Making money with android apps


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A session at Portland Code Camp 2011 about making money with Android Apps.

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Making money with android apps

  1. 1. Making Money with Android Apps<br />Nathan Mellor<br />CritterMap Software<br />Signup for links at<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Motivations:<br />About you<br />About me<br />Ways to promote paid apps: <br />Android Market<br />Paid advertising<br />Internet Marketing<br />How to get this work done<br />Software Tools<br />Human Labor<br />
  3. 3. Is this you?<br />“I heard about some high school kid that wrote an app in a weekend and is now a millionaire”<br />
  4. 4. Is this you?(licensed from<br />
  5. 5. Is this you?<br />“I write Android Apps just for fun”. <br />Would it be less fun if you made a profit?<br />“I make $50 a month with my app I spend a few hours a week on”<br />Is your time worth more than $2/hour?<br />“I mostly do apps for the experience”<br />Nothing wrong with that. <br />Getting some experience with marketing apps is also helpful<br />“I have a solid, fulfilling, well-paying day job”<br />Will that always be the case? <br />
  6. 6. About me<br />Worked for a major printer manufacturer for 12 years<br />Feb 2009: “routine” meeting with boss<br />Downsizing announced<br />New house, new mortgage. <br />March 27: Last day at work<br />March 28th: Third child born <br />April 2009: “Outplacement” counseling<br />
  7. 7. Outplacement outcome <br />My true passion: <br />“Become a successful online business owner”. <br />
  8. 8. Getting Started – Nov 2009<br />Trade ACT reeducation.<br />Enrolled in University of San Francisco’s Internet Marketing program <br />New phone operating system called Android<br />Got a G1 on craigslist.<br />Wrote first lines of Android code<br />
  9. 9. Can you write an app this weekend and be rich next week?<br />June 2010: First released to Market<br />I was aiming for 56 sales / day<br />I got 5 on a good day<br />In 2010, I paid zero taxes AND got a refund <br />
  10. 10. Would you rather someone else paid you?<br />Fall 2010: some recruiters call. <br />My house<br />Easy commute<br />Nice Android Job<br />Columbia River<br />
  11. 11. There is always more marketing to do<br />400,000 Android activations per day. <br />1% might be target customers<br />If 100 buy my product, that’s <br />.25% of target<br />Or .025% of Android users<br />
  12. 12. Marketing through Android Market<br />You will probably do this. <br />
  13. 13. Do you want to be at the top? Factors<br />Total number of downloads/sales<br />Recent number of downloads/sales<br />Active Install Percentage<br />Number of ratings<br />Average rating<br />Number of comments<br />Since December 2010,these factors affect search ranking also <br />
  14. 14. To Rank High in the Android Market . . . <br />Sell a lot of apps (you want to do this anyway, right?)<br />Stay installed<br />Keep users happy<br />Keep users engaged.<br />
  15. 15. Why the comment system *is* against you. <br />You can’t respond to comments. <br />You won’t get enough information to fix the problem or improve the UI<br />You will be blamed for:<br />Limitations of hardware<br />Glitches in the Android Market<br />Imperfections in Public domain data<br />Etc.<br />But you can always make your app free and get more positive comments, right?<br />
  16. 16. Which App would you buy?<br />Buena Vista<br />Mojave Desert<br />The maps are outdated.<br />Poor quality, drains battery.<br />Horrible interface<br />Useless after trial period<br />Stupid<br />Sucks<br />UK map is rubbish<br /><Hawaii App> is better and free.<br />Extremely useful, with many features<br />Best app ever!<br />Well worth the money!<br />Super program<br />Saved me from getting lost<br />Great for UK maps!<br />Better than anything I've found so far<br />
  17. 17. To (try to) get good comments . . .<br />Avoid confusion<br />Increase the price?<br />Continually improve User Experience<br />Be clear on what your app does<br />Get more of the “right” people to comment !<br />
  18. 18. How can you engage the right people?<br />Have a weekly email newsletter. <br />Subscribe users of your app<br />Can use autoresponders<br />
  19. 19. What can you cover in a weekly newsletter?<br />New features you just put out<br />Response to comments in the Market<br />News and topics of interest for your target customer<br />Ask users to take action:<br />Leave a comment in the Market<br />Respond to an important survey<br />See and comment on your YouTube Video<br />Like your fan page on Facebook<br />Etc.<br />It also serves as a reminder to buy. <br />
  20. 20. Reaching the top of your category<br />Is it everything?<br />When you do:<br />Take a screen shot – it can fluctuate<br />When you don’t<br />Be sure and complain about the algorithm! <br />Think of it as a lagging indicator of success.<br />
  21. 21. Tracking Performance<br />Analytics (Google/Flurry) can track your users behavior <br />For marketing, two things are important:<br />Source of traffic: how the user arrived at installing your app <br />Conversions: does the user take action you want them to take. Subscribe, upgrade, buy extras.<br />
  22. 22. Google Analytics for Android Apps<br />Conversions can be tracked as goals.<br />Android Market Referral Tracking – allows you to tag urls that link to the Android Market. <br />Tag your urls:<br /><br />
  23. 23. Referal data – Google Analytics<br />(direct)/(none) is traffic from Android Market<br />Tagged urls track through. <br />Boring, isn’t it?<br />
  24. 24. After some proprietary hacking . . . <br />We can see the keywords being used to find the app in the Android Market! <br />
  25. 25. That’s not all. . .<br />How about. . .<br />Referrals from a Market category (ie Travel and Local) with the position number<br />Referrals from “Just in”<br />Referrals from “Similar Apps” and which competitor they came from!<br /> Referrals from AndroLib, AppBrain, BestApps (they tag their urls.)<br />
  26. 26. Sources of Downloads- January <br />
  27. 27. What can you conclude?<br />‘Top of category’ *isn’t* everything.<br />Keyword Search generates up to 100 times more traffic. <br />Action items:<br />Don’t fret if you are not top in your category yet.<br />Concentrate on being found for important keywords<br />Make sure the searchers find what they are looking for. <br />
  28. 28. What about alternative App Stores<br />I get an email every day about a new one. <br />Mostly a waste of time.<br />Amazon gets about 2% of my sales on Android Market.<br />Most are much less than that. <br />
  29. 29. Paid Advertising<br />If you’ve got money to burn<br />
  30. 30. Rule of Thumb<br />Don’t spend money if you can’t track the amount of money each customer costs. <br />Not meaningful:<br />“We spent a $1000 on advertising last month and we increased sales by $2000”<br />Meaningful. <br />“Based on our analytics, we are spending $62.67 to acquire each paying customer that buys our app for $1.99 and then spends $4.39. Umm, we better stop.” <br />
  31. 31. Avoid: Untargeted Advertising<br />Example: Admob<br />Don’t push this button. <br />
  32. 32. Beware: Supposedly targetted advertising<br />Example: Adwords<br />5%<br />0%<br />
  33. 33. Consider: Pay Per Install<br />Much easier to accomplish the money per customer rule of thumb. <br />Some Analytics will be needed.<br />Consider charging more than .99 for your app. <br />Some options:<br />TappJoy<br />Flurry AppCircle<br />EverBadge<br />
  34. 34. Internet Marketing<br />Simplified<br />
  35. 35. Web page marketing<br />
  36. 36. Keyword Research<br />A keyword is generally a multi word phrase<br />You want keywords that:<br />Are RELEVANT to your product<br />Have lots of TRAFFIC<br />Are ATTAINABLE. <br />
  37. 37. Example: Traffic<br />
  38. 38. Attainable: The Top Ten<br />Do any spammers contact you and tell you they can get you into the *second* page of Google?<br />
  39. 39. An Optimized Page ..<br />Mentions the phrase (ie Android Topo Maps)<br />In the url<br />In the <title> tag<br />In the <meta Description> tag<br />In an <h1> tag<br />In the first sentence<br />In the first sentence of the last paragraph<br />2-3 times in between the first and last parag<br />Has about 250-750 words (ave 500). <br />That’s all!<br />
  40. 40. Getting links<br />The most creative part of internet marketing<br />The best links:<br />Have keywords in the link (anchor text)<br />Are from “important” websites<br />Are from relevant websites<br />Have traffic<br />How can you get them?<br />Article Marketing<br />Social Media<br />Non hosted blogs<br />Guest blogging<br />
  41. 41. Getting links<br />The most creative part of internet marketing<br />The best links:<br />Have keywords in the link (anchor text)<br />Are from “important” websites<br />Are from relevant websites<br />Have traffic<br />How can you get them?<br />Article Marketing<br />Social Media<br />Guest blogging<br />Get app reviews<br />Press Release<br />Directories<br />Look for what links your competitor has<br />
  42. 42. Check Results<br />
  43. 43. Rinse and Repeat<br />Establish a blog with wordpress<br />Add a post every day<br />Get some links<br />At the end of a year, you will have 200+ keywords in the first page of Google. <br />
  44. 44. What is the world’s second biggest Search Engine?<br />
  45. 45. What is the world’s second biggest Search Engine?<br />YouTube<br />
  46. 46. How can you make videos?<br />Camcorder pointed at phone<br />Screencastomatic<br />Emulator Screencast<br />Parody of hitler movie – new subtitles<br />3D After Effects rendering<br />Cartoon from xtramagic<br />
  47. 47. How to optimize them<br />URL<br />
  48. 48. Get views and traffic<br />YouTube is a social network. <br />Get your newsletter subscribers to watch and comment<br />Find friends <br />Find subscribers<br />Consider tools like TubeToolbox. <br />
  49. 49. Benefits include:<br />Blended search<br />Embedding in other websites. <br />
  50. 50. What and how often?<br />Videos can:<br />Be instructional for your product. <br />Discuss concepts related to your product<br />Be fun <br />They should always:<br />Target keywords<br />How often?<br />Once a week would not be overkill. <br />
  51. 51. Can you do all this and still have time left to code?<br />No.<br />
  52. 52. Getting things done<br />Reduce the amount of human labor <br />OR<br />Increase the number of humans. <br />It’s okay to spend money. <br />
  53. 53. Tools<br />Reduce Human effort<br />Wordpress – for blogging<br />MailChimp – email newsletter – in app subscription<br />SurveyMonkey – for surveys<br />Market Samurai – keyword research<br />Link building tools<br />XtraMagic – cartoon videos<br />ScreenCastoMatic – Screencasts<br />Animoto – video creation<br />BaseCamp – Online Project Management<br />Edumobile – online training<br />ZenDesk – online/email HelpDesk. <br />
  54. 54. People<br />For the small businessman, usually means outsourcing<br />Is it easier to:<br />Get a contract from a spec and get competitive bids? (ieelance,Odesk,etc)<br />Hire a part time freelancer? (ieOdesk,etc)<br />OR<br />Hire someone fulltime?<br />What would you have them do?<br />
  55. 55. Consider hiring someone fulltime.<br />Should you do everything yourself?<br />Last year, I was just one guy working out of my home office<br />I heard that english speaking college educated people were anxious to work for me for as low as $2.50/hour. <br />Of course, I was skeptical . . . <br />This year, I am still working out of my home office . . . <br />
  56. 56. My Team<br />Eugie<br />Tech support<br />Help Guides<br />Aspiring Android Developer<br />Richard<br />Experienced Android Developer<br />Jennifer Joyce<br />Beginning Android Developer<br />Rogelone<br />Graphics specialist<br />Icons<br />Layouts<br />Video production<br />Zoraya<br />Content writer<br />Article Marketer<br />Armae<br />Linkbuilder<br />TBH<br />GIS Specialist<br />
  57. 57. Summary<br />
  58. 58. Action items for you . . .<br />Optimize for keyword search in Android Market<br />Start an email newsletter<br />Encourage the right people to comment and buy<br />Consider Pay Per Install advertising – skip the others<br />Write and link up one web page a day<br />Create and promote a video every week<br />Use some helpful tools<br />Gradually hire an offshore team. <br />To get links, go to:<br /><br />