Case Study: Building A Compelling App Landing Page
You’ve made your first app, it’s in the App Store and you’ve built an app landing page for it. Business isn’t booming just yet, but you’ve made a compelling roadmap for the coming months: features that will wow your users.
In an exclusive case study, you’ll take a good look at My Day Todos. It’s built by Bhuman Soni, a indie app developer from Sydney, Australia. He’s building his app business and wants help with growing it. Benefit from his experiences in the App Store!
Designing An App Landing Page
Your app’s landing page is the single most important sales page for prospects that find your app via non-App Store channels. When you’re blogging, reaching out on social media, networking in real life: you’ll send people to your app landing page.
This is My Day Todos’ app landing page:
A number of aspects is immediately clear:
- The logo is clear and present, and illustrates perfectly that this is a to-do list app.
- The slogan and keywords are clear: Todo list with alarms and speech. It explains in understandable words what the app is about.
- The screenshots catch your eye, and reinforce the understanding of the value proposition of the app.
Also, a number of items can be improved:
- The color scheme is white-on-black. It’s the easiest of all color schemes to read, but it makes the individual parts of the website blend in too much. The logo is a bright blue, which makes it stand out. If there are other parts of the website you want to focus on, use a bright color for them too: a call-to-action, the link to the App Store, and the screenshots of the app.
- The menu bar, main text and screenshot blurbs are all feature-focused. It speaks in the language of the app, not in the language of the user. More on this later.
- A call-to-action is missing. The single purpose of your app landing page is to persuade users to install your app. One of the best ways to convert users to your app, is by putting a call-to-action on screen: a button or link that motivates a page visitor to take action. Examples are: “Get the app”, “Download on the App Store”, or better: “Never forget another todo, download now”, “Make your todos fun, install now”, “Get more productive, start today”. A good CTA uses an active verb, a short timeframe, and a benefit (or unique selling point).
- Finally: design and usability are important. It helps the website visitor to read the page, and understand what parts are relevant for him or her. Avoid too much whitespace to make the page more comprehensible. Use vertical grid columns, a clearly readable font size, and consistent margins to make the page items more cohesive and comprehensible.
Your Roadmap: Benefits vs. Features
Would you call yourself more of an app developer or an app marketer? Chances are, if you’re an app developer, you’re creating apps from a technological perspective.
You define your app by listing it’s features:
- Create to-do’s
- Easy-to-use user interface
- Reading to-do items out loud
- Better management of to-do’s
A good app has awesome features, but a great app uses those features to solve a problem. What problem is My Day Todos solving?
A scenario: you get out of bed when your alarm clock goes off, ready to to start your day. Instead of having to read your todo’s for the day, you can let the app read them to you out loud. Perhaps while you’re having breakfast, or during brushing your teeth.
In other words: the app is more convenient than an ordinary to-do list app, by getting out of your way. It’s faster and saves you time by getting you up to speed at the start of your day.
Let’s take that one step further with a benefit-driven roadmap. You’re the developer, right? Chances are you’ve prioritized your app’s features as follows:
- App must be able to create, display, edit and delete to-do’s
- App must be able to read to-do items out loud, in 2 voices
- App must be able to define alarms for to-do items
When you start to think from the perspective of the user and the problems he or she has, your prioritized feature list will shift:
- App must be able to ask for tomorrow’s todo’s the night before, so they can be read out loud in the morning
- App must be able to read at different speeds, to save time
Thanks to the user perspective, the features and their priority changed. Instead of focusing on what the app does, you focus on what your users can do with your app.
Simply said: you solve a user’s problem with your app, and that’s the best (and only) way to make millions in the App Store!
A Customer-Centered Approach: Validating Your Ideas
As an app maker you have to place yourself in your customer’s shoes. You gotta think like your customer: watching the world through their eyes. It’s almost impossible, but it’s very important: building an app that your customers want to buy, means you must make an app that solves a problem for them.
Growing a business is as simple (or complex) as finding enough prospect customers with the same problem, solving that problem, and asking money for it.
You just read how you can shift your perspective from feature-focused to customer-focused. Unfortunately, the benefits that were described don’t really mean anything. They are hunches, good examples, but remain unproven.
Without proof your customers want to be woken up by reading their to-do’s out loud, don’t build the feature!
Instead, ask yourself 2 questions:
- What problem am I solving?
- Who’s got this problem?
More than one answer to each question is possible. It could be that you’re helping customers who have a hard time managing their todo’s. They forget about them, don’t tick them off, or don’t create new ones. In that case, you’re solving the problem of task management. On top of creating and maintaining tasks, you remember your customers to manage their tasks.
To find prospect customers that have this problem, we’re going back to the My Day Todos app. It’s hard to find prospect customers with a particular problem, but fortunately your app already has a small customer base. You can leverage your existing customers to pivot your app into a more viable direction.
Let’s say you have 3 different features you want to build. They all directly tie into a problem your customers might have. You’ve defined those problems, and now it’s time to validate them: do my customers need help solving this problem, and what is that worth to them?
Start these 2 research campaigns:
- Send your existing customers a survey. It’s easiest when you have their email addresses, but you can also get in touch with them via your app landing page or the app itself. A popup saying “Join our survey to make this app better, and win a $ 50 Amazon gift card” is a good starting point.
- In the survey, you introduce a problem and let them answer on an intensity scale: “How important is solving problem X for your day-to-day activities?”
- Also, add the option to write an answer: “What would us solving problem X mean to you?”
- Don’t forget to ask how much they’d pay for a product that solves their problem.
- To top it all off, ask: “How are you currently solving this problem?”
- Ask a question on Quora. Outline the problem and ask the 4 questions again: how important is the problem, what would it mean to you if we solved it, how much would you pay for it, and how are you currently solving this problem?
- Bonus campaign: build the feature into your app, but not entirely. Only add the menu item, like “Manage todo’s” or “Wake me up” to the app. When the user taps on it, they see a blank page with: Feature under construction. Want to know when it’s ready? Leave your email address in the field below. Measure how many people tap on the menu, and how many leave their address.
The results of your research will give you a clue on where to start looking. It’ll definitely prioritize your feature list, and help you ascertain what your customers are willing to pay for.
If you haven’t built your app, but all you have is a list of features: try this method first. It’ll save you hundreds of hours of time building a product nobody wants!
Where To Go From Here?
Awesome! Now you know how to move your perspective to your prospect customers. Also, you know how to do proper research to validate your ideas. Hopefully, you’ll refrain from building tech features out of the blue, and first check what your customers want.
A big thanks to Bhuman Soni to let us use his app as a launch pad for this article!
Make sure you download his app My Day Todos. It’s a great app for managing todo’s, and the todo-to-speech feature looks promising. Stay tuned on its progress, because the app will most certainly evolve into a problem-solving product over time.
Read up on these resources to learn more about the topics this article touched upon, to make sure you capitalize on your app business.
- Theme X by Themeco. Absolute killer WordPress theme that enables you to have an app landing page up-and-running in a matter of minutes. It has plenty of templates, so you don’t have to spend a single second worrying about where to put that call-to-action.
- Book: Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. Landmark book about usability and doing user tests. It has a big focus on UI/UX, but it also helps with designing clear and easy-to-use products.
- Validation: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself. Complete and extensive article on the importance of business validation, and tangible steps you can take to validate your business ideas.
Hi, I'm Reinder.
I help developers play with code.
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