I’m a huge fan of metrics, probably from 7 years doing email marketing and countless meetings staring up at an Excel spreadsheet, seeing lift in unexpected places, testing, and getting great results. I’ve seen it work- I drink the Kool-Aid.
In the iPhone world, we’re hamstrung by metrics that are limited and unserviceable. The iTunesConnect app gives us sales information, but as all marketers know, that’s the end game, not the funnel.
I’m going to implement a few test suites and write them up on this blog- this is more an announcement of an effort than any real juice (sorry readers). The test suites:
In the space of the last 24 hours, two different friends of mine asked, with hints of horror and mystery, “How do poeple *find* your iPhone app?” To the uninitiated, it seems like a big black box. In reality, it’s not too different from other internet marketing efforts.
The issue with iPhone apps is – obviously – the iTunes store. It’s a strength and a weakness. Strength, because consumers go 1 place to get the product. Weakness, because we, as developers and marketers, are at the whim of single, isolated metrics.
Three major areas- number of downloads, number and nature of reviews, average rating, and keywords- are the backbone to the iTunes store formula. But then there’s other more nebulous and vague areas, that are familiar to the seasoned marketer.
- Word of mouth
- Blogs/Social Networks (Twitter/Facebook)
- Name recognition
- Journalism, reviews, editor’s picks, etc.
The goals of the efforts above:
1) the iPhone app name recognition
2) Access and actionable clicks to the download page
3) Written reviews including ratings.
*Niche: friend’s soccer stats app came out when there were no soccer stats app in the store, and World Cup was just beginning. Also, he had translation efforts and a quick release. The competitive space in the iTunes store is arguably smaller than other markets and so it’d be irresponsible to notice that marketing is a non-issue with niche apps.
I’ve been using the email and internet marketing methods towards a new arena: iPhone marketing. These metrics have been useful:
1. Rank in the iTunes Store
This is the number of times it’s been downloaded. I do it according to to the top search terms for my app: “learning French,” for example. Since marketing the app for a few weeks, we’ve risen from the last page to the second, of five pages. A small success, but nice to know it’s measurable.
2. Number of units sold.
Yes, this is more an operational number, but it’s still a good metric to view over time.
3. Hits to the landing page.
The iTunes store lets you post a landing page for more information about your product. This is also an interesting gage of interest.
4. Ratio of paid-to-free downloads
If you have a free version, the ratio of paid-to-free version can be interesting to track, over time.
5. General name stickiness.
I do a Google search- also how many times the keyword was used in retrieving pages on your site. Both are good ways to tell if the app is getting traction.
6. Twitter name follow count.
The number of follows on your twitter account (of same name as app).