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APP STORE OPTIMIZATION · HUGH KIMURA · SEPTEMBER 2013

Boost Your iOS App Downloads With A Price Drop

Dropping your iOS app price can increase your downloads, but maybe not in the way you think. Learn why this is a good mobile app marketing strategy.

This is a widely known mobile app marketing strategy, but if you have never heard of it before, it is one of the simplest (and cheapest) ways to boost your downloads. In this post, we will show you the strategy and explain why it works, so you can add it to your marketing arsenal.

Start Your App At A High Price

This strategy can be used at any point in the lifecycle of your app, but it can be especially effective when you first launch your app. First, price your app at a price that is higher than what you want your app to ultimately be priced at.

A price reduction from $49.99 to $0.99 is not believeable, but a drop from $2.99 to $0.99 is a nice discount. Or even better, a drop from $2.99 to free will get some attention. It just depends on your monetization strategy and your goals for your app.

At first glance, this may appear to work only because people shopping for apps may have seen your app the week before and might get excited that it is now cheaper. That certainly may be the case, but it is highly unlikely. There is another reason that this works.

Why It Works

There are thousands of websites and apps out there that monitor the App Store feed for price drops and make them available to people looking for a good deal. For example, this is a portion of the listing from 148apps.com.

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The highly rated App Price Drops app is one example of an app that looks for good deals on iPhone and iPad apps. It allows you to set price alerts on apps that you are interested in and also helps you with app discovery.

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There are different ways that these aggregators filter and sort these apps, depending on the audience they are targeting. They make money by inserting their Apple affiliate link into these listings and get a 5% commission if people buy through their link. So they have a big incentive to present quality discounted apps.

Take some time to look at these sites and apps and see what they are looking for. Do they look for the largest price drops? Are there particular niche sites that you would want to appear on? Check out some developer forums and groups to get a feel for what has been working for others. This isn't rocket science, so don't over think it, but it is worth doing a few minutes of research to see what will work best for your app.

If you want to get into some advanced price drop strategies, Carter Thomas has done some experiments with price cycling, in which he does this multiple times with the same app. Big word of warning though, this will only work for certain types of apps. If you are establishing a brand or have a price sensitive app, then price cycling is NOT a good strategy. Read the article for more information.

Conclusion

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As you can see, this is a super simple strategy, but it can have a huge ripple effect as aggregator services pick up your price drop. This can then lead to more downloads and a better ranking on the App Store. As with any other marketing strategy, test it and see how it works for your particular app.

How did the price drop strategy work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Ripples by freebird710 via Flickr CC


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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: September 2013

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