As some of you will know I am putting together a submission for Mike Ormond’s forthcoming free Kindle book on Windows Phone development and have picked up a chapter to be entitled ‘Marketing Your Apps’. I have to say that as an independent software developer , marketing is something that doesn’t come naturally to me and I am putting together this series of blog posts with two main themes. The first is just to share my own experiences in marketing the dozen or so Apps I have on the marketplace. The second is to ask for your own feedback and experiences to each of these blog posts in order to improve this chapter of the book when I come to putting it together ‘for real’.
When I heard that we had reached 10,000 apps on the marketplace (in what I believe is the shortest amount of time for any mobile device in history) it occurred to me that I might mark this event in some small way myself. And so I decided to drop the price of the first App that I developed for the platform down to 99c. I did this earlier today and sent off a number of press releases announcing the fact (of course nowadays it is perhaps just important that any special promotion such as this is ‘tweeted’ (and perhaps more importantly in the case of us small independent developers, “re-tweeted”) across Twitter and Facebook in order to achieve some worthwhile exposure.
A price reduction is the easiest form of offer to facilitate when it comes to apps as it can be achieved in a matter of minutes within the marketplace web site. Be aware of two things:
- A price reduction can take a number of hours to filter through.
- Do not be tempted to offer your item for free for the promotional period as you cannot subsequently raise the price! (this is a limitation of the marketplace).
You might consider tying in your special offer to something else:
- Events (EG My own ‘Ambient Soundscape’ with the MWC this year – see below)
- Products (Pens, T-Shirts – you name it).
You sometimes need to balance your enthusiasm with your integrity in the hope of striking the correct balance. As an example, I am currently promoting ‘Shove Halfpenny’, and deliberately targeted Mike Ormond and Brandon Watson (both have many more followers than I) as potential ‘re-tweeters’ – of course they are under no obligation, but I figure there is no harm in asking! (I’m also hoping that you will re tweet the link below for me!)
This is an ‘on-going’ blog post, and If you are able to draw my attention to any other WP7 App related ‘special offers’, particularly from independent software developers, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or make a note of them in a comments following this post.
UDATE: I managed to get a trade ticket to the ‘Gadget Show Live’ in Birmingham and decided to spend some of the time promoting my latest App ‘Gadget Watch’. I have blogged about this elsewhere but took the opportunity to set up a competition (OK a little bizarre) to give away the promo ‘Duke Nukem’ early entry pass that I was given (I’m not a big gamer). Take a look at what I put together here
UDATE: repeated the promotional offer on “Shove” when the marketplace hit 20k Apps and was able to get the promotion featured on the well respected ‘Windows Phone Geek’ site simply by going through their standard publication process:
NB At the time of publishing the app is also featured in their ‘Wall of Apps’: