5 biggest mistakes to avoid when rolling out an app

So you’re ready to roll out a new app or maybe you already have. There are a few things you need to consider before you rush your app to market. Here are five mistakes you want to avoid when rolling out your app.

It seems like everybody has an app these days. Your competitors, your partners and sometimes even your customers have apps. Your boss, your sales people and your marketing team all want an app. But it’s easy to miss some of the pitfalls that companies often fall prey to when designing and managing their apps.

Miles Branman, a Digital Marketing Specialist at Localytics, has posted a blog listing five of the most common mistakes that companies make when they develop and release an app.

One of the key points that Miles talks about in his post is that many companies rush headlong into app development without defining a clear user value and how the app compliments the company’s overall brand strategy.

Taking it from the top, an app merits all the same brand strategy steps as any other big project. That means your app needs to complement your web and/or physical brand experience instead of trying to duplicate it. Unless your users understand exactly how to engage with your app and how that relates to overall brand engagement, you’re setting yourself up for failure. This doesn’t mean your app needs to be an extravagant addition to your brand strategy. Rather, the app experience needs to be comfortable, familiar, and most importantly, valuable for users.

Another point he brings up is not having a clear definition of an app’s success or failure and not tracking the right metrics.

Every organization has key questions to answer and core problems to solve. Without defined wins and proper measurement, it’s impossible to tell if your brand is on the right track, or headed for disaster. So why would an app be any different? To assure the development and release of your app is much more than just going through the motions, setup some tangible success metrics and follow them closely.

In the same way that building an app without measuring the results is a waste of time, tracking the wrong metrics will lead you to poor dollar and resource allocation. The most common offense is the fascination with downloads. In the same way that brands want a ton of likes and followers on their social sites but don’t know how to rally these fans, companies who dwell on app download numbers are missing the bigger picture.

It’s natural to want as many people as possible to see your app and try using it. That said, download numbers don’t tell you what happens after the app is on someone’s mobile device.

For example, after downloading, some people may never use your app, use it just once, or use it very infrequently. You can have a million users, but if 40% of them use your app just once, those high-fives on a download benchmark may not be warranted. Instead, if you focus on a critical health metric like LTV (lifetime value), it’s easy to see how much value per user you’re generating over time. Pair this with acquisition data to see which campaigns have delivered the most valuable users instead of just the most users. Now you know where to spend more money.

Miles also says that many companies miss the opportunity to steer users in the most profitable directions in-app. Also companies don’t segment users and tailor the experience according to user behavior.

There are a lot of good points in Miles post and he goes into more detail on each of the five mistakes companies make.

You can read the full blog post here.