Driving App Success Part I

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Presentation from AnDevCon V in Boston. Basics of marketing for independent app developer. Explains concepts of marketing funnel, conversion, and keyword research. Includes choosing and evaluating an idea and getting the app discovered through the Google Play store.

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Driving App Success Part I

  1. 1. Driving App SuccessPart IPart INathan MellorCritterMap Software LLCFollowup at http://eepurl.com/d9tZjLow
  2. 2. Objectives• About me . . .• About you• Understand The Marketing Funnel• Follow an idea through half of themarketing funnel
  3. 3. • Worked for a major printermanufacturer for 12 years• Feb 2009:“routine” meeting withboss• Downsizing announced• New house, new mortgage.• March 27: Last day at work• March 28th:Third child born• April 2009:“Outplacement”counselingAbout me - 2009
  4. 4. • Get a new “real” job• Do contracting• Consulting• My true passion:• “Become a successful online businessowner”.What should I do?
  5. 5. • Reeducation through the Trade ACT• Enrolled in University of San Francisco’s InternetMarketing program• Developing an app on a new operating system calledAndroid• First launched to the market June 2010.• Started at about 5 sales a day; I was aiming for ~56.• Paid zero taxes AND got a refund.Nathan in 2010
  6. 6. •Top grossing App in“Travel and Local”Since 2011
  7. 7. • “I heard about some high school kid thatwrote an app in a weekend and is now amillionaire”Is this you?
  8. 8. Is this you?(Dilbert.com)
  9. 9. Success=Profit• Profit(app) = Revenue(app)-Cost(app)
  10. 10. Example - Is this profit?• Profit(app) = Revenue(app)-Cost(app)• Example:• Revenue(app) = $200 per month• No expenses since you do everythingyourself• Spend about 10 hours per month of yourspare time.
  11. 11. Internet MarketingFunnelHow it applies to mobile apps
  12. 12. Target AudienceTarget Audience(potentially interested)(potentially interested)Target AudienceTarget Audience(potentially interested)(potentially interested)ProspectProspect(aware product exists)(aware product exists)ProspectProspect(aware product exists)(aware product exists)The Internet Marketing FunnelLeadLead(has tried product)(has tried product)LeadLead(has tried product)(has tried product)CustomerCustomer(paid for something)(paid for something)CustomerCustomer(paid for something)(paid for something)Loyal CustomerLoyal Customer(repeat sales)(repeat sales)Loyal CustomerLoyal Customer(repeat sales)(repeat sales)AdvocateAdvocate(recommends product)(recommends product)AdvocateAdvocate(recommends product)(recommends product)
  13. 13. Target Audience = Outdoor Navigation usersTarget Audience = Outdoor Navigation users1% of 1.3 million activations per day = 13,000 per day1% of 1.3 million activations per day = 13,000 per dayTarget Audience = Outdoor Navigation usersTarget Audience = Outdoor Navigation users1% of 1.3 million activations per day = 13,000 per day1% of 1.3 million activations per day = 13,000 per dayProspect = see my app listingProspect = see my app listing????? - figures not available????? - figures not availableProspect = see my app listingProspect = see my app listing????? - figures not available????? - figures not availableApp Market Funnel + NumbersLead = installs demo productLead = installs demo product500 per day500 per dayLead = installs demo productLead = installs demo product500 per day500 per dayCustomer- bought paid appCustomer- bought paid app20% =>100 per day20% =>100 per dayCustomer- bought paid appCustomer- bought paid app20% =>100 per day20% =>100 per dayLoyal Customer= bought an addonLoyal Customer= bought an addon22 per day22 per dayLoyal Customer= bought an addonLoyal Customer= bought an addon22 per day22 per dayAdvocate= 5 starAdvocate= 5 star2 per day2 per dayAdvocate= 5 starAdvocate= 5 star2 per day2 per day
  14. 14. Your Own Funnel• Funnel applies to multiple business models• Free App to Paid App• Freemium - in app purchase• Ad supported• Fractal nature means you can zoom in - andsee more funnels• Homework: draw your own funnel withmath
  15. 15. Term: Conversion• changing of the end users religion• User completes a GOAL that you haveset for them: install, buy, register• Often associated with moving to a newphase of the marketing funnel• Conversion Rate is often expressed as apercentage or number per day
  16. 16. Target AudienceTarget Audience(potentially interested)(potentially interested)Target AudienceTarget Audience(potentially interested)(potentially interested)ProspectProspect(aware product exists)(aware product exists)ProspectProspect(aware product exists)(aware product exists)Target AudienceLeadLead(has tried product)(has tried product)LeadLead(has tried product)(has tried product)Focusing your App Idea
  17. 17. “Good ideas are common - whatsuncommon are people wholl workhard enough to bring them about”Ashleigh Brilliant
  18. 18. How “Big” is your app idea be?appFaucet AppEverything but thekitchen sink appEngineering effortYou wrote it in aweekendSeveral engineeringyearsLines of code 300 70,000Number of features 1 100Number of featuresrequested by users0 300+What to do when done Work on another app Never doneBragging rights “My 400th big hit”“Still working on thesame app I told youabout last year”
  19. 19. Where could you start?• A 30 day challenge• Pick an app that someone you hire couldwrite in a month• Have it done by August• Tell me about your experience and I willreport in a followup.
  20. 20. Should your idea be ...• PROFITABLE: One that makes money• INNOVATION: Unique, original,unprecedented• PASSION:Your personal hobby, interest• SPECIALTY: One where you have specialknowledge or skills• What is most important?
  21. 21. Profit Potential• Try to find exact dollar value of future app.• Come up with your ten best ideas.• Pick the best of them in terms of profit potential.
  22. 22. Profit Potential -Basedon field of endeavor•Look for parallels•Keyword Research: how often doessomeone search for the right keywords•How often do people buy a book onthe subject (Amazon sales rank)?•Is there a real world product thatpeople pay for?
  23. 23. Ex: Garmin’s outdoor/fitness divisionhad sales of $400 million last yearWhat do they buynow?
  24. 24. Android Market:Crushing your Dreams.What if there are seven apps like yours?Good thing or bad?
  25. 25. •If there are existing apps, how are theydoing?•Top Paid•Top Grossing•Top Free•But what if they are ad supported?Emulate Successful Apps
  26. 26. Google Adwords Placement Tool
  27. 27. App Discovery(knowing a product exists)(knowing a product exists)Target AudienceTarget Audience(potentially interested)(potentially interested)Target AudienceTarget Audience(potentially interested)(potentially interested)ProspectProspect(aware product exists)(aware product exists)ProspectProspect(aware product exists)(aware product exists)LeadLead(has tried product)(has tried product)LeadLead(has tried product)(has tried product)
  28. 28. How Apps are Found(Engineer version)(Engineer version)• Make a list of required and optional features for yourdream app• Exhaustively search the Market for potential apps. Readentire description of each.• Identify three top candidates, by evaluating the strengthsand weaknesses of each• For each finalist, install the trial or free version• Read complete user documentation for each• Try out every feature of the finalists• Make final decision
  29. 29. Finding an App(real life)(real life)• Search or browse the Market• Pick one from a list or search results• Look at app listing: Does it look like whatyou want?• Install it• Try it: does it look like it does what youwant?• If so, keep it. If not, repeat.
  30. 30. The App Finding ProcessIt doesn’t matter one bit how good yourapp is - till you get to the install.It doesn’t matter one bit how good yourapp is - till you get to the install.SearchSearchMarketMarketSearchSearchMarketMarketBrowseBrowseMarketMarketBrowseBrowseMarketMarketList ofList ofAppsAppsList ofList ofAppsAppsAppAppListingListingAppAppListingListingSearchSearchInternetInternetSearchSearchInternetInternetYourYourWebsiteWebsiteYourYourWebsiteWebsiteBrowseBrowseInternetInternetBrowseBrowseInternetInternetSomeSomeOtherOtherWebsiteWebsiteSomeSomeOtherOtherWebsiteWebsiteAdAdCampaignCampaignAdAdCampaignCampaignInstallInstallInstallInstallGoogle PlayGoogle PlayGoogle PlayGoogle Play
  31. 31. Lists of App•FeaturedTop PaidTop FreeTopGrossingTrendingCategories:FeaturedTopPaidTop FreeTop GrossingTrending•FeaturedTop PaidTop FreeTopGrossingTrending
  32. 32. Being in the list:Ranking factorsRanking factors• Total number of downloads/sales• Recent number of downloads/sales• Active Install Percentage• Number of ratings• Average rating• Number of comments
  33. 33. Dominating KeywordSearch• All the other ranking factors, plus• Keywords inTitle• Keywords in description –frontloaded• Title much stronger than description• (Suspected) Anchor text of links toGoogle Play website.
  34. 34. Branded Title vs Keyword TitleBranded KeywordExamplesPandoraAmazonBackCountry NavigatorMusic PlayerOnline Book StoreGPS and MapsRecognizable Trademark Yes Often notWord of Mouth andreputationHelpful Less helpfulFunctional conveyance Maybe ProbablySearch term? Only if already familiar ValuableCan you do both in 20-30 characters?
  35. 35. Keyword Research• Keyword means a search term - oftenmultiple words• How relevant is the keyword?• How often does someone search for aterm?• How likely are you to appear high in saidsearch term?
  36. 36. Keyword ResearchExample
  37. 37. Keyword Homework• Find the most valuable keyword for yourproduct - ideally just one• Plan to use it in the title, if possible, and thefirst sentence, and throughout thedescription• Find 20 secondary terms• Use them throughout your description
  38. 38. Targetting keywordsDo’s and don’tsDo’s and don’ts• Do: review if you are in the top six or so.• Do: use in a grammatically correct way• Don’t - violate other trademarks in title• Don’t keyword stuff - against Market terms• Do: understand limitations and tradeoffs
  39. 39. Success story• Fall 2010• Managed to track keywords fromAndroid Market (even Googlesaid that was impossible)• Description was 350 characters• But I knew exactly whichkeywords were making memoney• Made it to the top of mycategory
  40. 40. Other Tools to Try•searchmanseo.com•appnique.com
  41. 41. Getting chosen fromthe list
  42. 42. Getting chosen fromthe list• What do people see?• App Icon (follow guidelines)• Title• Company• Star rating (with number of ratings)• First sentence - should tell them why
  43. 43. A Winning FirstSentence• Why they should install your product - notfeature, but benefit.• You can’t track this in the Market. :(• Look at what your most enthusiastic userssay about your product• Test phrases in ads and measure CTR• Homework: improve your first sentence
  44. 44. Getting an InstallFrom Prospect to LeadFrom Prospect to LeadTarget AudienceTarget Audience(potentially interested)(potentially interested)Target AudienceTarget Audience(potentially interested)(potentially interested)ProspectProspect(aware product exists)(aware product exists)ProspectProspect(aware product exists)(aware product exists)LeadLead(has tried product)(has tried product)LeadLead(has tried product)(has tried product)
  45. 45. Market Listing
  46. 46. Landing PageOptimization• Maximizing the Conversation Rate - thepercent of people who click through to aninstall or buy.• It doesn’t have to change much to changeyour bottom line• Subject of compulsive experimentation• See Google Website Optimizer
  47. 47. Landing Page Elements• Action Button: size, shape, color, placement• Images Elements and placement• Text:The first few lines of description• Minimize Distractions: Similar Apps• Call to Action• Testimonials: Comments
  48. 48. Landing Page Elements• Action Button: size, shape, color, placement• Images Elements and placement• Text:The first few lines of description• Minimize Distractions: Similar Apps• Call to Action• Testimonials: Comments
  49. 49. What you shouldoptimize• Reassure the user• Promotional Image• Icon• Screenshots• Top part of description• Comments and ratings (influence, notcontrol) - see part two.
  50. 50. Promotional Image:Aesthetic Guidelines1024x500pxNo white backgroundsNo basic advertisementsNo obvious screen shots of theApp in useMust be eye catching; vivid yetunderstatedText Requirements: Branding,App Name, Tagline (optional) –if the promotion is around aspecific holiday or event, thatcan be reflected in the imageryas well
  51. 51. YourYouTubeVideo• Lots of hits from web version of Google Play• Should not be a how to.• Should not be a exhaustive feature list• Think MovieTrailer• Superb graphics and audio• A taste that will leave them wanting more• User must visualize themselves with your app and how theirlife will change• More on video marketing in part two.
  52. 52. Description• Don’t count on them reading the wholething - most won’t• You need to get them to install• Include call to action “Install today to startyour new life”
  53. 53. Screenshots• Your best looking ones• Action• Probably not your preferences dialog• One idea: 1005 words - add words to tell astory with the image• Can you get nice screen shots if your appdoesn’t look nice? No.
  54. 54. Influence commentsand ratingsand ratings• According to AppBrain:• 64.9% of apps have less than 10 ratings• 89% of apps have less than 100 ratings
  55. 55. How to get morecomments• Fastest: Release an update to your app thatcrashes for everyone• Second best: add a permission to your appthat sounds scary• Slower and steadier:• Release updates that are meaningful• “Talk up” your updates• Invite people to comment
  56. 56. • A free app will naturally get better ratings and reviews,because user expectations are lower.• A good app can reasonably avoid getting negative comments.• If you make fixes and improvements, users will come back toupdate their rating.• Users can easily see past three recent comments frompeople who obviously have an attitude problem.• Anyone who finds fault with your app must have unrealisticexpectations or a defective world view.• You can get good comments by getting the “right” people tocomment.Comment myths andfacts: true or false?
  57. 57. • A free app will naturally get better ratings and reviews, becauseuser expectations are lower. FALSE• A good app can reasonably avoid getting negative comments.FALSE• If you make fixes and improvements, users will come back toupdate their rating. FALSE• Users can easily see past three recent comments from peoplewho obviously have an attitude problem. FALSE• Anyone who finds fault with your app must have unrealisticexpectations or a defective world view.TRUE.• You can get good comments by getting the “right” people tocomment. TRUEComment myths andfacts: true or false?
  58. 58. How perspectivechanges: remember thetarget market
  59. 59. Getting the “right”people to comment• How can youdetermine when toshow this dialog?• Satisfaction curve
  60. 60. Summary• Think about your marketing funnel• Do some keyword research• Improve your conversion rates• Follow up at http://eepurl.com/d9tZj

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