Making Money with Android

Real Life Marketing

I read an article the other day about an iOS developer who tried to promote his app by giving away free money to people waiting in line for the New iPad. It turned out to be a pretty fruitless endeavour, but it was an interesting approach to app marketing in an often virtual world.

Whenever I meet someone new, they’re usually quite interested in the fact that I “write apps”. Eventually I end up mentioning a few titles, but not many people are actively interested, to the degree that they’d actually download my app. The best I get is usually “oh, I’ll have to check those out some time”.

Does anyone else do much real-life promotion of their apps? If so, what sort of response do you get from family/friends and strangers?

I don’t think it might work too

Like in Indonesia, a certain media mogul used his private helicopter to rain money over the cities, only to say “Hey buy my book, it’s great”.

In the end it didn’t go well, a few thousand copies at top, eventually fell into oblivion.

No, it doesn’t work - because when you actually “promote” your app - noone is really in context, they may look later, but mostly, they will forget about it :slight_smile:

A working way would be:

Take your phone and show them the app - let them USE it - and if they like it, grab you phone back and point him to the android market :slight_smile:
You have to give them some sort of benefit, something they want to have.

That is more or less the exact same, as when some of your current users are showing his new game to his mate and the mate looks at it and wants it - so he goes to market and get it.

If google would allow coupon codes you could print out cards and hand them out. Also you could do other promotions like sending codes to people that sign up on a newsletter.

I was thinking of doing a little real life marketing with my drinking game.

I figured I could have some decals printed with my logo (Andy drinking a beer) and then put the name of my app and a QR code or something linking to it. I want to hand those out and the annual Big Android BBQ that they have in texas every year. I figure the event has a party atmosphere and everyone there are big android fans (plus some very influential bloggers and developers from the android world). Who wouldn’t want a free decal of the Android mascot drinking a beer. And if some of the people there decided to play the game while partying there maybe I could get some word of mouth spread and get some more downloads.

But texas is about 7-8 hours away and unless I planned a vacation around it the expense wouldn’t be worth it. Unless I could talk somebody who is already going into handing them out. I think it is usually in October so its a long way out. I will share my experiences with it if I end up doing it this year.

I think it’s possible to implement that kind of behavior by registering a receiver listening for the action.

Ill have to look into that. But that would not allow for example discounts right?

If you have a free app, with a separate pay-for “unlocker” app which enables the pro functionality, it should be possible to do this. It’s actually a really interesting idea, I hadn’t thought of doing it this way before.

Here’s how I imagine it would work: Just make the free app grab the install referrer, and check it against a list of valid activation codes. If it matches, open up all the paid version features.

This way if you want to give away the full version, you just have to direct them to a special URL (e.g. would pass the install referral tracker a campaign ID of “coupon-XX01”). It would then be possible to check this coupon against a web service for example, to make sure that the code is not used more than once.

I was thinking of printing t-shirts with some intriguing text or pic and a QR-code that links to my games. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure how effective QR codes really are. It’s quite awkward to scan them, I’ve never had much success getting people to scan the back of my QR-laden t-shirts. Sure there’s the novelty factor, but they might not be as useful as they seem.

The t-shirt idea could be a good conversation starter though, might get some interest there.

QR Codes are fine, if you have a website (which people open on their pc) where they find your app - and instead of searching for themselfs they can just take a pic with their phone.

It’s the only real concern, I can think of which is really useful for people, because they know what they want and get a comfortable way in getting it.

I’ve been trying to work up the courage to start talking to strangers on the subway who’re fiddling with their Android-phones, but so far I’ve been too shy. ^^;;
Anyone tried this approach, and if so, were people interested or did you get a punch in the face? :wink:

Tried that with a few people… no luck. Most people can’t even figure out how to install an app. And they are suspicious of your motives.

Hahaha true, true… They probably think you wanna steal their phone or something…

That could be a good strategy for parties and social situations, though! If people trust you, just ask for their phone to install your game! If it’s a good game, they’ll surely be thankful :slight_smile:

I’d put QR codes on flyers and just post them up so they sit there until someone takes them down.

Much cheaper than printing post cards or tshirts…