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Your new app is not selling, now what?

Your new app is not selling, now what?
By Edouard Barbier • Issue #10 • View online

Imagine you just launched your new app and started getting downloads, reviews, feedbacks and feature requests… all signs are go for a successful launch! Great job!
So you press ahead, add a few more features, push a couple of bug fixes and design a pricing strategy to implement in the next version. 
Apple approves your in-app purchases, you release the new version with paywalls, and then… Nothing. Literally nothing. The void. 
Sounds familiar? Let’s deep dive into how to approach and fix situations like this. 
Understand why. Then take action.
The first order of business is to understand why this is happening. Once we know more about the issue at hand, we can look into strategies to solve our problem. 
This is as simple as listing hypotheses and checking your analytics (provided you’ve logged the right minimal set of events in the first place) to get insights on each of them. 
Hypothesis 1: Is the purchase flow working properly in production? 
Easy to test, do it yourself via the app downloaded in production or ask a family member or friend to test it. They don’t have to go all the way to spending money since that last step is pretty robust thanks to Apple but check that: 
• the paywall shows properly
• the in-app purchases are loading fine 
• all the buttons on the paywall are tappable 
• the purchase flow starts properly with the right product when your purchase button is tapped
Etc 
Hypothesis 2: Getting as many refund requests as purchases? 
• Check that a premium user is actually granted the premium features after upgrading to a premium plan in your app. Sounds silly but these tiny bugs can have a devastating impact on your app’s reputation. 
• Make sure people understand what they are paying for. If you don’t communicate this properly in your paywall, most users will be surprised (or disappointed), they won’t stick around and your churn will go through the roof.
Hypothesis 3: Are people actually seeing your paywall? 
• Create a simple funnel showing the number of new users, who viewed your paywall. Pre-requisite: log an event every time a user sees the paywall. 100% of new users should see your paywall. Showing it on launch, after onboarding, or regularly after every 2-3 open events is recommended. 
Hypothesis 3: Are people mostly dismissing your paywall? 
• Option 1: Too expensive. Launch an AB test with a lower price and compare the analytics after a few weeks 
• Option 2: The paywall is not clear as to what users will get by upgrading to Premium. Change the copy on the page, add a description image or video (even better) and AB test the difference in conversion rate. 
• Option 3: People aren’t ready to pay for what you built. It’s not adding enough value at the moment. This is harder to diagnose. Ideally, you’d want to ask your users directly. This can be done through a little open-question survey when users dismiss your paywall, or a pop-up shown to free users with questions like “What is missing in the app for you to consider upgrading to Pro?” 
My experience with MagicBoard
I faced all these issues in my 7 years shipping apps on the AppStore and writing this newsletter is even giving me new ideas for things I have never tried but should really implement soon. 
So, what’s up with MagicBoard? The first monetisation attempt doesn’t seem to be very successful. I charge $39.99 per year with a free trial of 3 days. For serious content creators, I thought this would be a fair price. Imagine the app helps them save just a few hours every year, it’s already worth it if you consider the opportunity cost of one hour of their time.
I’ll still wait a few more days to collect more data before designing my action plan but I’ll most likely look like this:
1. UX: Showing the paywall faster and more often. Not that many users actually see it from my early-stage analytics lookup.
Conversion funnel from Install to Purchase
Conversion funnel from Install to Purchase
2. Communication: Explaining the core premium feature better. I’ll rewrite the copy and maybe add a GIF or a video showing the feature in action.
A premium feature in MagicBoard
A premium feature in MagicBoard
3. Price sensitivity: Testing different price points through an AB test where some users will see $40/year, others will see $20/year and some will see $10/year. After a while, we can compare the ARPU (average revenue per year) for each price tag and whichever wins gets rolled out to the entire user base.
I’ll report back once I have implemented a few of these strategies. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue and if you have any tactic that you’ve used successfully in the past to fix a similar problem.
Til next time.
Peace.
Ed
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Edouard Barbier

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