February 8, 2018

How to check if your app will be successful without spending a fortune

User Experience Researchers

So, you have this brand new app or a promising app idea. You know what you want and what it should look like. You’re excited, hopeful and terrified at the same time. ‘What if nobody likes it? What if the design is not good enough?’ — I bet you think about it all the time. Time to say goodbye to your doubts and do some testing.

Test them like there’s no tomorrow!

There are 3 easy steps you should follow:

Creating a landing page

Running a small ad campaign

Tracking your results

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Let’s get started.

First of all, you need a mobile landing page. Make sure to place all of the crucial elements there — I’m talking about your app’s icon, description, price and the download/buy button, even though it won’t be working. Don’t forget about implementing Google Analytics — you need to track your LP results.

Scenario 1: You have an app idea and you want to verify its potential

Okay, you have an idea — that’s already a lot. Now take some time to design your app’s main icon, write a description and place them on your landing page. Don’t forget about the download/buy button.

☀️ Scenario 2: Your app is ready to launch, but you want to make sure it’s going to be as successful as possible

When your app is ready to spread all over the world like ‘Despacito’, but you’re still not sure which version of the icon or the description would be the most attractive for your potential users or how much your app should cost, you need to think a little bigger than in Scenario 1.

Create as many versions of your landing page as you need (but not too many!). For example, if you have 3 icons and you can’t decide which one is ‘the one’, build 3 landing pages with 3 different icons. If you’re not sure which app description is more catchy, create several versions of the landing page with different ones. Still don’t know how much your app should cost? Build landing pages with different pricing.

Do you know what’s the most common practice while launching an app? Gambling on ad campaigns. People spend a lot of money for marketing and often the only thing they get is a headache. If you know your marketing budget is limited, don’t spend it on something you’re not sure is effective.

I know it’s tempting!

Once your landing page is ready, it’s time to start driving traffic to it. Of course, you can try free, organic promotion (e.g. sharing the link on Social Media), but that’s not enough — time to spend some money. Don’t be afraid, you won’t go bankrupt!

Scenario 1: you have an app idea, and you want to verify its potential

Before starting any ad campaigns, make sure you know who you want to reach and how. For starters, try running a small ad campaign, for even as low as $50. It can easily send hundreds of users to your landing page and help you to understand their preferences.

☀️ Scenario 2: your app is ready to launch, but you want to make sure it’s going to be as successful as possible

It’s good to have a choice, but remember to keep your variations to a minimum. Testing 2–4 versions is an optimal practice if you have to get significant results and not spend loads of money on your test. Set as many ad campaigns as you need, remember to split your budget equally and relax, your work here is done (for now).

Equal rights all landing pages!

Enough of relaxation, time to crunch some numbers! Basically, all you need to know is how many people got to your landing page(s) and what percent of them decided to click the download/buy button.

Time to do some math!

Scenario 1: You have an app idea, and you want to verify its potential

Testing is done, you have your numbers, and it’s time to make the big decision. If you’re not satisfied with the results, don’t give up yet — try to make some changes. Maybe the icon wasn’t sexy enough, or your app description could have been more catchy? Remember it’s not a proper campaign — you don’t have your app’s screens yet, and we all know they can tip the scales for undecided users. Knowing this, remember that your proper launch campaigns will probably do better. Just try again and don’t lose hope.

☀️ Scenario 2: Your app is ready to launch, but you want to make sure it’s going to be as successful as possible

Time to compare some results. Remember to look not only at the biggest number of the download/buy button clicks but also the conversion rate. It’s possible one of your ad’s reach was bigger, but still, it doesn’t mean this version of the app will be the most successful one — it all depends on how many people clicked through to download/buy. Make sure to make this your main metric. When you’ll be sure which version was the best converting one, you deserve congratulations — we have a winner! Time to open up a small bottle of champagne and start your app’s proper launch campaign.

It doesn’t matter whether your app is ready or you’re just thinking about creating one, it’s good to consider this kind of testing, which is a great and affordable way to confront your expectations with reality.

Katarzyna Mazur is a Content Marketing Manager at inFullMobile, an international digital product design and development studio based in Warsaw, Poland.

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Originally published at on February 8, 2018.

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User Experience Researchers
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