Nobody Loves My App with Paul Laberge


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Presented at SCREENS 2013 in Toronto.
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By now, if you’re building apps for mobile platforms, you probably realize that the “amazing opportunity” to make money on the various app stores is a bit of a fallacy. True, you could be one of the lucky few that strikes gold on the first try but even the best publishers out there experience a LOT of failures before they hit the big time. All that said, there is a common ground between app publishers that have made mint with their app(s) – they know marketing. If you develop apps, you might be thinking of skipping this session (“great, more marketing fluff…”). If you go with that, you’ll be missing out, though. In this session we will go through the types of marketing activities that get apps noticed regardless of which platform it’s on. And downloaded. With the support of market data and actual app examples to back up the claims, we’ll show you how to get your app beyond noticed and into the realm of volume downloads. So if you want to get your app noticed, we’ll see you at the session.

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  • Built in 6 weeksFree app with additional books for $1.99 each (in app purchase)Leveled off at around $20/day in revenueIncreased price of books to $2.99, saw less volume but more revenueThen, added a “buy all books” option for $12.99 (7 books at that time, a $26.91 value)
  • Don’t give it awayWhat are you planning to put into your trialWhat are the MOTIVATIONS that will make users buy the app?Make the trial compellingDon’t severely limit the functionalityLeave them wanting moreUse AdsUse ads in trials. You get paid either way.
  • Nobody Loves My App with Paul Laberge

    1. 1. Nobody loves my app.A tale of tragedy narrated by Paul Laberge, a Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, whose Twitter handle is @plaberge.
    2. 2. • How to Enter: • Tweet: “Hey @wootstudio #SCREENS13…Hook me up with a Windows Phone” • One winner will be randomly selected at 4:00pm • Winner will be announced at the end of the session. Must be present to receive the phone. • You will be asked to answer a skill testing question  • The Rules & Regulations are printed and available with our event coordinator, Jenna. Win a Windows Phone!
    3. 3. Developer Movement 2013 is coming soon Sign up to stay up to date on launch details…
    4. 4. Prologue
    5. 5. The truth hurts. Most apps go unloved.
    6. 6. Some statistics Photo Credit: ryoki (Flickr) App Store App Populatio n* Apple App Store ~900K Google Play ~1 Million Windows Phone Store ~175K Windows ~100K *Source: Wikipedia According to a 2012 Deloitte report on app downloads, a mere 20% of all apps in all app stores get to the 1,000 download threshold.Source: TMT Predictions 2012, “So many apps – so little to download” (
    7. 7. Chapter 1 Scoping out the joint
    8. 8. Why build a mobile app? Why do you get into mobile development? 1.Sense of achievement 2.Being recognized for your work 3.Starting a business 4.Being part of a new trend (mobile) 5.Revenue opportunity 6.Building something better than currently exists Source: Vision Mobile, Developer Economics Segmentation Q3 2013
    9. 9. Considerations: Primary Objectives Source: Vision Mobile, Developer Economics Segmentation Q3 2013 Top 3 most important platform criteria
    10. 10. Considerations: Marketshare Source: Vision Mobile, Developer Economics Segmentation Smartphone sales by platform, Q1 2013
    11. 11. Considerations: Revenue Source: Vision Mobile, Developer Economics Segmentation Average monthly revenue per developer by platform
    12. 12. Chapter 2 Bright Ideas
    13. 13. In a total of 15 seconds, can you tell me what your app is awesome at?
    14. 14. Good Examples My app is great at finding you the perfect rescue pet for your lifestyle from your local animal shelter within 5 minutes. My app will figure out what object you are thinking of by asking a maximum of 6 questions. Not only does my game have more zombies than WWZ for you to kill, but you also get to fight them in space. Oh, and you get to compete against your friends.
    15. 15. Bad Examples My app allows you to create tasks and delete them when they’re done. My game uses augmented reality to place ghosts on the screen for you to shoot. It’s Facebook, but for hamsters.
    16. 16. Figure out what your app is awesome at. Write it down. This is your new mission statement. Now live it.
    17. 17. Chapter 3 The Cruel Beauty of Evolution
    18. 18. Darwin is alive and well in the app world. Your competition is out to get you, even if they don’t know you exist. Photo Credit: Les_Stockton(Flickr)
    19. 19. Gut check time. • Can you name the top five competitors to your app? • How does your app compare to these competitors (be honest with yourself!)? How do others assess your app to the competition? • Think into the future – can you foresee new competitors for your app? Can you
    20. 20. Chapter 4 The (Adoring) Crowd
    21. 21. What do gladiators and apps have in common? Apps live and die at the whim of the crowd.Photo Credit: Johnson Cameraface (Flickr)
    22. 22. Only 26% of all mobile apps downloaded are ever opened more than once.* *Source: Localytics, “ First Impressions Matter”
    23. 23. A user might be willing to download your app, but if it’s not awesome on the first run, you’ve lost that user.
    24. 24. Make it as simples as possible for a user to love your app. Remove points of friction to that connection.
    25. 25. Case Study: Healthpack Games
    26. 26. Case Study: Bilingual Child Source:
    27. 27. Chapter 5 The Secret’s Out
    28. 28. If you’re building an app, you’re building a business
    29. 29. Every business needs a marketing plan. A typical App Marketing Plan includes the following: 1.Goals - how are you defining success? 2.Profit / Loss Analysis – when will you break even? 3.A Pricing Strategy – do you plan on price changes down road? When? Why? 4.Audience: - Who is your target audience? 5.Competitive Research – who are your
    30. 30. Source:
    31. 31. Source:
    32. 32. Chapter 6 Allow myself to introduce….myself.
    33. 33. What do you think is the very first interaction your app will have with the average user? Hint: It’s not a trick question…
    34. 34. The app marketplace is usually the first interaction users will have with your app.
    35. 35. Things to think about with your app submission • Your app’s icon or tile Think about: • The image associated with the app • Choice of colour
    36. 36. Things to think about with your app submission • Your app’s description Think about: • Pitching your app • The length of the description • Grammar and
    37. 37. Things to think about with your app submission • Your app’s screenshots Think about: • Highlighting the strengths • The number of screenshots
    38. 38. Chapter 7 Jackpot!
    39. 39. The tyranny of price
    40. 40. The average price of an iPhone app in Apple’s App store in 2011 was $1.61. The price of an extra large coffee at Tim Horton’s is $1.90. Picture Source:
    41. 41. $1.99 for that? Are they crazy??? I’ll pass. $0.99 for an app that does <your scenario here/>. Must not be very good. I’ll pass. If you price your app too high, users will bolt.If you price your app too low, users will bolt.
    42. 42. A word on trials… Yes.
    43. 43. Trial Mode 70 times more downloa ds 10% trial-to- paid conversi on 7 times the number of paid app sales
    44. 44. The principles of a trial Don’t give it away Make the trial compelling Use Ads
    45. 45. Chapter 8 Hard choices
    46. 46. Mobile Analytics should be built into your app from day 0.
    47. 47. Analytics allow you to: 1. Determine what features of your app are most popular 2. How many people open it more than once 3. Be agile in finding common issues and crashes 4. Identify mobile profiles that are
    48. 48. Chapter 9 IT’S ALIVE!!!
    49. 49. Apps that get updated are apps that get downloaded.
    50. 50. Epilogue
    51. 51. If you’re building an app, you’re building a business.
    52. 52. You need to love your app for others to love it to.
    53. 53. Picture Source: nedrichards (Flickr)