As mentioned many times in this book, getting your app approved for sale on the Android Market is only the first step (and probably the easiest) in the selling process. It takes a special mix of marketing activities to get your app noticed and to produce consistent sales success. Each marketing activity discussed in this chapter, when well executed, will contribute to more downloads of your app. Simply rewording your app's top description on the Android Market, for example, may result in an increase of 10-25 downloads per day if your original wording did not get right to the point. An example of a crisp introductory sentence is shown in Figure 6.1.
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Figure 6.1 Having a crisp, to the point, introductory description is vital to your selling success and can help you increase your current app sales.
Adding a more descriptive app icon that speaks better to what your app does may result in 25-35 more downloads per day. An example of a great app icon is shown in Figure 6.2.
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Figure 6.2 Having a recognizable and understandable app icon is critical to getting customers to click your app for more details.
Improving the app graphics displayed on the Android Market will help you increase your downloads by some percentage as well. An example of crisp and clear graphics is shown in Figure 6.3. Each one of these seemingly small marketing activities will also help you build positive word of mouth.
Word of mouth (or word of mouse, as they say in the Internet world) is one of the most powerful methods of getting your message out about your app. Word of mouth is all about building momentum for your app and getting everyone, especially key influencers, to talk about your app and help generate buzz. Some apps start off sales slowly and then gain momentum over time as they get noticed through various marketing activities. With consistent marketing, you can increase the momentum of sales and even help your app become a bestseller.
For an Android app to become a bestseller, it has to have certain characteristics: It should be well written, have broad applicability and market reach, and be appropriately priced. Not all apps will fit all these criteria. In fact, only a small percentage of apps on the Android Market meet such high criteria. Some Android apps will be good sellers, but not bestsellers because their market may be limited or their applicability is focused on a narrow solution. This is partly why game apps are so popular. They have broad appeal and the audience tends to be quite large. This is also why there are so many game apps for sale on the Android Market. You can make a lot of money selling games if you hit on the right app, but your competition is extremely tough as well.
Word of mouth is a reputation-based form of marketing. If used properly, this form of marketing can be an extremely powerful way to get your app noticed and increase sales. It can take some time to get the ball rolling, so don't be discouraged if your app hasn't achieved momentum in the first few weeks of sales. Word-of-mouth marketing is probably the most powerful marketing tool you have if used the right way and if given enough time.
A good, useful, or cool Android app will prompt your buyers to recommend the app to others through email, blogs, or personal conversations. Earning a good reputation for your app is hard work. Your good reputation, however, can be extremely effective in helping you sell more apps and when you release follow-on apps to your user community.
In contrast, a bad reputation can be damaging to your overall app sales and a bad customer experience can result in additional loss of sales opportunities if word gets too far around. Negative experiences prompt people to tell others their opinion about using your app, and sometimes they write about their disappointment on the Android Market app reviews.
You will always have a few people who write negative responses to your app. There's no getting around it. Sometimes people purchase an app thinking it does one thing and then they discover it doesn't do what they thought. They then become upset and write a negative review. People even write negative reviews for free apps! However, as long as your ratio of positive reviews is much greater than your negative reviews (10 to 1 or so), your sales will not be impacted too much.
Sometimes a developer is lucky in that his or her app gets a positive review by an Android app review site. That review gets picked up by a blogger or other news agency and it can be off to the races in app sales. If you're not fortunate enough to get such a review, you have to "prime the pump" to help increase the likelihood that your app will have the same sales outcome over time. This means you can't rely on getting a lucky break by a reviewer just stumbling upon your app. Instead you have to employ other techniques to get the word out about your app and get reviewers to notice you. Don't ever give up on getting reviews from as many sources as possible. Try to obtain write-ups in several magazines and websites that would be interested in showcasing your particular app because it's topical to them.
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