What Happens When You Make Your Paid App Free?
We were feeling very generous over at the tiny hearts studio and decided to make Pocket Zoo HD free for one day as apart of the Moms With Apps weekly #AppFriday promo. Moms With Apps is an awesome developer group we’re apart of that’s made up of family-friendly developers making and promoting quality apps for kids and families.
What Happens When You Make Your Paid App Free
So what happens when you take an app that’s $2.99 on the iPad App Store and make it free for a day. This…
Promoting Your Free Promo
Pocket Zoo HD quickly climbed to the top of the free Education category all over the world and slowly started appearing in top overall free charts as well. It’s no surprise that people love free on the App Store but even a free promotion needs promotion.
We got the word out via the weekly App Friday post over at the MWA blog. App Friday is a weekly sale promotion that highlights apps from 3 or 4 developers and encourages the community to share the deals through Twitter and Facebook. The post Pocket Zoo HD was featured in was shared close to a 1000 times and that’s not counting all the #AppFriday mentions on twitter that were linking to Facebook or directly to iTunes. MWA is not only a great community for kid-friendly developers but it’s also a great avenue to promote relevant apps.
We also reached out to the guys over at AppAdvice.com, one of the larger app review sites. They have a regular series called iOS Apps Gone Free which we’ve appeared in previously for our iPhone version. Pocket Zoo HD received a mention on the Apps Gone Free post helping to boost us up the charts.
Gizmodo also features App Deals of the Day as apart of their daily Dealzmodo guide. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a mention on the Giz. But that didn’t hinder our chart mojo.
Don’t forget to update your app description - you want to call out the fact that your app is free at the top of the description while mentioning the original price.
Before we knew it we blew past the Twitter app on the top free chart and made it to the Top 50 overall…briefly inching past Evernote and Flipboard.
What Kind of Numbers Do You Need To Make the Top Free Charts
At the end of the day, Pocket Zoo HD was the #1 Free Education app in the US and had reached the Top 50 overall with a total of 4,000 US downloads. The grand total for the day, including the rest of the world was 6,000 units. These numbers are for the iPad - I’m pretty sure the iPhone charts require hundreds of thousands of downloads before you start ranking near the top.
Why Even Make Your App Free
Free is a great way to acquire new users. We participated in an #AppFriday promo last year with iPhone version of Pocket Zoo and saw 13,000 downloads in one day (ironically it was on Friday September the 13th).Needless to say, we saw a large lift in sales after the free promotion. That was our main goal with the free Pocket Zoo HD promo…to get new people using our app with the hope that the increase in engagement and visibility in the charts would lead to word of mouth which is one of the most effective ways to promote an app. There are risks involved with going from the paid to free and back to paid. Jumping from one chart to the other means that you need to start from scratch in terms of the rankings & downloads as the numbers from one chart don’t carry over to the other. This is why your free promotion needs a lot of promotion…and when your app goes back to paid you need to promote it even more but hopefully by then you’ll have a few thousand people helping you spread the word.