In my family, we always considered it rude to talk about money. But money talk seems to be in short supply regarding iPhone App sales numbers, so I thought I’d share our launch-day experience, including dollars and other relevant figures. I thought the Hacker news crowd would be particularly interested, and I don’t see the harm in sharing the data with anyone who is interested.
Right off, let me just say, we sold 55 apps on launch day, for $2.99 each ($2.10 in profit after Apple’s cut). Here’s the other details. If you have any thoughts on how we should market the app, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re pretty happy with the launch so far, and we’re aiming to get into the top 10 in Navigation and hold there.
Gaia GPS went live yesterday at midnight. It rose from obscurity (apps start at the uncharted depth below 100th place) to 50th place in the Navigation category by the following midnight, and we’re now up to 33rd. We have a script that emails us when we change rank, and here’s how it went yesterday, through today. TrailBehind is the name of our company:
- TrailBehind: 33 11:35 am
- TrailBehind: 34 10:39 am
- TrailBehind: 37 10:08 am
- TrailBehind: 36 9:58 am
- TrailBehind: 42 7:45 am
- TrailBehind: 47 7:29 am
- TrailBehind: 48 5:53 am
- TrailBehind: 50 12:21 am
- TrailBehind: 51 12:08 am
- TrailBehind: 56 Sep 21 9:12 pm
- TrailBehind: 59 Sep 21 8:47 pm
- TrailBehind: 57 Sep 21 8:12 pm
- TrailBehind: 60 Sep 21 7:24 pm
- TrailBehind: 69 Sep 21 6:13 pm
- TrailBehind: 82 Sep 21 6:05 pm
- TrailBehind: 75 Sep 21 5:29 pm
- TrailBehind: 88 Sep 21 4:42 pm
- TrailBehind: 80 Sep 21 4:37 pm
- TrailBehind: 94 Sep 21 4:27 pm
- (below 100th place for 15.5 hours)
This sort of steady climb is just one way a “successful” launch goes. If you are Accu-Terra (which also launched yesterday), then you might immediately shoot up to 3rd place. Of course, Accu-Terra won some sort of award for being one of the Best New Apps at WWDC this summer, so there was a lot of anticipation for that app 🙂
Marketing Efforts (including website visitation)
Yesterday, we had about 1150 visits to this website, and so far this morning we have had about 200.
To market the app, we have been on the phone, IM, Twitter, Facebook, and email (there are three of us) with everyone we know who has an iPhone (or who knows people with iPhones), lobbying them to buy and review the app, and tell their friends. That’s where we have spent the most time, and I think that’s where we have had the most effect. We have now used about a dozen of our 50 promo codes.
We had also previously distributed the app to beta testers, so we reached out to that group, and many of them bought it and passed on the word. Moreover, over the course of the project, we used code from and contributed code to a couple of open source projects, so telling those folks about the launch was helpful as well.
With regards to publciity, we posted to Hacker News and Reddit yesterday, and we set up this website to help promote the site. We also have sent a couple of emails to press organizations (without response yet), and we’ll be doing a lot more of that today.
I don’t have much of a conclusion from any of this this yet. If we can keep rising and then hold steady, it will be a very good product for us, but it’s too soon to tell. Commentary so far on forums such as Hacker News have been positive, and we haven’t gotten any bad reviews or feedback yet.
So one day in, it’s going pretty well. I’ll share a bit more when I have more data.