Three Steps to a Killer Soft Launch

Item not bookmarked
Resource bookmarked
Bookmarking...
⛏️
Guest Miner:
Sylvain Gauchet
Review star
Review star
Review star
Review star
Review star
💎  x
6

Matej Lancaric (UA & Marketing Consultant at lancaric.me) dives with Shamanth Rao (Founder at RocketShip HQ - Mobile UA Agency) into the art of the soft-launch and the 3 key stages that are important to nail.

Source:
Three Steps to a Killer Soft Launch
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Podcast
Publication date:
April 29, 2020
Added to the Vault on:
July 25, 2020
Invite a guest
These insights were shared through the free Growth Gems newsletter.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
💎 #
1

 For the technical phase where you test the game stability and tracking, acquire users from Tier 4 countries (Philippines, Mexico, anywhere with low CPIs) so you don't need much budget.

04:53
💎 #
2

In the retention stage, you want to measure: tutorial completion rate, D1/7/28. Also start analyzing the first time user experience: check each step of the onboarding flow that might cause anybody to drop off and start A/B testing what works better

09:10
💎 #
3

Matej starts soft launches on the Google Play Store because he doesn't want to wait 2 days for Apple to review the game.

10:23
💎 #
4

Different game genres call for different benchmarks but a classic is 40/20/10: 40% D1, 20% D7, 10% D30. If you can get 60% D1 in hypercasual it's great.

11:55
💎 #
5

You need to be in soft launch for 3-6 months (usually 6 months) to see how cohorts mature, do creative testing, test new UA channels.

23:12
💎 #
6

With soft launch you need to put in the efforts to iron out details before you go global, but also be ready to kill the game if it is stagnating (opportunity cost).

25:35
The "gems" from this resource are only available to premium members.
  • Unlock access to gems from over 145 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the members-only community.
Upgrade Your Plan
💎 #
1

 For the technical phase where you test the game stability and tracking, acquire users from Tier 4 countries (Philippines, Mexico, anywhere with low CPIs) so you don't need much budget.

04:53
💎 #
2

In the retention stage, you want to measure: tutorial completion rate, D1/7/28. Also start analyzing the first time user experience: check each step of the onboarding flow that might cause anybody to drop off and start A/B testing what works better

09:10
💎 #
3

Matej starts soft launches on the Google Play Store because he doesn't want to wait 2 days for Apple to review the game.

10:23
💎 #
4

Different game genres call for different benchmarks but a classic is 40/20/10: 40% D1, 20% D7, 10% D30. If you can get 60% D1 in hypercasual it's great.

11:55
💎 #
5

You need to be in soft launch for 3-6 months (usually 6 months) to see how cohorts mature, do creative testing, test new UA channels.

23:12
💎 #
6

With soft launch you need to put in the efforts to iron out details before you go global, but also be ready to kill the game if it is stagnating (opportunity cost).

25:35
The "gems" from this resource are only available to premium members.

Gems are the key bite-size insights "mined" from a specific mobile marketing resource, like a webinar, a panel or a podcast.
They allow you to save time by grasping the most important information in a couple of minutes, and also each include the timestamp from the source.

Become a member to:
  • Unlock access to gems from over 145 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the member-only community.
Request Access
💎 #
1

 For the technical phase where you test the game stability and tracking, acquire users from Tier 4 countries (Philippines, Mexico, anywhere with low CPIs) so you don't need much budget.

04:53
💎 #
2

In the retention stage, you want to measure: tutorial completion rate, D1/7/28. Also start analyzing the first time user experience: check each step of the onboarding flow that might cause anybody to drop off and start A/B testing what works better

09:10
💎 #
3

Matej starts soft launches on the Google Play Store because he doesn't want to wait 2 days for Apple to review the game.

10:23
💎 #
4

Different game genres call for different benchmarks but a classic is 40/20/10: 40% D1, 20% D7, 10% D30. If you can get 60% D1 in hypercasual it's great.

11:55
💎 #
5

You need to be in soft launch for 3-6 months (usually 6 months) to see how cohorts mature, do creative testing, test new UA channels.

23:12
💎 #
6

With soft launch you need to put in the efforts to iron out details before you go global, but also be ready to kill the game if it is stagnating (opportunity cost).

25:35
The access to discussions on each resource is only available to premium members.

Growth Gems members discuss resources and their key insights (as well as other mobile growth topics) in the community. It's the perfect way to dig deeper, ask questions and get additional perspectives.
Upgrade to premium to:
  • Unlock access to key insights from over 150 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the member-only community.
Upgrade Your Plan
The access to discussions on each resource is only available to premium members.

Growth Gems members discuss resources and their key insights (as well as other mobile growth topics) in the community. It's the perfect way to dig deeper, ask questions and get additional perspectives.
Become a member to:
  • Unlock access to gems from over 150 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the member-only community.
Request Access

You need to be logged in the community to be able to see the discussion below.
You can also head over directly to this topic in the community

Notes for this resource are currently being transferred and will be available soon.

3 stages to a soft launch: technical stage, retention stage, monetization stage.

Technical stage

First thing you do after the game is developed so you can test the game stability and tracking: identify issues, bugs, attribution, SDKs, etc.

[💎 @04:53] For the technical phase where you test the game stability and tracking, acquire users from Tier 4 countries (Philippines, Mexico, anywhere with low CPIs) so you don't need much budget.


Key metrics to look for: crash rate, ANR rate, anything that blocks people from playing the game.

You probably want to go with Facebook, and in this case you want to verify data is tracked correctly on Facebook and attribution tool.

On Android use the Google Play Console to check app vitals and aim at an ANR < 0.5%-1% and crash rate < 1%.

Hockeyapp and Crashlytics let you track these as well.


Retention stage

Then go slowly into the retention stage by adding Tier 2 and Tier 1. Netherlands, Denmark, etc.

[💎 @09:10] In the retention stage, you want to measure: tutorial completion rate, D1/7/28. Also start analyzing the first time user experience: check each step of the onboarding flow that might cause anybody to drop off and start A/B testing what works better.


This is also the time to start testing creatives, then to add the iOS built and compare results with Google Play.


[💎 @10:23] Matej starts soft launches on the Google Play Store because he doesn't want to wait 2 days for Apple to review the game.


[💎 @11:55] Different game genres call for different benchmarks but a classic is 40/20/10: 40% D1, 20% D7, 10% D30. If you can get 60% D1 in hypercasual it's great.


The retention stage and the monetization stage can be worked on simultaneouslyif you have a big enough team.


Monetization stage

Measure: conversion rate to paying user, ARPU, ARPDAU, LTV, ROAS.

The goal here is to achieve an LTV > CPI or a specific ROAS DX target.

You should be always be in constant discussion with the product team and the analytics team.


Volume of users to reach at this stage is often defined by the analytics team and allows to know how many paying user (e.g. 500/month) you need to get statistically significant numbers. If you have lower conversion rates to payment then you will need more users.


This is the time you are preparing for a global launch so you need to be 200% sure.


You will know after 1 week if things are really bad.


Focus on retention before monetization so you can focus on the early stages of the player funnel first. If you have a problem with retention early in the funnel you will lose even more lower down the funnel.


Volume per stage:

  • Technical stage: 100 users (unless you have problems)
  • Retention stage: depends on how much you want to A/B test but about 200 daily users for statistical significance and also allows you do to before/after analysis when changing things


If it is for a subscription app (non-game) or ad-driven business, you still need to go through these stages but just adjust to your app.

Common mistakes

  • Starting on iOS (although supercell and a lot of people in Finland do it)
  • Thinking soft launch can be done in 1 month.
  • [💎 @23:12] You need to be in soft launch for 3-6 months (usually 6 months) to see how cohorts mature, do creative testing, test new UA channels.


For a 6 months soft launch:

  • Techical stage: 1-2 weeks
  • Retention and monetization stages: 3 months each


[💎 @25:35] With soft launch you need to put in the efforts to iron out details before you go global, but also be ready to kill the game if it is stagnating (opportunity cost).


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

3 stages to a soft launch: technical stage, retention stage, monetization stage.

Technical stage

First thing you do after the game is developed so you can test the game stability and tracking: identify issues, bugs, attribution, SDKs, etc.

[💎 @04:53] For the technical phase where you test the game stability and tracking, acquire users from Tier 4 countries (Philippines, Mexico, anywhere with low CPIs) so you don't need much budget.


Key metrics to look for: crash rate, ANR rate, anything that blocks people from playing the game.

You probably want to go with Facebook, and in this case you want to verify data is tracked correctly on Facebook and attribution tool.

On Android use the Google Play Console to check app vitals and aim at an ANR < 0.5%-1% and crash rate < 1%.

Hockeyapp and Crashlytics let you track these as well.


Retention stage

Then go slowly into the retention stage by adding Tier 2 and Tier 1. Netherlands, Denmark, etc.

[💎 @09:10] In the retention stage, you want to measure: tutorial completion rate, D1/7/28. Also start analyzing the first time user experience: check each step of the onboarding flow that might cause anybody to drop off and start A/B testing what works better.


This is also the time to start testing creatives, then to add the iOS built and compare results with Google Play.


[💎 @10:23] Matej starts soft launches on the Google Play Store because he doesn't want to wait 2 days for Apple to review the game.


[💎 @11:55] Different game genres call for different benchmarks but a classic is 40/20/10: 40% D1, 20% D7, 10% D30. If you can get 60% D1 in hypercasual it's great.


The retention stage and the monetization stage can be worked on simultaneouslyif you have a big enough team.


Monetization stage

Measure: conversion rate to paying user, ARPU, ARPDAU, LTV, ROAS.

The goal here is to achieve an LTV > CPI or a specific ROAS DX target.

You should be always be in constant discussion with the product team and the analytics team.


Volume of users to reach at this stage is often defined by the analytics team and allows to know how many paying user (e.g. 500/month) you need to get statistically significant numbers. If you have lower conversion rates to payment then you will need more users.


This is the time you are preparing for a global launch so you need to be 200% sure.


You will know after 1 week if things are really bad.


Focus on retention before monetization so you can focus on the early stages of the player funnel first. If you have a problem with retention early in the funnel you will lose even more lower down the funnel.


Volume per stage:

  • Technical stage: 100 users (unless you have problems)
  • Retention stage: depends on how much you want to A/B test but about 200 daily users for statistical significance and also allows you do to before/after analysis when changing things


If it is for a subscription app (non-game) or ad-driven business, you still need to go through these stages but just adjust to your app.

Common mistakes

  • Starting on iOS (although supercell and a lot of people in Finland do it)
  • Thinking soft launch can be done in 1 month.
  • [💎 @23:12] You need to be in soft launch for 3-6 months (usually 6 months) to see how cohorts mature, do creative testing, test new UA channels.


For a 6 months soft launch:

  • Techical stage: 1-2 weeks
  • Retention and monetization stages: 3 months each


[💎 @25:35] With soft launch you need to put in the efforts to iron out details before you go global, but also be ready to kill the game if it is stagnating (opportunity cost).


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.

The detailed notes taken for a resource are an easy way to see the gems in context to get a better understanding. They also include any relevant visuals from the source.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Request Access

3 stages to a soft launch: technical stage, retention stage, monetization stage.

Technical stage

First thing you do after the game is developed so you can test the game stability and tracking: identify issues, bugs, attribution, SDKs, etc.

[💎 @04:53] For the technical phase where you test the game stability and tracking, acquire users from Tier 4 countries (Philippines, Mexico, anywhere with low CPIs) so you don't need much budget.


Key metrics to look for: crash rate, ANR rate, anything that blocks people from playing the game.

You probably want to go with Facebook, and in this case you want to verify data is tracked correctly on Facebook and attribution tool.

On Android use the Google Play Console to check app vitals and aim at an ANR < 0.5%-1% and crash rate < 1%.

Hockeyapp and Crashlytics let you track these as well.


Retention stage

Then go slowly into the retention stage by adding Tier 2 and Tier 1. Netherlands, Denmark, etc.

[💎 @09:10] In the retention stage, you want to measure: tutorial completion rate, D1/7/28. Also start analyzing the first time user experience: check each step of the onboarding flow that might cause anybody to drop off and start A/B testing what works better.


This is also the time to start testing creatives, then to add the iOS built and compare results with Google Play.


[💎 @10:23] Matej starts soft launches on the Google Play Store because he doesn't want to wait 2 days for Apple to review the game.


[💎 @11:55] Different game genres call for different benchmarks but a classic is 40/20/10: 40% D1, 20% D7, 10% D30. If you can get 60% D1 in hypercasual it's great.


The retention stage and the monetization stage can be worked on simultaneouslyif you have a big enough team.


Monetization stage

Measure: conversion rate to paying user, ARPU, ARPDAU, LTV, ROAS.

The goal here is to achieve an LTV > CPI or a specific ROAS DX target.

You should be always be in constant discussion with the product team and the analytics team.


Volume of users to reach at this stage is often defined by the analytics team and allows to know how many paying user (e.g. 500/month) you need to get statistically significant numbers. If you have lower conversion rates to payment then you will need more users.


This is the time you are preparing for a global launch so you need to be 200% sure.


You will know after 1 week if things are really bad.


Focus on retention before monetization so you can focus on the early stages of the player funnel first. If you have a problem with retention early in the funnel you will lose even more lower down the funnel.


Volume per stage:

  • Technical stage: 100 users (unless you have problems)
  • Retention stage: depends on how much you want to A/B test but about 200 daily users for statistical significance and also allows you do to before/after analysis when changing things


If it is for a subscription app (non-game) or ad-driven business, you still need to go through these stages but just adjust to your app.

Common mistakes

  • Starting on iOS (although supercell and a lot of people in Finland do it)
  • Thinking soft launch can be done in 1 month.
  • [💎 @23:12] You need to be in soft launch for 3-6 months (usually 6 months) to see how cohorts mature, do creative testing, test new UA channels.


For a 6 months soft launch:

  • Techical stage: 1-2 weeks
  • Retention and monetization stages: 3 months each


[💎 @25:35] With soft launch you need to put in the efforts to iron out details before you go global, but also be ready to kill the game if it is stagnating (opportunity cost).