How can I market my app?

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Jan 31, 2011 10:58:46 PM via Website

Hello, I have a small app in the Android market. Its been there for a while now (about 3 months).

Unfortunately, the sales numbers have not been very good. Less than 10 people bought the app in those 3 months. My team's marketing strategy as been simple: posts on Android forums. At this moment we can't afford buying advertisement, because these kind of numbers don't seam very promising.

I've tried lowering the price (it's selling at 1€ / 1.3$ right now) but that didn't have much effect (only one sell in about 3 weeks at this lower price).

There's a lot of competition for our app (even free apps) but I think I've got a quality app and I was expecting getting better business at this point.

We have been updating the app with new features and bugfixes.

So does anyone have marketing tips for us?

Thanks for your comments.

(And here's the app )

— modified on Jan 31, 2011 10:59:42 PM

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Feb 1, 2011 6:49:22 AM via Website

Hi, welcome to the forums. There have been a few posts about this already that you may find interesting:

Personally, I think that with android you have to make a free version. Android users almost expect it, and if you don't someone else probably will. I like to make a paid version and a free, lite, ads version. With a lite version with ads, you get lots of exposer of your app and still make some money. I can tell you from experience, my ads/lite versions get over 140 times more downloads than my paid versions, and I still make money with them. Put a link in your lite version, that gives them the option to buy the full version, with more funcionality and no ads.
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Feb 1, 2011 4:01:57 PM via Website

Jeremiah brings up a good point in that many users look for the good free apps before they look at any of the paid apps. It is very frustrating from a developers standpoint if you aren't making many sales on your free version, and you see a free version of an app which does a similar job. Many people prefer getting the free version of an app than pay for it.

I think there is some part of the mind that doesn't like giving out money for something intangible, like software that you have no hard copy of. For instance, I consider antivirus software for my PC to be very important, and I was glad that I bought a paid version two years ago, but now that it is expired, I have a very hard time convincing myself that the paid version is actually worth the expense.

My recommendation is to follow Jeremiahs advice and make two version of the app. One with advertising and less features, and then the paid version with no ads and full features. I'm sure that you will have more downloads that way. However, it will take a long time before the ad revenue gets to a decent level.

— modified on Feb 1, 2011 4:02:20 PM

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Feb 1, 2011 4:20:35 PM via Website

an ad supported version is only interessting if you have a big install base. otherwise you will earn just a few cents.

but a free version is good to show the app to users who are interessted in it.

swordiApps Blog - Website

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Feb 9, 2011 4:44:50 AM via Website

Well in addition to free apps, its good to know what the user is looking for. What do they like about your app and what don't they like. Have you surveyed your current users to see what they like or don't like?
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Feb 9, 2011 6:14:26 AM via Website

Isaac Momperousse
Well in addition to free apps, its good to know what the user is looking for. What do they like about your app and what don't they like. Have you surveyed your current users to see what they like or don't like?

That's a very good point Isaac. It's hard to do though, with the android market, you basically know nothing about your users. I guess you could put an optional survey in the app itself, but I don't know many other ways to get good feedback. One of the things I like about AndroidPit, is that they have a forum section for developers to introduce their free apps and ask for feedback on them. Also they do test reports that you can get very good non-biased opinion of your app. How do you survey your users?
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Feb 15, 2011 12:35:10 PM via Website

Thanks for your comments.

Well in addition to free apps, its good to know what the user is looking for. What do they like about your app and what don't they like. Have you surveyed your current users to see what they like or don't like?

We don't have access to the current paying users contacts, so we can't target them specifically. Also, no user has left comments on the Android Market page of our app. We did create a page were users can leave comments and feature requests. Out of our 8 paying users (in 3/4 months) only one has left a suggestion in this page:

Also, we set up a beta-user program and got some people registered. We sent free versions of the app to these people, but only a small minority gave us any feedback.


— modified on Feb 15, 2011 12:36:00 PM

  • Forum posts: 8

Feb 16, 2011 2:44:25 PM via Website


I bump to you threads, because like you, I just upload my app to android market couple weeks ago, and wants to learn more how to best market my app under a very tight budget.

FYI, my app "" a new mobile security/tracking app is free and without advertisement.

Initially I do plan to split "" to two version, one lite with adv, one premium with more feature and without adv. However, because I am from Malaysia, I am prohibited to publish paid premium version to android market, so the "" android app is a full premium version..

On the other hand, I am currently developing iOS version of "", and because Apple do allows me to publish paid version of my app, so I plan sell a free lite version with adv, and a paid premium version at Apple App this norm? I hope I will not get complains from iPhone user..

I do plan to paid AndroidPIT to review my app once I release second version of my app, I do hope this will get me more download...
Anywhere, good luck, all the best to you!

James Khoo founder
here's my app
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Feb 16, 2011 3:22:24 PM via Website

What you could do, is to upload your App into the AndroidPIT App Center, which is the AndroidPIT App store. It is quiet simple: you need to sign up as a developer and upload your APK. It only takes 5 minutes.

Also if you are interested in special promotion check this out:
Leave a note, and the AndroidPIT Team will get in touch with you.
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Feb 17, 2011 2:27:46 AM via Website

Hi Philip

Thanks, I have uploaded my app to AndroidPIT.. and posted an introduction on my app at Let-me-show-you-my-app threads.
I welcome your view and comments..

Back to the topic on how do Market android app, I got and advise from my friend, write a good Press Release, and submit to Press Release Distribution such as PRWeb will help to boost your sales, estimated cost to hire someone to write a good Press Release and submit for Press Release distribution will be ranging from US300 - US 1000.. wonder have any Android PIT done this before, does it really help

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Feb 17, 2011 9:08:35 AM via Website


we don't have any experience in press releases. Basically we can push your app with banners, App Seller and other function. I will send you an email with our different promotion options.

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Feb 26, 2011 5:04:17 PM via Website

Hi, I saw your thread and I think I can offer an alternative. You can try and sell your application (your source code) on this site . Describe your application, list it a starting price and wait for buyers to bid for it. It is a fairly new market, so don't expect immediate fireworks, however it doesn't hurt to try.

For further information, email me at and I will be more than happy to help you.
  • Forum posts: 1

Aug 23, 2011 8:42:47 PM via Website

I want to point out two important things here.

i) App description: The app description of your app is not good enough. It has just four lines for a paid app.
ii) Press Releases: As Chen pointed out, press releases play a huge role in promoting an app. If you have a good press release you can find people to submit it for popular PR sites. It may cost you around US $50. If you can't write press releases, you may have to spend another US $50.

You should also submit your app to review sites and blogs. Please visit our app marketing site or contact me here steve (at)

  • Forum posts: 1

Sep 20, 2011 5:45:31 AM via Website

There are many strategies for marketing android apps that might help you get more downloads of your free apps. Here are some examples:

- Create a free version of your app that funnels your users into purchasing the full version
- Enter app contests for publicity
- Launch a contest on Facebook or Twitter involving cash prizes or app giveaways.
- Pick a name for your app that makes it unique, yet at the same time searchable.

— modified on Sep 20, 2011 4:42:08 PM by moderator

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Sep 24, 2011 2:30:37 AM via Website

As I learned from Charles Hudson at the Android-i-fied event back in August, Android users primarily discover apps and games through search “because it is Google.” I guess that was a "duh" moment for me :) . If you think about it, the way that an app marketplace is set up drives behavior, and at the top of your screen where ever you go on the Android Market, you can find the Search bar. Therefore, the key to unlocking the Android Market is by optimizing for Search just like you would for a website. Unfortunately, with limited marketing copy and no linking, you need an Android-Market-specific SEO strategy. Take the following steps to improve your Android Market ranking in search results:
  1. Find out what key words are relevant to your game that the Android Market users search for. Often times, they are key words that people search for to find your game, which you can track with Google Analytics. Alternatively, you can make educated guesses based on key phrases appearing frequently in top-ranked apps in your category.
  2. Add those keywords to your game listing as many times as possible, preferably in the title and many times in the description. This tactic may seem silly, but it works extremely well. The Android Market’s search algorithm is surprisingly basic when compared to Google’s homepage algorithm, and frequency does improve your results. Do your best to fit it in the conversation naturally, but also remember to add them at the bottom of your game description in the Keywords section. Just take a look at Lookout’s description to see this strategy in action.
  3. Take steps to improve your click-to-download rate with good marketing copy in the game description, while fitting in those keywords.
  4. Take steps to improve your retention rate, which we found had a strong correlation to our Market ranking. An easy way to do this is to simply manage expectations with your description and not over-promise or cater to the wrong audience.

Also, since the Android Market still allows incentivized installs, there’s no harm in buying your first 1,000 users to get that seed group of users and accelerate your growth. This helps tremendously with improving your ranking for a brand new game and getting you that valuable information you need to improve your marketing.

— modified on Sep 24, 2011 2:32:06 AM

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Sep 26, 2011 10:56:29 AM via Website

Thats some solid advice but I was curious about the point you made in point 2. You suggested adding keywords as often as possible to your body text but traditionaly that is considered "stuffing" which normal results in a downgrade in terms of search placement in a normal search engine. Of course I'm only coming at this from an SEO perspective ,where the conventional wisdom is that a text should only contain between 2% and 8% keywords. Is it different in the market? Is stuffing allowed/ does it actually help results?
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Sep 28, 2011 5:42:59 AM via Website

I don't know if it's true, but I've heard of apps being banned for keyword stuffing on the google market.
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Oct 11, 2011 4:38:16 AM via Website

Well as far as I can tell from my experience at Lookout, keyword stuffing will not get you in trouble if done correctly, and it absolutely improves your Android Market ranking. The key is to make it as natural as possible.
Just saying
"game strategy game android game awesome game fun game social game"
for your description is a one-way ticket to ban town, but if you say
"Come check out our latest awesome game, XYZ! This creative new Android game melds the traditional aspects of a strategy game with the fun of a social game."
, then you're still getting all of those keyword hits without looking like you're stuffing or spamming.

Also, it is possible that the Android Market has updated their algorithms since I worked at Lookout, but this is what I know from my experience there. Either way, it's up to you to experiment and try it out :)

  • Forum posts: 25

Oct 11, 2011 12:03:04 PM via Website

I guess its a term confusion then. If you're just putting keywords in, then yes, it will help you and it's not stuffing. Keyword stuffing is really just when you put in as many as possible like you described in the first example (I think Google says it's when more then 8% of the visible words are directly related keywords) But optimizing your text like you suggested it probably the best way to go. The way I learned, we were told that any time you wanted to type place holder worlds like (it, it's, they, etc.) that you should replace it with a def. keyword. If you do that you should be pretty much on your way to an optimized text.