The bar for iMessage sticker pack screenshots is really low right now. Take a look at some of the sticker packs on the App Store, and you’ll soon see what I mean. Many sticker packs have one or two screenshots max; many are obviously hastily snapped from within iMessage without much thought to presentation. It’s a huge missed opportunity. I can’t tell you how many sticker packs I’ve passed over because of poor quality screenshots.

I know making screenshots of iMessage is a huge pain. The amount of Photoshop work I had to do to make my screenshots for the Leo Collection would surprise most people. And I don’t even think they turned out as nice as I’d like. But it was worth it to at least present my stickers somewhat effectively.

For my new Mixologist Sticker Pack, I’ve rethought my approach to screenshots, treating them more like I do my regular app screenshots. I hope they convey the quality of the pack even better.

You have one chance to sell your stickers to a prospective buyer. Those five images are pretty much all you get. No one is reading your description text for stickers. Believe me.

I thought developers had learned this lesson years ago, but perhaps the influx of designers being able to create their own packs without code has resulted in many newcomers who don’t yet understand how important screenshots are. Or perhaps more likely, people are only experimenting with stickers and are not really sure if they are worth the effort.

I can assure you, crafting a nice set of stickers, then presenting it in such a slapdash manner won’t get you good data on whether the pack was worth it.

Here are some tips for creating effective sticker screenshots. If you want me to buy your stickers, anyway.

  • Have five of them. Seriously. You get five. Don’t use two.
  • Show me as many of the individual stickers as you can, so I can see the variety and quantity available. If you have so few stickers that you can’t present them in an interesting way over five shots, you probably don’t have enough stickers in your pack. And that’s something I should know before purchasing.
  • Show the full-screen view of stickers. Rows and rows of stickers. If it takes up two or three shots to get a good sampling of your stickers, do it. The shots of stickers being used in conversations are important, but not as important as being able to see what I’m buying.
  • Feel free to add text, color, etc. to convince me why I would want your pack. This is a sales pitch. The same rules apply here that apply to app screenshots. The goal is not to present reality; it’s to sell an aspiration. Think about how McDonald’s presents its products in photos. You are trying to convey visually how good your customers will feel when they send and receive these stickers.
  • Put some time and effort into your screenshots. Design them. You needed a designer to get the artwork for the stickers. Make that same designer spend a day or two designing the best way to package them.

Hopefully as the iMessage App Store grows, we’ll see the quality bar for sticker screenshots move up to the high standard we see in well crafted apps on the main App Store. In the meantime, you have an opportunity to impress with your sticker screenshots while the rest of the store is presenting mostly crap.

If you have any questions regarding sticker packs or screenshots, or you need someone to help you design a set for you, get in touch.


Originally published at www.joecieplinski.com on October 12, 2016.