The app is up, the youtube video has 100k views, your favorite tech websites are singing your praises (sort of). But. Is the app actually being downloaded and used?
To quote “Uncle Kevin” from, our favorite past time, Sharktank. “How do I make moonnneeeeey?”. This is where the analytics come in. We signed up for both Flurry and App Annie.
Flurry is very simple to integrate within the code of your app (less than an hour). We set it up to track specific metrics, like what sort of in-app purchases were bought, and what IAP’s were viewed (but not committed to). It also let us gather some other random factoids for example:
- Users have added items to the canvas 539,000 times
- 28.9% of our users are from Asia
- 6,584 users have selected the “print collage” option
These facts let us know what part of the app users are having issues with, who and where our main userbase is, how much the app is being used beyond the first download, etc.
App Annie, on the other hand, scrapes public data and organizes it in a much better manner than your iTunes Connect portal (which is a huge piece of shit, but more on that later). It shows download rankings and revenue. We have it set to send an email once a day and its quite interesting what will cause the app to bump in downloads. We realized an article had been written in both Russia and France 2 months after launch date due to AppAnnie emails (see that little bump in the middle-right-ish?).
All of this is pretttty interesting, but only so much as you choose to sift through it and use it.
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net
One last little experiment we decided to do after the intial launch was a Christmas push. After several years in an advertising job, I am deeply suspicious of “SEO” and Online Ad gurus promising you the moon. I believe you can achieve more worth while results by organically growing press and interest in specific groups instead of generally throwing money into the gaping maw of google adwords and hoping .01% sticks. That said, we knew our main audience was tweens. And guess what tweens would be getting for Christmas? You got it. 5cs. 5Cs FOR EVERYONE. For this instance we didn’t really have time to “organically” grow interest. We knew these kids would be bored the day after Christmas and dying to load their new phones up with dozens of new, shiny apps. How to let them know?
This is where Facebook comes in. Well, facebook and instagram. Facebook had “generously” offered me a $50 credit for FB ads (after I had purposefully tripped their “interest analytics” by clicking on tell me more, but not actually committing, muahahaha). We thought we’d kick in $50 and just see where it went.
While I was very tempted to see how many clicks I’d get with this first ad, we went in and designed a CaseCollage ad instead. We set our audience to be very limited and sat back to wait. After 3 days, we had garnered around 30,000 total impressions and a 4% CTR (1,406 clicks).
In addition we ventured into the motherland of tweens: Instagram. Our wonderful buddy over at Versagram pushed us to his instagram audience as well as us uploading some “holiday themed” collages to our 1500 followers. Hopefully that will get some “buzz” going at all the schools, we’ll see.
With these efforts combined we saw a 357% jump in downloads, and a 71% jump in revenue. I’m interested to see how long it takes before these numbers dwindle back down to our average 30 downloads/$3 a day.
Analytics and Advertising are definitely the less “exciting” parts of app promotion, but are vital if you wish to sustain and grow your userbase. Testing out campaigns and doing your research are both items you should be doing if you’re in it for the long haul.
More about the “long haul” next…
If you’re late to this rodeo, you may not know, we built an app and wanted to share some of the details. You can find related articles below:
Part 1: The Ah-Ha Moment And What Comes After – The idea for the CaseCollage app
Part 2: Building an App in 2 Weeks – App development process, Wiley’s analytical take
Part 3: Roller Coaster App Store Review – App store submission hurdles
Part 4: Becoming “Internet-Famous”– Prepping for launch and app marketing 101
Part 5: Squashing the Bugs and App Maintenance – When things invariably go wrong