Launching Your App in The App Store
Step 1: Build Some Anticipation
Step 1: Build Some Anticipation
There’s a lot that goes in to an App Store launch. On September 29th, we launched Free Time 2, the second version of our popular calendar app for iPhone. Each day before launch we posted a new article on how we marketed the app and how you too can stack the deck for a successful app launch.
Set up a Teaser Page
If you are building an app, even an update to an existing app, do this right after you read this article. Setting up a teaser page is a must and you can see some really awesome results for very little effort (LaunchRock and LaunchKit are two great options). Here’s everything you really need:
- A screenshot of your app in a device (it can be as simple as your logo) and you can download free Apple marketing device images here.
- A background image — we used a free image of some clouds. Reminder: this is not rocket science!
- An app name, description, and tag line. It can be pretty vague — if you’re curious, take a look at the screenshot below and the description we wrote. Could it be better, absolutely, but it works and is better than nothing.
We launched the teaser page way before we knew when the app would be done. Now that we’re getting ready to launch we have more than 600 people who signed up at a 5.87% conversion rate — I’m not shouting this number to the world but this is way better than zero email signups.
Create an Email Marketing List
LaunchRock will automatically start capturing email addresses, whereas LaunchKit requires you to redirect to a hosted sign up page. Either way it is very easy to import these addresses into an email marketing tool like MailChimp. You can set up a free account on their website — as long as you don’t have a boatload of subscribers (more than 2K) you’re good to go. You will have to import addresses manually from LaunchRock but this isn’t that much of a hassle!
Here’s a screenshot of our dashboard in MailChimp— we haven’t done a great job of keeping our subscribers up to date about what we’re up to, but you absolutely should.
Don’t forget to send a confirmation email to ask people if they’d be interested in beta testing your app!
A very simple email like this one will go a long way to making people feel like you really care and you’d be surprised at the number of people who respond and want to help out!
Tell Everyone You Know
As soon as it is up, tweet about your new teaser page, tell your co-workers, email your friends and family, tell your dog, high five the mailman. This can seem counter-intuitive to most people because everyone is afraid that their million dollar app idea will be stolen by the guy next door. You shouldn’t be worried about that guy, you should be worried about the ten guys or gals who are already building your app and started way before you. Get out there and hustle and make some noise.
Ideas are cheap — execution is everything. If someone asks me what I am working on I’ll say “a calendar app that focuses on the free time in your day instead of the busy time, do you want to see it? what do you think?”
More than a year ago I posted a screenshot of the home-screen of Free Time 2. I also wrote an article on Smashing Magazine that tens of thousands of people read. Guess how many similar apps have launched? Zero.
Do this right now:
- Set up a Teaser Page
- Start a MailChimp List
- Tell Everyone You Know
The above few steps really shouldn’t take you more than a few hours and it can be both motivating to see interest in what you’re doing and actually helpful in marketing your app. I’m pretty sure you’ll be thankful in a few months once you see the plethora of subscribers waiting to hear what you’ve been up to!