Beware the Zombie App! The Zombie Escape Strategy


A simple guide to breathing life back into an app by getting your users to drive downloads and usage.

Apart from stars like Uber, Angry Birds, Facebook, and Draw Something etc. the plain truth is that most apps are inescapably destined to join the ranks of the ‘living dead’ languishing unfound and unloved among over a million competitors in the Apple Store and Google Play. Even those that are found won’t be downloaded and the privileged few that make it to a smartphone are often forgotten and uninstalled after a few months of neglect.

In other words, they will be zombies until you finally apply the mercy blow and remove them from the App Stores.

Let’s start with a few zombie stats:

  • Localytics found 20% of apps were opened only once during the first six months of ownership
  • In 2013, Stardust found between 41-69% of apps in App Stores had less than ten reviews and had never been updated.

That makes pretty dire reading considering an app can take 7-12 months to build and average ‘ball park’ costs are between US$50-100k, including ongoing testing and updating (although Kinvey found that 18% cost as much as US$500k-1m)

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