The stunning way to get publicity for your app so it sells
(Even if you don’t know jack about marketing)

This guide is based on Mixergy’s course with Andreas Kambanis.

After failing to monetize his blog, Andreas Kambanis launched an app that got featured by Apple and appeared generated online and offline press and earned a few thousand dollars within 30 days. It was all done using his tactics for a successful mobile app launch, so we invited him to teach you how to do it.

Andreas is the creator of the Bike Doctor app and the founder of London Cyclist and iPhone App Rockstar, where he teaches people how to create, market, and sell iPhone apps.

Here are a few actionable highlights from the course.

1. Pre-launch your app to drive interest and get a higher app store ranking

Andreas emailed 2,000 people from his pre-launch list when Bike Doctor launched, which pushed the app to the top spot of the sports category in the app store.

Take Action:
Create a landing page that will collect email addresses using tools like Kickoff Labs, LaunchRock and Launch Effect, and send an email to the contacts on your list when you launch your app.

 

2. Hold a contest to give incentive to sign up for the pre-launch or download the app

Andreas talked about a translation app called TripLingo that increased sign-ups by giving away a round-the-world ticket.

Take Action:
Find a prize sponsor if you’re on a tight budget, then include the contest mechanics on your landing page or use a rewards program service like PunchTab to keep track of entries.

 

3. Get publicity to give your app credibility and visibility

Andreas emailed blogs that wrote about apps similar to his and got a feature on Road.cc, which doubled app downloads when it was published.

Take Action:
Contact publications and niche blogs about featuring your app and explain what makes it different when you make your pitch.

 

4. Design a stand-out app and icon to get noticed and downloaded by more users

Andreas said that Bike Doctor’s original icon was gray and unattractive, which made it stand out from the rest of the apps in the sports category.

Take Action:
Search for related apps and come up with a design that’s completely different from what’s available in the app store, or hire a designer to do it for you.

 

5. Get featured by Apple to give your app extreme exposure and increase downloads

By developing well-designed apps and releasing them with a strong pre-launch strategy, Andreas got Bike Doctor and his other apps featured on Apple, boosting their downloads.

Take Action:
Make your app accessible and bug-free, do a pre-launch to get it to the top of its category, and keep its size under 20 MB.

 

6. Get 5-star app reviews to boost your app’s ratings

Andreas asked his friends to review Bike Doctor, which gave it its first few reviews and boosted the app’s ratings.

Take Action:
Ask your friends, family, and acquaintances to review your app and give it a 5-star rating.

 

7. Launch on a Sunday to increase your chances of success

Andreas points to a Mobilewalla survey that tracked the release of 91,754 iOS apps and found that 42% of apps released on a Sunday made the top 240 list.

Take Action:
Set your launch date ahead of time and make sure it falls on a Sunday.

 

8. Create a free version to let people try it and encourage them to buy the paid one

Andreas tried out the free version of a translation app called Word Lens and bought the paid version when he saw how well it worked.

Take Action:
Offer a free version with limited functionality and include a paid upgrade option within the app.

 

Want to make sure you get results?

Written by Hazel Chua, based on production notes by Jeremy Weisz

  • http://startuplift.com/ Pranaya

    This is a great list. Did not know Sunday launches worked out so well. I was always under the impression, Tuesday launches were the best. 

  • Jesus

    And I might add, step one involves building your app.  If you don’t have one you can create your own word game app for free.  http://prowordgamers.com

  • Joshuajohnsont

    Apple upped it’s MB limit 50! Just so everyone knows!

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Thanks for saying that!

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    I never did get to tell people about the way you built that site. I need to include that story in a future interview.

  • Mixtimp

    I don’t believe enough emphasis was placed on the importance of feedback. After building my app from scratch, and selling it only 9 months later, I learned that your daily sales will live and die by its feedback. I know Andreas said he got “5 friends” to leave feedback, but you need to literally hit up ALL of your friends. I was reimbursing people the $2.99 who purchased my app in exchange for 5-star feedback, and my downloads exploded.

    Otherwise, very good information, and a lot to think about for my second launch ;)

  • http://iphoneapprockstar.com/welcome-mixergy-listeners/ Andreas

    Not according to the most extensive research I’ve seen so far. I believe Tuesday was the previously touted day.

  • http://iphoneapprockstar.com/ Andreas

    Really useful advice – I can see it was upped with the launch of new iPad – thanks for posting!

  • http://iphoneapprockstar.com/ Andreas

    Pleased to hear you are having such good results with positive feedback on your app. Absolutely, I’d encourage people to get as many friends as they can to help with their feedback.

  • Trendyaer

    If you’re looking for a great way to market your app, you can check out this new startup called ooomf (ooomf.com). They’re located in Montreal. They have a really great design team that creates iphone app landing pages for you in minutes. They might be in beta at the moment.

  • http://iphoneapprockstar.com/ Andreas

    Nice service – thanks for recommending. However, I’m not sure they include some of the crucial features that are available in Launch Rock and Launch Effect App – Mainly getting points the more ways you spread the word about an app..

  • Mixtimp

    Hey Andreas,

    Excellent interview. I really enjoyed listening to your ideas, and saved some of your ideas that I plan to implement on my next app. Media publicity catapulted my app into success, but I had an edge because they liked the controversial nature of my app.

    If you are interested in seeing one of the news stories about my app, take a look at the following youtube link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7SyNdzGLRw

    Thanks again for the great advice.

    Phil

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    I’m watching now.

    Channel 2, ABC.

    Boss.

    How’d you get that?