Editors Note: It still amazes me that some developers will spend thousands, even tens of thousands and have no more of a marketing strategy than “getting the app in the store”. Then not even spend the time to put up some screenshots. I received this great article submission from Robert J.B. talking about some of the most common mistakes that developers make when submitting their apps.
Sometimes, even the best designed iPhone apps do not sell well because of a few simple mistakes. But what if you could learn some of these missteps ahead of time, so you could avoid them? You would save hours of frustration while taking the shortcut to boosting your app sales.
Here are the top three mistakes that developers make when selling their iPhone apps (and how you can avoid them):
1. Not having a free version
Trying to get someone to download your app even a free app is tough. You need to stand out among 100,000 other apps and then convince your customer it is worth their time to hit “download”.
Your job is even more difficult when trying to sell a paid app. In the App Store, all the information a user has to make a decision is a few screenshots, your description, and maybe some reviews.
One of the best ways to let your customer “try it before they buy it” is to offer a free version of your app. Get them hooked with a scaled-down version, and every time they use your app, encourage them to upgrade. It’s
like free advertising.
2. Having a boring description
The App Store gives you a perfect opportunity to tell people exactly what makes your app wonderful but too many developers bore their customers rather than wow them.
You do not have to be a professional copywriter, but you must know that the first sentence of your description is the most important. It is one of the first things that people will see about your app. In fact, if they want to read more, they have to click “More”.
So, make your first sentence leap off the screen. Say exactly what makes your app unique and how it will help your customers.
3. Overlooking free marketing for your app
Think you need a big marketing budget to sell more apps? Think again. While paid advertising can certainly work, there are many free marketing tactics that you should not ignore.
Have your started a Twitter account for your iPhone app? Do you have a blog built with a free tool such as WordPress? Have you sent out a free press release using a service like prMac?
These are just a few free ways to promote your app and there are many more out there. Take some time to research app marketing ideas that can save you time and money while increasing your sales.
You made a great decision to create an iPhone app. Now, boost your sales by avoiding these common mistakes and start marketing your app like a pro.
Robert J. B. is an experienced software marketer who writes for Marketing Your App , which provides easy tips and
free guides to help developers boost sales of their iPhone apps. Follow his tweets at http://twitter.com/mktgyourapp
Thanks for reading, please post any comments below.
Press releases can be a good way to get free buzz for your app, the idea with a press release is that you write it, and it gets picked up by some large relevant sites or aggregated by many smaller ones. I’ve seen it work wonders for some. I was reading through a few messages on app promotion, and it seems that many developers are falling into one of the older internet scams of paying for submission to free press release sites. Most free press release sites are not worthwhile. These costly services will typically offer free submission for hundreds of press releases. Some are even worse, charging for submission and then simply placing your press release on a single complete insignificant press release site.
Below are 7 free sites that you can quickly, and easily send your press release to as far as article pickups (if you want to check the effectiveness of these sites, put one unique sentence in each submission). These are the ones that seem to be the most effective and all 100% free:
http://downloadjunction.com/ – Software download site that also offers press releases
Despite what I said about some pay press release services, there are some good premium press release services. If you’re looking for the best in press releases, I’ve seen many swear by PR Web and MarketWire. I’m really not sure how worthwhile these are for smaller niche apps, but if you’re really looking to leverage press releases you will want to check them out.
At the very least if you’re paying for a service make sure they guarantee you inclusion into Google news.
Whatever you do don’t make press releases your whole marketing plan like many app makers do, they are just a small piece of the puzzle.
If anyone has tips on submitting press releases for Apps I would love to hear about it.
One other press release site that I forgot to mention is http://prlog.org which is definitely a place you will want to submit to. I’d suggest only submitting there by hand, as from what I understand they have a mechanism to detect auto-submissions, and it’s such a good free resource that I wouldn’t risk it.
I’ve seen alot of crummy app trailers out there usually taken with a camera held or on a tripod, and thumbs in the way so I thought I’d mention this app. There’s been solutions to record the screen of a jailbroken iPhone for awhile, but this is a great "legit" solution. For those hobbyists that don’t want to spend the $99 to test their apps this is also a great tool.
The excellent article that pointed me back to this app to me can be found here:
Essentially all you need to do is downlaod the app from the app store, add the libraries they specify into your app, run your app, and through wifi you can control the app in the iPhone simulator with your iPhone. Also you get to see some cool onscreen feedback that will help you in creating your app especially if it makes extensive use of the accelerometer. This solution has been around for a bit, before it was "ok", but this latest version adds some cool new features like video streaming (so you can see your app actually running on the iPhone even without paying the $99 – this is limited by your network speed), compass usage and full UIKit compatibility making it a really great app.
Watch this video to see it in action:
If you’re interested in more information or buying the app you can check it out on the homepage at:
Would be nice if the price came down a bit ($15), but nevertheless it’s a great tool.
Please post any comments below.