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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

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Chapter 25. You Built It But They Didn’t Come: Eight Tricks for Marketing Your Mobile App

If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it? And if your app joins the 50 bajillion other apps already on the market, will anyone notice?

I’ve had the privilege of building apps with hundreds of thousands of downloads, but sadly, the default answer is a big, bold no. In fact, a recent study revealed that 60% of apps don’t make money. You, however, want to be in the 40% that do. Don’t leave it up to luck—take action.

In a roughly descending order of importance, here are some ways to beat the odds.

Build a Great App

I know it’s shocking, but great apps are going to sell better than crappy apps. So make sure you’re working on something great!

That could be a totally new type of app, or it could be a completely reimagined approach to a common app type. What it cannot be is yet another boring matching-jewels game: there are 5,000 of them already.

Having a great app isn’t just about a great idea. It’s also about great execution: design, user experience, even details like a great icon. Perhaps shockingly, having a stunning icon is hugely important. It’s often the first thing users see, and they will base their impressions of your professionalism, design, and hipness on that tiny little square of pixels.

Get Great Reviews

Users are going to decide whether or not to risk the time cost and dollar cost of downloading your app based on the reviews they see. It can be cruel and brutal, but your ...

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