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 http://wmpoweruser.com. 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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My Location - Now Available in the Windows Phone Store

by Kevin February 7, 2013 20:21

My Location ScreenshotMy Location (paid and free) is now available in the U.S. Windows Phone Store for Windows Phone 8.

I developed the app after helping at a car accident and realizing that I wouldn't be able to explain to a 911 operator where I was. The app allows you to quickly find where you are and send location data and a map link to your current location via email or SMS. Most locations in the U.S. will also provide an address to make sharing your location even easier.

Click here for more screenshots and a link to download the app in the Windows Phone Store.

 

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Just Passed 50,000 Downloads of WinPhone Info Free and 100,000 Total Windows Phone App Downloads

by Kevin September 21, 2012 20:37

Total downloads of WinPhone Info Free passed 50,000 on 9/15/2012, and total downloads for all of my Windows Phone apps passed 100,000 on 9/14/2012.

It has been a great year and a half developing for Windows Phone 7 and 7.5, and I have learned many new development skills and a little money along the way. Things are only going to get better (and busier) with the release of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

I am currently testing and updating my apps for Windows Phone 8 and starting a couple of projects for Windows 8 utilizing Windows Azure. 2013 should be a huge year for Microsoft and Windows developers.

WinPhone Info Free - 50,000+ Downloads

50000 Downloads of WinPhone Info Free

All Windows Phone Apps - 100,000+ Downloads

100000 Downloads of Windows Phone Apps

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HTC Will NOT Be Making My Next Windows Phone

by Kevin September 19, 2012 21:59

For the first time in a long time, HTC will NOT be making my next Windows Phone.

HTC Quietly FailingMy first smartphone was an HTC Touch Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 on Sprint. That was followed by an HTC Arrive/7 Pro running Windows Phone 7 on Sprint so I could start developing Windows Phone 7 apps. When Sprint gave up on Windows Phone for the iPhone, I gave up on Sprint and got an HTC Titan on AT&T. All three phones were great, especially the Titan. However, with the announcement of the HTC 8X and HTC 8S, I won't be getting another HTC Windows Phone.

I had big hopes for HTC when they promised they were 'Going Big' on Windows Phone 8, but after their Windows Phone 8 release event today, I was definitely disappointed. Even if you can get past the lazy reuse of the Android One X and One S names, you can't get past the fact that neither phone's features come anywhere close to those of the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung ATIV S. As impressive as the hardware specs on the Samsung ATIV S are, Nokia trumps it with their exclusive software and services for their Lumia line, so when the new Windows Phone 8 devices hit the market this November, I will definitely be picking up a Nokia Lumia 920. I believe the majority of Windows Phone 8 purchasers will get the Nokia Lumia 920, as well. This is bad news for HTC, who is already losing to Samsung in the Android market.

Maybe HTC can capture the lion's share of the Firefox Mobile OS market, but it looks like they are going to have to get behind ZTE.

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Windows Phone

Life Goals Free - Now Available in the Marketplace

by Kevin May 16, 2012 19:02

Life GoalsLife Goals Free is now available in the Marketplace. This is my first app to use the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) design, so it was a great learning experience.

It is also my first app to use the Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone. I love how easy they were to implement and wire up with my data. I used the ContextMenu, DataBoundListBox, JumpList, and Transition controls, and I was amazed at how much less code they took to implement than the similar controls from the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit. I am now working on adding some of the controls that are unique to the Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone, including the Calendar control, to Bill Reminder.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to Atley Hunter, who ran a contest for the Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone at Orlando Code Camp 2012. Atley is a Microsoft MVP, as well as one of the most prolific Windows Phone app developers in the Marketplace. You can read his blog and get some great ideas at http://www.atleyhunter.com.

Click here for more screenshots and a link to download the app in the Marketplace.

 

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Windows Phone

Orlando Windows Phone User Group - Coming Soon

by Kevin April 20, 2012 20:22

Orlando Windows Phone User Group LogoI'm really excited that the Orlando Windows Phone User Group is finally coming together. The first group meeting should be in May. Thanks Shayne for getting the ball rolling.

If you would like to join or get more information, you can sign up here.

You can also follow the group on Twitter at @OrlandoWPUG or Shayne at @spboyer.

 

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Windows Phone

Bill Reminder Featured in the Windows Phone Marketplace in February

by Kevin February 21, 2012 16:16

The paid version of Bill Reminder was featured during February as one of the winners of the [Your App Here] Advertising Campaign from Windows Phone & Nokia that features innovative Windows Phone 7.5 apps that use the Metro interface design and Live Tiles.

After being featured in the Marketplace for 1 full day on the 18th, Bill Reminder jumped to the #1 spot in the Personal Finance category.

Bill Reminder #1

My Appy New Year Prize - A Nokia Lumia 800 in Black

by Kevin February 8, 2012 21:08

The paid version of WinPhone Info got me a free Nokia Lumia 800 from Microsoft by being one of the first 500 apps released in the U.S. marketplace in the New Year.

Nokia Lumia 800

I received the phone last night, and I am really impressed. The build quality is excellent, and the curved 3.7" ClearBlack AMOLED screen is beautiful. Another cool feature is Nokia's custom blue theme. It's a small touch, but looks much nicer than the default pale blue theme from Microsoft. I wish more manufacturers would use the custom theme slot - HTC's green would look really cool.

The model I received is the European version, but it does work on AT&T and supports HSPA. I'm tempted to use it as my primary phone, but I just can't switch to a 3.7" screen after getting used to my HTC Titan's 4.7" screen. It does however make me consider picking up the Lumia 900 when it comes out later this year on AT&T with a 4.3" screen and LTE.

Click here to see the details on Nokia's web site.

 

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About the author

me

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

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