We have prepared this article together with Alexander Nikolaev – an experienced UA manager (mobile games, mobile e-commerce).

Congratulations! It looks like you are ready to launch a mobile app. The process can be challenging and stressful. To make everything a bit easier for you, we have come up with a step-by-step guide that will show you exactly how to launch a mobile app.

There are three main steps that will lead you to the global launch of your app – technical integration, technical launch, and soft launch.

And we should not forget about another important step that might become the highlight of your app’s marketing campaign – the creation of a promo video. For example, Perfomante can help you with that. A team of professionals will generate a vibrant. handcrafted video in the shortest terms (just in time for the launch).

Technical Integration

This stage includes all the things that you have to prepare before the technical launch.

What SDKs will you be using?

SDK is a Software Development Kit. This set of tools, code samples, libraries, and relevant documentation will help you build your application.

SDKs are designed to be used for specific platforms (or programming languages). By the way, you can use these kits to enhance apps with more functionality (for example, include advertisements and push notifications).
We recommend Firebase SDK, Adjust, and, of course, Facebook SDK. The developers will also need these kits for monitoring and reporting.

Check the event transfer settings.

An event is a type of action that a user conducts. It can be a simple click, a comment, a purchase… Every time an event takes place, the information about it is sent to the analytics platform. There are a lot of important things that you can find out through the events. For example, what version of the app the user has, for how many days has the app been installed, and so on.

Some of the most well-known analytics services include Google Analytics (helps to measure and optimize user acquisition and engagement; features easy-to-use SDKs and reports designed for app developers), Flurry (a professional-grade mobile app analytics platform that’s completely free), and Mixpanel (easy visualization of user event data without the need for IT intervention).

Prepare your creatives.

To begin with, you will need around five creatives with various mechanics – gameplay, storytelling, etc. Remember to use the right formats (1:1, 1080 x 1080; 16:9 1920 x 1080 – both are universal formats; 4:5. 1080 x 1350 – used for Facebook Audience Network; 9:16, 1080 x 1920 – use this format with a vertical orientation to create stories) and that your videos shouldn’t be longer than 15 seconds.

Forget about storytelling videos at this point. You can literally record your screen to show the main features of the application.

Tech Launch

During this stage, you will have the opportunity to receive and monitor your primary traffic.

Focus on ‘cheap’ countries that don’t mind the English language.

The time has come to launch your application for the first time. When you will be choosing the settings of your campaign, focus on the Philippines and Brazil, for example. You wouldn’t be spending a big chunk of your budget, but the metrics will be relevant for plenty of other locations.
When it comes to the budget, it can be around $400.

To make things a bit easier, we will share the preferred settings for your Facebook ads campaign.
During the tech launch, set your CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization) to around $100 per day. Your locations can be different, some may choose the Netherlands, while others prefer the Philippines and Brazil. Automatic placement; smartphone for Android and iPhone for IOS; optimization – auto-bid.

If you experience any problems after the launch of the campaign, check the attribution windows in all the systems (make sure that you are using one timezone). In our case, it is better to have the 1-day attribution window for your views and the 7-day window for the clicks.

Are your monetization tools working?

Check if the users can see your ad and if the client is receiving the events. Make sure that there are no mistakes.

Soft Launch

You are now ready for the soft launch – a ‘rehearsal’ of the global launch. Here, we need to fully understand our monetization funnel – how much we will be able to make, what’s the LTV (Lifetime Value; how much the user is predicted to be worth to your app), ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User; what the user generates during a specified time frame), CPM (Cost-Per-Mille; the cost of 1000 ad impressions), CTR (Click-Through Rate; the ratio of clicks to impressions on a mobile ad campaign), etc.

The soft launch also helps you optimize marketing spend and check one last time if there are any bugs.
During this stage, you have to perform three important tests.

Test the Creatives.

Once you have reached at least 10.000 views, evaluate the install rate, CPPU, and CPA to find 2-3 creatives with the best rates. Overall, the optimal IPM (Installs Per Mille) is between 0.5% and 0.9%. If you are launching a game, then the IPM can be 0.25% – 1.5%.

IPM = installs*1000/number of impressions

You can have a few adsets. However, every adset should have only one creative. The daily budget will be between $10 and $50.

You can focus on the same locations (the Philippines, Brazil, Poland, and the Czech Republic). Automatic placement; smartphone for Android and iPhone for IOS; optimization – app install, lowest cost.

Retention Test.

We will be evaluating calendar retention. Buy 300-1000 app installs for your metrics (you can focus on Eastern Europe and the Phillippines or North Europe and Canada, where the retention rate will be higher). The overall budget for this test is around $400-$1000.
Here, you can have 2-5 advertisements in your adset.

Set a CBO, anywhere between $30 and $200 per day (the budget will depend on the genre of your application and the monetization funnel). Broad audience; focus on the right locations; automatic placement; smartphone for Android and iPhone for IOS; optimization – lowest cost.

Ad Monetization Testing.

This is the most expensive test. You would have to spend around $2000-$15000. Make sure that you are buying the installs through the most effective monetization funnel. Use the most convertible creatives. They don’t have to be perfect; however, they should not be affecting the install rate. Your page on the store has to look great, at this point.

You will have 1 adset with 2-5 best creatives. Use asset customizations for placements and dynamic creative optimization – Facebook will optimize your creatives and deliver personalized variations for each person viewing the ad. Pick your competitors’ audience or paying audience.

The budget for this test will depend on the number of events (you will end up with a minimum that you need to reach every week). The coverage has to be at least 1.5 million users. The locations include the USA, UK, North Europe, Australia, and France. Optimization – lowest cost; 1-day view and 1-day click.

Global Launch

Before proceeding to your global launch, you have to ensure that your app doesn’t have any bugs. If there is a critical mistake, you would have to return to the tech launch stage.
All the parts of your campaign have to be working well.

For your convenience, we have come up with a global launch checklist.

  1. Add the must-have legal documents (GDPR, CCPA, terms of use, privacy policy)
  2. Make sure that your app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play without a Wi-Fi connection
  3. Your app can be downloaded in any country and you have localized your creation (English, Russian, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish) 
  4. You have tested the marketing funnel (you have great creatives and a good-looking, converting page on the store)
  5. You have a satisfying growth point for payback (in terms of your business plan)

How to launch a mobile app? Now you know exactly what to do. Be patient, be creative, and good luck 😉

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