Developer's Guide to Windows Phone App Marketing and Monetization

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Tips and tricks to generate more exposure and revenue from your Windows Phone apps.

Want me to present on the topic at your conference or other event? Contact me at ailon@ailon.org

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Developer's Guide to Windows Phone App Marketing and Monetization

  1. 1. Marketing and Monetization of Windows Phone Apps YOUR AD HERE YOUR AD HERE Alan Mendelevich | AdDuplex | ailon@ailon.org | @ailon Developer’s Guide to
  2. 2. Richard Foster, once a DOS programmer and now working for the family dry cleaning business and developing mobile applications part- time for his company Edgeway Software, is ecstatic about the results he is seeing developing for Windows Phone 7. … Richard has made $28,882 in four months with his suite of apps. Fast forward to February, and now I am making around $380 a day from ads from my 7 games. … I started going full time [indie] April 1st, 2011 … … Grand total revenue for 2011 - $61,321.58 -- Elbert Perez , occasionalgamer.com I generally get about 1.5 hours a day for game development … Total marketplace/ad revenue for both Krashlander and Krashlander Free - $23,215.68 -- Jeff Weber
  3. 3. Did you know … Product 20% Marketing 80% Research shows that 20% of product’s success is determined by the product itself and the remaining 80% is marketing* * I totally made this up
  4. 4. Developer’s Work Cycle Task Deliverables Money Employee/Contract developer Task Deliverables Money Entrepreneur developer SALE SALE
  5. 5. What to build?
  6. 6. Scratch your own itch
  7. 7. Original vs. “Me too”
  8. 8. Megahit vs. Smaller Hits
  9. 9. Getting ideas and inspiration “Every day I write down ideas. I write down so many ideas that it hurts my head to come up with one more. Then I try to write down five more. … The “idea muscle” atrophies within days if you don’t use it. Just like walking. If you don’t use your legs for a week, they atrophy. You need to exercise the idea muscle. It takes about 3-6 months to build up once it atrophies. Trust me on this.” The Daily Practice http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/02/how-to-be-the-luckiest-guy-on-the-planet-in-4-easy-steps/
  10. 10. Make Money
  11. 11. Front-end for your main service
  12. 12. Paid Apps • Set a competitive price • Consider psychology • Consider who and where your customer is • Set a price that makes business sense – WP7 Developer ROI Calculator http://www.wpdownunder.com/?p=2055
  13. 13. Trial • Can’t try == won’t buy • 70% more purchases than without trials • Counter example: Cocktail Flow*
  14. 14. In-app purchases • No built-in centralized mechanism • Roll out your own • Use 3rd party services (MoVend, Linxter)
  15. 15. Free apps with ads • Generally perform better than paid apps* • Best suited for long/frequently running apps (games)
  16. 16. Ad networks • Microsoft pubCenter • Google AdMob • Smaato • Millennial Media • Mobclix • MobFox • Inneractive • AdDuplex*
  17. 17. Fill rate • Smaato: “Worldwide, the average ad network fill rate was 10% in Q3 2011” • Maximize ad space value by multiple network fallbacks. Fallback to AdDuplex or in-house ads. – Silverlight: Windows Phone 7 Ad Rotator http://wp7adrotator.codeplex.com/ – XNA: ImproviSoft AdStreamer™ http://www.improvisoft.com
  18. 18. Promote your app, promote your app, promote your app, promote your app…
  19. 19. Don’t monetize your app on day one
  20. 20. Don’t monetize on day one • Giving your app away is the cheapest and most effective marketing instrument you have – René Schulte: “Helium Voice was released in November 2010 and has 18,773 downloads as of today. Helium Voice Free was released in March 2011 and has 143,002 downloads as of today.” – Jeff Weber: “Krashlander total downloads (Includes both trials and purchases) - 23,500, Krashlander Free total downloads - 327,000”
  21. 21. Case Study: Chicks'n'Vixens • Released as absolutely free (while in beta) • Went on to be #1 paid game for some time after switching to paid – Meds: “After being #1 for almost 2 weeks as a paid app I can say that I'm very happy with the results. I won't give specific numbers but suffice to say it would make many iOS and Android devs green with envy.” • New version released as free with ads
  22. 22. Case Study: gMaps • Started as absolutely free • Added ads and a “Pro” version later
  23. 23. Release date is a feature • Be the first to solve a problem – René Schulte: “… this was quite important since it got a lot of attention for being the first real picture effects / photo filter app in the market. The big blogs like Gizmodo, Engadget and MSNBC covered a few of the must have WP7 apps and Pictures Lab got featured in all. I guess that helped to jump start the app.” • With every SDK/OS release there’s a chance to be the first to utilize some previously unavailable capability
  24. 24. Before you launch…
  25. 25. Marketplace “SEO” • Name • Keywords • Tile • A/B testing?
  26. 26. Release Betas • Beta-testers are your first evangelists • Recruit beta-testers: – WindowsPhoneBeta.com – Twitter #wp7 #wpdev
  27. 27. Feedback loop • Facilitate user feedback and ratings • “Bad” feedback should go directly to you, good feedback – to the Marketplace • Consider encouraging rating/review after a number of launches Good feedback Bad feedback
  28. 28. Localize • Keep in mind that you will probably start getting feedback/support requests in languages you don’t know
  29. 29. Publication • Have everything to get featured – background image is not required, but your chances of being featured without it are low • Don’t submit on Friday – András Velvárt: “If you look at the charts from WP7AppList, you can see that almost no applications get verified and published during the weekends. … You essentially have two more days to test and make sure the app doesn’t fail digestion without impacting the publishing date.” – René Schulte: “48h difference in submission (Friday night - Sunday night) -> 12h difference certification email (Thursday morning - evening).” • Don’t auto-publish
  30. 30. Online presence
  31. 31. Demo video • Easier to watch than try your app • Great asset for marketing activities
  32. 32. Online presence • Web site or section • Facebook Page • Twitter account • Google+ Page • Blog
  33. 33. Free promotion
  34. 34. Tip specialized blogs • WPCentral.com, WMPowerUser.com, 1800PocketPC.com, BestWP7Games.com, WP7Rocks.com (Russian), etc. – Filterable list at WindowsPhoneSites.com • Make it personal • Include short description – maybe even something that looks like a review • Link to your demo video. You made it, right?
  35. 35. Tweet and post to Facebook • Decorate tweets with #wp7 hashtag • Tweet, retweet, post to Facebook from your personal accounts • Help fellow developers (retweet, like, etc.) • Temporarily change your avatar to app’s tile • Mention app in your personal profiles
  36. 36. Monitor and react to feedback • Monitor mentions of your app on Twitter, blogs, etc. • Encourage transformation of positive mentions into 5* ratings • React and address negative feedback
  37. 37. Social media integration
  38. 38. Show off your app everywhere! • Show your app to your friends • Show your app to Windows Phone enthusiasts • Show your app to influential community and Microsoft people
  39. 39. Case Study: Wordament
  40. 40. Empowering developers to help each other  Cross-promote apps with other developers  Utilize full potential of your ad space
  41. 41. Paid advertising
  42. 42. On the web • Specialized blogs • App catalog sites • WP7AppList.com, appsfuze.com, windowsphoneapplist.com, etc. • BuySellAds.com (search wp7, windows phone)
  43. 43. On the phone WPUG12 50% off
  44. 44. In discovery apps
  45. 45. Summary
  46. 46. Summary • Marketing is at least as important as the app itself • Starting with free is the cheapest and most effective marketing instrument • Be creative, be active, utilize all channels.
  47. 47. Thank you! @ailon blog.adduplex.com ailon@ailon.org

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