Months of sleepless nights developing the next big thing in the rental space are almost coming to an end. Your rental application is nearly ready for a production environment, but getting users to install and use your app might be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Amazing software applications have been built, only to end up as catastrophic failures with minimal user engagement. CNN, the most recognizable name in news streaming, had to scrap their $350 million streaming service a month after launching because of dismal subscriptions. In a competitive space like rental apps, you’ll need to pull out all the stops to stand out from the crowd. A cursory glance on Google Store reveals thousands of rental apps, all with decent ratings and users. To get your foot in the door, and guarantee your app gets at least a few thousand downloads within the first month – a key metric in any application’s long-term performance – here’s what you need to do.
Choose the right name
The words you use can make or break your rental application success. Think about it. When users are searching for a rental application, either through a search engine or on an app store, their use specific words. If the name of your app doesn’t make use of these search words, it’ll be increasingly difficult for users to find your app. This doesn’t mean that you cram each high-value search word into your rental apps name. A name like “World’s Best Rental Application App” won’t win the user base over. You want to strike a balance between the search words and uniqueness to improve the chances of your rental application standing out. You can use SEO tools to discover words popular with users in the rental market and combine those with a unique word that describes your rental application.
Interact with your user base
If you haven’t already, its time to know your audience. The best products are those that address the needs of their targeted consumers. Read through user reviews of various rental applications and ask yourself how your app addresses their needs, how it improves on current offerings, and if it addresses any gaps. Asking yourself these questions helps you come up with a description that makes your rental application stand out from the rest. A rental application that helps New Yorkers find homes and apartments by their preferred neighborhood will attract more users than non-specific apps. Being specific also guarantees your app engages with your targeted user base, making it stand out from the rest.
Focus on your UI/UX
The user interface and user design experience can make or break an application. As a software developer, you know or have used Vim. But given the choice between Vim and a graphical text editor, which one would you prefer? Sure, Vim has tons of functionalities and is more productive than graphical text editors. But the fact that Vim lacks a populated graphical interface and has a steeper learning curve than graphical text editors makes it a less popular choice, with only 25% of software developers using it. Vim is a great tool, but its user interface and user experience design are not. Your rental application might be on the bleeding edge of technology, but if it doesn’t have an equally impressive graphical interface and user experience design, not a lot of people will want to use it.
Spread the word
You can’t sit back and wait for users to download your rental application. With dozens of new apps being published each month, you need to make users aware of your app every chance you get. That means you’ll need to spend a lot of time on social media channels marketing your app and interacting with potential users. If your budget allows, you might also want to spend some money on social media and search engine advertising. Advertising on digital channels and social engagements will create a buzz around your app that should snowball into active users, provided you’ve completed the steps above.
Never ignore customer feedback
Once you have the first few users, you’re bound to get feedback on your app. Some of the feedback will be critical and even down right disheartening. Don’t get discouraged by the feedback. Instead, use the critical feedback as motivation to improve your rental application. When users realize developers actually care, they are bound to let others know, driving your rental applciation to the number one spot. The developers of No Man’s Sky, the video game, are a perfect example of how to turn negative feedback into a strength. Within a year of releasing the game, No Man’s Sky developers received a lot of flak from the online community. Rather than giving up on the game and writing it off as a failure, the developers used the criticism to improve their game. Four years later, No Man’s Sky is a fan favorite and the developers willingness to continue improving on the game has endeared them to their entire user base.