How I built an app – Part 4: Marketing and release strategy
Getting ready for release
So the app was finally built, bug tested and ready to go. But there were a number of things that had to be in place in order to finally launch it on the app store.
- Getting the MeetMate website ready
- Preparing the feedback survey
- Populating the app description and metadata in iTunes connect
- Publishing the app
The MeetMate website
Like the app store description, the website acts as a way of communicating to potential users why they should choose your app and how it could benefit them.
It is also a place for users to find support information and to house your privacy/terms and conditions (required by apple for App Store submission).
I didn’t want to code it from scratch so Bootstrap seemed the easiest and fastest solution to getting something up and running. It didn’t have to be the fanciest website ever made as long as it got across the key points.
There are a few Apple guidelines you have to bear in mind when talking about the App Store, using their download buttons and featuring their products in screenshots so it is worth reviewing Apple App Store Marketing Guidelines before you start writing.
A couple of screenshots, some clear and concise copy later and I had produced something I was happy with for launch which you can see at MeetMateApp.com.
A side tip – it is well worth paying to be excluded from the whois lookup when registering your domain…the amount of spam email and phonecalls I got from forgetting to do that *sigh*.
Preparing the feedback survey
One of the key ways I was aiming to capture user feedback was via the use of a feedback link within the app that would direct users to a survey.
All the usual rules about writing good surveys apply here. I chose to use Google Forms for this as it was pretty rapid to set up and easy to collate the results. Make sure you give the link to your developer as soon as you can so they can hook it up in the app and test it as soon as possible.
Populating App Store content
Far easier than other aspects of the App submission process this is pretty much form filling. There are numerous articles on the web about app store optimisation so i’m not going to go into great detail here but as with the website you are looking to get across your key value proposition as quickly as possible through the use of screenshots, social proof (if you have it) and features.
You need to make sure you have the right assets from your designer to fill this out:
- Your app icon
- Screenshots of your app at various device sizes
You will also need:
- A link for customers to get support
- A link to your website
Then it is a case of filling in your description, keywords and other metadata.
Publishing the app
Once you have all this in place it is time to submit your app and it’s app store listing to Apple for review. Your developer will need to upload the final version to iTunes connect.
You need to allow some time for this to happen in your project timelines.
MeetMate got approved in around 5 days or so but there is nothing to say you might not need some back and forth with Apple before everything gets the thumbs up. If you have followed all Apple’s guidelines though you should be fine.
All that is left to do after that is press the big go button in iTunes connect and 24 hours or so later your app will be available to all!
To wrap up
As I said at the beginning of this guide this is the way I went about producing my app as a UX designer with no app coding experience.
It is likely not the best, cheapest or most efficient way but it worked for me and I learnt a lot along the way. I hope it proves useful to those of you who are looking to take the plunge but didn’t know where to even begin.
Meetmate – get a reputation for great meetings
Image courtesy NCinDC