Tapping In: 21 Strategies for Building Viral Mobile Apps People Will Love by David Paul Albert - Read Online
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Get your mobile app found, installed, loved and shared.

You're convinced your app will be a hit, yet you know the odds—only 20 percent of users return to use an app the first day after they download it, and you're competing with nearly one hundred thousand new apps pouring into the market each month.

Apps don't fail due to competition or bad ideas—they fail because of poor user experience, lack of customer support, inability to keep the app top of mind and not enough promotion.

Whether you simply have a great idea, want to improve an existing app, or know how to code but lack the skills to create a killer user experience, this book will show you how to:

• Apply successful traits from the top-grossing apps to your own apps
• Take advantage of tactics to get more exposure and stand out among the competition
• Design an amazing user experience to immediately hook new users
• Leverage proven techniques to drive engagement and usage
• Make your app habit-forming
• Spread your app virally via word of mouth

In addition, Tapping In includes a comprehensive questionnaire and road map when planning and building your app.

With 21 easily digestible, actionable strategies, Tapping In is a must-read before embarking on your next mobile app conquest!

Published: David Paul Albert on
ISBN: 9781311946232
List price: $9.99
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Tapping In

21 strategies for building viral mobile apps people will love

David Paul Albert


Tapping In

Published by David Paul Albert at Smashwords

Copyright © 2014 by David Paul Albert


All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

First Edition, 2014



Only about 20 percent of users return to use a (free) app the first day after they download it.

– Pinch Media

Success with any endeavor is relative. The person who knits scarves and sells them on Etsy may be thrilled with a couple hundred sales a year, while such a benchmark would be a disaster for a large clothing manufacturer.

Like so many things the Internet has democratized, success with mobile apps can be equally rewarding for the solo developer working from her home office, a well-funded startup, or even with Silicon Valley titans. In recent times, however, such success has proven increasingly elusive. Both iTunes and Google Play are filled with so called Zombie Apps defined as apps rarely downloaded or used, often leading to abandonment by their creators. According to a report from tracking service Adjust (formerly AdEven), 953,387 out of 1,197,087 apps in our database are zombies.¹ That’s a staggering 79.6% of all apps tracked by the firm.

Why do most apps become Zombies? Why do entrepreneurs, designers and developers toil away for weeks or months at a time only to be met with mediocre success or outright failure? I believe it hinges on four factors:

A poorly designed user experience

Lack of user (customer) support

Failure to keep the app top of mind or become one that is used habitually

Not enough effort paid to marketing and promotion

Notice I didn’t include, Too much competition. It’s true app stores are saturated in every conceivable category and competition is fierce. (Nearly one hundred thousand new apps enter the market each month.) Despite the odds, developers that couple great ideas with a focus on their users—in every conceivable way—can rise in any crowded category and find an audience. The days of pushing me too apps to make a quick buck are behind us. If your app is nothing short of outstanding, it’s not worth the time or energy.

It’s time to make an outstanding app and find your audience. This book will show you how.

The Gold is Still Out There

For anyone who believes the mobile app market is oversaturated and therefore devoid of opportunities, consider:

91% of American adults own a cell phone, yet only 50% have discovered apps thus far. As smartphones become ubiquitous, the app market is poised for continued growth at a staggering pace²

Apple has paid out more than $10 billion (yes, with a b) to app developers since the launch of the App Store³

Time spent with mobile apps now represents 51% of all digital media time

There’s a Use for That

Granted, not every app is built with the intention of daily, habitual, or long-term use. There are plenty of apps that catch on fire and flame out quickly, are built around timely events (a film release, music festival, etc.) or are intended for occasional reference or utility.

Regardless of how you position your offering, if no one installs or uses your app, even the most optimistic have to admit defeat. This book won’t help you invent the next SnapChat, and it isn’t a guide on how to advertise, promote and market your app. (Although if you follow the advice provided in Strategy 15, word of mouth will be your number one generator of installs). Rather, this book offers a plethora of tactics, tips and resources on how to create apps that will stand out, resonate with your users, keep them coming back and inspire them to spread the word about your offerings. Simply put, have a sound idea and follow the advice in this book, and you will significantly increase your chances of success.

Who Should Read This Book?

Anyone who wants to build successful mobile apps or improve existing ones. Whether you simply have a concept and intend to hire others to design and build it, you work for a large corporation or agency, or you’re a solo developer working part time in your PJs, you’ll benefit from the varied tactics and resources presented. I’ve tirelessly researched, compiled and distilled the best attributes of successful apps and present them in a series of easily digestible Strategies with actionable steps to apply to your own projects.

That being stated, this book is not for the complete beginner. If you have little or no experience producing mobile apps but are interested in how to get into the game, consider this book at the intermediate level. Do your homework on how to get started in the app publishing space and then return to this book to help solidify your pending success.

What This Book is Not

This book is not an exhaustive resource on best practices in mobile design patterns or a step-by-step guide on designing, building or programming mobile apps. There are plenty of other resources available to learn such things, and I suggest a few throughout the book. Where such aspects are critical to consider in an overall strategy, I focus on innovations and service providers that make enhancing your app business easy—along with what’s working for other successful apps.

A Word About Games

Games dominant in app store marketplaces typically topping the charts for the most popular apps. If you’re a solo developer, part of a small team or entrepreneur looking for an opportunity to build an app, a game is a great way to go.

Despite their popularity, this book does not focus heavily on games. While many of the principles in this book can be applied to games, they are their own animal and have their own set of rules on what makes them successful. 

Examples Used

Throughout this book, I share examples of apps that exemplify the strategies and tactics for creating exceptional user experiences. App publishers update and change their apps constantly, so it’s likely you’ll find some inconsistencies with how I’ve described an app or the screenshots I’ve included if you decide to seek out and install these examples. In some cases, the publisher may have done away with a feature I’ve referenced altogether. Nevertheless, this doesn’t change the core message or effectiveness of the example—I’ve avoided tactics that are simply trendy and instead focused on those that have been proven over time.

Resource Links

Included with nearly each Strategy, I provide links to services, books, apps and other resources. I only recommend books, products and services I have personally used (or read) and trust, or recommendations from friends or colleagues I trust. In no way am I advertising these services or being compensated to promote them. They