App A/B Testing Plays a Huge Role in Pre-Launch App Marketing. Here’s Why

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Porting games to mobile is never easy, even for powerhouses like Pixel Federation. A successful product launch follows a thoughtful market research and deep understanding of the mobile audience’s behavioral models.

There’s nothing worse than pouring months of effort into creating engaging icons, screenshots, descriptions only to launch the app to the App Store or Google Play… and realize that its creatives do not resonate with the target audience.

What developers need is to see how the creatives perform before launching an app, and pre-launch A/B testing is right here for them.

Running A/B tests for an app that haven’t been released yet helps app developers:

  • Evaluate a product.
  • Develop an initial vision and positioning.
  • Validate different audience segments. A/B testing can tell you how well you connect with your target audience and helps you to optimize a page’s message.

Matej Lancaric, Head of Mobile Marketing at Pixel Federation, shares a case study on pre-launch app marketing activities and mobile A/B testing that allowed to develop high converting app pages for their products.

What role does market research play for pre-launch app marketing?

Market research is the process of looking at the game market with numbers, facts and opinions. It’s about finding the equation between what people want and what you want to do. It will provide you insights about:

  • What do people like to play nowadays?
  • What can you produce?
  • Why would people buy your game?

Tons of developers have done market research and failed tremendously. That’s totally fine. This step will give you ideas about what you can expect while building your game. You’ll discover core challenges you’ll encounter in production and marketing.

We haven’t done any market research in our past.

We didn’t pay attention, mostly becausePixel Federation’s games are old and were designed for desktop and canvas. Now we were porting them to mobile which is a totally different from when you are developing the mobile-first game.

The most crucial part of development starts at the very beginning. We are data driven company, therefore before releasing our match-3 game we’ve decided to test themes and visuals to choose elements that resonate best with our target audience.

At the same time, we didn’t want to make a harsh decision. We evaluated results and chose the winning theme with the help of SplitMetrics.

Read also: User Acquisition Channels for a Soft Launch

How did you come up with your testing ideas?

Not many app developers think about testing creative aspects of the game, especially when it comes to pre-launch marketing activities. Even though it can give valuable insights and change a direction of the app marketing.

For instance, we’ve found during the AppAgent academy that Space Ape Games have tested the name tagline of the Transformers game using Facebook Ads. What they did was three fan pages with three different names and launched three Facebook campaigns using the exact same audience for each.

To get actual results and ensure that Facebook does not adjust the audience, they set Cost Per Mile bidding.

The winning name is well known today: Transformers: Earth Wars.

transformers ab testing name splitmetrics

That was a moment when we understood the importance of the prelaunch theme testing!

However, Facebook ads are a nice testing tool for names, descriptions or individual elements. Facebook ads do not give context. For our match-3 game, we wanted to go further and test the visual theme to see how people interact with it right on the store.

SplitMetrics combined with Facebook ads provided exactly what we were looking for.

Did you get significant results?

Although the main goal for us was to evaluate the Click Through Rate, we decided to kill two birds with one stone and measure a conversion rate our app gets on the store. The main reason for it was that an app conversion rate is something that ultimately affects the user acquisition cost but can be influenced and improved by timely app store optimization.

For our tests in SplitMetrics, we have chosen three visual themes: Button Blast, Music Match and Yummi Blocks, – each with a different character.

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The winning concept called Button Blast reached 1% better CTR. In terms of conversion rate, it won with 25% by far ahead of the second concept Music Match with 17.5% and Yummi Blocks with remaining two below 12%.

That is something you will see neither in your Google nor App Store Analytics!

With results we’ve got, I would advise you to test everything possible from a theme and visuals to testing an icon and screenshots even before a soft launch.

It could make a huge difference!


natalie

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