Appszoom for Developers

How to test your app on a tight budget

Posted by Ben Dickson on May 17, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Anyone with the least bit of professional software development experience will tell you that you should never underestimate the value and importance of testing your program. This is especially true of mobile apps, which undergo a sometimes-painful vetting and examination process before being published on major app stores.

But hiring a fully-qualified QA team to test your app and squeeze every last bug, inconsistency and UI/UX issue out of it might not be within your budget range, especially if you’re an indie developer. But does the fact that you can’t afford a full team of professionals justify not testing your app thoroughly?

I’m sure you already know the answer to that question.

In this article I will show you a few tricks that can get help you get quality user testing for your app, at a very low price.

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How to grow your app’s email marketing list

Posted by Ben Dickson on May 10, 2016 12:00:00 PM

You’ll hear a lot about email marketing having become passé, a thing of the past, a tool to ultimately avoid… You’ll also hear a lot about how mobile push notifications are your salvation and can bring you tons of downloads, leads, and customers (which is true by the way).

The truth is, email marketing has been put to so much ill use that it has fallen from grace, like many other things (banner ads anyone?). But anything done wrong can turn into a disaster, including mobile push notifications. Push notifications can become intrusive on their own, especially since smartphones are extremely personal devices, and users can quickly get annoyed when targeted with untimely and irrelevant ads, and subsequently turn off notifications and block you out forever.

Placing your bets on any single medium to reach out to your user makes it easier to lose touch. So you should value every channel you have to connect with, and engage, your potential customers. That includes email lists.

Fact of the matter is, email lists are far from dead, and if used properly, they can turn out to be one of your most effective – and favorite – app marketing tools. In this post, I will show you how to grow your email list and put it to good use.

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Topics: App marketing

What to do AFTER launching your mobile app

Posted by Ben Dickson on May 3, 2016 12:00:00 PM

In the previous post, I described steps you should take before publishing your app in app stores to make sure that you hit the ground running and get started on the right footing.

Does that mean that, after you publish your app, you can sit back and relax and watch downloads rates and revenue increase on their own? Of course not. This is just the beginning and you have to do your best to avoid the worst in the hostile environment of the mobile app industry, where many a good title have met their demise because of the lack of sound marketing strategies.

In this post, I will describe several measures you should take after you publish your app in order to improve your chances of success.

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Topics: App marketing

What to do BEFORE launching your mobile app

Posted by Ben Dickson on Apr 26, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Once upon a time, back when app market competition was very low, you'd only have to jockey with some 500 apps. Those were the good old days of 2009, when App Store had only just launched. Now, the mobile app market has turned into a huge multi-billion dollar industry and you have to compete with more than a million other apps in each major app store.

We still see exceptional apps and games that turn into overnight successes that rake millions of dollars in a matter of days – but those are the exception, not the rule. True app success is bound to having a good app marketing plan, one that starts before you actually launch your app.

In this post, I will lay out some of the most important marketing measures to take before launching your app.

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The basics of mobile app cross-promotion

Posted by Ben Dickson on Apr 19, 2016 12:00:00 PM

“You scratch my back,  I'll scratch yours.”

This is the adage we use when we help each other accomplish difficult tasks. The equivalent of back-scratching in mobile app marketing is cross-promotion, a very effective tactic that helps app developers and publishers reach out to their audience and increase traffic and install rates.

This compelling tool is unfortunately underrated, and many developers fail to understand and leverage the power that it offers. Cross-promotion helps cut costs and reach out to an audience that is already engaged.

In this article I will take you through the basics of cross-promotion and some of its most common tactics.

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The do's and don’ts of playtesting your mobile game

Posted by Ben Dickson on Apr 12, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Testing anything is a challenge by itself, let alone a mobile game.

Playtesters are hard to find because they have to have many rare traits at the same time. They have to let their feelings guide them when playing your game, but at the same time, they have to base their assessment and opinion on real hard facts. They should be experienced enough to be able to scrutinize a game and find the weaknesses and potential pitfalls, but they shouldn’t be so technical that they get into unnecessary details (after all, that’s the developer’s job).

They should be able to see behind the appealing visual details and go deep into the gameplay, but they should be careful enough to avoid going off course and expecting your game to be something it’s not.

All in all, playtesting is a fine line, like walking a tightrope. You have to strike the perfect balance. So how do you find the perfect playtester?

You don’t: it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Instead, you find relatively-ideal people, and ask them the right questions.

In this post, I’ll offer you some tips on the do’s and don’ts of working with playtesters.

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How to deal with feedback on your mobile game

Posted by Ben Dickson on Apr 5, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Getting feedback on your mobile game can be both a depressing and exciting experience. In most cases, we believe that we’ve created a perfect game, and we don’t expect to receive harshly negative comments, reviews, and feedback. As such, we feel crestfallen when we start seeing reviews bluntly stating “this game sucks” and “another boring remake of game X.” Worse still is when we react to those comments in the form of angry retorts that try to either debunk the critics’ opinions or justify what they see as failure in our apps.

After publishing any app, and especially after publishing a game, you should brace yourself for all those inevitable negative remarks. Embrace them, and turn them into the fuel that will help you improve both your skills and future versions of your app.

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3 successful in-app payment strategies for mobile games

Posted by Ben Dickson on Mar 29, 2016 12:00:00 PM

I’ve already discussed how ads can help bring in a lot of revenue in mobile games, including how developers make fortunes by applying non-intrusive and user-friendly advertisement strategies for their mobile games. But ads are not the only monetization strategy that are raking in huge amounts of cash, and they might not be applicable to all sorts of games.

A tried-and-true alternative that has seen just as much – and even more – success in making money for mobile game developers is in-app purchases (IAP), aka “microtransactions,” where users download the game for free, get a taste, and then pay to unlock extra features. This is a trend that started somewhere in 2010, when free-to-play mobile games kicked off, and has been on the rise ever since. Last year, the top ten mobile games that used this model earned over $5 billion collectively.

This is certainly a more efficient approach than putting a hefty price tag on a game and expecting users to make a one-time purchase to download the app, a risky strategy that might only have a shadow of a chance of succeeding when you’re creating a mobile port for a very famous PC or console game.

But in-app payment does come with its own requisites and pitfalls, and can cause annoyance for players when they’re asked to make an unfair payment at a critical moment, or if they get the general feeling they’re getting nickel-and-dimed by the publisher.

Here are three strategies that can provide a steady revenue for your app without causing the frustration generally attributed to IAP models.

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How To Choose The Ad Model For Your Mobile Game

Posted by Ben Dickson on Mar 22, 2016 12:00:00 PM
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The beginner’s guide to landing pages for mobile apps

Posted by Ben Dickson on Mar 15, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Marketing for an app should start long before it is released. You have to create excitement and buzz over the course of the months leading up to launch. When it finally makes its first appearance, people will rush to app stores to download their copy and tap into the endless sea of features it offers.

When you want to market an app that is still in the making, one of the best tools at your disposal will be your landing page or app-focused website. In this article, I’ll tell you all you need to know about landing pages, including the benefits and tools that can help you develop one quickly.

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