assuming that there is already an app on the market that does what you want yours to do. A good approach is to review the top apps lists for the categories you are interested in. External services like SensorTower can also provide information on the top-grossing apps in each category. You can also seek assistance from professionals like Linkup Studio to guide you through this process.

once you identify the apps, take the time to analyze them. Utilize tools like SensorTower to gauge their success. Look at App Store metrics to see conversion rates for the specific search terms relevant to your study. Keep in mind that apps lose 77 percent of their daily active users within the first three days after download. Therefore, even if an app has millions of downloads, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s actively used.

The revenue metric from services like SensorTower is often a more accurate measure of an app’s true value than just the number of downloads. However, it’s important to note that this service only tracks revenue generated from in-app purchases and subscriptions. If the revenue appears low or nonexistent, the app might still be profitable through other channels, such as advertising.

You can also rely on the App Store’s keyword search volume data to assess market interest. Tools like AsoDesk can show you if there’s sufficient demand for an app that tackles the problem you’re focusing on. The more insights you gather, the better prepared you’ll be.

Discovering the Appropriate Pricing and Optimization Strategy

once you’re sure there’s a market for your app and you understand its value, it’s time to consider pricing and how to monetize it.

Here’s a practical suggestion: Take a close look at the pricing of your competitors. Instead of starting with a low price and gradually increasing it, begin with the highest possible price, even higher than your competitors. Then, over time, lower the price until you find the optimal point. It’s often easier to reduce prices than to raise them repeatedly.

Focus on the revenue generated per user as your main indicator over the long term. In the beginning, use basic estimates. As your business grows, you can use advanced AI predictions to improve your decision-making. Always compare the results from different pricing models for better clarity.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the various monetization methods available for apps and choose the one that suits your app best. For instance, games like Angry Birds and Logo Quiz generate revenue through in-app purchases, while apps like Pandora and Headspace rely on subscriptions.

Some apps earn money through third-party in-app advertising. often, developers use a combination of different models to make their pricing strategy more effective and attract a broader audience. For example, Business Insider offers a membership option alongside in-app advertising, allowing members to access ad-free content for a fee.

Develop an engaging and adaptable marketing strategy.

If you rely solely on one promotional channel for your app, its user acquisition strategy will lose effectiveness over time, resulting in decreased usage and a decline in profitability.

Therefore, it’s crucial to have a flexible strategy that allows you to adapt from one marketing channel to another based on market feedback. How effectively is your app reaching new users? While there are numerous channels available to promote your app, such as public relations, paid advertising, App Store optimization (ASO), event marketing, community engagement, content marketing, and email marketing, it’s important to recognize that only a few of them are scalable. Among these, paid advertising, viral strategies, and ASO are likely to offer the most sustainable long-term growth.

When testing this out, keep in mind Pareto’s principle, which suggests that 20 percent of efforts often yield 80 percent of results. This means it’s important to prioritize wisely. Take HotelTonight, for instance. They ran a referral campaign offering users $25 for each friend they referred who became a user. Coupled with a compelling story about how the app could benefit new customers, HotelTonight grew to 15 million users and was eventually acquired by Airbnb for $450 million in cash.

Concentrate on retaining users and minimizing churn.

Even if your app gets lots of downloads, that doesn’t guarantee continued use. So, banking on one-time transactions isn’t the way to go for a lasting app. Instead, aim to keep users around and minimize how many drop off.

Retention typically varies based on the type of mobile app, so it’s essential to compare with similar apps in the market rather than focusing solely on raw numbers.

A proven method to boost retention involves a simple four-step process outlined in Nir Eyal’s book, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.” This cycle, which includes a trigger, action, variable reward, and ongoing investment, subtly encourages user engagement and fosters repeat usage without relying on expensive ads or pushy messages.

Ensuring that your users stick around boosts their customer lifetime value, a crucial metric for app survival in today’s competitive market. If you need guidance on optimizing your app’s user experience, consider consulting experts in digital product design.

Strive for simplicity.

When sports betting became legal in the United States, numerous companies rushed to enter the market by launching their own apps. However, the most successful apps are those with simple and intuitive user interfaces.

Despite other apps boasting more features, customers have favored a company that prioritized developing a top-notch user interface and providing a streamlined user experience. The lesson here is that there’s no need to overload your interface with unnecessary features.

A well-designed product should aim to minimize the need for customer support and be intuitive to navigate. Research shows that a good interface can increase conversion rates by up to 200 percent, while a positive user experience can boost them by up to 400 percent. once you’ve succeeded in getting people to download and use your app, these factors are crucial for retaining them over time. Following the five principles outlined above can also contribute to your app’s longevity.

For further insights on optimizing your app’s user experience, consider checking out this blog on product design. Additionally, you can watch this informative video on app retention strategies on YouTube.

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