A subscription app launch is an exciting moment for app publishers. As launch day approaches, your team is no doubt looking forward to celebrating all the hard work.
No doubt expectations are high for your subscription app performance. As you work towards launch day, it’s important to also think about the days and weeks that will follow.
Do you have the right foundation to both operationalize and optimize your subscription app? Here’s five important items you should add to your pre-launch checklist so you are ready to scale.
1. Be sure your subscription app leverages each app stores’ monetization features on launch
Each distribution channel such as Apple App Store, Google Play and Roku offer different standard capabilities for in-app subscriptions. Some of these features are optional, but offer a benefit if you take advantage of them.
For instance, both the App Store and Google Play offer Grace Periods so users don’t lose access to their subscription services if the credit card charge for a renewal fails to process. This gives users time to credit their billing details and app publishers a tool to avoid involuntary churn.
Google Play also offers a unique feature: the ability for a user to pause a subscription. This is a great way to retain subscriptions even if they need to temporarily step away from your subscription product.
Each platform offers a different mix of capabilities to app publishers offering in-app subscriptions. These features are designed to help you operate a better subscription app.
When launching your subscription app, be sure you’re taking full advantage of everything your distribution platforms have to offer to enhance your subscriptions.
2. Subscriptions apps can’t be static. Launch with the ability to iterate quickly.
Too many apps ship with a hard coded subscription purchase experience. While typical, it means development cycles and app updates to make changes.
Once you launch your subscription app, you’re going to want the marketing agility to experiment. Want to try a different introductory offer? Does your messaging need to adapt to strategy changes from leadership? Do you want to offer a new subscription tier?
These are just a few ways your in-app subscription storefront or paywall needs to be a marketing asset, not a fixed screen. In fact, think of this as an opportunity that is tangential to your App Store Optimization efforts.
3. Users expect subscription apps to be localized and accessible. Don’t punt until after launch.
Your team may be thinking about localizing your subscription app as an enhancement after launch. The same is probably true for accessibility features such as enlarged fonts and audible screen reading (e.g. VoiceOver).
This is a bad idea. The best apps don’t wait. One reason is because localization and accessibility are factors that the Apple and Google editorial teams consider when choosing apps to feature. More importantly, it’s the right thing to do.
What’s this mean for subscription apps in particular? Don’t just localize your key app screens. The paywall should be localized and accessible.
Use the user’s device language and store region to localize the subscription storefront for them. The paywall should also support accessibility features such as larger fonts, gray scale, and screen reading.
You won’t get credit for having some of your app screens localized and accessible. Your potential subscribers come from all walks of life and expect a great experience which includes your purchase experience..
4. Don’t forget to launch with analytics designed for subscription apps
Almost every app launches with some sort fo general purpose analytics solution such as Adobe Analytics or Mixpanel. However, subscription apps need to go a step further.
Due to the nature of subscriptions, actionable insight into what’s working (or not) is a challenge. Typical analytics tools understand single moments where commerce takes place. The customer’s journey with a subscription over time is what’s important.
That journey may include a free trial, conversion to paying subscriber, multiple renewals, and yes even possible cancellation and churn. Unfortunately, most general analytics tools don’t adequately model revenue, let alone subscription revenue.
You need a subscription analytics solution to augment (and enrich) your general purpose solution. If you don’t have this for launch, you’ll be missing critical data to help you improve and optimize efficiently.
5. Have a plan for how you will deliver customer support
Your subscription app launch is fast approaching. Your attention needs to turn to product operations. The most important item for your launch checklist item concerns customer support.
How will you deliver support once you get to market? App ecosystems are indirect channels, so your data and insight into the customer and their purchase history is limited.
You can’t log in to App Store Connect and look up a subscriber. Nor is there such a place inside of the Play Developer Console. This means your customers will be writing into support looking for help and you need a way to provide answers.
The solution involves two parts. First, you need clean and platform agnostic subscriber data. Second, you need to make that data available in a form that can be retrieved and understood by your support team.
At Nami, our #1 job is to help you create happy subscribers. Our Subscriber Experience Cloud provides the right foundation for delivering a great subscription app. To learn more, get in touch or book a demo.