Hoping for a Platform Feature is not a Marketing Strategy

Understand your metrics

The first place to turn to is understand the metrics that are available to you via your analytics packages and ad attribution software. As soon as you are in soft launch you should be tracking these metrics and trying to make sense of them:

  • ARPDAU — How much revenue are you making each day from the active users in your app — Average Revenue Per Daily Active Users (ARPDAU)?
  • Retention — How many of your users are staying and paying in your app? This is generally expressed in % retention in days post installation — D1, D3, D7, D30 etc. which enables you to build a retention curve which helps you understand usage patterns
  • Cost Per Install — CPI is the expected cost you anticipate for securing installs of an app on mainstream or niche mobile ad networks.

Back to the Feature

Ok so now let’s go back and consider app store featuring in a slightly different. If the developer is relying on platform featuring as a promotion strategy without supporting it with paid marketing, then what can be expected is a big spike in downloads and revenues for the period of the feature — (previously 7 days, but with recent announcements at WWDC 2017, featuring periods are trending shorter which only exacerbates the problem) — then a sharp spike down in downloads (as the feature has ended), and a commensurate tail off in revenues in line with the retention profile of the app.

Featuring as Part of a Marketing Plan

Perhaps a smarter way to consider an app store feature is as a way of turbocharging the launch of an app which already exhibits good soft launch metrics which could support paid acquisition. This way a developer could generate significant additional income, riding the back of the feature wave, especially if the developer has access to the capital to reinvest quickly back into paid marketing (the payment delay from the app stores can be up to 60+ days before developers get paid out).

Work with the storefronts

With a clear understanding of their app’s metrics and a plan for user acquisition, developers should be able to demonstrate profitability for their app. Present to partners the potential of your app, and turn the conversation to how promotional support from them — that feature placement — benefits everyone.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store