Tips from developers Peak and Soundcloud on how to grow your startup on Google Play

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Posted by Francesca Di Felice, Developer Marketing at Google
Play

At Playtime 2016, Google Play’s series of developer events, we met with top app
and game developers from around the world to share learnings on how to build
successful businesses on Google Play. Several startups, including game developer
Peaklabs and audio platform SoundCloud, presented on stage their own best
practices for growth, which you might find helpful.

Testing for growth, by Peak

Hear from Kevin Shanahan, Product Manager from Peak,
a brain training app, on how to grow sustainably.

  • Test lots of ideas: You can’t be sure of what will work and
    what won’t, so you need to test lots of ideas. Peak ran four different tests to
    try to increase conversions to Pro (their subscriber offering):
  1. Made the ability to replay games a Pro feature
  2. Reduced price of Pro by 25% in top 2 markets
  3. Bundled add-on modules from partners into Pro
  4. Showed a preview of Pro-only content

          One of these tests resulted in a 50% increase in conversions.

  • Get the basics right: Start with a great product and have a
    data-informed culture. Don’t only test app features, experimenting your store
    listing using store
    listing experiments is also important.
  • Build a robust A/B testing process: Having
    a well-defined A/B testing process and a system for tracking your experiments is
    key to testing quickly and effectively.

Improving user retention, by
SoundCloud

Andy Carvell, former Product Manager at SoundCloud,
an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload, record,
promote, and share their originally-created sounds, explains how they focus on
retention to improve growth.

 
  • Design your retention strategy: Apps with poor retention
    grow slowly. To increase your retention you should:
    • Convert new users to repeat visitors by providing a strong onboarding
      experience for new users and taking a high-touch approach during the first days
      and weeks.
    • Increase visit frequency within this group by providing frequent, timely,
      and relevant messaging about content or activity on the platform.
    • Target returning users who were not seen over the last period, who are ‘at
      risk of churn’ users, by giving them reasons to come back for another session
      before losing them.
    • Re-activate lapsed (long-term churned) users with campaigns to remind them
      about your app and offer an incentive to return.
  • Build ‘growth machines’: Create repeatable processes that
    testing has proven to positively impact retention, retaining users, and
    preventing churn.
  • Use activity notifications in a personalised and effective
    way
    : At SoundCloud there are plenty of things that happen when users
    are not in the app that might be relevant to them, for example new content
    releases or social interactions. They tested 5 new notification types, always
    keeping a control group to better keep track of the impact, and managed to
    increase retention in a 5%. Watch the video
    above for more of Andy’s tips on making better use of notifications.

Other speakers, such as Silicon Valley VC Greylock, have also shared their
tips for startup growth. Watch
more sessions from this year’s Playtime events to learn best practices from
other apps and game partners, and the Google Play team. Get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up to
date with news and tips to help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

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