Naturally, we needed to get to the bottom of it all and we wanted to understand where these apps were going wrong so that I could avoid being one of the 65% and move towards the top 10%.

So we did our dirt; we downloaded a lot more apps; we read a lot more articles; we contacted a bunch of highly successful app developers and put the question to them. This is what we found:

“Most app developers aren’t really sure about what they’re doing… ” OK, not exactly groundbreaking stuff but please let me elaborate.


The general population of people don’t know that an app needs to succeed on the App Store. In fact, there are exactly three reasons why apps fail and any successful app needs to overcome these in order to thrive. The 3 reasons are:


  • A lack of Marketing;
  • A Monetisation structure that does not work, and;
  • A poor User Experience.


The point of this article is to show you each of these obstacles in more detail. Once you understand them better you will see how you can use them to your advantage.


Let’s start off by discussing:


UX – User Experience
User Experience design is the art of laying out the screens of the app to find the best possible way for the user to interact. In this part of the process, we look at things like button layout and use of colour. We also focus on cutting out the ‘fat’ that doesn’t need to be there and use the right words and icons for buttons to make the experience intuitive and easy.


You see, people are both lazy and impatient, and when those two qualities mix it can be hard to keep someone engaged. That makes it doubly important to do a good job of it.


In an app development team, there is a person (or a number of people) whose job it is to design the UX. A good UX designer is hard to find and so the DIY mentality definitely does not apply in this field.


Admittedly this is a part of the App Marketing process however I like to segregate the two and focus on them separately. Here’s why:


Monetisation in itself is a huge subject and deserves a lot of attention. You see, there are a variety of ways to monetise an app, and not all of them work for every app.


For example: Imagine launching a social media app and trying to charge users a subscription fee to use it. From memory, Facebook hinted at doing this at one point and nearly lost a quarter of its user base.


Being smart with this also means you can make more money from doing less. For example, many app developers don’t use in-app purchases. My question is: What app developer in his/her right mind would ignore using in-app purchases?


What’s the big deal? Well, stats show that in-app purchases create on average 40% of an apps overall revenue. So, let me ask you this: As an app developer, would you want to miss out on that?


What you need to be careful of is ‘inappropriate use of in-app purchases’. For example, certain apps push the in-app purchases option too hard and therefore lose their users engagement.


Before deciding the best way to monetise your app I would suggest that you have a serious consult with an app expert and download some apps to see what the competition is doing.


Sadly the ‘days of yore’ when an app could be dropped on the app store and make a million dollars at the end of the month, are well and truly over.


“An app launched to the app store with no marketing push at all is set up for failure.”
I know that doesn’t seem very motivating but I need to be honest with you. However, hope is definitely not lost. In fact, more people are becoming millionaires from the app store now than ever before.


You’re not required to sell your house to afford a good marketing plan, and you won’t need to sell your wife/husband and kids to get your app known either!


The good news is that as we move further into the 21st Century, marketing your mobile app is about to become cheaper than chips… however, with this you’ll need to get in quick.


The marketing I’m referring to is strictly organic ASO, word-of-mouth and reputation building strategies.



Developing the app is only part of the process, and in my opinion, it’s the easier part. The fun starts with getting people to download the app and creating a User Experience that they will actually enjoy.

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