Marketing Your Apps – Special Promotions.

As some of you will know I am putting together a submission for Mike Ormond’s forthcoming free  Kindle book  on Windows Phone development and have picked up a chapter to be entitled ‘Marketing Your Apps’.  I have to say that as an independent software developer , marketing is something that doesn’t come naturally to me and I am putting together this series of blog posts with two main themes.  The first is just to share my own experiences in marketing the dozen or so Apps I have on the marketplace.  The second is to ask for your own feedback and experiences  to each of these blog posts in order to improve this chapter of the book when I come to putting it together ‘for real’.


When I heard that we had reached 10,000 apps on the marketplace (in what I believe is the shortest amount of time for any mobile device in history) it occurred to me that I might mark this event in some small way myself.  And so I decided to drop the price of the first App that I developed for the platform down to 99c.  I did this earlier today and sent off a number of press releases announcing the fact (of course nowadays it is perhaps just important that any special promotion such as this is ‘tweeted’ (and perhaps more importantly in the case of us small independent developers, “re-tweeted”) across Twitter and Facebook in order to achieve some worthwhile exposure.

A price reduction is the easiest form of offer to facilitate when it comes to apps as it can be achieved in a matter of minutes within the marketplace web site.  Be aware of two things:

  1. A price reduction can take a number of hours to filter through.
  2. Do not be tempted to offer your item for free for the promotional period as you cannot subsequently raise the price! (this is a limitation of the marketplace).

You might consider tying in your special offer to something else:

  1. Events (EG My own ‘Ambient Soundscape’ with the MWC this year – see below)
  2. Products (Pens, T-Shirts – you name it).


You sometimes need to balance your enthusiasm with your integrity in the hope of striking the imagecorrect balance.  As an example, I am currently promoting ‘Shove Halfpenny’, and deliberately targeted Mike Ormond and  Brandon Watson (both have many more followers than I) as potential ‘re-tweeters’ – of course they are under no obligation, but I figure there is no harm in asking! (I’m also hoping that you  will re tweet the link below for me!)

This is an ‘on-going’ blog post, and If you are able to draw my attention to any other WP7 App related ‘special offers’, particularly from independent software developers, please contact me ( or make a note of them in a comments following this post.



UDATE: I managed to get a trade ticket to the ‘Gadget Show Live’ in Birmingham and decided to spend some of the time promoting my latest App ‘Gadget Watch’.  I have blogged about this elsewhere but took the opportunity to set up a competition (OK a little bizarre) to give away the promo ‘Duke Nukem’ early entry pass that I was given (I’m not a big gamer).  Take a look at what I put together here

UDATE: repeated the promotional offer on “Shove” when the marketplace hit 20k Apps and was able to get the promotion featured on the well respected ‘Windows Phone Geek’ site simply by going through their standard publication process:

NB At the time of publishing the app is also featured in their ‘Wall of Apps’:


~ by Ian on March 14, 2011.

4 Responses to “Marketing Your Apps – Special Promotions.”

  1. Like you, I am doing my best to market our taxi fare calculator app.. “TaxiRoute GB”. The app went live on the marketplace on 18th Feb and as at today we have had only 78 unique app installs.

    But, I was lucky enough to bump into Mike Ormond & Paul Foster from MS at the local windows phone usergroup in Cardiff not so long ago and the help they have given me is absolutely amazing.

    I managed to squeeze in a 5 minute demo of the app and they seemend very impressed.

    The upshot is that my app is now going to the “Hero” app on 17th March, App Hub Panorama the same day and Featured icon on the 26th March. Plus it will be prmoted in the St.Patick’s Day PR and social media roundup.

    Truly amazing.

    It will be very interesting to see what effect these promotions have on the number of installs as well as hopefully rasing the profile of TaxiRoute in general.

    Best of luck with your marketing!


  2. Congrats on a great App. I have found it can be tough getting the word out on your own and the MS evangelists are great people to have on side!
    I’m hoping that sharing my personal experiences in attempting to market my own Apps will help other independent developers – and also highlight this issue to everyone involved at Microsoft (though to be honest I know that many already know how difficult it can be)

    Please let me know the impact that your promotions have on TaxiRoute and I will find a way to incorporate it into the book if appropriate!

  3. willdo.

    i collect a lot of stats so it will take a few days at least to understand.


  4. i think it will be about this time next month before i can really gauge the value of the promo. cant wait!

    i will keep you updated


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: