This column is authored by Yuvrajsinh, Growth Strategist at Space-O Technologies
One million app downloads!
For any developer, these words can make a day. But unfortunately, for most of the developers, it doesn’t happen that often.
Being unable to achieve the desired number of downloads for their respective mobile apps, developers generally start spending their money on useless tactics and paid marketing campaigns, which may or may not work out.
Now, if your desire, same as every other developer, is to reach 1 million app downloads, then you must understand that getting featured in the App Store is the primary key. Not only it gives a boost to your app visibility, but it can dramatically increase your app downloads.
Being a Growth Strategist at Space-O Technologies, I need to consult with our mobile app developers throughout the process. During this period, I figured out following Do’s and Don’ts that can for sure, help you to get featured on the App Store.
Do’s and Don’ts For Getting Featured in App Store
First of all, let’s admit. We are not so famous celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Warner Brothers. It’s easy for them to instantly get featured on the App Store because of their crazy fan followers. But, we’ll have to play by the rules. Rules with Do’s and Don’ts to secure position in featured apps.
So…here it goes.
Do: App Preview Video
Without an App preview video, your chances of getting featured in the App Store are limited. There are plenty of preview videos out there on the App store. Take a look at them as a reference, and make one preview video which explains the main features of your mobile app. You can easily hire freelance video maker on the Fiverr. Don’t worry, it won’t take big bucks out of your pocket.
Do: Self-explanatory Screenshots And App Description
Self-explanatory screenshots are essential. They help in presenting how the app works. And, as far as the App description is concerned, it should describe what does your mobile app do as well as what a prospective user should know. You can check out this article by Smashing Magazine on how to create effective screen-shot for your app store page.
While a compelling app description is important in persuading users to download the app but try to sprinkle target keywords in your description naturally to boost your chances of appearing in the search results. Last year, Carolina wrote an interesting and in-depth post on how to write an app description with the Wrap-App Technique.
Do: Email After Your App is Approved
Apple generally takes 3 weeks of lead time for feature consideration. This means you’ll have to make sure that your app is already in the “Ready For Release by Developer” list for at least 3 weeks or more.
Because, even if your app is incredible, if you’re giving notice to Apple in less than a week’s time, your app won’t get featured, unless you’re a well-established million dollar game company with at least 10 live apps on the App Store.
Don’t: Release During Holidays
Unless your app is holiday themed in nature, don’t submit feature request during holiday weeks. It’s because there is always so much competition during those times. You’ll just get lost in the dust. In fact, last year, Apple declared this message which needs to be considered.
In fact, there is no concrete reason not to publish on Holidays. But, why you need to take a risk at all, right? Why take chance on your efforts.
Do: Release Every Six Weeks
There are two ways your app can get featured. And, if your app doesn’t get featured as a new app, don’t lose hope. You can still get featured as a Best New App Update. Therefore, try to make your app updates enticing.
Also, another criteria to keep in mind is that don’t send feature requests or updates too frequently because it’ll overload the Apple team and you’ll be more likely to consider as a spam. So, keep six-week update release cycle, secure a good spot in the upcoming feature-lists.
Now, you know the basic do’s and don’ts, let’s get to the steps you should be following.
#1: Consider All Do’s And Don’ts!
All do’s and don’ts above needs to be taken seriously. If you’re not going to do the things in the list, don’t waste yours as well as Apple team’s time. Moreover, if you keep on sending “Hail Mary” to Apple, get ready to get yourself blacklisted.
#2: Pick Your Target Feature-List
If it’s your first attempt at getting your app featured, forget about Editor’s Choice, Indie Game Spotlight, Best New Apps, Best New App Updates, etc. The right thing to do for you is to choose a minor category.
For instance, if your app falls under shopping category, you can target a specific minor category, such as grocery shopping or bakery shopping to increase your chances.
#3: Write and Send a Pitch Email
Once the subcategory is selected, it’s time you craft a pitch email. The email should include each and every detail of your mobile app from app name, app size, release info, desired live date, desired feature subcategory, to everything.
And if you’re wondering where you should mail regarding the feature consideration, don’t worry, I have already figured that out. Send your pitch email to – email@example.com
#4: Send a Follow-up Email
After sending your pitch email, wait for a week or when it’s near the release date. Send your follow-up email and wait for them to see what they’ve to say.
#5 Wait…Until The Day Your App Was Supposed To Get Featured
So the day has finally arrived and brought bad news with it. Your mobile app isn’t listed in the featured app. Now what? First, try not to cry, and figure out why your app didn’t get featured. Examine the apps that got featured. Write an email to find out the reason. Understand the reason thoroughly. And, if it’s a problem that you can’t resolve, consult an iOS app development company for the same. Because experts know what to do. It’s this reason why they’re called experts!
#6: Plan Your Next Release
If your app gets featured, then congratulations! You’ve made it. If not, then go back, figure out the reasons, check all the apps that got featured, look what’s missing in your app and repeat the process.
What If You Get Response or What If You Get a Minor Feature
If you get a response, it will be something like “we got your email, thanks”. And, once you get a response, keep doing what you’re doing.
If you get a minor feature, then you can now start pitching them for a front page feature in “Best New Apps” or “Best New App Updates”. The competition will be of high quality, of course. But hey! It’s a progress. Enjoy the moment.
What’s the ultimate goal of your mobile app? To help people? To get a return on Investment? If it’s any one of these, then remember that it can be achieved with or without getting featured in the App Store. The guide is for developers who are willing to put in the required work to get featured on the App Store as early as possible to achieve their ultimate goal.