Getting Your App Ready for the Holiday Season

Gilad Bechar

The holidays are almost upon us. Your app has to be ready for the holiday season, as going in with the right strategy can pay dividends, while going into the season set up badly can cost you more than you bargained for.

So what should you be doing and what should you be avoiding?

Changes You Can Make

There are a number of ways you can set yourself up for success this holiday season. Some changes can be relatively minor, like the scheduling of ads, while others can be more significant such as the addition of in-app holiday-themed elements.

Many apps tweak their app icon to incorporate a holiday theme. This generates user interest and almost always leads to an increase in traffic to the app’s product page and even downloads. The app description can highlight this too, as can the “What’s New” section across both Android and iOS.

Another strategy that has been used successfully in the past, is to incorporate a scarcity element into your marketing. By definition, holiday season elements are available for a limited time only, which can be used to nudge interested browsers to becoming engaged users.

Performance Comes At A Price

A word of warning. Around holiday time, media prices surge. This is especially important for performance-based campaigns, so make sure you’re on top of budgets throughout, and always have your ROI levels in mind. This surge usually starts from around mid-November and lasts throughout this period.

It also doesn’t help if you’re pushing your app through holiday-themed ads, but users notice that neither your product page or your in-app experience have changed or incorporated any holiday-themed elements. Consistency is key, and it’s best not to pour too much of your user acquisition budget into untested strategies this holiday season.

The Right Creative Approach

The right creative approach with relevant messaging around the holidays can be a winner. Tapping into emotions, the holiday spirit, and what people are looking for this time of year can be an effective way to exceed goals over the coming months.

The right approach is of course holistic. It means that user experience, app store creatives and user acquisition channels (for example, Facebook ads) all have to “speak the same language”.

This creative approach allows for a lot of out-of-the-box thinking, especially when it comes to graphical assets such as screenshots, icons, videos, and all the way through to marketing campaigns.

Being both creative and holiday-themed has another massive advantage. It helps get your app featured by the app stores in their curated collections for the holidays, which as you know can result in a tremendous boost for your app.

‘Tis The Season

While many others look forward to the holiday season as a time of carefree fun and holiday spirit, for those with apps on the app stores, it’s also a time of increased vigilance – being aware of the pitfalls, but also of the huge opportunity that lies ahead.

That’s not to say you can’t have it all: run effective campaigns, achieve your business goals and share that holiday cheer!

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