The big marketing mistake and time waste. MUST READ!!!

So basically we will be discussing today the biggest investment mistake and time wasting

So back again, a few years ago when I first started Android. I created my first brain teasing game and tried to compete with developers who were bigger than me by miles but yet that didn’t make me give up! If I know today I’m beating one of the games of the major developers “Glu Mobile” then I wouldn’t be confident to say this.

The biggest time waste?!

Even though knowing when I released the first game it only generated 10k downloads in 3 months, I still thought it was good back then, because Hey! I didn’t have any knowledge in the marketing field. So why did I post a topic titled “The big marketing mistake”.

I started marketing this game after 3 months of release by advertising on Admob, GetJar, AppBrain, Website Reviews, etc $50 here, $100 there, throw another $100 there… Results! 400 downloads daily increase… But revenue $15-25 daily. So I started getting excited my downloads are increasing :). The next day the downloads dropped back to 50-150.

This is the part where I started getting emails from advertising companies.

“Hey we have great eCPM and pay good revenue $$$, We will even promote your game for 1 day for FREE if you integrate the SDK”. - HeyZap

I found that great, promote and make downloads for free. Tried their SDK didn’t really see a increase but got happy at least I got featured somewhere.

It literally took me 1 year to realize… HEY KNOCK KNOCK is your head working!! You just wasted more money on advertising than making this game the next big hotshop on the store! Get over it no matter how much time you wasted it’s the concept of the luck on the market.

So I moved onto new projects and from there till now I create only high quality apps. I still have old apps published but I have unpublished over 15 applications.

What I believe in?
If you release an app and it doesn’t generate downloads within 2 weeks at least 1,000 daily and up… Get over it and move on! No matter how long time it took to develop get over it! I repeat again the third time “GET OVER IT!”.

You could be waiting years to get 100k active users not only that. The results might be 2million downloads and only 75k active users. Why? Because there aren’t enough downloads for you to generate a quick active user database.

Do not advertise it later thinking your going to start generating downloads from there. No that is not the real deal as the more downloads you get, (the more likely higher the uninstalls get Depending what type of game/app category it is in) and not only that, the downloads drop anyway the next day.

I released crappy games that generated money than the ones that cost me a few hundreds of dollars.

“Now we call all of this above a Time Waste”.

Today I am focusing on promoting my games as soon as they release from house ads. I still don’t find much downloads but it’s better than nothing.
From 5k downloads on games you more likely to get between 200 to 600 downloads daily on your new game.

I hope this helped! As I come back in the future with more marketing tips and methods.

I mostly agree. Even with a few thousand active users you can still earn a lot (in comparison with ad revenue from that app) with IAP though. The app must be designed with IAP in mind though. And such apps are useful for crosspromoting,

This is golden advice - often a game will either click or will not click with the users. While the factor of getting enough users to try it first remains (perhaps House Ads as you mentioned - but House Ads do not generally have a huge conversion rate - unless there is some considerable overlap in the game type or user demographics).

I can point my own experience with putting out apps which had bad reviews - I considered putting out new apps - however there were issues of hardware compatibility which continued to dog the app’s ratings - after some improvements, the ratings curves are on the rise - however the app still is left with the legacy of the earlier poor ratings. If I was doing this over again, I might consider re-releasing the app as a new package or version 2 type thing - as that would wipe the slate clean and give a more representative rating number.

I hope Google Play rankings includes some consideration for apps which are persistent and improve over time - however that is generally not the advice given (so maybe Google Play may also not expect any app developer to be so faithful to their early packagename etc. and thus may not base rankings on improvement). However basing rankings etc. on “recent” rank would be very easy to do (since presumably the ratings from earlier become less relevant over time as the app is updated frequently).

200 downloads of new app from advertising in 5000 downloads/day apps is not bad … though I saw Admob House Ads generating about a 2.5% CTR (and this is for percent of banner impressions - as a percent of downloads this would be a smaller ratio even). And then tack on the conversion ratio from click to actual install of the advertised app. So I would guess with 5000 DAU of your other apps advertising with House Ads for a new app - you may get maybe 100 downloads (?)

There are so many times I wanted to do the same thing: Unpublish the game and re-publish it in a different name, package name etc… But on the end I realized if it’s not increasing now it won’t increase on a new package. That app isn’t really what are using requesting or want.
You might include another collection of garbage into your google play store list as “unpublished” and get annoyed that you have to see two of them there listed.

1.) I never used any advertising network to track my downloads as that I already knew what my downloads were by looking at daily average downloads and then the house promote downloads.
If I usually get 40 to 80 downloads daily and then suddenly I see a increase of 300 to 500 downloads daily. I then know my downloads are increasing from my own house ads I added.

2.) How do I use my own house ads? I create my own banners using Photoshop. that is a small size that won’t cover title or anything. I only place one banner on the main scene.
From there I track it using Google statistics.
I set it off on my next update after a week and watch my downloads on the other game slowly decrease back to its original download format 40 to 80. =]

But you are right of Click through rate.
3.) I had 4,800 downloads on one of my games. I advertised one game and it got 400 downloads increase a day.
I once advertised another game same volume download of 4,800 but only installs on the other game were 15-30 downloads.

Why is that? App category to App manifest file support to where app is default installation can make a effect on a user. He might get the usual message “SD Card insufficient” this is the lack of Unity3D memory of the game not the user’s fault. It is your responsibility to download the game after publishing on several devices.

There are some 3D games I switched from auto to preferExternal and found a huge growth of downloads.
That line of code can play a big role in different types of games and sizes.

Again I hope I helped. (I’m really expressing the experience I taught myself). I watched the market and found ways to get big with $ and to get big with knowledge of what to create and what to not. What to go near and what to not. =]

I agree with the idea of “get over it” if it doesnt generate enough downloads. Better spend your time building something else that might be successful instead of trying to improve that game/app (unless you see a big potential for it).

But just to be clear, 1.000 is not a magic number, and the “minimum” number of downloads per day depend on your specific app/game (its quality, retention, etc). For example, I have a somewhat niche game released 3 months ago, which gets around 230-250 downloads per day since its release. Never even for a single day reached 300 downloads. But it has a nice retention, people play it a lot, it’s active user base is constantly growing… for me that game is a success already, and it’s making a decent amount of money (and, as I said, keeps growing).

My point is: the actual threshold for the number of downloads depends on your game/app.

There are so many times I wanted to do the same thing: Unpublish the game and re-publish it in a different name, package name etc… But on the end I realized if it’s not increasing now it won’t increase on a new package. That app isn’t really what are using requesting or want.
You might include another collection of garbage into your google play store list as “unpublished” and get annoyed that you have to see two of them there listed.

The only value to re-publishing is that you wipe the slate clean of the comments and the ratings (and the download numbers of course also).

However, given this would be a tendency of developers (to do this) - I would guess that Google would or SHOULD start valuing apps by weighting the more recent performance (ratings, download/uninstall rate etc.) - that just is logical/makes sense of how it SHOULD be …

HOWEVER, Google Play DOES seem to value apps which have a long presence at the top on Google Play rankings for a keyword etc. (or maybe they are just good or synch with what users want in a better way).

If it were known that recent behavior does impact rankings - then developers would be less likely to (think about) re-issuing an app.

But it could be that Google maybe encouraging developers to re-issue apps - so the statistics are more “clean” i.e. developer decides when to have app re-judged etc.

I think the best thing of re-publish would be the first 30 days window

As far as I know it’s against GP rules to republish an app.

Yes, it is against GP rules

Not quite - since if you lose your keystore file - you HAVE to republish with a different packagename.

So very clearly republishing is allowed (at least under the guise of “I lost my keystore file”).

What is unclear is how much Google penalizes such behavior in terms of ranking penalty etc.

Issuing “App” as “App 2” was quite frequent earlier - and even now I have seen publishers (with good downloads i.e. 1M+) issue an “App 2” version of their app (with both being on Google Play at the same time).

However, in this case, there were changes to theme etc.

With Google we never know - they maybe doing some type of labelling - if app looks too much like a previous app they may not give it as much of a shot on the 30 day window … or something …

I have 2 apps which are similar - have similar downloads - yet one appears in rankings (i.e. is listed in to 500 apps for various countries) - while the other is COMPLETELY absent as if it was being censored.

The code bases are similar - and the descriptions were similar. The other app’s rankings were SUDDENLY dropped some months back (don’t know what the reason was) - but basically it disappeared COMPLETELY off the rankings for EVERY country. Now it MAY have been something to do with my switching Category or something - since I may have switched the Category once or twice.

Both apps each have 2000 new downloads a day with DAU of 3000 each - the second app (which does not appear in rankings according to - has better ratings and the download numbers are starting to approach/exceed the first app. I will see if this app will regain entry to the rankings lists.

My feeling however is that this second app was blacklisted in some way to not appear in any top lists or something (?) - otherwise due to the parity between the apps, the absence of the second app is highly suspect.

BTW, the second (“banned from rankings”) app was at one time in Top New Free at position 5 etc. in the U.K. and some other countries.

Forgive my ignorance but what do you mean by House Ads ? Is that advertising your self with another app of yours ? Or Am I getting wrong ?

Yes, advertising myself with another app.