What is an app soft launch and why do it?

By admin, Dec 11, 2020

A marketing strategy to launch your app should consider the soft launch. It has several advantages over a full launch that can have beneficial impacts on everything from your user acquisition to your retention rate.

It’s not magic, and we’re not over-promising. It’s simply that a soft launch allows you to aim at your target market more squarely, refine the user experience and better calibrate your user base.

Why? Because it allows you to try out your final product before you move to mass marketing model: your app store launch becomes only a stage in the roll-out of your app, another opportunity to make the best product you can.

Put simply, a soft launch is about releasing your app, but quietly and to key demographics only. Your experiences in this soft launch period can then be reinvested in product enhancement – and will add to your success as full launch proceeds.

Put simply, a soft launch offers developers the opportunity to do three key things that can really bear fruit for an app long-term.

  1. Catch and fix any bugs before the big launch.

    The developer’s nightmare is to take an app to full launch – and uncover bugs when thousands have already downloaded the app. No amount of testing can guarantee that an app has no issues – sometimes it takes a user-base to uncover things the pre-launch process couldn’t. 

    A soft launch ensures that an app’s most engaged users get first chance to use the app – and they’re the most likely to find its bugs. Early adopters enjoy this process and will engage positively in helping an app be better. This means a developer can fix them before full launch, reducing issues and enhancing user experience.

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  3. Get feedback and adapt.

    Feedback can come in other shapes and sizes, too. How do an app’s graphics look? How’s it user journey, and user interface? Does its navigation seem intuitive, does the copy read well? All these things matter – and a soft launch helps you find a relatively small group of your target demographic to test all this out for you.
     

    Once the feedback is in, the app can be adapted and improved ahead of its full launch – making for a better, more impactful product from day one.

  4. Gauge performance in an app store and come up with a strategy.

    Finally, a soft launch gives you time to observe your app’s performance in the app store, so that you can tinker with the variables to achieve the best possible results at full launch. 

    How does it perform in search? How do your icons and screenshots look? Does the story you are telling about the app sell it effectively? Are your reviews good? Understanding these metrics will help you undertake App Store Optimisation (ASO) that can make a huge difference when you head towards full launch and mass market.

All of this means that you can ensure your full marketing strategy is on point – and therefore that your full marketing expenditure will be spent efficiently and effectively. Success with apps is about gathering as much information as possible – and that’s why you should be doing a soft launch.

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