Welp! Our Revenues Dropped 75% - and They Were All Organic

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Shamanth Rao and Sharath Kowligi do a deep dive where they discuss some of the specific factors at play that caused this app's revenue to drop 75%, and what they see as the ways forward to help them recover ground.

Source:
Welp! Our Revenues Dropped 75% - and They Were All Organic
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(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Podcast
Publication date:
March 1, 2020
Added to the Vault on:
March 1, 2020
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💎 #
1

"See what your users see". Don't get stuck only looking at the dashboard, also look at what people see when they look for the app.

11:20
💎 #
2

If 14 days after you've solved the issues the app is not recovering then restart paid traffic in a tier 1 market (including retargeting) so the algorithm notices the change.

20:15
💎 #
3

It is very unlikely to succeed without paid acquisition but so you can scale: fix the product first then do and ramp up user acquisition.

21:50
💎 #
4

Steps to fix "bad behavior" on Google:
1. Look at ANR & Crash rates (including trends)
2. Get closer to your customer support team
3. Look for an aggregator for customer comments (like seeing them in a word cloud)

24:20
💎 #
5

On Android you're buying more traffic than you have organic traffic, then something is up. On iOS it is good to have a 1 to 1 ratio between paid and organic (for a crash-free, engaging and monetizing app).

27:14
The gems from this resource are only available to premium members.
💎 #
1

"See what your users see". Don't get stuck only looking at the dashboard, also look at what people see when they look for the app.

11:20
💎 #
2

If 14 days after you've solved the issues the app is not recovering then restart paid traffic in a tier 1 market (including retargeting) so the algorithm notices the change.

20:15
💎 #
3

It is very unlikely to succeed without paid acquisition but so you can scale: fix the product first then do and ramp up user acquisition.

21:50
💎 #
4

Steps to fix "bad behavior" on Google:
1. Look at ANR & Crash rates (including trends)
2. Get closer to your customer support team
3. Look for an aggregator for customer comments (like seeing them in a word cloud)

24:20
💎 #
5

On Android you're buying more traffic than you have organic traffic, then something is up. On iOS it is good to have a 1 to 1 ratio between paid and organic (for a crash-free, engaging and monetizing app).

27:14
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.

💎 #
1

"See what your users see". Don't get stuck only looking at the dashboard, also look at what people see when they look for the app.

11:20
💎 #
2

If 14 days after you've solved the issues the app is not recovering then restart paid traffic in a tier 1 market (including retargeting) so the algorithm notices the change.

20:15
💎 #
3

It is very unlikely to succeed without paid acquisition but so you can scale: fix the product first then do and ramp up user acquisition.

21:50
💎 #
4

Steps to fix "bad behavior" on Google:
1. Look at ANR & Crash rates (including trends)
2. Get closer to your customer support team
3. Look for an aggregator for customer comments (like seeing them in a word cloud)

24:20
💎 #
5

On Android you're buying more traffic than you have organic traffic, then something is up. On iOS it is good to have a 1 to 1 ratio between paid and organic (for a crash-free, engaging and monetizing app).

27:14

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

Android vitals

The Android vitals help you understand where your app stands vs. other apps.

  • They give you an  idea of what the benchmark is for your app vs. peers,
  • They give you a description of the libraries that "do the damage" (make your app crash).


Timeline of what went wrong (app is a subscription app)

  1. Several months ago, it became very apparent that this specific app was above the "bad behavior threshold" so there was a lot of work done to fix that,
  2. Organics had problems, so they looked at each single moment in the app and identified an issue with refunds: the entire refund cycle doubled. Not necessarily leaving bad reviews or experiencing crashes.
  3. 4.1 rating in the dev console but 3.6 rating from the customers' perspective (i.e. check out the listing on a device or two across critical markets). Combined with refunds (post-trials), they found the actionable item.


[💎@11:20] "See what your users see". Don't get stuck only looking at the dashboard, also look at what people see when they look for the app.


The downgrade in ratings, 19% refund rate and the retention is what hurt the organic downloads: the algorithm takes all of this into account.

Both platforms have made changes, making it hard to trick the algorithm. Some apps have now great success by playing by the platform's book (low crash rate, retention, etc.)


In this case, more paid acquisition is not the answer.

[💎@20:15] However if 14 days after you've solved the issues the app is not recovering then restart paid traffic in a tier 1 market (including retargeting) so the algorithm notices the change.


[💎@21:50] It is very unlikely to succeed without paid acquisition but so you can scale: fix the product first then go and ramp up user acquisition.


It is very unlikely that anyone is going to succeed hugely without paid acquisition but if the product itself hasn't cleared the basic metrics according to the platform providers [...] then it's much better to go back and fix the product.


Fixing "bad behavior"

[💎@24:20] Steps to fix "bad behavior" on Google:

  1. Look at ANR & Crash rates (including trends)
  2. Get closer to your customer support team
  3. Look for an aggregator for customer comments (like seeing them in a word cloud)


Of course, look at revenue as well. If revenue drops off, something is broken somewhere.


[💎@27:14] On Android you're buying more traffic than you have organic traffic, then something is up. On iOS it is good to have a 1 to 1 ratio between paid and organic (for a crash-free, engaging and monetizing app).


If it was to happen on iOS

if your app has bad reviews, crashes, high refund rate, etc. then there is definitely an impact on iOS as well.

Unfortunately iOS doesn't offer benchmarks and stats the way Google does.


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

Android vitals

The Android vitals help you understand where your app stands vs. other apps.

  • They give you an  idea of what the benchmark is for your app vs. peers,
  • They give you a description of the libraries that "do the damage" (make your app crash).


Timeline of what went wrong (app is a subscription app)

  1. Several months ago, it became very apparent that this specific app was above the "bad behavior threshold" so there was a lot of work done to fix that,
  2. Organics had problems, so they looked at each single moment in the app and identified an issue with refunds: the entire refund cycle doubled. Not necessarily leaving bad reviews or experiencing crashes.
  3. 4.1 rating in the dev console but 3.6 rating from the customers' perspective (i.e. check out the listing on a device or two across critical markets). Combined with refunds (post-trials), they found the actionable item.


[💎@11:20] "See what your users see". Don't get stuck only looking at the dashboard, also look at what people see when they look for the app.


The downgrade in ratings, 19% refund rate and the retention is what hurt the organic downloads: the algorithm takes all of this into account.

Both platforms have made changes, making it hard to trick the algorithm. Some apps have now great success by playing by the platform's book (low crash rate, retention, etc.)


In this case, more paid acquisition is not the answer.

[💎@20:15] However if 14 days after you've solved the issues the app is not recovering then restart paid traffic in a tier 1 market (including retargeting) so the algorithm notices the change.


[💎@21:50] It is very unlikely to succeed without paid acquisition but so you can scale: fix the product first then go and ramp up user acquisition.


It is very unlikely that anyone is going to succeed hugely without paid acquisition but if the product itself hasn't cleared the basic metrics according to the platform providers [...] then it's much better to go back and fix the product.


Fixing "bad behavior"

[💎@24:20] Steps to fix "bad behavior" on Google:

  1. Look at ANR & Crash rates (including trends)
  2. Get closer to your customer support team
  3. Look for an aggregator for customer comments (like seeing them in a word cloud)


Of course, look at revenue as well. If revenue drops off, something is broken somewhere.


[💎@27:14] On Android you're buying more traffic than you have organic traffic, then something is up. On iOS it is good to have a 1 to 1 ratio between paid and organic (for a crash-free, engaging and monetizing app).


If it was to happen on iOS

if your app has bad reviews, crashes, high refund rate, etc. then there is definitely an impact on iOS as well.

Unfortunately iOS doesn't offer benchmarks and stats the way Google does.


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

Android vitals

The Android vitals help you understand where your app stands vs. other apps.

  • They give you an  idea of what the benchmark is for your app vs. peers,
  • They give you a description of the libraries that "do the damage" (make your app crash).


Timeline of what went wrong (app is a subscription app)

  1. Several months ago, it became very apparent that this specific app was above the "bad behavior threshold" so there was a lot of work done to fix that,
  2. Organics had problems, so they looked at each single moment in the app and identified an issue with refunds: the entire refund cycle doubled. Not necessarily leaving bad reviews or experiencing crashes.
  3. 4.1 rating in the dev console but 3.6 rating from the customers' perspective (i.e. check out the listing on a device or two across critical markets). Combined with refunds (post-trials), they found the actionable item.


[💎@11:20] "See what your users see". Don't get stuck only looking at the dashboard, also look at what people see when they look for the app.


The downgrade in ratings, 19% refund rate and the retention is what hurt the organic downloads: the algorithm takes all of this into account.

Both platforms have made changes, making it hard to trick the algorithm. Some apps have now great success by playing by the platform's book (low crash rate, retention, etc.)


In this case, more paid acquisition is not the answer.

[💎@20:15] However if 14 days after you've solved the issues the app is not recovering then restart paid traffic in a tier 1 market (including retargeting) so the algorithm notices the change.


[💎@21:50] It is very unlikely to succeed without paid acquisition but so you can scale: fix the product first then go and ramp up user acquisition.


It is very unlikely that anyone is going to succeed hugely without paid acquisition but if the product itself hasn't cleared the basic metrics according to the platform providers [...] then it's much better to go back and fix the product.


Fixing "bad behavior"

[💎@24:20] Steps to fix "bad behavior" on Google:

  1. Look at ANR & Crash rates (including trends)
  2. Get closer to your customer support team
  3. Look for an aggregator for customer comments (like seeing them in a word cloud)


Of course, look at revenue as well. If revenue drops off, something is broken somewhere.


[💎@27:14] On Android you're buying more traffic than you have organic traffic, then something is up. On iOS it is good to have a 1 to 1 ratio between paid and organic (for a crash-free, engaging and monetizing app).


If it was to happen on iOS

if your app has bad reviews, crashes, high refund rate, etc. then there is definitely an impact on iOS as well.

Unfortunately iOS doesn't offer benchmarks and stats the way Google does.