It’s super tempting to measure your app’s success by download numbers. While that’s certainly one aspect, it’s foolish to pin your definition of success on one metric that you have relatively little control over. Even before you begin an app project, it’s important to define success in several areas. Those success metrics will give you goals to aim for throughout the app’s development and after launch. Here are five areas that you may not immediately consider but are critical to your app’s long term success.
1. Scheduled Updates
As impressive as your mobile app is on launch day, it will need updates and maintenance over time. Technology platforms and operating systems change, and your app will need to be updated as well. Work with your development team to stay ahead of the technology curve so you’re not surprised by a flood of crash reports.
2. Fresh and Consistent Content
Who’s in charge of the app? Have you assigned an existing team member or made a new hire to oversee app content updates? Do you have your content planned ahead? If your app is used to distribute content to users, you must keep it fresh and updated, or usage will quickly drop off. The easiest way to ensure good content is to create a comprehensive content strategy and find the right person to execute it.
3. Response Time to Technical Problems
While any good development team will do everything possible to build robust software and test it thoroughly, there will always be a few bugs after launch. It’s important to resolve these issues as quickly as possible so users don’t get frustrated and abandon the app. Even before launch, plan for bug fixes and set up a support contract with your developer.
4. Number of Upgrades Purchased
The number of downloads is a great way to track how popular your app is, but tracking the number of upgrades to premium plans (if you offer it) is a good way to measure how useful and enjoyable your app is. If users don’t find value in the app, they won’t pay for more features. If this number is significantly low, you may want to consider building more value into the upgrades you offer or changing your marketing strategy.
5. Good User Feedback
Not only should you aim for good reviews on the app store, but you should also plan for on-going user testing. It can be as simple as sending a survey, or you can organize user testing sessions where you watch a user perform tasks within the app. An app’s success depends on how closely the app fills a user’s needs and expectations, so don’t make assumptions. Get data.
The first year after your app launches is an exciting and sometimes terrifying time, but with some solid goals, you can see great success.