It is always good to hear the inside stories of startups which have tasted success.

Recently our community got to hear from Amritanshu Anand, an IIT alumni who worked on making a product, Retention.ai (which was later acquired by Inshorts) that analyzes why people uninstall Apps so much in India (hence looking at the problem from a new perspective) rather than making yet another analytic tool that tells the developers about their app’s performance. He’s presently the Head of Partnerships at Inshorts.

At our event he shared with us what tools and tricks they use for their App analytics, publicity etc, what works best for their case, what’s their key metric and why?

But even more than that he enlightened us to why some apps do so much better than their competitors even though they both serve the same purpose to the user. Its because based on the results of these analytic tools the developers get an idea how to polish their app to bring out the best possible results for the user.

When it came to App marketing he had the following to say:

I am strongly against paid ratings and reviews. Spending money on post boost is not as effective as App install campaigns.” — Never go for paid installs in the beginning. It doesn’t help, the people who come to you fast, go away faster. Later on every company needs paid installs.

But if you want to do paid ads, then Facebook and Google ads are good.

Amritanshu said, “If I were to launch a new App, I would have done media coverages through my friends connections, done a proper marketing campaign. For example, sending emails to all my friends and I would have also started building relation with Product Hunt team even before the lauch and made sure to launch there and tried that my product should be featured on Product Hunt newsletter.”

So in a nutshell what we can derive from this is that we should use the carrot not the stick when it comes to the first handshake between our brand and the consumer.

In case of Inshorts Twitter paid ads really worked well as it gave us the most loyal readers (the niche, intellect category is there) But then again its depends from business to business (their users), for some Linkedin or Facebook work better.

For ASO (App Store Optomisation): use your key words wisely.

Keep on observing with what words are your users searching you. For Inshorts, it can be short news, saves time and short news, news in 60 words, news Apps, etc.

Localise your Apps landing page.

If your App is Global, this helps a lot. So one of my friends running, Shifu — a Personal Assistant App, started observing that most of his users are coming from Brazil, US, Russia, and the Middle East , so then he localised the page in Portuguese for Brazil and the same way for the rest and it worked really good for them.

App size matters

Keeping the app size small is the key in the Indian markets because of small storage space in entry level phones which are the favourite choice of people in india. Ideally the App size should be less than 15 MB.

Deep Linking

Deep Linking works very good for App installs, it’s the use of a hyperlink that links to a specific, generally searchable or indexed, piece of web content on an App. (How to Use Deep Linking in Your Mobile App)

Deferred deep linking, is also important, it’s when the user doesn’t have your App in his phone and it takes him to the download page or when for example you take a user from a blog on travelling in Cape Town to Capetown’s holiday package page.

Amritanshu also shared with our community what all they measure using analytics, what’s important for an App like theirs to measure:

He said, we measure the following:

These statistics can be used by a general category of apps too.

  1. Downloads
  2. DAU, WAU & MAU (daily, weekly and monthly active users). For communication Apps DAU/MAU ratio is very important.
  3. Retention (D1, D7, D30, D90, D360 — here “D” refering to day). For retention on boarding is very important.

For Inshorts, the App has to be fast, simple & precise and our content really matters to keep the users with us.

How we make it fast, simple & precise? By having easily understandable walk in screens and then on each news short at the extreme left bottom we have “More button”, to read the full article, “Toss button” at the middle of the bottom, for sharing the shorts you love with all your friends with your number, on Inshorts and the third “Share button” on the extreme right at the bottom, to share shorts with your firends on various social media platforms.

More, Toss and Share button at the bottom

4. Time spent on each shot

5. LTV (Lifetime Value)

Some tools that should be used for App analytics

Localytics — It’s a mobile engagement platform. It gives customers insights and tools to help them acquire, engage, grow, and retain their users.

Mixpanel — It’s really good, the UI is good and the funnel tracker is nice to use.

Segment — It collects customer data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing, and data warehousing. This is preffered over Localytics because the data is portable to other analytics and hence the user is not bound to use it when the company outgrows the features offered by the product.

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