There’s many reasons why an app might suffer from a slump in downloads, from changes that Apple make within the iPhone App store through to increasing competition, but Russell Berry from AppCreatives.co.uk shares some successful methods that he’s deployed to help an app bounce back.
1. Every update brings in some additional visibility.
Since your app may be competing for attention with 200,000 iPhone apps, 50,000-odd Android apps, and others, promotion and marketing has never been so important. By making small feature changes to your app and then re-releasing it as a new version or even a “new” application, this is a sure fire way to bring some additional visibility to your app.
2. Add a “Lite” or “Premium” version.
If you've got a price for downloading your app, then why not consider releasing a "Lite" or "Premium" version of the app? We've found that not only are people more likely to buy an app if they've had a chance to try it, but having different versions of the same app enables you to place your app in several different categories in the app store. So by adding or removing a feature of your app and creating a new “lite” or “premium” version of it, you'll be able to maximise your reach and visibility across iTunes.
3. Change categories if you need to.
If sales are low, we tend to move to another category and measure downloads over a few days. After all, the “most relevant” category is not always the best one, especially if it’s crowded.
4. Change the price and test different price points.
If your app is paid for, its worth adjusting the pricing and see what price point drives the most total revenue. It is crucial to test different price points so you can see the market response and adjust your strategy and pricing accordingly. There are also sites that list when the price drops or the app becomes free of charge, so if you are going to test different price points, be sure to set the price long enough for the sites to pick up the change.
5. Make it free.
Obviously this should help revive downloads if you have been charging for your app. But one thing to bear in mind when making your app free of charge to download, is that when you set an app to free for a long period of time, the rating goes down. So we tend to plan the free cycles shortly before we issue an update. Then we set the app back to paid, which stops the casual download rating of 1 star, and the rating gets reset for the new version.
6. Test, test, test.
The more you learn now about what strategies work for reviving and prolonging sales for your app the better prepared you will be next time around. We use AppFigures to measure the different strategies we've tried so we can see what has worked and what hasn't. Its great to be able to see at a glimpse in graphic form what's been effective and its far easier than downloading stats everyday!
These are just a few of the components that have worked for us. I can assure you that if you only manage to do one or two of these, you'll still manage to create even some small type of change to your current app sales.
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