The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 9/5 – 9/9

The Appreneur Weekly

Here at Zapporoo, our goal is to help each and every person that has a mobile app idea turn that idea into a thriving business. To help further our mission, we scour the interwebs each week to find and share the best content we can find on app development, app monetization, app marketing, and more so that you don’t have to. Be sure to read and implement the strategies you learn from these posts each week and watch your app business flourish.

In this week’s edition, we cover ways that the app industry is driven by knowing its customers. A lot. Customers drive design, communication, and even App Store updates according to these articles.

We also looked at a great guide on mobile app project management. Just because we liked it. We hope you enjoy this week’s articles too!



Most app entrepreneurs are not developers, so how much influence should the person with the idea have on the app’s design?

The answer: enough to make sure that the design is built for reaching the target audience. Because the intent, branding, and marketing of the app are more contingent upon the entrepreneur than the developer, these strategic design decisions are crucial for those of you with app ideas going into production.

Appboy makes some pretty compelling promises if you can focus your design on your users:

“The key to keeping your users around after the download is to ensure your mobile app design is focused on that user. Achieve this and you’ll benefit from faster growth through better engagement rates and positive word of mouth advertising.”

If you’re having trouble identifying your users altogether, that’s an entirely different subject that we’ve covered before, but you can certainly return to these design imperatives once you have it figured out.

Follow @Appboy on Twitter


Localytics talks Mobile, Apps, Bots & Customer Engagement with Forbes

Localytics CEO Raj Aggarwal recently spoke with Forbes, and the app knowledge that came through in the interview is exceptional. In particular, the conversation pivoted around the concept that app users who are not engaged are no longer valuable to developers and entrepreneurs. The conversation has shifted from quantity to quality, so to speak.

One way that Aggarwal suggests improving customer value is through improved communication with the audience:

“For marketers and companies trying to engage with users — whether through messaging or bots — having the appropriate context around the user and their actions and leveraging that to improve communication with users is paramount, no matter what the platform is.”

Hearing what this mobile app expert has to say in his own words can be inspiring and motivating for an app marketer or entrepreneur. At the very least, developers should be participating in the dialogue about what apps do, who they’re for, and how to bridge the gap between products and consumers.

Follow @Localytics on Twitter


The Guidebook to Mobile Product Management Success

No matter what role you play in the mobile app development process, you benefit from knowing more about the entire scope of the operation. Where does this bird’s eye view come from, though?

From the perspective of the project manager. Naturally, the actual mobile project managers will gain the most from this guidebook from Apptentive, but I highly recommend diving into its contents if your role comes in contact with the the project manager as well.

Even an entrepreneur hiring out the app development process can wear the hat of project manager, depending on the situation. Apptentive admits that their target audience is still defining itself in the marketplace, but that simply makes the guide Apptentive delivers that much more necessary and unique:

“As a mobile PM, you manage people from top to bottom, keep everyone motivated and on track, argue for what’s best for your customers, and make tough calls on what to build and how to build it. Since mobile product management is still relatively new, working your way through uncharted territory adds a layer of complexity that can be difficult to navigate.”

The guide itself is a download at the end of the provided article (once you enter your info, a link is sent to your email), but that only leaves you a few clicks away from an outstanding resource.

Follow @Apptentive on Twitter


Apple to remove outdated apps from App Store – reveals app subscription details

For a more news-related article on the app industry, Business of Apps really delivers this week. So, what’s new?

Apparently, Apple is cleaning house in more ways than just the app name-shortening movement. They’re also removing some older apps entirely from the marketplace, and they’ve announced the details of their push to help developers monetize more through the subscription model.

Why all the sweeping changes?

“According to the company this should make it easier for consumers to find the apps they are searching for.”

So, for all intents and purposes, Apple has removed themselves as a reason for the overhaul. It’s about the customers and the developers, right?

Honestly, yes. If Apple continues to focus on pleasing both the supply and demand sides of their marketplace, it’s hard to imagine them failing to increase profits. Plus, as Apple continues to set industry standards, they’d be hard pressed to wait until Google Play undergoes a similar change first.

Follow @BusinessOfApps on Twitter

Like this post? Don’t forget to checkout previous editions of “The Appreneur Weekly” for more education on how to grow your app business.

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/29 – 9/2

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/22 – 8/26

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/15 – 8/19

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/8 – 8/12

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/1 – 8/5

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/25 – 7/29

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/18 – 7/22

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/4 – 7/8

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/20 – 6/24

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/06 – 6/10

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/30 – 6/3

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/23 – 5/27

mobile app development guide

How to prepare yourself for successful app development


As the originator of an app idea, you have a number of tasks you can engage in before the app even hits the market. All of these will help you succeed during development, but they’re decisions you have to make yourself; your app developer can’t make these decisions for you.

  • Name your app
  • Decide how you’ll pay to develop your app
  • Plan out your app’s monetization system
  • Initiate an app marketing strategy

These factors are also crucial to treating your app like part of a business instead of a side-project. This resource is a guide for anyone looking to create an app, but especially for those who want to see their project thrive later on. No one is going to force you to succeed, but by following these steps, you have a much better chance of getting the satisfaction you want from app development.

Name your app

Yes, plenty of people make it to development with an idea that hasn’t been named yet. It’s acceptable to get the ball rolling based on the idea alone, but as development begins and the app takes shape, more and more of the benefits of a great app name get left behind.

Spending time naming your app will help you really consider what it is your app will do or provide. Getting a better sense of your app will drive creative direction, and thus have a major impact on what you ask for in development. If you develop the app without a name, you may end up with a great name later, but it could also be at a point where changing the app to match would be inefficient.

Or, you may think you already have a name for your app. Understand that there’s a real process to making sure you have a name you can stick with, though. The name you choose will eventually influence graphics, branding, App Store optimization, and marketing, so you’ll want to make sure that you don’t just settle for a placeholder that will fizzle when put to the test.

You also have to make sure the name isn’t already taken. With a little research, you can verify the status of some name options, but then comes the task of separating “good” from “best.”

Don’t let naming your app catch you by surprise or slow you down. Read more on the subject, move through the steps, and carry on without missing a beat.


How to name your app perfectly for marketing and ASO


Decide how you’ll pay to develop your app

When you come up with an app idea, you have three main choices on how to make that idea a reality:

  • Make the app yourself
  • Pay someone your own money to make the app
  • Raise money from investors to fund your app creation

For those of us who can’t program an app ourselves, the amount of work required to learn the process could be better spent on making money at our regular jobs and then paying someone else to develop the app. Plenty of app entrepreneurs are self-funded, not to mention that being the sole proprietor means that you don’t have to share any of the credit or earnings once your app is a hit.

However, if you’re interested in looking at the alternatives, there are ways to raise outside funding:

  1. Friends and family
  2. Partnerships with developers and designers
  3. Crowdfunding
  4. Grants
  5. Angel investors
  6. Venture capitalists
  7. App contests
  8. Bank loans

There’s even an entire process behind getting app funding. In most cases, you’ll need something to show in order to get more investors, which means you’ll have to at least take the first step towards app creation on your own budget. The good news is that app creation and funding doesn’t all happen at once. You can pay for the first iteration yourself, then use that model to raise money, and then spend that money to improve your app.

The important thing is having a plan and being prepared. If you want your app development to be successful, you can’t let funding stall you at any stage.


App Funding: How to get an app developed without paying for it

App Funding Information


Plan out your app’s monetization system

Not every app necessarily has to earn money, but most of them do and many of them must. With such a competitive market, an app that doesn’t earn can’t reinvest in updates and marketing.

Fortunately for you, there are numerous proven ways to monetize:

  • Paid downloads
  • Subscription
  • In-app advertising
  • Sponsorship
  • In-app purchases
  • Upgrade to full functionality
  • M-commerce
  • User data
  • Selling your app in a marketplace

Monetization, while adjustable after development, plays a major part in how you build your app. If you want to create two different user experiences for free and premium users, then you’ll have to design those features early or suffer through going back and implementing these predictable pieces later in the game.

Plus, monetization can play a direct role in determining the scope and budget of your app. For example, you may feel that the app you’re building would be very expensive to create because of custom features and server usage. However, upon researching monetization, you find that apps that operate on freemium models like yours are very lucrative. You would most likely push forward because the benefits could measurably outweigh the costs.

The same holds true in the opposite fashion. If you have an existing brick-and-mortar store, and you’re going to start selling your goods online, you can look at your inventory size and customer interest to gauge monetization potential. Being realistic, you can tailor the complexity and scope of your app based on what it will cost, and the cost is based on your monetization.


How do apps make money: A complete guide to app monetization

How Do Apps Make Money - App Monetization


Initiate an app marketing strategy

Your app marketing doesn’t have to be some sprawling, agency-run campaign for millions of users. But, at the bare minimum, you must consider how you will tell others about your app and get the word out to extended audiences.

For this, you’ll need an app marketing strategy. This document can be anywhere from a single page to hundreds of pages long, depending on your needs and budget.

Wise entrepreneurs start considering marketing before development is complete. Why? Because analyzing the marketing will help you identify key features to develop,  plan out engaging colors and images, and establish a realistic development budget based on your potential marketing expenses.


The complete newbie’s guide to mobile app marketing strategies

App Marketing Guide

Build your app like a great startup

The most successful apps, big or small, operate as part of a larger business structure. While some business factors are not specific to apps alone, many of them are, and even common concepts like marketing and customer research have important nuances in the app marketplace.

Do you need access to even more effective business know-how to turn your humble app idea into the next big thing in the App Store? We have numerous beginner, intermediate, and advanced resources for the app entrepreneurs and app marketers out there in any stage of development.

For the next step, download our ebook, the Entrepreneur’s Guide To Mobile App Development.

mobile app development guide

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/29 – 9/2

The Appreneur Weekly

Here at Zapporoo, our goal is to help each and every person that has a mobile app idea turn that idea into a thriving business. To help further our mission, we scour the interwebs each week to find and share the best content we can find on app development, app monetization, app marketing, and more so that you don’t have to. Be sure to read and implement the strategies you learn from these posts each week and watch your app business flourish.

In this week’s edition, we cover the news about the App Store’s app name shortening [*gasp*]. We’ll also talk about measures of success, mobile app personalization, and round up with a few experts on the basics of app marketing.


At Least 27% of Top Apps Will Need to Change Their Titles Under Apple’s New Guidelines

Currently, apps in the App Store are allowed to have titles as long as 255 characters. The main intention is to let these apps say more about themselves and potentially have better search matches for the audience.

Now, the character count is being decimated, from 255 down to 50. For iOS apps with huge names trying to squeeze out some extra SEO, this change is like the App-ocalypse. It’s not just about characters, either. Apple is being very clear on the intent of shortening:

“In addition, app names will not be allowed to ‘include terms or descriptions that are not the name of the app,’ according to Apple’s new submission guidelines. So, in effect, publishers will no longer be able to utilize descriptive taglines for their apps.”

Unless you’ve been hijacking the character count to beat your competitors where you shouldn’t, worry not. Apple will obviously put the ASO weight elsewhere in their algorithm. If your App Store elements are doing the right thing everywhere else, then shortening the title will just redistribute that value.

Apple may even implement new ways of matching audiences with the right apps, and this should give anyone below second place a renewed sense of hope.

For those of you who are manipulating those character counts while dumping the rest of ASO, it’s time to learn some new tricks or fall lower on search.

Follow @SensorTower on Twitter

one metric

One Metric Is All Your Product Team Needs

After all the articles we’ve written and shared about finding multiple metrics for app success, we’re still going to introduce you to this one by Amplitude that says you only need one metric at all.

No, they’re not saying that everyone’s metric is going to be the same one. They also aren’t saying that you’ll always use the same single metric, either. They’re just arguing that, at any given time, one single metric about your app will tell an accurate and efficient story that 15 more metrics won’t necessarily clarify.

“Different products will have different core metrics. Data only becomes useful for product development when you can figure out how it fits into the bigger picture.”

Sometimes, less is more. Finding the most meaningful metric is a part of being a realist about your app product.

Follow @AmplitudeMobile on Twitter


How to Actually Master In-App Personalization for your Users

Because there are so many high-quality apps on the market, consumer standards have increased. But now that the bar has been raised, app users have a better experience, and app companies still have ample room to grow.

“Today’s smartphone using public does not only demand mobile apps that offer huge benefits, they also seek effortless user experiences. With so many people expecting exceptional mobile experiences, users’ needs have to be met in more creative and first-rate approaches than ever before.”

AppIndex makes a great argument for how app personalization can fill that gap and tells you how to make it happen.

Follow @AppindexHQ on Twitter

marketing nongame apps

7 Insider Tips to Marketing Your Non-Gaming App Like a Pro

This excellent article from Liftoff really gets back to the basics. While many of the strategic pieces in this article also apply to gaming apps, it’s important to remember that games often benefit more from other angles.

This article is actually an expert roundup, though, so you’ll probably learn some things you hadn’t heard before about these fundamentals. What the professionals know is that marketing a non-gaming app is an uphill battle, and they’re prepared to share their expertise on how to overcome the odds against you.

“Successfully marketing an app is a challenge. Marketing a non-gaming app is an even bigger challenge. From identifying your target audience, educating them on the benefits of your product, and converting them into a paying customer, marketers deal with a range of challenges unique to marketing non-gaming apps.”

Perhaps the best thing about an article like this is the variety of perspectives. By reaching outside your own knowledge or that of your company, you immerse yourself in the larger world of mobile app marketing (and that’s the core of what The Appreneur Weekly represents!)

Follow @LiftoffMobile on Twitter

Like this post? Don’t forget to checkout previous editions of “The Appreneur Weekly” for more education on how to grow your app business. 

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/22 – 8/26

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/15 – 8/19

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/8 – 8/12

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/1 – 8/5

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/25 – 7/29

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/18 – 7/22

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/4 – 7/8

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/20 – 6/24

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/06 – 6/10

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/30 – 6/3

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/23 – 5/27

mobile app development guide

Building solid social media for launching your mobile app


The app you’re developing is here or on its way, and you need to let the world know about it. Whether you’re going to use public relations and paid marketing too, you also know you’ll still need social media.

Depending on your budget and the value of your time, you can pay someone else to create and even manage social media for you. However, if you’re limited on expenses or simply want to be more resourceful, you have options.

Social media account creation is something you can do yourself, it costs mostly time, and the biggest barrier is the learning curve.

We’ll help you overcome the learning curve, and then give you the fundamentals of scheduling and content creation for each platform. We’ll also briefly discuss how to grow your social media.


Deciding on your social media identity

Before you start clicking buttons and creating accounts, it’s important to stop and reflect on what you’re actually going to be representing with your social media. The best way to do this is keep a running document to guide your actions. Companies both large and small use this technique to keep the appearance and message consistent.

This will also potentially help with branding even when you’re optimizing in the app marketplaces.

Is the social media for your company or your app?

One of the first things you’ll have to decide is what feature of your company is going to dictate the direction of your social media. For example, if you already have a medium social media following for your company, and your app is a direct extension of the company in name and purpose, then you may just want to promote your app on the existing channels.

The same holds true if you’re making a sequel to another app you created and the predecessor already has social media traction.

However, if you’ve created an original app, or your company’s following would simply not overlap in interest, then it’s time to create a brand new social media account for your app.

A good example of how this works is the Angry Birds app and their creators, Rovio. Both the app franchise and the parent company have their own Twitter accounts, which serve different purposes now that Rovio has multiple apps, and the Angry Birds franchise has television shows and movies.

Rovioangry birdsnibblers

Talking points

Is your app the first of its kind? Is it a medical app designed by an actual practicing doctor with accolades? These kinds of things are what you should focus on across the board.

Once your app achieves any sort of critical success, such as a high ranking in an app store category, this success should become an additional talking point.


Creating and branding social media for your app

There are a number of social media accounts to choose from, so we’re going to list what they’re best for, and attach links and instructions for starting an account and making ideal posts.

When branding your social media, there are a few things that nearly every account allows you to use:

  • Your app icon as a profile picture
  • An app-related banner image
  • Basic app description
  • A link to your App Store and Google Play download pages

Attempt to add these consistent elements to every platform, and then customize beyond that once you have a better feel for things.

facebook app page

Facebook is currently the most popular social media channel in the world. In addition to allowing companies to create free Facebook pages, Facebook also lets you use paid advertising to reach a targeted audience for your app or app Facebook page.

How to start a Facebook page for your app

First, you must select someone to be the administrator for the page. This should not be taken lightly, as the primary administrator has the ability to change access and ownership as well as post and delete the account. While it may be tempting to let a marketing company or employee own the account, a high-level executive should take the top administrative slot.

Second, whoever creates the app’s Facebook page must have a personal page as well. Years ago, Facebook company pages could be created on their own, but as Facebook has strived for more security and accountability, attaching the company to a private account has become the standard.

Once you’ve decided on or created the personal account, log into Facebook and click this link to create a Facebook page.

Facebook will walk you through much of the page’s creation, but you’ll want to add the essentials as mentioned above.

You can then invite additional page managers. Anyone who is able to edit the page can invite people from their friends list to like and follow the page.

Ideal posts for Facebook

Scheduling: Because Facebook posts are lasting, you should post to Facebook no more than twice daily at the absolute most. For an app’s page, you can post much less frequently, even as little as twice weekly if you don’t have much to say or share. If you post too often, your audience may become annoyed and choose to block notifications or unlike your page.

Content types:  Post on Facebook about your app’s release schedule, updates, and awards. Consider running contests and promotions through Facebook as well. If your company creates content related to the app, then post that as you publish it.

twitter app page


Twitter is an enormous, live social medium with millions of users around the globe. If there’s any way to reach relevant strangers outside your current social circle through organic social media, it’s probably through Twitter.

How to start a Twitter account for your app

Twitter requires the creation of a business or app page to be separate from a private account. Simply log out of any current accounts and then click the link here to create a new page.

Gathering followers for Twitter is different from Facebook. You’ll want to follow other people early on in hopes of having them follow you back. Send a link to the Twitter page to anyone you know who would be interested in following.

Ideal posts for Twitter

Scheduling: Twitter posts are ephemeral, so you’ll want to tweet as often as possible. Twice to five times a day is fine if you can support the quantity with original material. Tweets are also time-sensitive, so consider the times of day when your audience is using Twitter and when you’ll have the least competition for attention.

Content types:  Post on Twitter about anything vaguely related to your app or industry. You can talk about your app’s release schedule, updates, awards, contests, and promotions multiple times per week. Share articles related to your industry and mark other authors, companies, and keywords (using ‘@’ and ‘#’) in order to get their attention and cross audience.

linkedin company page


Your LinkedIn page will be limited to your actual company, but it can still be used to support your app. Because LinkedIn is above all a professional forum, you’ll want to remember this in everything you do on that channel.

How to start a LinkedIn page for your app

To create and manage a company page on LinkedIn, you must already have your own personal page. Once you or your desired administrator are logged into a personal LinkedIn account, click on this link.

Once you’ve created everything, it makes absolute sense to send a link invitation to anyone you’ve worked with in the creation, development, and promotion of your app. You can also connect with anyone on LinkedIn that you believe would be interested. Just make sure that you have some type of relationship with the person you link to in order to avoid spamming.

Ideal posts for LinkedIn

Scheduling: Post to LinkedIn whenever appropriate. Since few people check LinkedIn for content as regularly as Facebook feeds, it’s okay to post anywhere between once a month and once daily. If your post frequency is greater than your content quality, it will appear unprofessional. Basically, it’s better to post fewer things but of higher quality when scheduling for LinkedIn.

Content types: LinkedIn is conducive to longer posts, such as articles, case studies, press releases, and company stories related to your app. Anything you post will last, and the people who will read it will be looking for more than laughs and gossip. Be substantial, and use LinkedIn to repost anything good you’ve also put on your company or app’s website.

google+ app page


To keep it simple, Google+ can operate on the same account if you already have a Google account for your company or app (YouTube, Gmail, Adwords, Google Play, Google Drive). If you’re lacking in the company page department, or want to make a new identity for your app separately, click this link and get started with Google account creation.

Scheduling: Google+ doesn’t have very many limitations. What you share will stick around on other people’s feeds, so it’s okay to go for quality over quantity. Post to Google+ when you create something new for your app or find something interesting in your app’s industry. Your frequency can be daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your other social media activity.

Content types: Think of Google+ as a place to curate your other content. If you’ve made an article, press release, video, or new page, then use Google+ as a place to talk about it. Of course, your reach will improve if you’re also curating the best stuff from other related apps, news, and companies to show that you’re a great page to follow.

youtube app page


YouTube, the world’s largest video hosting network, is an ideal place to promote your app with video content.

How to start a YouTube account for your app

If you already have a Google account for your company or app (Google+, Gmail, Adwords, Google Play, Google Drive) then you can simply log in at and start managing your YouTube account.

In the event that you don’t have a company or app identity with Google already, you can create an account by clicking this link. You may also want to start this separate account to distinguish between your company and your app, of course. Follow the prompts until your YouTube account is created!

Ideal posts for YouTube

Scheduling: Unless you promise a regular program or show, simply post to YouTube whenever you can create video content. Many popular content creators only add something new once a week to once a month, although there are obviously daily uploaders as well.

Content types: YouTube is an audio and visual medium. What does this mean? You have to make videos and recording for anyone to care what you’ve added. This is great news for app developers, though. You can show your app in beta, have someone do a live review of the app, walk users through your app’s setup, answer frequently-asked questions, talk about an update, or simply showcase your app’s best features.


Attracting followers to your app’s social media

You’ll have to be proactive if you want to grow your social media. Whether you are creating an app as an individual or a company, you can take advantage of these social growth tactics.

Family and friends

Invite the people you already know and work with to follow your app’s social media. If those closest to you and the people who work on the app aren’t even willing to follow you, why should anyone else?

Granted, friends and family may not be your target audience, but in many ways they can still create a core foundation to build upon. They may also know other people who are a better fit, and can share your pages with those people.

Paid promotion

While you’ll probably want to use the majority of your paid promotion specifically for your app downloads, you may find that promoting a social media account is more cost effective.

For example, if you pay $5 for an app download but only $.10 for a Facebook page like, and more than 1 out of 50 of your Facebook fans downloads the app, then you’ve got a better conversion rate with Facebook and a better potential for viral growth.

The core principle of good social media: Add value

Don’t just make content about you. Constant, tasteless, and shameless self-promotion don’t attract people and will probably not give you the viral growth you want. Your audience really comes to learn, be entertained, or to experience something new. Provide these things for them, and they’ll notice your brand along the way.

This concept is called ‘adding value.’ Many times, talking about your new product and feature can still be valuable, so there’s nothing wrong with promoting it. However, simply sharing a link to your app’s download page in posts, or going to another company’s page just to talk about yourself is considered worthless and will hurt you more than help.

Do you want to know more about how social media can fit into your overall app marketing strategy? Read our free ebook, The Complete Newbie’s Guide To Mobile App Marketing Strategies, by clicking the button below.

App Marketing Guide

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/22 – 8/26

The Appreneur Weekly

Here at Zapporoo, our goal is to help each and every person that has a mobile app idea turn that idea into a thriving business. To help further our mission, we scour the interwebs each week to find and share the best content we can find on app development, app monetization, app marketing, and more so that you don’t have to. Be sure to read and implement the strategies you learn from these posts each week and watch your app business flourish.

In this week’s edition, we cover articles ranging from app analytics to promotional press releases for your app. We also looked at a lot of info on who you’re marketing your app to and how you’ll reach them.

Audit Analytics

How To Audit Your Analytics

App developers are entrepreneurs, but the long-term goal should be to establish your app into a lasting business with you at the helm. And while both a basic entrepreneur and a successful businessman will take chances, the difference depends on whether you learn from your experiences.

But what if the data you’re gathered on your app is imperfect? Not only will bad data fail to yield positive results, it could be altogether destructive.

Amplitude has a great article on auditing your analytics. They get into the nuts and bolts of identifying your users and the actions they take before deciding whether your analytics are yielding results. It’s not glamorous, but it will pay dividends:

“Setting up your instrumentation and putting together a list of baseline measurements isn’t the most exciting part of mobile analytics, but it may well be the most important.”

Make sure that you can follow your data and trust your tools.

Follow @AmplitudeMobile and @chanamuu on Twitter

Nielsen Demographics

Different generations demand different mobile adverts – research finds motivation for viewing ads varies widely

From an app marketing perspective, getting to know your users is crucial. But how much do you really know about which marketing channels your audience prefers based on age?

Business of Apps has an excellent summary of the differences between the generations, listed out so you can make more targeted marketing decisions right from the start:

“According to the study, 19% of Millennials, 17% of Generation X and 14% of Baby Boomers considered mobile ads with promotions, such as coupon codes or loyalty points a high motivator to view an ad. In contrast, Generation Z and the Greatest Generation are more motivated to look at an ad that targets just what they are searching for.”

There’s much more to learn, and Business of Apps sums up the implications for marketers rather nicely.

Follow @BusinessOfApps on Twitter



If you’re human like the rest of us, you can’t hold everything you know in your head at once. So, even if you’re already aware of the 8 types of mobile marketing campaigns featured in AppBoy’s article, you can benefit from recalling, building upon, and refining your knowledge.

You have good reason to master these marketing campaigns:

“Your mobile-centric CRM should allow you to coordinate all of these different types of messages into a robust marketing plan. With some careful attention to personalization, automation and customer journeys, you can create compelling messages that will build trust and make your app a habit for your users.

The 8 types listed aren’t your super-common suggestions, but they’re also not so esoteric that one firm couldn’t implement them all. In a fine middle area, AppBoy will educate in a way that reads smoothly and will stay in your mind long afterward.

Follow @Appboy on Twitter


How to Use PR Campaigns to get App Downloads – A Case Study With Jason Izatt

Practical knowledge often beats speculation by a long shot; thus, the case for good case studies like the one conducted by Blue Cloud Solutions. Based on some real-world experience, the case study taps into using press releases (not public relations) as opposed to paid advertising in order to grab new app users.

“The highest ROI Jason has had from ANY marketing efforts is from prMac, a free press release distribution service aimed at enhancing the visibility of press releases for the Mac and iOS platforms. prMac will send your Press Release to over 800 agencies to post on their websites.”

Naturally, what works for some may not work for everyone. However, there’s no end to the tools and services out there, and hearing that a particular method works well from experience might be just the nudge you need to really take off.

Follow @carterthomas on Twitter

Like this post? Don’t forget to checkout previous editions of “The Appreneur Weekly” for more education on how to grow your app business. 

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/15 – 8/19

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/8 – 8/12

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/1 – 8/5

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/25 – 7/29

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/18 – 7/22

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/4 – 7/8

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/20 – 6/24

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/06 – 6/10

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/30 – 6/3

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/23 – 5/27

mobile app development guide

A Novice’s Guide To Hiring An iPhone App Developer


You have an amazing app idea, but if you’re not an app developer yourself, what do you do?

You could learn how to create your own programming code now, but as we’ve covered in another post, creating an app without coding experience can backfire in numerous ways.

The alternatives for a novice in the industry are hiring a freelance developer and hiring an app development company. Regardless of which you choose, there are plenty of steps to take and variables by which to measure your potential developers. We’ll break down each type of developer, the reasons you might choose them, and the process for hiring the right one.

We’re going to focus on hiring a developer for iOS, which is Apple’s mobile operating system. While iOS also runs on iPad tablets, the main market for iOS apps is iPhone users, so we’ve put the focus of this article on developing for the iPhone first and foremost.

Time required to hire an iPhone app developer

The speed with which you find the right iPhone app developer will depend on the needs of your app, your budget, and your research tools. Of course, the amount of time you commit per week to seeking these developers will directly affect your timeline. We’ll suggest a number of different sources for finding developers after narrowing them down into categories.

In general, though? Anticipate committing around a week to look at options so you have a large enough pool to compare from. If you’re still not satisfied, a month should be fine, but remember that you may not be the only one with your app idea. In a race to get to the market, don’t make finding a developer your bottleneck.

How much it may cost to hire an iPhone developer

Hiring an iPhone app developer depends on the size and complexity of your app. It may also depend on how many versions you need to create, which can change as a result of how solid your vision for the app is. The more you know about your app already, the fewer versions you’ll need to create.

You will, to an extent, also get what you pay for. The best iPhone app developers will usually charge more for their services because they have the experience to prove their value. Other customers with app ideas want to hire them too, and with a limited number of resources available, great developers will often raise the price in order to sort out their demand problem.

What about the hard numbers on iPhone app development?

Well, averages indicate that extremely simple apps based on existing frameworks start between $5,000 and $10,000 to develop. However, interactive apps or complex games cost over $100,000 apiece, especially considering their need to remain competitive at the top of the app industry.

The costs may differ depending on whether you choose to work with a freelance developer or an app development company, and we’ll discuss what benefits those developer have for their customers.

Freelance iPhone app developers

Who they are

A freelance iPhone app developer is an individual who takes on development projects on his or her own without a parent company. Oftentimes, if a job is too big for one person, a freelance developer works with other contractors for things like graphics and databases, but the group of people who build your app won’t form a company together. The primary point of contact remains freelance.

The most reliable freelance developers will be committed full-time to projects, but some freelancers work on apps in order to earn extra income or refine their skills.

Where to find them

Most freelance developers can be found online through various platforms built for finding all kinds of freelancers. Some of them allow you to set your parameters like a job board, others allow you to detail scope and take bids, and a few simply let you open a discussion with a freelancer to get pricing.

Here are a few freelance locators that we found helpful: – A portal built exclusively for hiring high-quality iOS developers.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.27.12 AM – Provides a lot of information about its best developers in order to help you make an educated choice about who you take on as a freelancer.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.27.22 AM – Built for all sorts of freelancers, you may be able to find multiple contractors for all different parts of your app’s creation and marketing here.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.27.36 AM – You’ll have to search within a particular city for specific terms, even though app developers tend to work just fine on remote projects from any location.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.27.45 AM

How to vet them

You’ll definitely want to see a portfolio of work before agreeing to start with any developer. Even an entry-level app developer will have a project to display skill and the ability to bring a project to completion. Anyone without samples or a portfolio is safe to pass up, as there’s no way for you to gauge the work they’ll provide.

Second, get multiple quotes from comparable developers. If a few developers claim similar work experience, show equal quality in their portfolio, and want to provide equal work, get their pricing.

Extreme outliers who are too expensive may simply be inflating costs, although they may still be worth the price. Outliers who are priced too low may have too little incentive to care about your project. Naturally, you could still get top-notch work for a cheap price, but you assume the risk when a price seems too good to be true.

A good indicator of extreme price difference is when a high bid comes out to more than 150% of the next bidder when everyone else is within a smaller gap. An extremely low bid would be less than 50% of the next highest bidder. Even with these numbers as reference points, remember to trust your own instincts about what you’re buying.

And as always, compare apples to apples. When price differences pop up, you can ask a developer what he is providing differently from other developers. You may find out that the price is completely justified.

Pros and cons of using a freelance developer


  • Freelance app developers don’t have a lot of business overhead expenses, leading to potentially lower costs to start a project.
  • Some freelance developers are more willing to negotiate costs in order to win your business if they’re not currently in high demand.
  • When working with a freelance developer, you’ll likely get to interact and build a relationship with only one point of contact of the course of your entire project.


  • When working with a freelancer, you may have to manage multiple contractors and provide much of the design framework for your app on your own.
  • A freelance developer who doesn’t have a business reputation at stake can be unreliable or even fail to finish a project due to a lack of accountability.
  • Many freelance developers don’t have a broad experience over a large variety of apps, and can’t work on medium or large app projects at all because of scale.

iPhone app development companies

Who they are

App development companies are businesses that drive their revenue by creating mobile apps for interested clients. In most cases, they can guide you through everything from initial design all the way through monetization and marketing on the backend. They’ll take over the vast majority of the work for you and then deliver your current product at each major phase for your approval.

These companies are built on experience, often starting with freelancers who already have an impressive portfolio so that there’s never a challenge that they can’t overcome from the beginning.

Where to find them

Search engines may help you find the right app development company for you, especially if you’re looking locally or regionally. You may also want to go with a company you trust, either from a direct referral or from a relationship built through free tools or content resources they offer online.

Here are a few app development company resources we found useful: App Developer Directory 2016 – As an iPhone app developer, we can answer questions you have about finding a development company and the mobile app development process.

How to vet them

You’ll definitely want to see the company’s portfolio as a first step. While every app development company can be expected to show good work, you should be looking for a qualitative match rather than an objective “best” company. For example, examine whether their existing apps prioritize the same things you want, whether it be visuals, speed, ease of use, complexity, or originality.

There are a few other make-or-break attributes you can find about a company fairly easy:

  1. Look at ratings and reviews
  2. Look at hours of work and revenue received
  3. Do they speak your language?

If a company doesn’t meet your standards on customer feedback, company size, or language compatibility, you might be able to quickly eliminate the option.

You’ll find it imperative to get on the phone and speak with a representative of the company. In many ways a good company will guide the initial contact process themselves, but you absolutely should come prepared with questions of your own to qualify the company.

A good mobile app development company will provide you with models of how your app will look and function at the early stages. Rather than work immediately towards the total app completion from launch, you’ll need a blueprint and a foundation. These stepping stones will work to protect you from getting too financially committed to a project before seeing a model of what you’re going to get.

A mobile app company that plans to go straight from idea to total completion in a single step may get in too deep working in a direction you’re not happy with. It’s much more appropriate to design the app, make appropriate changes early, and then build the functionality once everything is approved.

Many of the top app companies will verify whether your app is even achievable before breaking ground on your project. As an example, you may want to create an app that can take pictures with night vision, but unfortunately, that technology isn’t integrated into phones right now. It wouldn’t be possible to create.

They may offer, as an alternative, creating an app with camera filters that imitate night vision, X-ray, and infrared, and if you like it, then you can kick off on that new project instead.

Pros and cons of using an iPhone app development company


  • An app development company will manage the entire process for you, drastically reducing the headache and time involved for you.
  • App development companies spend all their time on their business, and therefore will be available and accountable during the entire process.
  • The right size company can develop larger projects and make more specific changes that you desire thanks to a larger team size and experience pool.
  • Companies that develop apps have an incentive to finish your app in a timely manner so they can increase customer ratings and move to the next big project.


  • An app development company, having many clients, may seem less personal with your project, and may direct you to multiple points of contact.
  • Some larger companies are expensive due to high demand for their work and the overhead costs of managing personnel.
  • After working with many similar app ideas spanning many years, an app development company may not automatically provide as much of a unique touch for your project as you’re looking for at first.

How serious are you about your app?

When you’re looking for an app developer, you’ll want to imagine what type of end product you’re expecting. Do you want a high-quality, polished app you can monetize and associate with your brand? Or, are you simply wanting to bring an idea you had to life so you can show your friends and family? These little nuances will change the way you see app development, pricing, and expectations.

To find out more about starting an app business so you can answer all of these questions and more, download our free ebook on how to become the next app millionaire by clicking the button below.

mobile app development guide

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/15 – 8/19

The Appreneur Weekly

Here at Zapporoo, our goal is to help each and every person that has a mobile app idea turn that idea into a thriving business. To help further our mission, we scour the interwebs each week to find and share the best content we can find on app development, app monetization, app marketing, and more so that you don’t have to. Be sure to read and implement the strategies you learn from these posts each week and watch your app business flourish.

In this week’s edition, we’re going to show you the articles we loved that covered in-app messages, overcoming marketing complacency, and early focus on app user retention. We’re also featuring an excellent infographic on the nature of search engine marketing in the mobile realm.


5 Examples of Killer In-App Messages

I love a good app business article that doesn’t just tell you what to do but also shows a model for how you should be doing it. Localytics knocks it out of the park with 5 examples of how to use in-app messages, with each example showing an entirely unique function for those messages.

Not entirely sure what in-app messages are or why you would use them? From Localytics:

“Push notifications are those messages you receive to your home screen when you’re outside of the app, where in-app messages are media-rich messages you receive in the app. Surprisingly though, one-third of all apps don’t use them.

We want to change all that. Because there’s a lot to like about in-app:

We kept our eyes peeled for apps that do in-app messaging well, and we weren’t disappointed.”

You’ll almost certainly recognize a couple of the app examples, but it helps that the article uses a combination of apps with medium and large followings so you get a well-rounded sample.

Follow @Localytics and @MauraKCan on Twitter

mobile app strateges

10 New App Marketing Strategies

A fantastic article, this one is less about overarching “strategy” in the formal sense and more about 10 new perspectives for approaching mobile app marketing.

The uniting theme of these new perspectives is that complacency will set you back as a mobile app developer or marketer.

“It is no longer acceptable to have an app (or series of apps) simply for the sake of having it. Mobile’s tremendous impact has been recognized, and we have begun to evaluate it as an essential part of the business, but we must also reassess how we market our apps.”

Author Andrew Gazdecki basically lays it out as that ultimatum for your app: adapt, or perish (that’s my melodramatic take on it). If you can commit your full attention to even half of the various angles Gazdecki provides, your app stands a significantly better chance at achieving continued marketing success.

Follow @Apptentive and @agazdecki on Twitter

retention curve

When Should You Start Thinking About Retention?

The overzealous among you might have answered the title question with “always!” (which the article says is correct), but you’d still be left wondering what to do about it.

This article suggests that, even in the planning and early user acquisition phases, you can start deciding whether or not your marketing and app are even targeting the correct users to retain at all.

“If you’re spending time and money on user acquisition but don’t have product-market fit, then you’re wasting your time. “It’s easier to expand userwise than satisfactionwise,” as Paul Graham has said.

If you do have product-market fit, then retention analysis will help you identify just where you are in the many stages of building a great product—and what you need to do to make it even better.”

Being a sucker for measurable standards myself, I really loved the graphic outlay author Archana Madhavan uses to show where we find failures and successes in retention. Whether you’re in app development or marketing, you’ll probably appreciate the articles explanations and visuals as well.

Follow @AmplitudeMobile and @chanamuu on Twitter

Mobile Search Engine Advertising – Statistics and Trends [Infographic]

Is mobile search engine advertising really a viable channel for promoting your app?

[Spoiler Alert]: Yes, of course mobile search engine advertising is successful in many cases. But this excellent infographic from Invesp shows how effective this type of ad model is compared to other channels, as well as conveying what the strengths and weaknesses of mobile search ads are.

Mobile search engine advertising

Infographic by- Invesp Consulting

Follow @invesp on Twitter

Like this post? Don’t forget to checkout previous editions of “The Appreneur Weekly” for more education on how to grow your app business. 

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/8 – 8/12

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/1 – 8/5

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/25 – 7/29

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/18 – 7/22

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/4 – 7/8

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/20 – 6/24

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/06 – 6/10

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/30 – 6/3

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/23 – 5/27

mobile app development guide

How to name your app perfectly for marketing and ASO


When developing an app, even in the idea phase, you have to come up with an app name.

Your app’s name is often the first and most important part of your app’s brand that users will interact with. It helps people recognize the purpose of your app, remember who you are, and tell others about you. It can even add a stylish appeal that transcends the app itself, when done correctly.

But how do you do come up with a really catchy name? How can you make sure it’s original but still describes your app to unfamiliar audiences? And how can you make sure it’s not already taken?

We lay out what to do in the correct order so you can decide how you want to name your app, how to check whether the name is taken, and how to improve the app name in app marketplaces.

Create a catchy but relevant name first

It’s hard to say at the ground floor whether your name needs to be obvious, like “Videoshop” or plain catchy, like “Tinder.” After all, each name serves a different purpose, but both of them function well for their related app.

The key is striking a balance. Videoshop is still simple and sounds fun even if the name is more about explaining the app than it is about catching your attention. The core name isn’t “Video Editor App,” so it still straddles the divide between elegance and function.


Some apps simply count on social media and marketing to push their app, completely ignoring whether or not the app’s name is self-explanatory, and that’s fine for some. However, if you’re relying on first impressions in an app marketplace search, you’ll want to compromise. You can’t afford to name your app something completely original and cool at the risk of casual searchers passing you by for an app that’s just named after what it does.

Tinder, on the other hand, is still a memorable app name once you get the meaning. It’s an app for finding a dating match so you can potentially ignite a flame of passion. Once you see the icon and hear the name, it comes together so that the name is more than just a cool-sounding placeholder.

The name “Tinder” doesn’t entirely explain the app to completely new users, but it does logically fit the app, leading to better reception with audiences who hear about it in passing and may choose to download it later. Tinder is a name that’s simple and sounds good for any app, but it makes more sense to use it for this particular app than it does for a vegan recipes app, for example.

tinder logo

Naming your app after your company or product

If your app is going to be branded as an extension of your existing company, you have the option of simply naming your app after who you are. Even the Starbucks app is named for the company, although some companies name an app after a particular product instead.

Starbucks App feature better

DC Comics released a game app called “Injustice: Gods Among Us” that is named after the console version of the game without mentioning that it’s from DC Comics and Warner Brothers in the title. It’s still named after an existing thing, but not the company itself.

Injustice app

Test out your app name

You may want to come up with a few potential app names, then ask friends and family, especially the people in your target market, for honest feedback. You may realize that an app name turns out to be too difficult to spell or pronounce, or that it’s offensive or misleading.

If you have a few successful candidates, that’s okay. You may find that one or more app names are already taken, and you can always choose your own favorite from among those that test subjects liked.

Catchy app name resources

16 Tips for Picking the Perfect Startup Name

Getsocio Free Mobile App Name Generator

Check existing apps, then trademark your app name

Once you’ve named your app, you have to check for whether someone else is already using the name. For those of you who are using your own trademarked company or product name, you’re in the clear. Everyone else, though, needs to do a little research.

The first step is to search Google on the web, Google Play, and the App Store for your app’s name. If you see your beautiful new app name already slapped across some other similar product, you’ll probably need to return to the first step. In the case that there are different wordings, and you’re in entirely different industries, you can move on to the next search.

Whether or not you see your app name being used, you can’t be sure that you’re free to move forward yet. You’ll want to search the United States Trademark and Patent Office to see what has already been legally reserved. If you have any confusion during this part of the task, you should contact a legal expert or someone experienced with app development for help.

Places to search existing app names:

  • Google Play
  • The App Store
  • Web searches like Google and Bing
  • The United States Trademark and Patent Office

The worst thing that can happen is that you move forward, spending time and money on branding your app, when you could have simply searched a little harder early on. Do your research and be confident in the name you choose. Then, trademark the app name for yourself so that newcomers won’t steal your catchy, informative, and available app name right our from under you.

App trademark resources:

United States Trademark and Patent Office

A brief explanation of how and why to get an app trademarked.

Optimize your long-form app name for ASO

Good news! If you started out by creating a catchy name like we suggested, then most app marketplaces will still allow you to create a longer, more descriptive name for potentially unfamiliar audiences to see. Within this extended title, you can include a few keywords to make your app stand out.

App Store Optimization, or ASO, is the method by which you can take advantage of these keywords in the app title to both make the app purpose clearer and include keywords that people would search for when looking for an app like yours.

And while it might seem like cheating to include extra words just so your app is easier to find, remember that the users and the app store also want your app to get found when it’s a proper match. One of the only ways to connect app developers and app users is by finding a common language, which happens through keywords that match search terms and app categories.

Even Gmail, which is one of the most popular email hosts on the planet, uses keywords in their app name. Why? Because new email app users enter the market every day. If they don’t already have a Gmail account, then they’re more likely to go with a different app that shows up higher in search. Eventually, Gmail could be beaten by an inferior app that simply chose to use a descriptive app name for ASO.

They don’t overdo it or add irrelevant terms, though. The title is “Gmail – email from Google” so that they’re more likely to be found for the terms “email” and “Google” rather than just “Gmail.”

Gmail App Store

App name ASO resources

App Name Length and ASO


Stick with your name

Once you start marketing and launch with an app name, it’s important to stay the course. If you put in the proper testing and research ahead of time, you shouldn’t have any confusion or trademark issues to make you rethink what you’re doing.

And if the app launches slow after development, don’t necessarily put the name on the chopping block. While sometimes it is best to admit defeat and start over, it’s often wise to simply wait and let your audience grow accustomed to your brand. What seems alien at first might eventually become a household name.

Build out the rest of your ASO and marketing

Is your app named and ready to go? Don’t forget the other major factors of ASO:

  • Reviews
  • Keywords
  • Description
  • Screenshots
  • Downloads and download speed
  • App usage
  • Similar search terms
  • Search term click through rate

In order to nail down your ASO, check out our guide, App Store Ranking Factors: What They Are and How To Optimize.

ASO is only one factor of the app marketing puzzle, too. For your convenience, click the button below to read our Complete Newbie’s Guide To Mobile App Marketing Strategies.

App Marketing Guide

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/8 – 8/12

The Appreneur Weekly

Here at Zapporoo, our goal is to help each and every person that has a mobile app idea turn that idea into a thriving business. To help further our mission, we scour the interwebs each week to find and share the best content we can find on app development, app monetization, app marketing, and more so that you don’t have to. Be sure to read and implement the strategies you learn from these posts each week and watch your app business flourish.

In this week’s edition, you’ll learn some excellent tips about writing for mobile audiences and improving ASO. We’ll also dig into some unique territory by exploring mobile branding, in-app messages, and even the new Android Instant Apps.

Apple’s App Store Updates: What You Need to Know

Localytics provides a timely article on news around the App Store for this summer and fall. Because Apple is offering new opportunities for developers, you’ll have to check out the article to see where your company can leap ahead (or where you can adapt to stay on top)!

The TL;DR in their own words:

  • The new subscription model offers more potential for profit, but be sure that you are offering your users a service where they are willing to come back to your app again and again.
  • Paid search ads are coming this fall. Take the time now to grasp the new algorithm, consider your budget and be fully optimized at rollout.
  • Relevant apps can become much more discoverable. Now that the “Featured” tab is more instinctual to local, cultural and seasonal happenings, consider your user base and create unique, timely content.

If any of this sounds like something you’d want to know more about, jump into the main article.

Follow @Localytics on Twitter


When you visit an app store, you assume that the “search” feature will do its very best to match you up with a logical fit for your search term. After all, that’s what makes the secret algorithm behind the scenes so special.

But thanks to App Store Optimization (ASO), a little know-how can put seemingly inferior apps ahead of the obvious search target. This happens thanks to automation, because frankly, there are far too many terms and app results for someone to rank them manually.

The irony, according to Gummicube: The world’s current top app, Pokémon Go, isn’t ranking well for some of the exact terms people would use to search for it.

“While brand recognition and online chatter have contributed significantly to make [Pokémon Go] number one on the charts, those factors can only take a game so far. As of now, when the social media masses move on to the next big craze, Pokémon Go won’t have a leg to stand on.”


There’s a lot to learn about your own company’s ASO. Have you been relying on social media, PR, or paid advertising to support your app? Better get the ASO in line before the bottom falls out.

Follow @Gummicube on Twitter

3 Ways To Measure User Retention

As app entrepreneurs, developers, and marketers, we often forget that some of our measures of success are subjective. While not entirely arbitrary, the information we choose to measure and how we analyze it is ultimately up to us.

The good news? You’ve got multiple ways to slice your data so you can get the most honest, insightful, and useful information out of it. Amplitude provides three solid ways to measure user retention, one of which should be a superior fit for your app than the others.

Figuring out which type of retention to use is heavily dependent on how frequently you expect people to use your app. If you expect people to come back on a regular basis, like daily for a mobile game, or weekly for an exercise app, then N day retention is probably a better fit. If you notice that many of your users don’t have a steady usage pattern — for example, a food delivery app where people place orders sporadically, then unbounded retention may provide a more accurate measure of how your business is doing.”

Avoid skewing your picture to look better or worse by choosing the wrong retention measurement. Read more in Amplitude’s article and make the right call.

Follow @AmplitudeMobile on Twitter

Apple’s App Store Will Hit 5 Million Apps by 2020, More Than Doubling Its Current Size

The app industry is already enormous, and it shows no signs of slowing yet. But, according to SensorTower, the App Store doesn’t really have a hard limit in sight. The current growth is sustainable for millions of additional apps, and by 2020, we should see over 5 million total apps available for download.

5 million apps

SensorTower has the data to back up their claims:

“In order to produce this report, Sensor Tower’s data science team analyzed historical data and trends from the App Store’s launch in 2008 through present, utilizing our App Intelligence platform.”

The article also ponders what all this app volume will mean for visibility. In a marketplace with more than twice as many apps, it’ll be at least twice as hard to be found, right? Read the article to find out SensorTower’s conclusions on the subject.

Follow @SensorTower on Twitter

Calculate the Life Time Value (LTV) of your App Users for Massive Branding And Success [INFOGRAPHIC]

Have you been tracking the real lifetime value (LTV) of your customers? Have you been comparing it to the cost to acquire each of those users?

To brush up on your analysis of LTV and what it means for app profitability, check out this infographic from Dot Com Infoway.

Why should you care about LTV? According to the author:

“What this means is that LTV helps app developers plan marketing budgets optimally by helping them differentiate between high-value customers and the rest. Thus, app developers can leverage their marketing spends in a better manner by focusing on clients that are better ROI than acquiring tons of low value clients.”

If you’re spending more money per customer than you make from them, you’re working backwards. Find out who the valuable customers are, spend less on the other audiences, and make your app profitable again.

Follow @DotComInfoway on Twitter

Like this post? Don’t forget to checkout previous editions of “The Appreneur Weekly” for more education on how to grow your app business. 

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 8/1 – 8/5

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/25 – 7/29

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/18 – 7/22

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 7/4 – 7/8

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/20 – 6/24

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 6/06 – 6/10

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/30 – 6/3

The Appreneur Weekly – Education For Serious App Creators 5/23 – 5/27

mobile app development guide

How successful emoji keyboard apps make so much money

In a world of texting and instant messaging, sometimes words just don’t say enough. In many cases, the perfect image would not only be clearer but would come across faster, too.

So most smartphone users resort to emoji, sometimes called “emoticons.” And yes, no matter how literate we are, 92% of consumers use emoji.

While iOS and Android already have integrated emoji keyboards, and users can string together symbols to make their own, you can also find a huge number of emoji apps. With anywhere from dozens to thousands of unique emoji per app, the options to express yourself in symbols is nearly endless.

Do you dream of developing your own app idea? Want to learn from the success of apps like the emoji/emoticon apps that have satisfied users and made excellent returns for developers?

We’ll show you how emoji apps work, how they market, and how they monetize. We’ll also give you a few examples as points of reference.


How do emoji apps work?


Basic phone emoji are just images displayed in place of the symbols that would normally represent a similar expression or object. In other words: your phone knows when you type a basic emoji and puts a picture there instead of the symbols.

But what about emoji apps that don’t use existing symbols?

It turns out that mobile operating systems like iOS and Android come pre-built with rules for what can and cannot be an emoji. If an image falls within a certain file size and type, then it can be an emoji. Usually, once you download an emoji app, you have to change your setting to allow it as an additional keyboard.

Then, all it takes is either copying the image or having an app ‘push’ that image to your keyboard, and voila. The emoji is there for you to send to your worthy recipient.


Successful emoji apps often target niche audiences


Emoji apps aren’t some historical artifacts – they’re current products that make millions of dollars in the mobile industry! It only makes sense that we name a few of the top emoji apps and identify what makes them successful.

The real key to figuring out what makes these apps successful is identifying their niche market. By finding an audience with specific tastes that is underserved by other options, almost any emoji app can become a hit.



KIMOJI, the Kim Kardashian-themed emoji app, is one of the most popular app keyboards around. Why? Because sometimes there’s no better way to express your feelings than by using Kanye West’s face, legally licensed for your enjoyment.

Essentially, celebrity endorsements can nearly guarantee the success of an emoji keyboard. Don’t worry though: if you don’t have a celebrity contact in mind, it’s not just about the recognition they bring to the table. It also means the developers recognize who they’re reaching out to and what they expect.

Who’s the niche audience for KIMOJI

Obviously, this app appeals to fans of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West above all else. With such huge followings in the reality TV and hip-hop cultures, this royal family of media doesn’t have to do much more than continue to deliver what their audience has already liked for years.

While the marketing for this app is genuinely targeted to fans, though, the app has also achieved mild success with audiences who download the emoji keyboard ironically. The lesson? Go for your own unique audience and sometimes even the outsiders will want to take part.


Bitmoji SS

A customizable emoji app, Bitmoji comes free but offers additional emoji libraries for a download fee. You can make an emoji avatar that looks like you, and the emoji tend to convey more than just a single item or emotion.

Bitmoji seems a little bit more involved at times, so it’s not for everyone. However, the extra steps required tend to have a big payoff for the patient users who really wants to send a message they can call their own.

Who’s the niche audience for Bitmoji

Since Bitmoji was recently acquired by Snapchat, the answer is that Snapchat is targeting their own audience. The Bitmoji app is compatible with Snapchat, and the complex emoji in Bitmoji serve the same function as Snapchat: telling a story through a single image or animation.

The customization and Facebook origin of Bitstrips (Bitmoji’s predecessor) seem like leads on other audiences, but ultimately, those groups are rather large. The real core of the product is instant storytelling, and that’s Snapchat’s modus operandi.


How do emoji apps monetize?


A few small developers may work on passion projects like free emoji apps just to make the world a happier place, but most people trafficking in emoticons are doing it for financial gain.

One popular trend among top emoji apps is to treat an emoji keyboard like an item ‘on the shelf.’ A single price is charged for certain specific emoji options, and then the product becomes yours, just like buying a toy from a brick-and-mortar store.

Other apps may choose different approaches. While each app may do so a little differently, here are some of the ways that emoji apps monetize.

Download fee


Apps like MuvaMoji by Amber Rose charge an up-front fee, which in this case is only $1.99. Now, for smaller app developers, the price would normally deter the average customer. However, with such a huge celebrity endorsement, downloads will often come regardless of price tag.

MuvaMoji made millions of dollars, bringing in over $2 million on its first day of release alone.

MuvaMoji SS

Premium content


Whether the app costs money to download or it’s free, the developer may also choose to monetize through premium content downloads within the app.

Love that emoji keyboard, but want even more? Simply pay another $1.99. An in-app transaction would be as simple as that. The success it that you already know you like the product and that it works, so an additional purchase has minimal risk. Premium content options are typically a win-win situation for both the consumer and the developer.

One of the largest emoji apps that operates almost completely on the in-app purchase model is Emoji>. The app is free to download and use, but offers updates for your specific messaging needs.

Emoji App SS



Some emoji apps display ads while you pull up their emoji keyboard. They make the money by gathering impressions and clicks for the ads, although this is not one of the more popular methods of monetizing the most popular apps.

Or, in the case of brand-specific emoji apps like the Disney Gif + Keyboard, the app also helps to promote other brand products. Encouraging your audience to interact with characters and images from popular movies is a sure way to sell more tickets, DVDs, and toys.

Disney SS

These monetization strategies work for other apps, too


Emoji apps aren’t the only apps that monetize in the ways we listed above. On the flip side, emoji apps are finding new and unique ways to monetize based on what makes their product unique. Given all the monetization options, a savvy app developer will likely stumble onto other viable income strategies already being used in the app industry.

If you have your own emoji app idea or simply want to know more about how apps make money, check out our app monetization guide.

How Do Apps Make Money - App Monetization