Hey all, I’m just about to release my first app. As some of you have already released apps I would like to know any tips of how you went about it to boost sales, whether you know of any free review websites or any other marketing ideas please share! I’ve read some articles on the web but I’d like to know some personal experiences of how the app store works. Thanks!
I dont know about apps, but I have a part time job with a advertising group, I can ask when I work tommorow for some tips
Also: try limited time free sales
It’s definitely worth it to contact review sites, even those that are relatively small. Just one review on a single site was immediately obvious as a sales spike for my apps. Gen up some freebie codes and hand them out. Even if you get one review out of a dozen codes, it costs you nothing.
I believe Apple recently increased the number of freebie codes per release to 100 - so plenty of extra opportunities to bombard review sites and gaming blogs with those codes!
From what I’ve read, keeping your Apps price fluctuating over the course of a year seems to increase traffic i.e. discounting it every so often will trigger certain gaming/app sites to list it as being ‘on sale’ and will increase exposure.(I did have a list somewhere of these sites, ill see if I can find it).
Simply Googling ‘App Store Marketing’ will give you hundreds of useful links
Here’s the problem: Along with that extra 50 promo codes came the restriction that anyone with a promo code can not review an app on the app store. Anyways, I’ve sent review requests with press releases and every thing to TUAW, MacStories, TouchArcade, 9to5Mac, and AppAdvice, with no luck. So if anyone has suggestions for small ones, that’d be great.
One quick tip: TUAW did not even accept my app before I had a press release. When I contacted them saying I added a press release, they said that they would accept it. So do a press release.
Finally, if you’ve been following the StackIt thread, you know that I’ve gotten an offer from AppGratis to feature my app for free, which could get me a few thousand users in one day. So you might try contacting them, but I think you might have to pay if you contact them.
I recently got a book for Christmas about marketing on the app store, so I’ll post pointers as I finish reading it. Also, since my app is not very successful (only made $30 ), I can’t really give that much advice about marketing it.
P.S. I assume this is not your building game, but rather that other app (details disclosed until release) you showed me a while back? I can’t wait to see it on the App Store.
@Zoyt Hey, $30 more than pays for your investment in Codea.
Keep up the terrific work!
@syntonica - Haha. Well, it doesn’t pay for the $99 developer fee, $300 iPod touch for testing, and some other software. But those I can keep using for other things too. Anyways, thanks.
I think the problem with marketing games as a hobbyist or part-time games-developer is that :
a) Hundreds of ‘can you review my App?’ requests are sent to review websites every day. What makes yours stand out?
b) Your up against pro/indie developers who probably have a dedicated person doing their marketing and know many of the key people to contact waaaaay in advance before a game is complete. So rather than sending an email to ‘reviews@awesome_game_reviews.com’ (for example!) try and find out who the key people are and try and contact them directly.
From a reviewer or games-journo perspective, they probably want an ‘angle’ or ‘story’ regarding your game, basically any info that can make their job easier to sell it to their target audience. Is it a new spin on an old game? Does it utilise the iPad in a new clever way? Etc…
As @Zoyt says, most journos/websites won’t touch you unless you’ve got a press release or press/media pack. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just a simple .pdf with a description of what the game is about, some of its features, any unique gaming concepts, release date and a bio of who developed it. I’d also include 3-4 hi-res screen shots of the game itself.
I also wouldn’t underestimate the value of ‘social media’ in all this - a website, blog or twitter feed should give you a bit more traction/exposure - include links to these with your press pack as well
Viola, you’ve just made a journos life easier!
Above all, I think there’s never a guarantee of success but thinking in the mindset of a reviewer can only be a good thing
Thanks all this has been a great help! I’m not doing this for my game, I have developed a painting/drawing application which I am about to market and I’m looking everywhere to find out what I can. I am in the process of creating a press release and making screenshots and a tutorial of images on how to use the app that are preloaded whilst at the same time trying to make a sprite for my builder game so its a bit busy! I need to make an icon and splash screen as well so I have the time to get some requests going. @andymac3d Make their life as easy as possible to review the app, good thinking
@kirorp have you seen my icon for PaintIt?
@Luatee if you want to increase sales, try and get a really eye-catching icon. If the icon/logo is detailed, colourful, bright your sales can increase.
@Zoyt If you call fully producing your own well thought out, fun, and highly polished game as your first app on the app store, when your not reliant on its sale to survive, unsuccessful, then I think your going to be trekking many miles without realizing your accomplishments.
@Goatboy76 - Thanks!