Developing a mobile app from scratch may be intimidating.
And we are here to guide you through the entire process.
One of the best ways to get started is to follow a checklist. Knowing:
- where to begin
- what you have to do every step of the way
- how to do it
- what resources you need
- what your goals are
… is a sure way to get to the finish line.
Quick and easy!
There are many types of apps, but for the purposes of today’s app launch checklist, we decided to narrow things down to mobile apps.
On the way of creating your app, we’ll get you through the process and will provide you with plenty of tips and advice to follow.
Now, all you need is a cup of coffee and this mobile app checklist.
Before We Start
Are you wondering how important mobile apps are in 2019?
Mobile app statistics will show us:
- In 2022, the number of downloaded mobile apps will reach $258.2 billion.
- In 2019, as much as 2.1 billion people play mobile games.
- By 2023, mobile apps are estimated to generate $935.2 billion from paid downloads and in-app advertising.
Amazing, right? Now:
Why do you need to make a mobile app?
Since you are here, most probably you have a promising idea that can generate profits or make you famous as the person who developed the next Candy Crush. Or maybe it will be a dating app, or a social app, or a chat app, or even a gaming app. (Yum!)
In 2022, mobile users are expected to download the amazing 258.2 billion mobile apps.
Mobile apps make the world go round nowadays. There’s an app for almost everything. Speaking of everything…
As I was saying, there are apps for all kinds of stuff. Before they were created, people like you were wondering where to start and what the process was like.
There are so many checklists on the internet – shortlists, longer-than-necessary lists, confusing lists, incomplete lists…
We came up with our checklist by examining many reviews and app development history, followed the advice of app gurus, went down into the depths of mobile app stats and facts, and came up with a great path you could follow.
In addition, we hope to inspire you and give you the practical aids that will help you develop your own mobile app. It’s worth it!
On the way, we’ll provide you with many links to websites, blogs, and videos that you might find useful. Times will come when you’ll need some additional information and we selected the best sources for you!
So, make sure to check the extra info we curated for you.
How to launch an app, you ask?
Here we go, speak, friend, 1Mellonand enter:
For the purposes of our Checklist, we divided the process in easy to follow steps.
First, have a look at all the 29 points in the app launch checklist:
Get ready: your success story starts here:
1. Learn About Your Customers
Research, in the beginning, will build the foundation of what is to become your own mobile app. Ask yourself some groundbreaking questions that will help you start the pre-launch stage of the process. Here we go:
- What is my target group – age, sex, education, hobbies, interests?
- Why do people need this kind of app?
- Who are my competitors?
- Is there something missing in the competing apps?
- What problems am I solving with my mobile app?
Understanding the market will be of great help to you during the first steps. After you have the answers to these fundamental questions, we can move on.
Start researching early! The more information you gather at the beginning – the better prepared you will be. The potential of your future app depends on the quality and quantity of data you start with.
2. Examine the App Market
Market research is crucial in the beginning. In other words, look for similar apps on the market. Unless your idea is revolutionary, odds are that there already is an app that resembles the one that you have in mind.
In 2019, 63% of mobile gamers are female.
Pay attention to demographics. Knowing your audience and their preferences can make all the difference for you.
Make sure to check all possible alternatives and start thinking about how your app will be different and what will make it unique.
Finish that stage by evaluating the competition – knowing exactly who your competitors are is super important for you! For example:
- Which app features are users’ favorites?
- Am I making an app for Android, iOS or both?
- When you already know what you can do differently, you have to make sure to offer the public a better product. Are you up for a challenge?
- What mistakes of the competitors can you avoid?
- What can you improve and how?
In short: Conducting market research can help you offer your customers a better product than those already existing.
3. Develop a Marketing Plan
After you have identified your target audience and what they are looking for, you need to figure out different ways to address them. You need a successful marketing plan that will work for your app and your team.
Nowadays, mobile apps are mainstream for doing business. The best user experience your app provides – the more your users love you.
Reaching out to influencers is another great way to promote your products. According to influencer marketing statistics, things are looking good for influencers nowadays. In other words, the influencer market is thriving – don’t miss out on that opportunity.
Start your marketing campaign before the launch! The success of your app depends on it. That is the strategy of all successful apps – they are promoted before they hit the store.
4. Set Your Budget
Not an easy thing to do, but with the right approach – totally achievable!
Many people are not aware of the cost of mobile app creation. It depends on the app of course. A few things to have in mind:
- There are platforms that can calculate the budget for your app after answering some questions.
- If you need to find funding for your mobile app idea, you need to develop a financial plan and choose the right funding method.
- It is also possible to build an app on a limited budget. The thing is – you need to set clear goals and stick to them.
5. Choose Your Team
Selecting your team members is a crucial point in the creation of your future app. A good mobile app development team consists of:
- Visionary – to come up with innovative ideas and act as a project manager
- Developers – mobile engineers
- Designers – for the visualizations
- Sales and marketing specialists – to promote your product
- QA specialists – the first and most severe critiques to the final product
- Customer service – for all the questions your customers may have
You can use in-house developers or freelancers for some of the workload. In both cases, make sure you know what your budget is capable of handling. Hiring the right people is a challenge your final product greatly depends on.
Choose your people wisely! Make sure to hire people with app developing experience with the program languages that are needed for the project and, ideally, who are capable of designing mobile apps for both iOS and Android.
A talented mobile dev team is always up for a challenge!
6. Create a Blog
As a part of your marketing strategy – you need a website. It will actively drive your customers to your page in App Store and Google Play. Inform your audience about the progress of your app – it is another great way to promote your product.
Building a web page where you will promote your future application is a must! You need a dynamic web page with enough content and frequent posts – there are enough inactive websites out there that are not winning any points for their creators.
7. Come up with a Suitable Name
A very important task and not so easy as it may seem at first!
The name of your app must be unique and easy to pronounce. It must also describe what the app is about, not to mention that it should be easy to remember. AND you need to consider the length – there are restrictions:
- For Android – 30 characters
- For iOS – 50 characters
After you have the name figured out:
8. Create an Icon
Same as the name – your icon should be eye-catching, recognizable, and simple. A general rule of thumb is to avoid using a lot of text and to keep it as simple as possible. The goal is to have an icon with contrasting colors and a clear color palette.
Let’s have a look at some icons that we all recognize. They will give us some insight into how a great icon should look like:
Simple, easy to remember, and with a clear palette. That’s the formula!
Make sure to familiarize yourself with the latest 2019 mobile app design trends. Design is a top priority for industries nowadays. Looks that sell is what we need here!
Now let’s set the design issues on the side and turn towards another important aspect of app creation. Namely:
9. Set up Keywords
App store keyword research and mobile SEO are super important for the success of your app distribution. You can research your keywords manually or use a keyword suggestion tool.
Make sure you check how many characters per description do App Store and Google Play allow. It goes without saying that keywords in the title have more weight.
Making an effort to make it in the world of mobile apps is worth it these days. Mobile is on the rise, and statistics show that an increasing amount of internet traffic is mobile in 2019 compared to recent years. In fact:
According to Statista, 52% of global website traffic is mobile in 2019.
10. App Creation Tools
When you already have the strategy, and all your team members know their roles, you will need an app creation tool. There are several great options that you need to consider before you get started.
Here is our list:
- Buildfire – the most popular choice, simple and intuitive
- Android Studio – super fast tools for building apps
- Firebase – Google’s mobile app creation platform
- Xamarin – the platform from Microsoft
- PhoneGap – they offer cloud services and free-to-use guidelines
- Appcelerator – 60-day free trial, VIP clients, and a free version
- Ionic – that’s a cross-platform app development tool. There is a free version you can use if you are on a tight budget.
One more thing before we go:
Both App Store and Google Play keep checklist guides. Since we made it clear that gathering as much information as possible is essential for the success of any app, make sure to familiarize yourself with those as soon as possible. Here you go:
- Apple Developer Checklist
- Google Developer Checklist
- Google (App) Checklist – yup, there IS an app for mobile app development…
After you figure out what app creation tool you’ll use (which is a big decision to make!), let’s move on to a point on our app launch checklist that’s also super important:
11. Set up a Schedule
Make sure everybody in your team is aware of their responsibility and deadlines!
If you need help with organization – you can always delegate the organizational stuff to project management software. A lot of great options out there. Not only will they save you time and money, but they will also help you visualize the workflow and monitor your team.
12. Set up Customer Support
Set up an email and/or phone number just for customer support! Also, don’t forget social media – Facebook and Twitter are used heavily for customer relations.
Nowadays customers have extremely high expectations in terms of customer experience. An excellent customer support is one of the things that companies use as a winning strategy and statistics show that it works.
Investing in excellent customer support will contribute to your customer’s loyalty. And that pays off!
13. A/B Testing
First things first:
What is A/B testing?
This is the stage in the development of a mobile app when you compare and analyze different outcomes and results. It is also used for conversion rate optimization. It is a crucial part of the process and it will help you use resources better.
Each customer is shown a different experience inside your app. It depends on the type of app of course, but nonetheless, A/B testing is super important for any app.
Here comes the part of your QA team members – they will call the shots for numbers 13 and 14 of the Checklist. Alpha and beta tests are extremely useful for noticing issues and smothering bugs.
The benefits of A/B testing are numerous – from insights into customer behavior, to decision making, based on stats and data. Using beta testing tools is worth considering since you’ll need to perform tests on different versions of iOS and Android.
Next order of business is:
14. Fixing Bugs
Always a challenge! Software is never without a single bug. After intense testing the team gains feedback and needs to decide on an approach for the next stage.
Improving the quality of your app is a process. You can hire a team for debugging if things are getting out of hand.
15. Check the Size of Your App
The size of your app is important for app stores. It’s not only the size of the app itself – but the size of the images is also restricted. Be meticulous when it comes to the details – familiarize yourself with the restrictions in advance.
The history of mobile apps may not be a long one but is a very intense one.
Mobile apps are a big deal. In fact, in 2019 the worldwide mobile app revenue is $462 billion.
Now, let’s talk money:
16. Establish your Pricing Approach
(We are halfway through the list now. You are doing an amazing job!)
Here we go:
It is important that the value of your app is clearly communicated. Your pricing strategy is a cornerstone for the future of your product. People spend the majority of their mobile time on apps. The point is – they know how much different apps are supposed to cost. Overpricing is the enemy.
It is true that apps are becoming increasingly important for customers. Remember the first point on our Checklist? Exactly – Learn about your customers. Now, at that point, this research comes in handy and will prove to be extremely valuable. And now you need to discuss with your team the possible pricing approach towards your product.
17. Localize Your App
One thing is for sure: the larger your audience is – the better! Make sure your app is available not only for users in your country, and not only in one app store.
One more thing:
It is important to build relationships with the media and spread the word. “VIP mobile apps” are so irresistible because people can’t stop talking about them. They even sing about them in songs… not that Instagram wasn’t already popular enough.
Keep going, we are not through yet:
18. Create an In-App Feedback Channel
You can get some feedback in App Store and Google Play – it’s right there, under the rating of the app.
Still, store reviews are not a great way to receive feedback. That’s why you need an easy to use feedback channel within the app – it will encourage communication and will prevent negative public reviews.
You need a good app store rating! That’s why it’s a good idea to provide your customers with an in-app customer service channel. Keep customers as close to you as possible.
Moving on to:
19. Create Screenshots
It’s time to look presentable! (Dresscode: tuxedo and high heels, guys!)
The design of your app must underline the content. Be aware of the importance of visualizations.
You need to make excellent screenshots for both App Store and Google Play. They are a key factor for first impressions as they will produce huge impact on your audience.
Make sure to use all 5 slots for screenshots. Also, make the first 2 images in portrait mode, and highlight some of the best features of your product.
20. Create Description and Preview Video
The description will tell your customers all they need to know about your product – tell them a story and explain why your product is better than the competition.
Think about this for a moment:
What is YOUR favorite app? And why? What made it so seductive?
The preview video can make or break your app’s success. The A/B testing of the new app store video is what developers should prioritize in the final stages.
Use as an advantage the number of great apps out there and learn from the best:
Yup, there is a reason these guys earn the big bucks!
In 2018, users spent an average of 53 minutes per day on Instagram.
In 2019, Instagram has 1 billion daily active users.
In 2019, the net worth of the Instagram app is estimated to be $100 billion.
21. Create a PressKit
Let other people know about your app. Prior to your launch, you need to establish relations with the media – your product needs to see some camera lights.
Here is a list of things to include in the press kit:
- Store icon
- Launch date
- App description
- Promotional video
- About us – company information
Remember Nr 6 – Create a Blog? We remind you not to limit your online presence to the app stores. Keep in touch with your target audience, invite them to sign in and send out notifications.
22. Invest in Optimization
Driving traffic to your app is crucial!
The goal is to optimize your app so it ranks higher in the marketplace. App store optimization is the backbone of app launch strategies.
How to optimize your app?
Your dev team is in charge here. The key factors for optimization are:
- User interface
- Increasing app usability
- Optimize speed
- Test and monitor
In other words: make securing high app ranking a top priority!
23. Set a Launch Day
Yes, the big day is coming! And… we are walking on thin ice here.
Procrastination is the enemy, but there is also no need to hurry. If you have followed all the steps so far and done your research you should be fine.
You will need to coordinate many things. So, keep a schedule and a product release checklist for all the things you need to do before the launch.
When your product has passed all the tests successfully, you can set a date and work hard to make it happen. Don’t forget to inform your audience about any change in the schedule.
And don’t forget to:
24. Promote on Social Media
Have you got any idea of how much time people spend on social media?
Generating awareness is a top priority! You need to make sure people know about the existence of your app. Social media are an excellent way to drive organic growth to your app.
Carefully select the social media you want to promote your app on. There are so many options – choose wisely.
Creating promotional videos is a great way to have modern-looking advertising, If you are wondering how to do that – there are mobile app promo video makers and templates that can be pretty helpful. Or use paid services – they will take some of your workload off your shoulders. Delegate if possible.
Content marketing is a powerful tool, use it well! The more content you post on social media about your app – the better!
25. Final Preparations Before the Launch
A couple of important things before you click the red button:
- Check whether your app versions are synced up
- Follow up with PR
- Make sure your team has everything they need – they are exhausted too
OK, now we are ready!
26. Launch the Product
Upload your new app on App Store and Google Play. Now you know how to launch mobile apps!
YOU MADE IT!
Happy birthday to your new mobile app!
Have a drink and relax – you deserve it! Your team deserves it too. They were with you every step of the way and you worked hard, brainstormed, and got through the difficulties together.
Great job, everybody!
Although… we have tons of things to do:
Feedback is important. Take into consideration the opinion of your clients. And prioritize ways to continue keeping your customers engaged.
Here are some methods you can use to keep in touch:
- Push notifications
- In-app messaging
The frequency of your marketing communication is important. Now:
If you take advantage of the location tools on mobile devices you can benefit from personalized notifications.
One more thing:
Build store ratings. You need positive reviews on the day of the launch. That’s what you’ve been working on the last few months. You can ask your friends and family to contribute with some reviews – your team members can also do that.
28. In-App Analytics
Optimizing your mobile marketing strategy is a must. Your analytics will measure the performance and eventually, the success of your app.
Creating your app is just the tip of the iceberg of things you need to do. Once you are finished with your app, you need a mobile analytics platform. It will help you track user behavior. Statistics are always there to help.
Make sure you give your app the best chance of success possible!
29. Monitor the Engagement and Measure the Metrics
Active users, session intervals, time in the app, screen flow, retention, conversion, lifetime value… Measuring the metrics is an important step toward the goal – customer satisfaction.
Mobile App Checklist
And we are all set. Make sure to treat yourself now.
You deserve it!
Here we are, guys. At the end of our mobile app checklist. It was a wild ride and you did an amazing job!
If you build an amazing mobile app, people will come! And you worked hard to achieve your goals.
In the process before the app launch, everyone needs guidance, some advice, and encouragement. Developing an app is a process that does not end with the launch. So, keep up with the awesome work, guys!
Today we provided you with a detailed app launch checklist that will ultimately be used as a guideline.
We hope to see your app in the app stores soon!
Have a great day, everyone.