Launching an App: Part 3 – What to Do After Your App Hits the App Stores

What you do after your app goes live on the app store is critical to your app's success. As we explore in Part III of our on-going series on Launching an App, your journey doesn't end at the app store release, it has only just begun.

Image by Steven Shorrock

Launching an app is an art form. Now you know the secret to an uber successful app launch and how to get featured on major tech blogs. But the journey doesn’t end there, grasshopper. What you do after your app goes live is equally important in your marketing strategy – and your app’s success.

Interpret App Analytics

How is your app performing? How many downloads are you getting and how are users behaving? Are paying users getting the most out of your paid app? If your app is free, are people actually using it? Or did they just add it to their massive collection of I-love-free-things-so-I’m-going-to-download-this-just-because-I-can apps? These are the things you need to think about after your app hits the app store.

To get this info and some other really useful data on your app (and interpret what they actually mean), check out app analytics services such as Flurry and Crashlytics. (Sidenote: App analytics should be integrated before or during beta stages! The idea is to analyze pre- and post-launch data and see where you’ve improved and where you’re falling short now that your app is out in the real world)

Flurry provides you with invaluable insight into how people are using your app.

Crashlytics will help you detect bugs and other crashes happening to the users of your app.

Respond to Feedback

User feedback is a blessing and a curse. It’s an amazing feeling when people tell you they love your app, but it sucks when they don’t. The reality is that no app is perfect. No matter how hard you try, something for someone somewhere will always go wrong and they will NOT be afraid to say what’s on their mind. Whether it’s because the reviewer didn’t get enough attention as a child and gets off on putting others down on the internetz just to feel better about themselves – or something truly went awry with your app – what’s important is that you correct the issue and let users know you’re actually listening.

As much as possible, try to steer complaints away from app stores to avoid potentially airing out any dirty laundry. Get your Twitter account ready and encourage people to contact you with any problems there or via email. You might also want to check out tools like Apptentive, a customer feedback platform that makes it easy to connect with users, converse with them, and get feedback straight to you and out of the app store.

The App Store is the last place you want your users to vent their frustrations.

Keep Improving

Don’t leave users out in the cold. After you respond to feedback, don’t forget to listen either. Nothing’s worse than having users give you so much love, then eventually losing them because you neglected the app and failed to implement features they requested or improve glaring bugs. App development doesn’t stop at the app store – you have to keep improving, updating, and marketing your app to maintain and grow your user base.

Last, but certainly not least, be sure to thank everyone involved for helping you get to where you are, especially your team, bloggers/press people, and your users. And don’t forget to take a second to grab a glass or ten and celebrate your success.

One day you're Rudy, the next you're Samwise Gamgee. Keep Improving.

One day you’re Rudy, the next you’re Samwise Gamgee. Keep Improving.

Do you have any questions or advice on managing apps post-launch? Let us know below!

About Sara Angeles

Sara is a copywriter, blogger, and content strategist for startups and lifestyle brands. She graduated from UC Irvine and has a background in law, finance, and business administration. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter. Her Google+ is lonely. Find out more about her at SaraAngeles.com.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mr.troypeterson Troy Peterson

    The biggest challenge I’ve faced with launching my first app is customer reviews. I have none. I have about 1k users of my app, but no reviews.

    Any idea on how to handle that?

    • http://twitter.com/omgbobbyg bobby gill

      Have you tried integrating something like Appirater into your app? It’s a drop in component which will ask your users to rate your app after X days. It’s a free library and works very well.

      • http://profiles.google.com/mr.troypeterson Troy Peterson

        Hi Bobby, I used something similar… a library called “iRate” which has similar settings… I can either have show after x amount of days or x amount of uses.

        I think I have it set to after 5 uses.

      • http://inventikasolutions.com/ Inventika Solutions

        I’ve read few posts on SO where some devs are having trouble getting their app posted because they are using appirater.

    • http://inventikasolutions.com/ Inventika Solutions

      Always ask your friends to post few reviews. Others will then start posting their reviews. It has been noted that people don’t bother writing a review if nobody has written one for the app.