Increase your app downloads – AdDuplex HERO APPS program updated!

AdDuplex HERO APP program | App Marketing

If you are reading this post then you are surely moving to the right direction in order to grow your apps – AdDuplex HERO APPS program was build to provide you with the most efficient app and game promotion tools that will help you boost your Windows Store app downloads.

We are constantly evaluating the feedback we get from thousands of apps that already participated the program. Therefore, we are able to update the list of benefits with new better perks.

So here are the benefits that you can get from now on:

Click here to see the full list and descriptions of benefit packages.

I want it! How do I get it?

To become a part of AdDuplex HERO APPS you need to apply for the program in 30 days after your app or game was launched on AdDuplex cross-promotion network to promote it for free. Every app that applies will be rewarded with one of the four (HOT, EPIC, ROYAL or OMG!) benefit packages.

Want to make your app more visible and attract  tons of users – join NOW!

The Business Side of Windows 10 Apps. Chapter 2. From Developer to Devpreneur.

The advent of app stores empowered individual developers and small teams once again. We feel that we can make our own products again and don’t need huge budgets to do that. We know how to write good, manageable code. We may even know how to design a good product. And we believe that we will build it and users will come.

The road to app store success

When you are embarking on the app entrepreneur journey you should definitely dedicate a sizeable chunk of your time to activities other than design and coding.

While most developers understand this on a logical level, over the years I’ve seen a lot of frustration which I can attribute to the fact that most of the developers – even those working as contractors and freelancers – just aren’t wired this way.

Developer’s work cycle

At the high level the business process of every employed developer or those running their own consulting businesses looks something like this:


We get the task (either in a form of project or position in a company), we deliver what’s expected of us (completed project or a part of it) and we get paid. When we switch to the app entrepreneur world the overall process looks pretty much the same: our app idea is the task, completed app – a deliverable and the app store brings us money. But there’s one major difference, though.

As employee or contract developers we are used to doing all of our sales activities before we even get started:


We go to job interviews or prospective client meetings and we try to sell our skills. At that stage we’ve only made a minor investment into the “project” ranging from a couple of hours to a couple of days of our time. Failed a job interview? Sad, but not a big deal. On to the next opportunity.

Everything changes when you are an entrepreneur. You have to decide if your idea is commercially viable and most of the times there’s no sure way to determine this. So you have to decide to invest a significant chunk of your time (and money) into a task with a lot of uncertainty.

This is just common sense and every developer understands this. Having said that, we are still internally wired to consider delivery of the completed product as our final destination. We pop the champagne the minute the app goes live in the store. And we get depressed when we don’t see the immediate monetary return as per the scheme above.

The reality is that app’s publication is just the beginning of our sales activities and you have to work on your sales and marketing for the complete lifetime of your app.


The difference is subtle and huge at the same time. I see depressed developers-turned-app-entrepreneurs over and over again. And it’s not the quality of their app that’s at fault. Sometimes it’s the fact that they’ve decided to implement commercially unsound idea. But more often than not, even with great product-market fit, the cause of the disappointment is imagining a finish line in the middle of the marathon.

“My app is done” doesn’t mean that you’ve finished coding it. Your app is only done when you stop supporting it and unpublish it from the store. Otherwise you are still working on it.

This post is part of the series and an upcoming ebook on the business side of Windows 10 apps. If you are a successful Windows app or game developer, or you’ve learned a valuable lesson from your app business misgivings, the whole community would appreciate your input! Please, get in touch and contribute a chapter or an aside. Thank you!

The Business Side of Windows 10 Apps. Part I. Why? What? When? Chapter 1. Why did I decide to build an app or game?

Congratulations on deciding to build a Windows app or game! We will get into making it a successful business in the next part. But let’s start by analyzing your motivation. Understanding what was the main driver behind your decision is very important to structure your business model and strategy. Let’s cover four typical scenarios that led developers into launching Visual Studio, Unity, etc. and coming back to the tool until they have a product ready for the prime time in the Store.

Making apps as a hobby

Quite often our primary occupation is not directly related to building mobile apps or games, but we still have an interest in trying the new mobile tech. We are happy with what we do during the day, happy with the paycheck, and have no intention of changing careers to become an indie app developer. However, making apps or games is what we enjoy in the spare time.

Does this description match you? If so, it also hints at your optimal business model and monetization strategy – enjoy doing what you like to do and forget about all the business stuff (unless that is your hobby too). Trying to make a few bucks on the side without investing significant time and attention into the business side is a sure way to make no money and starting to hate your own hobby.

You will be much happier doing what you like to do and ignoring all the other things.

Apps as a résumé

You may dream of a career as an app or game developer, or may already have one, but can’t put any of the work on your résumé because of NDAs or other things. Making your own apps in your free time is a great way to get a new dream job.


Your goal is to show your skills to as many potential employers as possible. What’s the main obstacle to doing this? Monetization! When building apps to beef up your chances of getting a perfect job offer, you don’t want anything to stand in the way of potential employer seeing the manifestation of your skills.

On the other hand, you want to invest some time into attracting as many eyeballs to your work as you can. One of them could be your next awesome boss!


Building apps for clients

Are you looking to break out as a trustworthy contractor building apps for other people? Releasing your own apps is as great a way of attracting potential clients as it is for finding jobs.

When we set out to build AppRaisin we were looking for someone to help us work on the app, especially in the UX department. Naturally, we thought about the other apps we’ve used and liked and the people who built them. That’s how LazyWormApps (the team behind Tweetro and Metrotube) came out on top of our potential partner list and the rest is history. We are happy with the results of their work and, I believe, they are happy with us as a client.

The scope of the effort you put into monetization of your own apps depends on the type of contracts you want to get. Developers looking to sell their technical proficiency should forgo any monetization activities in order to maximize exposure. On the other hand, if you are trying to become a one-stop-shop for your clients, you may want to have a showcase to demonstrate your abilities in the app business department.

Apps are my business!

You are the person this book is for! While all the other developers can benefit from most of the future chapters in one way or the other, you are the one who should be able to get some value from every one of them.

We will discuss ways to monetize and promote your apps and games throughout this book, but let’s start by talking about your attitude in the next chapter…

This post is part of the series and an upcoming ebook on the business side of Windows 10 apps. If you are a successful Windows app or game developer, or you’ve learned a valuable lesson from your app business misgivings, the whole community would appreciate your input! Please, get in touch and contribute a chapter or an aside. Thank you!

The Business Side of Windows 10 Apps. Prologue. App gold rush is over.

Windows Store doesn’t make headlines with flashy numbers of millions of dollars developers make per day or even a month. Yet, there are quite a few examples of independent developers and companies making a living off of Windows apps and games. We’ve heard about several indie developers making more than a $1,000,000 each. We’ve heard about bigger publishers like Game Insight earning “millions of dollars” on Windows. So it’s definitely doable.

Help needed: Do you have links to recent numbers from specific developers? Please, send them to me or post in the comments below. Want to post your own numbers as an aside to this post? Get in touch!

But we have to take a sober look at the whole mobile app world and realize that it’s not 2009 anymore. It’s no longer feasible to expect to make an app over the weekend, put it into one of the app stores and switch to hitting F5 in your internet bank. Accidents like Flappy Bird happen, but you can hardly bet on this happening to you.

When I was a student (in the early Windows Phone 7 days) I earned a few hundred dollars a month with a stopwatch and a fart app. That felt like a gold rush. Not that I was really proud of it, though.
Tom Verhoeff
professional Windows Developer.

The app gold rush is over. Even the best app and game developers have to invest resources into ensuring success for their top quality products. Whether you want it or not, if you care about commercial success of your creation, you will have to spend as much time (if not more) on the business side of it as you do on design and development.

Even though Windows [Phone] store is in its fourth or fifth incarnation over the last 5 years, it is still not as mature as Apple’s App Store or Google Play. And I don’t mean technical implementation of the features, discovery options and so on. In this regard every store has its strengths and weaknesses. What I mean is, that by being a pretty distant third app ecosystem Windows Store doesn’t attract enough attention from the biggest app developers and the brightest minds in app marketing and monetization.

This is a curse but could be a blessing at the same time. On one hand the supporting ecosystem of services and know-how on app business is underdeveloped on Windows. But on the other hand, as app and game developers, we gain a lot of opportunities to take advantage of it by filling the infamous “app gap”, and applying know-how and useful tricks from app marketers on other platforms that have not been overused and exhausted on Windows yet.

Making apps and games for a living and being your own boss is a lifetime dream for many of us. While you may have missed the gold rush by a couple of years, it is still a feasible goal. You just have to apply yourself or find a partner to handle areas that go beyond development. This series will try to combine the best app business practices from other mobile platforms with collective know-how of the Windows developer ecosystem. Join the ride by subscribing to the RSS feed, following AdDuplex on twitter and contributing in the comments and beyond.

Let’s go…

This post is part of the series and an upcoming ebook on the business side of Windows 10 apps. If you are a successful Windows app or game developer, or you’ve learned a valuable lesson from your app business misgivings, the whole community would appreciate your input! Please, get in touch and contribute a chapter or an aside. Thank you!

The Business Side of Windows 10 Apps. Introduction.

About a year ago I set out to write a series of blog posts on the basics of monetizing your mobile apps with advertising. The series received great response from the community and we decided to publish it as a free ebook and even print a few copies.

I enjoyed the experience of putting my thoughts on the subject on “paper”, but, to be honest, I wanted to write the series and a book I’m writing now more than the whole thing on just advertising. That said, at the time Windows 10 wasn’t out yet but was clear on the horizon, and I felt that a lot of things will change once it is out. So, being lazy as I am, I decided to postpone the “marketing and monetization” book for later, and that’s how the advertising 101 book came to be.

Now that Windows 10 has been out for a while (at least on the desktop and new phones, cough, cough) I feel like the time has come to try and collect the collective wisdom of the Windows developer community, mobile developer community in general, mix it with official “party line” from Microsoft and produce an ultimate guide to marketing and monetization of apps and games on Windows 10.

The way I see it today, the series and the book will consist of 4 main parts.

Part I. Why? What? When?

In Part I we will discuss how you approach building the app or game before you even get started. Maybe before you even got the idea. The goal of this part is to crystalize your motivations and set out a course forward based on them.

Part II. Getting return on your investment

User acquisition tends to be expensive these days. While “get a million users and figure out business model later” may have worked in the past, it could be pretty expensive to get there in 2016 and beyond. So, having a good understanding of how these user acquisition efforts will pay off, would be great before spending time and money on getting people into your app.

Part III. User acquisition

Getting your business model right is great, but even the best business model is nothing when you have no users. Getting Windows users to use your apps and games is a challenge of its own and deserves the longest section of the series.

Part IV. User retention

Getting people to download your app is one task, keeping them coming back is another. In a world where selling apps and games upfront for a meaningful amount of money is not the norm, this becomes as important as any other part of the equation.

So far I imagine around 30 potential chapters for the series, but I want to collect as much useful information and practical insights as possible. And for that …


I want these series and the book to be as good as humanly possible. While I’ll be writing what I’ve learned from numerous conversations with developers, marketers, Microsoft employees and our own experience with AppRaisin, I would love to include guest posts/chapters covering the insights in one of the areas outlined above. If you’ve built a successful app or game business on Windows, or, otherwise, haven’t been as successful, but learned a valuable and practical lesson, please contact me at or @ailon on Twitter. Hopefully you’ll agree to write a guest post or aside to one of the chapters in the series, share valuable experience with the community and get a few users for your app or game along the way.

Streamlined category targeting


For years you had an ability to target campaigns by app’s category in the store. This was straightforward at first, but as time went by two issues materialized and got deeper and deeper with each new (sub)platform added to the Windows ecosystem:

  1. There’s no 1:1 mapping between some categories in different versions of the Windows Store. So targeting campaigns across sub-platform boundaries was problematic.
  2. Some categories look like a good target for your campaigns, but are actually very niche. This resulted in campaigns that weren’t reaching anywhere close to the exposure you were looking for.

So we have finally decided to address both issues at once, as well as create the basis for all the possible future changes in the store. We’ve grouped all the categories and their variants into 5 app categories and 5 game categories. Our goal was to group them based on the type of user these apps attract, rather than just “genre”. I think we’ve managed to come up with a pretty good representation of the types of users you would want to acquire via campaigns.

So our current category list is…


  • Lifestyle
  • News & Entertainment
  • Family & Education
  • Social
  • Tools & Utilities


  • Action
  • Board & Casual
  • Family & Education
  • Strategy & Role playing
  • Sports, Fighting, Simulation

We’ve remapped all of the currently active campaigns to this new category structure.

We hope you like the results you get and we are definitely sure this change will bring more clarity, as well as result in fewer issues with category targeting.

Up to 90% bonus – up to 90% more users for your great apps in February!

AdDuplex Februarys bonus

AdDuplex is glad to announce February, a month for successful app growth, and thus this month we give all of our clients incredible, up to 90% bonus on all credit purchases for running ad campaigns on AdDuplex.

This means almost two times more exposure and of course two times more users downloading your apps!

These are the bonuses you will get this February:

  • $300 special bonus, when buying $1,000 of advertising credits;
  • $1,250 special bonus, when buying $2,500 of advertising credits;
  • $3,500 special bonus, when buying $5,000 of advertising credits;
  • $9,000 special bonus, when buying $10,000 of advertising credits;

In case you were hesitant about buying users for your great apps – be no more – because now is the right time to bring your apps to the top of the Windows Store!

Start promoting now!

If you have any questions about the campaigns on AdDuplex, feel free to contact us at

Have a great month.

Using AdDuplex Advertising Campaigns for User Acquisition


Several weeks ago we’ve removed all the account refill options for AdDuplex campaigns that were below $1,000. Since then several emails have reached us with a general gist of us ignoring smaller developers. This is peculiar because the change was primarily driven by the fact that small indie developers are who we care about the most. Let me explain our reasoning…

Paid user acquisition is not cheap

Any paid user acquisition activity comes with the price you have to pay for an average user that you get. It could be anywhere from a few cents to tens or even hundreds of dollars in unsuccessful attempts. From our own experience promoting AppRaisin on AdDuplex the numbers were between $0.16 and $3.45 depending on the platform and targeting options. So, in the best case scenario $50 would buy you around 300 users. And in the average case the number would be closer to 50. Considering that those spending $50-100 on advertising would likely be first-time advertisers without extensive experience optimizing the campaign for better results, I’d venture a guess that your number will be closer to 10.

If $50 is all you have for paid user acquisition, we don’t want to take advantage of you and take your hard earned money for a hardly tangible return. As we care about your success as an indie or hobbyist developer, we encourage you to use the cross-promotion part of AdDuplex or, say, participate in the Microsoft TechRewards program and redeem smaller AdDuplex coupons for the points you earn there. And you are better off spending that $50 on improving the app in some meaningful way.

On the other hand, if your advertising budget is big enough to make a reasonable impact on your download numbers, we don’t want to force you to spend a $50-100 to test AdDuplex before launching a full-blown campaign. In this case we invite you to email us at and we will give you a free trial run.

Does this make sense? Please let us know what you think in the comments below or over the email.

HERO APPS program updated – more awesome app boosters!

HERO APPS package

We are happy to announce that more than 1,500 apps already took part in AdDuplex HERO APPS program! All the feedback from satisfied developers has encouraged us to extend the program, building new partnerships with Microsoft TechRewards and Windows Store teams to bring you the craziest perks ever! 

So today we are presenting a new, more awesome HERO APPS benefit package that will become the best helper at growing your great apps. The benefits include:

  • 100% exchange ratio on AdDuplex for 1 month;
  • $50-500 credits to run ad campaigns on AdDuplex;
  • @AdDuplex tweet about your app;
  • Professional ad design (banner or/and interstitial);
  • TechRewards Points;
  • App quality review by Windows Store;
  • Free feature campaign on AppDeals;
  • Cover article on Windows Central.

The rules to join the HERO APPS program remain the same – every app that you start to cross-promote on AdDuplex network will be able to apply for the program and receive one of the four benefit packages (all apps that applied for the program during January will be assigned to one of the new benefit packages). Click here to read more.

Become a HERO – apply for AdDuplex HERO APPS program now!

Introducing localized ads

localized adsLocalizing ads to user’s language increases CTR by about 20%. That’s what we have discovered by doing experiments in several markets. So, we decided to implement support for localized versions of ads for apps you cross-promote with AdDuplex

How do I start?

When you go into the details page for your app on AdDuplex you will see a new Globe button above the ad copy for each ad unit.


imageClick on that Globe and you will see a list of localized ads that you have already created and a button to add a new one. To edit an existing localization click on the language in the list. Click on “Add” to add a new localization.

Select a language from the list. You can also select a variation from a second dropdown (like Brazilian or Portuguese version of Portuguese). Then just create or upload an ad to be shown to users from this locale.


And click Save.

Let us know how this affects your click rates and downloads!