Getting the most from your Windows 10 app marketing

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Everyone knows that “build it and they will come” is a myth, but quite often we choose to believe in it. Either because of time constraints, lack of skills or just because marketing side of app development is of no interest to us. Whether you like it or not, you will have to invest your time and, likely, money into making your app or game a success post release.

Here are a few points to keep in mind to make the most of your marketing and user acquisition efforts.

Define your goals and know your budget

What are you trying to do? Do you want to make a splash and get up the charts quickly? Plan to spend a lot of time/money in a short period of time and focus on key (and achievable) markets. Do you want to ensure a constant stream of new users at an optimal price? Prepare to invest time and money long-term and constantly optimize your efforts.

In short, your goals define your activities and your activities should always be checked against your goals.

Track attribution

Since Windows 10 was released Windows Store lets you track the effectiveness of your external marketing activities. This can be achieved by appending a parameter called CID (short for campaign ID) to your store URL.

For example, a canonical URL to our app AppRaisin is https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9nblggh5x358

If I modify it to look like this https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9nblggh5x358?cid=w10marketingblog I will be able to track all installs of the app originating from this blog post. I can see these stats by going to my Dev Center account –> App –> Analytics –> Channels and conversions –> Conversions breakdown by campaign ID:

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You can track effectiveness of your efforts and see how many downloads and in-app purchases they lead to.

To go a step further, you can extract campaign id for each install from the code of your app and use it to analyze effectiveness of your efforts deeper. Whatever the metric that you care about the most, you can associate it with a user acquisition channel this way. See documentation for details on how to handle this.

Alternatively, if you want a third party to provide unbiased attribution statistics or, if you want to use the same tool across platforms, check out solutions like Kochava.

Test your creatives and ad copy

Contrary to what you make think, the most beautiful or the clearest ad copy is not always the most effective. That’s why, before you spend serious money on advertising, try spending a fraction of it on figuring the most effective creatives.

Keep in mind that for each channel and each goal a winning copy might be different. For example, if one channel charges you for ad impressions and the other channel charges you for clicks, two banners may produce opposite results in each case.

Here’s an example from an early campaign we did for AppRaisin:

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From the same number of impressions banner on the left produced 1.5x more installs than the one on the right. So, if we were paying for impressions it would get us the same results 1.5x cheaper.

However, if we were paying for clicks, the one on the right would get us users at almost half the price of the one on the left.

Target as narrowly as you can afford

Your initial instinct would tell you to cover all of the users you care about with as wide a net as possible (aka your marketing campaign). While this will let you quickly get back to other activities, this approach is likely to be not very effective.

Say, you care about English-speaking users only. So you decided to target users from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. If you lump them all together you lose control over each country individually. It could be that the price you are willing to pay is not enough to outbid competitors in US, but enough to cover all other countries. Your campaign is running, your budgets are fulfilled, but you are not getting any US users. On the other hand, if you bid enough to get US users you will likely overpay for the ones from, say, Ireland.

So, for as long as you can afford to invest your time into managing multiple campaigns, try to target them as narrowly as possible. This way you retain control over results and can optimize your ROI.

Conclusion

Optimizing user acquisition efforts is an occupation in itself. It is not easy, but Windows 10, Windows Store and 3rd parties provide you with enough tools to make it manageable.

Still confused or don’t have time to deal with this? Contact us at sales@adduplex.com and we will help.

Support for Xbox One is here!

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We are happy to announce that you can now use AdDuplex to cross-promote your Windows 10 UWP apps on Xbox One. This means that AdDuplex SDK v.10.1 (or newer) now supports apps running on Xbox One natively – including controller support for ad selection (clicking) and interstitial dismissal.

How do I start promoting my app on Xbox One for free?

For Universal Windows apps that are already participating in the AdDuplex cross-promotion network, enabling Xbox One support is as easy as making sure your app runs AdDuplex SDK v.10.1 or newer and checking one checkbox in app details under Device Family:

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Those wishing to add a new app with Xbox support (or to separate Xbox One version of the app from other device families) will have to create a new app record on AdDuplex, select Windows 10 as app platform and Xbox as supported Device family:

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What about campaigns?

While our ad inventory on Xbox One is ramping up we will not provide a publicly accessible way for paying advertisers to advertise on Xbox One. However, we understand that holiday season is an important opportunity to promote your app to the new Xbox One users. So, if you’re interested in advertising on Xbox One right away, please, contact us at sales@adduplex.com and we will be happy to assist.

Monetize your Windows apps and games with AdDuplex

Monetize Windows apps

From the early Windows [phone] app store days we have carved a niche for ourselves embodied in our “Advertise before you monetize” slogan. We believed that we can help app and game developers get to a point where monetization is feasible (for free), and then other ad networks can take over and help them make money from the same ad space. While we still believe in our mission, it’s the other side of the equation that seems severely lacking on Windows.

As I described in my post on the state of in-app advertising on Windows, there aren’t many ad monetization options available to Windows app and game developers. And that is a problem for those trying to make money in the Store. Additionally, it results in a serious issue for those trying to make money in other ways (in-app purchases, etc.) but depend on advertising to attract customers into their apps – there’s just no way to do user acquisition at scale on Windows.

So, we got tired of waiting for someone to bridge the gap and decided to take matters in our own hands…

Monetize apps with AdDuplex

We have been running a pilot of an ad monetization program with select apps for a few months now and it has been quite a success so far. Most apps and games in the pilot make thousands of dollars per month and advertisers got a way to extend their reach quite a bit. So we decided to extend the program to continue addressing both of the issues app developers and advertisers are facing.

That said, we want to do it gradually and the program will remain invite-only for some time. However, anyone can apply.

Here’s some of the criteria we will be considering:

  • Apps and games capable of showing 10,000+ ad impressions daily. The reason is simple – we want you to make at least few hundred dollars a month. We realize that you may have several smaller apps, so this criteria is not set in stone.
  • No “gray area” content. Some of the most popular apps, unfortunately, balance on the edge of legality and quite often cross over it. Advertisers don’t want to advertise there. We will not go deep analyzing whether what you do is legal or not, but if it feels questionable we will have to pass this time.
  • Good ad placement. This is subjective and you may not be showing ads right now at all, but we would like to provide value to advertisers, so they are happy to continue generating revenue for you.
  • Windows Phone 8 or Windows 10 (both Mobile and Desktop). As we want you to make money, we need to be realistic – there isn’t much demand on WP7 or Windows 8.x on the desktop.

Apply now

Ready to monetize your apps with AdDuplex? Apply here.

We will get back to you in a few business days with instructions on what to do next.

Bring Black Friday Shoppers into Your App or Game with this 50% Bonus!

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Later this week thousands or even millions of people will be unpacking and setting up their new PCs and phones. The first thing they’ll do is load them up with apps and games. Let’s make them pick your apps and games…

Fund your AdDuplex campaign until Monday (November 28th) and use bonus code BLCK5 to get a 50% bonus on any purchase!

 

Windows Store deals

In case you wanted to take advantage of some of the great Black Friday deals yourself, here are some handpicked deals from the Microsoft Store:

Check out other great Black Friday deals in this Holiday Gift Guide.

AdDuplex Windows Device Statistics Report–November 2016

Not much is happening in the mobile world of Windows in general. However, there was a new flagship-type phone released this month – Alcatel Idol 4S. Granted it’s a US-only phone (for now, at least) and the fact that we haven’t looked at US in a while, we decided to dedicate this issue of AdDuplex Statistics report to US.