It’s not unusual for your app to hit a plateau at some point following its launch. But when you experience a halt in growth, the last thing you want to do is continue what you’ve been doing. Fifteen strategic tips can help you re-energize your app and produce exponential growth.
1. Use Keywords to Attract High-Value Clients
If you want your app to succeed, it’s important to leverage its success with the app store. App Store Optimization, or ASO, is a strategy used by all app creators and digital PR companies. ASO begins with keywords—specifically, selecting targeted keywords that will attract high-value clients.
Consider not just what your app solves, but also what your ideal users would search for when seeking a solution to this problem. For example, our app is designed to help teenagers and adults pass their driver’s license exams, CDL tests, and motorcycle tests with flying colors . We would therefore select the targeted long-tail keyword “driver’s permit test.”
2. Implement A/B Testing
After determining your targeted keywords to optimize for the app store, it’s important to run diagnostics to ensure they’re successful. Consider A/B testing to be sure the right audiences are engaging.
Numerous available tools can help you with the A/B test. And don’t simply test your keywords—be sure to A/B test your app store icon, app description, and even your app name. That’s right—your app name could be the reason you do not see growth, so test out new options to optimize your app.
3. Get to Know Your Customers
Learn as much as you can about your customers. Find out what they struggle with and whether your app truly solves their problem. For example, we used market research to discover that many teenagers didn’t have access to engaging, clear study materials for DMV exams. Our app solves this problem by enabling young adults to study through methods that help them genuinely learn these critical concepts, an example is this study exam for Tennessee.
4. Develop an App Your User Wants—Not Something You Want
Your app is your business baby, and you’re likely very protective of it. But your app will never grow if you don’t target your ideal customer. Don’t create something you want—create what your user wants.
Use your hard-earned market research to target and retarget your user. Continuously question whether your app solves their problem and use feedback to make it into something they can’t live without.
5. Embrace Feedback
To build something great, embrace feedback from users. You might think you know exactly what they want, but you’ll never know unless you ask. Use these comments to help improve areas where your app may fall short. There’s always room for improvement.
6. Incentivize to Promote App Sharing
Encourage your current users to share your app with their networks (who are likely also within your ideal audience, and therefore, potential users). Offer them an incentive to share the app. Strategies like giveaways, freebies, and discount codes for referrals can motivate sharing. As a bonus, this is a cheap method of promoting brand awareness.
7. Incentivize to Bring Users Back
Incentives can also be useful to win users back. You can offer missed users the same freebie, discount, or giveaway if they return or re-download your app.
8. Do Market Research
You likely conducted market research prior to launching your app, but it can be a good idea to reconduct it if your app is in need of a boost. Determine if there are new, similar apps on the market, where these apps fall short, and how you can help close the gaps with your own successful app.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Trash a Poor Campaign
Expect to trash poorly performing campaigns at some point throughout your app’s life. Just as trends change, so should your campaigns.
10. Become an Industry Expert
Would you rather download a DMV practice test app designed by a brand focused on an unrelated industry or professionals who have experience in and a passion for making roads safer through elevated driver’s education? Likely the latter!
To elevate your app, establish your role as a leader in the industry. How? Start publishing relevant and valuable content. Try to collaborate with other experts within the industry to boost your reputation. Express your opinions, and be sure to highlight your knowledge within the field.
11. Be Sure Your App Can Handle Growth
Growth is the ultimate goal, but many businesses don’t prepare for it. Be sure your app can logistically handle an exorbitant volume of users. Also, consider how you’ll keep users engaged long-term to ensure they remain users.
12. Provide Unmatched Value
There’s no reason for users to keep your app if it doesn’t provide them with value. It’s important to hone in on your ideal audience’s deepest desires and give them what they need.
13. Continue Updating to Bring New Value
What happens when your user’s initial problem is solved by your app? You must continue providing them with new value by updating your app.
Let’s take our Drivers Ed app for example. Our app is designed for teenagers preparing for the DMV test, but for the purpose of retention, but evolved the user experience to bring our users value even after they’ve passed their exam. The app includes a fun, competitive game where users can play against their friends (who also have the app) in addition to refresher courses to keep their driving skills sharp.
14. Be Persistent—Don’t Give Up
Does the continuous testing, updating, feedback implementation, and re-testing become tiresome? Yes. But is it worth it? Absolutely.
It’s likely you’ve dreamt about launching your own app for an extended period of time. Do not give up on this dream, even when the going gets tough. Your app will grow.
15. Have Fun Along the Way
Never forget to enjoy this journey. Launching your app was fun—growing it should be as well. Continue to put your heart into your work to reap the benefits you know your app deserves.
Refocus to Re-Energize
To give your app the boosted energy it needs to grow exponentially, it can be beneficial to refocus your efforts. Conduct new market research, get to know your users, and trash poorly performing campaigns. The more willing you are to adapt while remaining true to your core values and your customers’ needs, the more likely your app will grow.
Author: Leo Waldenback
Leo Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online driver education to help teens get their license. Leo founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all..