Congratulations! You just finished development on your mobile application and are preparing to launch into the app stores where millions of people will instantly recognize it’s tremendous value and download it immediately. Except the app stores are crowded, poorly designed marketplaces unable to adequately support the overwhelming explosion of new applications that are being launched every single day. The unpredictability and inconsistent nature of Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store will no doubt cause you to lose sleep and pull your hair out while you try in vain to get noticed under a tidal wave of new app launches.

So the question becomes, how do I stand out from the masses and get my app into the hands (or phones) of my prospective users? We at Mobile Jazz have successfully built and launched top-ranking mobile applications that have reached the 10M download milestone and hit the Top 20 on both the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store.

This is not a one-size-fits-all solution, as every application should develop it’s own unique launch strategy based on its genre, industry, target market, and platform. Instead, think of this as a checklist to make sure that you’re maximizing your app launch marketing to its full potential.

1. Build a mobile responsive landing page

This should go without saying, but we’ve seen plenty of app download pages that don’t display well on mobile devices. When a potential user visits your landing page their experience should be clean and the design must be responsive. The objective is maintaining the highest possible conversion rate, therefore make sure your landing page is solid regardless of the device it’s being viewed on.

A responsive landing page

2. Use your email newsletter as a call-to-action

Depending on your industry and company history, you likely have an existing database of users (or clients or customers or even friends and family). A few weeks prior to launch, make sure that your existing users know what you’re building for them and why. Give them an “exclusive” peek into your upcoming app and show them how they will benefit. Increase the communication and previews right up through launch day and beyond.

3. Optimize description and screenshots to ensure maximum downloads

Don’t just copy/paste your website’s description of your app. You have limited space (and time) in the description section of your application to convince a potential new user to download it. Use it wisely. Craft the value proposition and description copywriting to ensure maximum effectiveness. Be concise. Don’t use three lines to say something that can be said in one. We recommend keeping your descriptions between 80-110 words per page to improve your conversion rate.

4. Connect the physical world with your app

Your potential user base doesn’t necessarily spend 24 hours a day glued to their computers and devices like you do. Depending on your target market, you may have to get creative and expand your marketing efforts into the real world. QR codes on flyers, billboards, commercials can be an effective call-to-action that converts well in the physical world.

Proximity Marketing

5. Take advantage of the media

The world is changing fast, but not that fast. Tried and true methods like press releases and professional public relations campaigns can be very effective in reaching a wide audience, especially for B2C campaigns. Create a press release that is simple, effective and interesting to the media. In many places, people still read the newspaper, even if you don’t. Don’t ignore the world’s largest medium for sharing the news.

6. Make a demo video

Reading is so 90’s. Get the net, no one reads anymore. You’re probably not even reading this sentence, just skimming the article looking for a 60 second explainer video. Well, so is everyone else. Research has shown a brief explainer video describing your app with some storytelling magic and humor can significantly increase your maximum reach.

7. Test your launch icon

It is important that you test your app’s launch icon in the marketplace against different competitors’ apps. When users look for an app they usually enter a keyword and then click on some of the icons that appeal to them the most before downloading one of them. It is therefore of utmost importance that you test your icon against others to see how it visually responds when standing next to your competition. Remember to test your launch icon for desktop (Google Play, iTunes) as well as for mobile.

launch icon
Test your launch icon

8. Engage your early users

Launching the app was only phase 1. Now, you have to work around the clock to make sure the early adopters are happy and get the attention they deserve. Take the time to personally engage with each and every comment, review and piece of user feedback you receive. Ask them (nicely) to share the app with their friends and colleagues if they find it useful. Offer to put their testimonial including their name and company up on your website. People love to see their name in lights.

9. SEO & social media traction

We cannot stress the importance of social media for mobile app marketing enough. Consumers have a tendency to subconsciously tune out and ignore the 20,000 ads they see each day and the overwhelming promotion eventually turns to white noise. In contrast, the importance of word of mouth among friends and family, specifically through social media recommendations is on the rise. According to Forrester, 19% of iOS and 15% of Android app downloads originate from people sharing apps through social media. Make it as easy as possible for users to share your app through their social networks.

10. App reviews

Reviews are another key part in your strategy to seduce customers to download your app. The amount of reviews will boost your placement in the results pages, therefore implementing ways to remind your customers to review the app will be key in your marketing strategy. Remember to maintain your brand’s tone and voice in your copywriting style. Consistency across platforms and communication channels is key in showing your personality and connecting with your users.

Remember that you wish honest feedback so you can react on it in the most appropriate way (text, new release, screenshot adaptation, help/FAQ etc.). When you ask friends and family to react on your app, encourage them be honest as well. There is nothing worse than having an app with the same amount of one star ratings as five star ratings. Users are most deceived when they feel they have been tricked, and punish the brand with a one star ratings, therefore your marketing materials and your app need to be consistent so users know exactly what they get.

App store reviews and ratings are crucial to your app’s success

11. App Store Optimization (ASO)

Choosing the right selection of keywords is one of the important variables when attracting users to your app via the marketplace search tool. Be aware that different app marketplaces have different behaviors regarding keywords. For example, some treat plural and singular words as different and others consider them the same entry. Furthermore, be sure to define the type of users you are aiming for, and which language you should use to reach them. In some cases, you may want to localize your description and keywords while others, like the Spanish-speaking market in the US, will require you to mix both languages in the same description.

Apple provides key information on internationalization.

12. Deep Linking

Deep linking is the methodology of launching a native mobile app directly from an URL. This is especially vital for app promotion because it allows you or any 3rd party to open the app when the link is clicked, rather than driving traffic to a website or to the app store. Learn more about deep linking here.

13. Use advertising

One of the unique values we provide to our clients is the process of developing short-term and long-term user acquisition roadmaps tailored to their needs. We are able to drive up to 100k downloads per day for a single application and burst up the charts. This can be accomplished through targeted Cost-Per-Install (CPI) or Cost-Per-Click (CPC) campaigns, combined with other ad-based strategies specific to the client’s target market.

14. Be creative

Remember, the mobile app revolution is still in its infancy. The rules are not yet written in stone and every time Apple or Google decide to update their app stores, we find ourselves scrambling to adjust our methods. The road to 100 million downloads is one filled with trial and error and constant improvements. What worked well for someone else may be ineffective for your launch. Trust your instincts and your knowledge of your demographic, and then see what sticks.

creative advertising

Experimentation and creativity go a long way in this brave new mobile app world, but you can’t skip the basics. We hope this checklist proves useful for your upcoming app launch and corresponding marketing effort, however keep in mind that the download itself isn’t the end game. Convincing your users to download your app and keeping them engaged as active monthly users are two entirely different challenges. Keep adding value and improving the user experience with every update, and the same motivation that encouraged your users to download your app in the first place will keep them engaged in the long run.

If you need an expert opinion or simply want to put your idea into an actionable framework, feel free to contact our experienced engineers, designers, marketers and mobile business strategists at Mobile Jazz. We’ve launched more than 50 successful applications, many of the them with 10M+ downloads, some of them even above the 100M mark holding top positions in the App Store and Google Play Store. To learn more about our work, check out our full range of services on our Mobile Jazz website.


If you’ve any kind of feedback, comments or questions please contact us here.


Mobile Jazz

We're a 25 people strong engineering + design team based out of Tallinn. We build innovative software and enjoy life while traveling the world.