An App Store Experiment - Part 4

August 5, 2014

Seven months have passed since part 3 was published. Here's what has happened since.

If you need to catch up first, here are the previous posts:

More IAPs

Part 3 left off where I had just submitted an update with some extra workouts as in app purchases.

By March everyone was over their new years resolutions (Unfortunately mine finished on January 1).

Downloads

Ignoring the spikes (I'll explain them in a bit), downloads returned to where they were leading up to the silly season, between 2k and 2.5k a day.

Adding the new IAPs had almost zero impact on the original Pro upgrade (staying around $50-60 profit a day), but they did help to lift daily revenue to around $70 - $80 profit a day. Around a 40% increase in profits compared to late last year with similar download numbers, not bad.

Cumulative

If we break it down individually you can see the Pro upgrade was still the major income stream, but the workouts help supplement it.

Profit

Educational Downloads

The big spikes you saw above were educational downloads, 25k, 25k and 5k. I believe it is part of Apple's education program. I love the thought of entire schools out there doing the 7 Minute Workout. If you know any of the school please reach out to me.

All The Things

One thing I had noticed in a number of apps with IAP is their top download was an option to buy everything, forever.

So I tried it (this is Australian pricing, US it's $4.99 / $1.99).

All The Things

And people seemed to like it:

All The Things Sales

Except it's meant the other in app purchases have taken a nose dive. But overall profit is up to around $145 per day for the first week or so. Update spike or long term trend? I guess we'll see by Part 5.

Reviews & Feedback

One problem I've always had is after an update is the reviews reset and I am stuck back at square one.

I recently launched AppbotX to help developers get app better app reviews and communicate with their customers.

I put in the FAQs, Feedback, Notifications and Review Prompt from the service.

Thanks to the FAQs general support has dropped from ~2 a day to 1 in a week.

FAQs

I put the review prompt after a positive interaction, in this case when they finish a workout.

Prompt

If they like the app it asks them to leave a review:

Review

Otherwise it asks for feedback:

Feedback

The results are awesome, here's the current reviews on the US App Store:

US Reviews

And here is an example of some of the reviews Appbot sent through in it's daily digest.

Reviews

I've also received great feedback, 80% of which can be grouped into two things:

  • Lots of people want an abs workout.
  • They want an easier way to review how to do each exercise during the workout.

I may be a little (a lot) biased, but you should check out AppbotX.

Indie Development

Much has been written about being an indie developer on the App Store recently, with not much of it positive.

I think this experiment has shown us a few really important things.

  • Go with pricing models that are being proven to work.
  • As much as we all hate it, market is more important than product (but both are extremely important).
  • SEO and ASO are extremely important, and often overlooked.

I been doing a bunch of consulting recently where I go through apps for developers and give them feedback on how to improve their downloads. Many of these apps are getting only a handful of downloads a day. They have the same thing in common, they have done no work on SEO/ASO and if you look at their App Store page you'd have no idea what their app does.

You know how much development work you put into the app? Put at least half that again into your communication, visiblity and story.

The Stats

  • 1.95m downloads.
  • 5.5m updates.
  • $60k in revenue.

What's Next?

Next I want to experiment with the pricing of All The Things, are people willing to pay more? I'll also add an abs workout and better prompting based on the AppbotX feedback.

What to know what happens next? Join the mailing list below.

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