My Suggestions for Windows Phone Success (Part 3 of 3)

by Kevin June 25, 2013 10:40

After Your App is in the Windows Phone Store

Advertise Your App (Free)

Submit an article about your app at If you follow their guidelines, they will usually publish it. I usually try to submit my article in the evening before I want it to show up on their site. If it is a slow news day, your article can get a good amount of time on the front page. I usually see around 800-1000 extra downloads the day my article runs. While your article is on the front page, share it via Facebook and Twitter to increase your app’s exposure. If you have some high-profile followers on Twitter, you can really maximize the exposure. Don’t forget to submit follow-up articles whenever you update your app for more free advertising. You can also pay to advertise on the website, and the admins are really nice and helpful when you contact them. An article on WMPoweruser on June 6th got Screaming Sheep off to a great start, and it has just kept on going(The drop in downloads on the 7th was probably due to reporting issues at Microsoft.)

Screaming Sheep Download Results

Share your bitly link on Facebook and Twitter for even more free advertising. This is another idea that I got from Alex and Luis at Neuralnet, which helps more than I would have thought. Send it to @sharethis, @dvlup, @msdev, @wpdev, and any other accounts related to Windows Phone development. You can also use the hashtags #wpdev and #fldev to get the news out. If you get really lucky, some of your high-profile followers will retweet it.

You can also email your local user group to get some friendly feedback to get your app headed in the right direction.

Advertise Your App Some More (Paid)

This is more difficult to justify when you are first starting out, because the return on investment is pretty low. However, Nokia has made it easier by including advertising in the DVLUP rewards. I recently had WinPhone Info Free in Nokia’s App Highlights app, and I got 4000-14000 downloads per day for an app that normally has around 300-400 downloads per day. I’ll definitely be redeeming some of my points for additional advertising.

WinPhone Info Free Download Results

Update Your App Often

One of the most important steps to keep your app at the top of its category is updating it with new features. If you included a way for your customers to easily contact you, you should be getting a number of feature requests and suggestions to improve your app. Set some time aside to reply to those customers and implement their requests and suggestions or provide a reason why they don’t fit your app. Your customers will appreciate that you listened to their feedback and will be more likely to try your future apps.

Stop Surfing the Internet and Get Back to Developing

This series of posts is just some of the suggestions that I have picked up along the way and wanted to share. They are in no way all encompassing or guaranteed to provide you with success. Getting your apps noticed takes a lot of time and effort, but it is pretty rewarding when someone in Australia helps you fix a UTCOutOfRange error with SkyDrive backup and restore. Thanks again, Sam.


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My Suggestions for Windows Phone Success (Part 2 of 3)

by Kevin June 25, 2013 10:00

Submitting Your App to the Windows Phone Store

Don’t Rush It

This will be the first impression customers have of your app, so make it count.

Create an Enticing Write-Up for Your App

Highlight what is special about your app, especially if there are others like it already in the Windows Phone Store. Make customers want to download and try it.

Include More Than the Single Required Screenshot

Screaming Sheep is one of my apps that doesn’t use all 8 screenshot slots, but it will when I update it with a save to ringtone page. (Yes, someone actually emailed me to request that feature.)

Choose the Right Category, But Don’t be Afraid to Change It

It’s better to be at the top of the business category than at the bottom of the tools + productivity category. When I moved WinPhone Info Free to the business category (currently #4), my daily downloads increased substantially and have remained consistent since then.

Don’t Forget the Windows Phone 7 XAP

If your app doesn’t have Windows Phone 8-only features, take the time to make a Windows Phone 7 version. Otherwise, you are missing out on a very large customer base.

Price Your App Reasonably

Free apps get downloaded at a much higher rate than paid apps, but paid apps can make money faster than ad-based apps. If you want a lot of downloads, go with a free app and only include adds if the app warrants it. You probably aren’t going to get rich off of ad revenue anyway, so you might as well have a popular app. (No, fart apps shouldn’t include ads.)

Verify Your Markets

Skip China if your app has anything to do with maps, because including it is a guaranteed rejection. Also, don’t forget to go back and check your apps when new markets are added, because they don’t always get added automatically.


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Windows Phone

My Suggestions for Windows Phone Success (Part 1 of 3)

by Kevin June 20, 2013 21:35

Before You Put Your App in the Windows Phone Store

Make Sure You Spend the Time to Make a Quality App

You only have a limited time at the top of the new list. I learned this one from Alex and Luis at Neuralnet, and I still try to follow it. (Screaming Sheep is the one exception.)

Include Multiple Ad Networks

If you are going to include ads in your app, don’t rely on just PubCenter, or your app will have an empty black bar part of the time. I like AdDuplex for cross-marketing apps.

Sign Up for the Nokia Premium Developer Program

It’s going to cost you $99 to get your app in the Windows Phone Store anyway, so you might as well sign up for the Nokia Premium Developer Program and get the $1500 in benefits that Nokia throws in for the same $99.

Sign Up for a DVLUP Account

You’ve done the work, so you might as well get some DVLUP credit from Nokia.

Join Your Local User Group

Stay in the know on upcoming events and promotions and get help from other Windows Phone developers. In Florida, you can join Joe Healy's .NET users group and Shayne Boyer's Orlando Windows Phone users group. Nokia Ambassador Bill Reiss also hosts a Windows Phone discussion list for the entire Southeast. You can sign up for his list by clicking here.

Follow (and Get Followed by) the Big Names in the Windows Phone World on Twitter

I have 39 followers, but one of my followers has over 2900. Getting a retweet from him goes a long way, especially since many of his followers are Windows Phone users and developers. Thanks, Bill Reiss.

Create Your Own Blog

It may not get a lot of traffic, but it gives you somewhere to provide more information and pictures for your apps. You can also provide download links for paid and free versions of your apps from a single page. You can see an example by clicking here.

Use a URL-Shortening Service

It allows you to track the effectiveness of your advertising and see where clicks are coming from. It also makes posting a link to your app via Twitter or Facebook much easier. I use bitly.

Screaming Sheep Bitly Click Results

Screaming Sheep Bitly Geographic Results

Make It Easy for Your Customers to Help You

Include menu options to contact you, upgrade, rate, and share your app. Also, include ways for customers to find your other apps. Most of all, include a rating reminder pop-up, because many customers still won’t tap a menu to rate your app. The RadRateApplicationReminder control from Telerik (which you should already have, since you signed up for the Nokia Premium Developer Program already) works really well.

Windows Phone App Menu

Create a Help Page

A help page gives you more room to explain how your app works and to provide a better experience for your customers. Once you create it, you can easily use it in all of your apps.

Windows Phone Help File

It also gives you a place to let customers know about your other apps. I am planning to make this a dynamic list using Azure services, since my app count is growing more quickly now.

Windows Phone More Apps


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Windows Phone

About the author


I work on .NET development by day; Windows PC & Windows Phone development by night.

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