Appromoter MD Ed Vause presents the ten commandments of app marketing

#5 –Thou shalt carefully consider when to launch

Appromoter MD Ed Vause presents the ten commandments of app marketing
Ed Vause is the managing director of appromoter, an app marketing service for developers and journalists.
You can view a complete collection of all the commandments of app marketing we've published to-date here.

Timing is crucial in many aspects of our lives. For extreme Austrian skydivers and comedians alike, timing can mean the difference between success and failure.

The same applies to app developers launching their newest creations on the app stores. So here are appromoter's words of wisdom on when to launch your app.

Apple loves Thursdays

It's common knowledge among developers that the best day to launch on Apple's App Store is Thursday.

This is most likely because they update all the editorial on Thursday: If your app is good enough to get featured then it could appear in 'new and noteworthy', or even 'Editor's choice' if you're one of the lucky few. This can generate a serious sales boost and the weekend traffic can keep you aloft.

For Android apps the timing of launches on Google Play doesn't seem so important – just never launch on a Friday, as it's traditionally a bad day for sending stuff to the media.

Beware of public holidays

Unless you have an triple-A mega brand or a stellar sequel, then we say steer clear of public holidays, especially in the US but also the UK.

The main reason is that the really big guys mercilessly crush all before them by dropping their premium branded titles to 69p/99 cents, making it nigh-on impossible for you to chart.

Two of the big hot zones are around Thanksgiving in the US and Christmas. These are traditionally times of gifting and so there are loads of people with their shiny new phones and tablets looking for content to play on their new toys.

Absolutely great in principle, but if you think that you've got trouble the rest of the year then take a look at the charts around Thanksgiving and after the 20th of December – it's a bloodbath out there.

These guys will not only drop their prices, but they'll also pump tens of thousands into app advertising and marketing. Don't say we didn't warn you!

Make the most of festive and topical promotions

Keep a close eye on the calendar and also find out from Apple or Google if they are running any promotions around themes – you will likely find a promo around educational apps when all the kids go back to school as well as football/soccer promotions around the new season.

There are lots of times in the year when the guys at Apple and Google run themed editorial promotions so it's a great idea to try to get included.

Know when hardware release cycles are

This is more relevant for Apple than Google, but we can tell you that Apple likes games that really showcase their machines.

Whether it's amazing graphics, innovative use of Game Center or any manner of features, they will gravitate towards the games that make people say 'wow' and help sell more machines.

Although Apple is incredibly tight lipped about any hardware features, it is possible to second guess what may happen and adapt your apps to show that feature – such as higher resolution.

If you tell Apple what you're doing in advance, then you may well receive a knock on the door when your app launches, and a request from Apple to use your app to show off its new devices.

You don't have to launch immediately

It never ceases to amaze us how many developers go live as soon as their app is approved. This isn't what savvy people do.

Savvy developers hold off making their app live immediately and wait a couple of weeks to contact the media and offer them promo codes to review their games and then launch under embargo on a specific date.

Even if you can't secure reviews in that period, you can use it to create some hype on social media or in big forums such as Touch Arcade. You can even use promo codes as sneak peek hands-on pre-launch prizes for enthusiastic gamers.

So there you have it. Timing is more important than many game devs think it is. It's just one factor in the long checklist of things that you'll need to consider when launching your app.
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