App Re-Launch Part 2 – Revival Strategy

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In Part 1 of the “App Re-Launch” Series, I gave an overview of the type of app that is a good candidate for re-launch. In this post I’m going to detail the relaunch strategy and explain reasoning behind the decision-making process.

Popper! originally launched as a free/paid (99¢) combo, before in-app purchase even existed. I explored the option of making Popper! free and having in-app purchase to get additional levels, but was stopped dead in my tracks by:

  1. the cost to add in-app purchase from a development standpoint
  2. I would have to re-design portions the app to have the in-app purchase flow properly
  3. we would need to add a LOT more levels (the app is currently at only 15 levels) to have the in-app purchase make sense

K, I’m going to sidebar for a second. For those of you building NEW apps right now, consider the points during your development process. Thinking ahead to incorporate multiple ways to monetize your app from the BEGINNING of your design/development process will save you tons of time and money reworking things later. Even if you don’t use every monetization method right away, at least you have the app structured in a way that makes it easy to add later!

Ok I’m back. So all of the above points made it financially unwise to do in-app purchase, and I’d already gone the free/paid route. This led to me to:

Totally free, make money from ad revenue by investing a little, and advertise the app via mobile ad network.

I came to this decision because one of my best moneymakers is a free app with ads called Doodle Bright. It makes about $500 a month via AdMob and requires zero attention on my part.

So what ad network to choose? I’ve used a multitude of ad networks (iAds, Admob, Mobclix) and ad aggregating services like AdWhirl. Lately I’ve settled on Admob, but I wanted to experiment with a new network, InMobi.

So I contacted my whiz-bang developer do two things to update Popper!:

  1. Update with retina graphics
  2. Install the InMobi SDK to allow their ads to flow into the app (see directions for doing that here)

All total the updates cost me around $1400. What’s next…?

The Launch Plan.

In the next post in this series I’ll be talking through the launch plan and the plan for Popper! to get back on the gravy train!

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3 Comments / Leave a comment
  1. Can I ask why you did not like Adwhirl? Wouldnt adwhirl make it easy for you to add in the inMobi ads on the fly?

    Thanks for sharing this info. Its a great read

    • I’ve used AdWhirl in the past and it’s a great platform. For this example I wanted to just keep it simple and not introduce any ad aggregators.

  2. I have just taken a look at Popper and I don’t think the proposed changes will do anything to improve sales.

    When upgrading the application you need to understand what the current deficiencies are and how much they have cost you in sales.

    For applications that derive their income from ads you need to look at two things. Is the application being used continuously and are the adds affective.

    I can see that you are trying to address point 2 with a different ad provider. However, I don’t a [lan for addressing point 1. Your current activities should be focussed on getting customers to play regularly. I do not believe that improving the graphic for iPhone4+ will have the desired effect. If all you wanted to do is refresh the UI then you would have been better served by supporting the iPad format natively. At least this will extend your potential user base.

    That said I think the application is more frustrating than addictive. The usability of the application needs work. A couple of obvious things to look at are:
    1. the ads should be at the top of the screen and not the bottom (I hate accidentally hitting the ad when using the controls).
    2. The application should be either button based or touch based. Not both.
    3. Pill movement should be consistent and predictable.

    You have thought of adding levels which is always a good way to keep you existing users active. Have you thought of other features such as an earth quake bar that fills over time. When it fills you can shake the phone to cause pills to fall?


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