Timing is everything. But when is the best time to launch your app? Hopefully you are reading this because your app is nearing the final stages of development and you are looking to plan ahead for the big launch. Fantastic! At Green Mango, we actually encourage you to launch your creation as early possible for a few reasons.
By launching your product early, you are able to get valuable user feedback right away before investing too much. If you don’t see any users at all, that in itself is feedback, which means it’s time to go back to the drawing board. However, if you do generate users shortly after launch it’s important that you figure out how to retain them.
Software does not require much effort to change. If you compare software to something tangible like a car, you will notice that the recall protocol is very different. General Motors sold a record number of cars back in 2014, 30.4 million of which were recalled. This issue cost GM a whopping $4.1 billion dollars to rectify. Modifications to software fortunately, can be easily delivered over the internet. This costs your company very little to fix. While patches won’t necessarily be detrimental when you need to modify your app, something like building the entirely wrong product will.
Are people excited that your product is solving a problem for them? If the public’s answers are either muted or nonexistent, then run back to the drawing board before you wind up spending too much. Egocentric companies in the past have created redundant products because they thought it was a good idea at the time while consumers did not agree. You and your team have lived and breathed your product Whether it’s a slight cause of Stockholm Syndrome or what have you, you become biased towards your own product. An early launch could either be successful or reality slapping you in the face- both of which should be seen as beneficial. Take all criticism constructively and use it to your advantage to create a better product that gets prospective users excited.
A launch, just like a software product, should be planned and coordinated. You should know which channels you intend to use to gain attention. If you have a strong social media following, then that’s an easy path. New products usually don’t have that luxury and need to turn to other methods of marketing. The paths here are endless and creativity is rewarded, but the bigger point is that you need to have a plan just like you did for the product itself.
Whether users have been waiting patiently for your app to launch or are just hearing about it for the first time, engage with them. Let your users know you care about them by engaging with them on social media. Email lists are also a viable option. Have an open flow of communication between you and your users. This encourages them to provide much needed feedback while feeling valued. Most importantly, react to their feedback- especially if they are finding new bugs and reporting them to you in hopes that you will help. This is important to retaining users. If they did not care, they would not bother giving feedback at all.
When launching an app, it’s much better to have it completed than perfect. A finished product will have bugs; that’s unavoidable. Anyone who might try to tell you otherwise does not understand software. Fixing bugs is a necessary part of the learning process. What you truly need for a successful product is feedback from potential users. This is why we recommend launching your app sooner rather than later.