Pay-What-You-Want In-App Purchase Results in Higher Earnings

The Android app, Easy Contact Sync, is a contact backup tool that allows you to back up your phone contacts to its SD card and a range of cloud-based storage. This app has a Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) in-app purchase as shown in the following series of images (courtesy of Paradise Android):

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Figure 1: In-app purchase dialog box pops up when the user selects more than three contacts to copy.

pwyw2 Figure 2: Pay the price you think is worthy of the app. Or, pay what you can afford. Whatever price you choose to pay, you will get the same product.

pwyw3 Figure 3: Confirm the price you want to pay.

 pwyw4

 Figure 4: Pay, or add your credit/debit card details.

In-App Purchase PWYW can yield a higher number of purchases because the buyer is free to pay what he feels the app is worth. If he finds the app superb, he may be pleased to fork out a higher price for the in-app product. If your app isn’t very delightful, but still useful, he may still go ahead with the in-app purchase, but at a reduced price.

With in-app PWYW, the buyer is now permitted to pay what she can afford. This eliminates alienating the potential buyer who loves your app but feels she cannot afford the fixed-price in-app purchase. With PWYW in-app purchases, the developer will still receive money from this type of buyers, though the amount is diminished. Click here.

The buyer may think your app is great, or the buyer may feel your app is passable. She may be able to easily afford the app, or she may not have much money. To get cash immediately for the app, look for loanload.co.uk on the internet and fill up their application. But with PWYW in-app products, suddenly all these different types of buyers are able to pay the amount they feel is right. Because of this, the number of purchases for a PWYW in-app product is proven to be much higher compared to that of a fixed-price in-app product.

In-App Purchase PWYW can result in higher profits if you donate part of the proceeds to charity. In one PWYW research, they found consumers willing to pay up to five times more if a portion of the revenues was given to charity. In another PWYW study, the average price paid for an item was initially $0.92. Then, when consumers were told that half the proceeds would go to aid organizations, the average price paid for the item jumped to a staggering $6.50.

Suggest a reasonable price. To encourage your app users to pay more than the minimum price set for your in-app product, you can suggest a “reasonable” price. For example, if you have the pricing options like in Figure 2 above, you can preselect the $3 option if you feel that’s the reasonable price for your in-app product.

Play with your buyer’s ego. Tell the buyer that on average, users paid X dollars for your in-app product. This average price ties in with the preselected “reasonable” price where both these prices should not be far apart. You want the buyer to feel the peer pressure of not wanting to be a scrooge and, on their purchase, match the average price or better it, for the sake of massaging their own ego.

Give PWYW a try in your in-app purchase and tell me how well it works for you.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_what_you_want
http://sandiego.bbb.org/article/is-there-a-pay-what-you-want-payoff-41247

17 Tips To A Killer App Description

Your app description page is not an app description page at all. It’s an app marketing page and you, the developer, are the salesman trying to get people to download your app. Since you can’t market to your potential users in person, pitching the value of your app in the app description page is the next best thing you can do to market your app. If your app is free, potential users will skim through the app description, looking for key information that will compel them to download the app. If you are charging for your app, then trust me, users will scrutinize every single word you put into the app description page before deciding to charge the app to their credit card.

I’m going to list 17 tips to a great app description. Each comes with a real app description snippet highlighted in red to bring home the point.

1. Clearly describe what the app does in a few short and sweet sentences before the “Read More” link. Viber does a very good job at this by telling the user what it is able to do – call, text and send photos for free to 175 million users worldwide – in the very first sentence itself. No fluff. Just straight to the point.

viber2

Viber. Source: play.google.com

2. Make the user read more by teasing them. If the user is not interested in clicking the “Read More” link to read a more detailed app description, you have pretty much lost the user. Besides being straight to the point, your first couple of sentences should make the user want to read more. If you read the first sentence in Scanner Radio Pro’s app description, the first thing that goes through your head is “Wow, am I really able to listen in on police scanners?? Way cooool… let’s see what this thing can do.” And you will instinctively want to see details of this radio scanner app.

scanner-radio1

Scanner Radio Pro. Source: play.google.com

3. Have you ever encountered a boring but successful sales pitch? No? Then your app description shouldn’t put people to sleep. See how Pig Rush portrays its app in a fun, appealing and interesting manner. Makes you want rush out, download the app and save poor Jumpy, doesn’t it?

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Pig Rush. Source: play.google.com

4. Skip anything that doesn’t do you justice. Cut out any texts that don’t have anything to do with the app. It does you no good if you tell your potential downloaders that the app is your first attempt in app development. Or, do you think users would be more inclined to download the app if you tell them your app development company “hails from sunny Maldives”?

catbug

Catbug Soundboard. Source: play.google.com

5. User reviews tell other users that the app has been downloaded, tried, and is useful or entertaining. For instance, we know most women take their menstrual cycles seriously, and there are loads of apps out there that track a woman’s cycles. If there’s one thing that a woman will trust, it’s the product reviews from other women. A satisfied female user who positively reviews your app sends a powerful marketing message to other women. Just take a look at Period Calendar/Tracker.

period-cal1

Period Calendar/Tracker. Source: play.google.com

6. Endorsements from the press or magazines tell would-be users that these guys, the influencers, have tried the app, and so should you. Besides being a cool app, Evernote has endorsements from big-timers like New York Times, TechCrunch and Mashable. They have tried the app and they loved it, so what are you waiting for?

evernote1

Evernote. Source: play.google.com

7. Being featured on the media tells users that the influencers found your app interesting enough to give air time or column space to. Calorie Counter was featured in a variety of heavyweights, from NY Times to WSJ to NBC. The message is clear: the authorities like the app; unless one is an eccentric, he or she will not regret downloading this featured app.

calorie-counter1

Calorie Counter. Source: play.google.com

8. Explain the app’s value proposition in bullet points. Your app needs to be special enough for people to download it. File Manager’s compelling value proposition (like FTP and Dropbox support) makes people want to download the app and use it in place of the platform’s native file manager. And these features are all listed in bullet points for easy reading.

file-manager2

File Manager. Source: play.google.com

9. State your target audience. The person is more likely to download your app if they fall into the target audience you have indicated. Imagine a mother looking for an app for her two-year-old daughter who is still a couple of years away from being categorized as preschool. There are tons of preschool apps out there and she isn’t sure if any of them are suitable for a two year old. However, she comes across Kids ABC Phonics that discloses the app is suitable for kids from two to seven. Mother hits jackpot. The chances of her trying this app skyrockets.

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Kids ABC Phonics. Source: play.google.com

10. Assure the user, especially if it’s a paid app. Assure them that you are reputable and not a fly-by-night app developer. Promise them they can reach you if they have any queries or hitches with the app. If you offer refunds, write that assurance down.

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Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden. Source: play.google.com

11. If your app is really that good and has received plenty of 4-5 star ratings, mention it in your app description. ROM Toolbox isn’t shy to reveal that they have garnered 13,000 five stars. A very powerful endorsement by actual people using the app indeed.

rom-toolbox1

ROM Toolbox Pro. Source: play.google.com

12. State the number of downloads if this figure is impressive. The advantage of showing the number of downloads is obvious. It is further proof that your app is entertaining (games) or useful (non-games). OfficeSuite Pro 7 (PDF & HD) boasts that its app has been installed on over 100 million devices with more than 40k registrations a day. Putting this number high up in the app description really gets people mesmerized enough to pay a rather high price of US$14.99 for the app.

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Office Suite Pro 7 (PDF & HD). Source: play.google.com

13. Display other great apps you have developed. If you are launching a new app, your app description should include some of the popular apps that you have created, if any. People will acknowledge you as a seasoned and successful developer, and will confidently believe the app you are launching will be just as successful.

dr-panda1 Dr. Panda’s Restaurant. Source: play.google.com

14. Use asterisks, arrows, stars, checkmarks, hearts and other symbols to make your app description stand out. Compare the description by Titanium Backup and My Backup Root. Which app description is visually more appealing?

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Titanium Backup’s app description versus My Backup Root’s app description. Source: play.google.com

15. Use only screenshots that show the essence of your app. Leave out the rest. Chrome does a very good job at this. It includes informative screenshots that show the user what they can expect before they download the app – like how the tabs are laid out like a deck of cards, how they can go incognito for private surfing and search as you type.

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Chrome. Source: play.google.com

16. If your app contains features that can be unlocked when the user reaches a certain level or if they pay for them, put them into the app description. In Angry Birds, users can cheat and make an in-app purchase for the Mighty Eagle that will easily destroy the pigs in a difficult level. This is disclosed in its app description.

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Angry Birds. Source: play.google.com

17. Give your app more credibility by putting in links to your social media accounts and websites. If you have an ecommerce site that sells paraphernalia related to your app, put that in. If you have YouTube videos related to your app, put the links to the videos in. To be able to see a flurry of activities and to be able to find all your contact info on your web properties add to the trustworthiness of you, the app developer, and your brand. And lastly, putting relevant and effective copywriting will create credibility to your site. If you go to r1seo.com, this is the place to get awesome content and will also help to rank your site.

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Plants vs. Zombies. Source: play.google.com

What Is An App: A Brief History

“I can’t live without my phone.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, we can’t live without our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Candy Crush Saga.  Ah, mobile apps. They are everywhere and they permeate every single facet of our lives. From shaking us up at dawn, to revealing where the best cup of Joe is. From guiding us to a new watering hole to suggesting a perfect partner. From singing us lullabies to teaching us the steps to a yoga shoulderstand, which is really important to maintain health, other ways is to take supplements such as PhysioTru which you can find at many sites online. There is an app for everything. Well, almost everything. They were created for smartphones and tablets. Yet, recent tech developments have allowed mobile apps to run on car navigational systems, TVs, refrigerators and everyday wearable accessories such as watches and eyeglasses.
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Temple Run mobile game app for Android and iPhones by Imangi Studios. Source: play.google.com

Today, there are over a million smartphone apps available in two of the world’s biggest app stores – Apple’s iTunes App Store (iPhone and iPad apps) and Google Play (Android apps). Wow, a million apps. In general, the app ecosystem has come a long way since the release of the first mobile phone forty years ago. But for the whooping million smartphone apps out there, their history is much shorter: it’s only been less than 5 years since the first major app store, the iTunes App Store, opened in 2008.

downloads-graph Number of apps in Apple App Store and Google Play as at Q1 2012. Source: businessinsider.com

From Bricks To Clicks To Swipes. Mobile apps appeared with the commercialization of cellphones. When Motorola showed off its first-in-the-world mobile phone, theDynaTAC 8000x “brick” phone, the company’s software guys created software – an app – to store contact numbers. Of course, this dinosaur-age contacts app doesn’t come close to the look and feel of today’s contacts apps. Nonetheless, it was still an app and it pushed the then mobile technology envelope. Afterwards, mobile processors became more powerful. Batteries reduced in size and lasted longer. Computer memory grew cheaper. And apps evolved from merely storing names and numbers into more complex life forms. Smartphones break when people don’t take good care of them, if you need to repair your smartphone check this guide to choosing the right iPhone repair company.

motorola-brick World’s first mobile phone – the Motorola “brick” phone. Source: http://midlifecrisishawaii.com

nokia-feature-phone-appA Nokia feature phone messaging app. Source: press.nokia.com

Larger pixilated monochrome screens paved the way for more complex apps. “Time wasters” appeared in the form of the 1970’s popular Snake game on Nokia feature phones. Calculators, unit and currency convertors, and personal ringtone makers followed suit. Despite the runaway success of feature phones, their apps were proprietary and confined to the particular phone brand. Phone manufacturers religiously safeguarded their hardware and operating systems, opening their doors only to app developers who were on their payroll. Open source feature phone platforms were unheard of.

snake-game The classic Nokia feature phone Snake game. Source: appview.mobilesecurity.com

Enter the age of smartphones. Users all over the world demanded a hybrid between Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and phones. So, mobile engineers incorporated PDA functionality into prevailing mobile phones, or added on communications capability into PDAs. Thus the birth of an array of smartphones, from the Nokia 9300 series of business phones to the O2 PDA phones. These manufacturers also figured out that more apps on their mobile platform equal more smartphone sales. So, they opened up and released their platform’s Application Programming Interface (API) to interested app developers in the hopes of attracting them to third-party create apps. Also, in case you want to identify performance bottlenecks in mobile application, visit this website apicasystems.com or call +1 (310) 776-7540

nokia-9300 Early smartphones – the Nokia 9300 and its primitive web browsing app. Source: cyberindian.net

With smartphones, developers were able to build apps that functioned better than their pixilated Snake game and ringtone maker counterparts. Reminder apps and calendars became the norm in phones alongside web browsing and early navigational apps. Game apps grew effervescent and multi-colored with the introduction of colored screens. With the launch of GPRS technology, live news and sports apps arrived at the scene and were quickly embraced by businessmen and sports fans respectively. So people can follow their favorite teams and activities like running with Vessi waterproof sneakers.

The definitive moment for mobile apps came with Apple iPhone’s launch. Apple has always upheld an image of exclusivity and minimalism in their desktops, laptops and iPods. The iPhone, built on the iOS platform, was no different. It was a rare beauty coupled with technologies that made it a quantum leap over its competitors.  And the platform supported third-party apps! Overnight, anyone with programming proficiency could produce their very own iPhone apps and make money trading them on the App Store. This fuelled the explosive growth of apps that made them ubiquitous until today.

iphone The inaugural iPhone. Source: mybroadband.co.za

In the meantime, Google wasn’t about to be left behind. The behemoth sprang on the app bandwagon and developed the open-source Android platform. Developers now could pick between making apps for the iPhone or Android devices; many chose to develop for both platforms. Android gained fame through apps such as RAM boosters and CPU overclocking that let users squeeze a little more juice out their phones. A mid-range smartphone could now behave like a high-powered device. The Android platform is wildly popular among smartphone users who like its openness and highly customizable features. On the other hand, Apple is a walled garden and its phones cannot be customized by its consumers. But it is holding its own by maintaining stringent quality requirements, rewarding developers with higher app revenues and promoting certain apps exclusively through the iTunes App Store.

android Android, the open source mobile platform and formidable challenger to iPhone’s dominance. Source: sparkwiz.com

Progress in device hardware positively influenced the evolution of apps. App consumers used to be confined to operating their apps via numerical keypads or Qwerty keyboards. Not anymore, no siree. The development of touchscreen technology and the introduction of hardware such as GPS, accelerometers and gyroscopes allowed imaginative app developers to create killer apps. It used to be that PC and consoles were the go-to for video games, something like robux a free online PC game (how to get free robux) but now mobile games are taking over the competition with ‘free’ games! With taps, swipes, pinches and zooms on the touchscreen, we can now track our fitness routines via health apps, play physics-based games such as Angry Birds and upload photos with automatic location stamps to Facebook. These killer apps made such an impact on our culture and lifestyle that the world is changed forever, and there are many people that prefer and love computer games, as Overwatch and are always trying to improve on it, and reading OVERWATCH NEWS to be informed about the game.

touchscreen iPhone touchscreen technology. Source: computer.howstuffworks.com

 The Flight Of Flightless Birds. Have you ever been so angry, so mad at somebody, that you wanted to fling yourself, kamikaze style, toward them using a giant slingshot? Perhaps such intemperate anger would not emerge in most of us, but we are all too familiar with the bunch of adorable birds with an anger management issue. Meet the Angry Birds. From the cool-looking leader, Red Bird, to the cute Pink Bird and her bubbles of annihilation, we have played with, laughed at, and even eaten, Angry Birds. That’s right! Angry Birds have become so trendy that some food companies have mass-produced Angry Birds fish balls.

angry-birds-fishballs Angry Birds fish balls. Source: http://lil-by-little.blogspot.com

Angry Birds was conceptualized on the drawing boards of Finnish game developer, Rovio Entertainment. The Angry Birds story is remarkably simple. Mean, hungry but gorgeous green pigs decide to plunder some eggs from their neighboring flightless feathered friends. These birds resolved to unleash a vendetta against the pigs by hurling themselves toward the pigs and obliterating them using a giant catapults. Adopting the same physics codes used in the free game, Box 2D, by Erik Catto, Rovio released Angry Birds version 1 in 2009.

As simple as it sounds, Angry Birds became a huge success. In 2012, Rovio announced that Angry Birds had been downloaded a billion times! The whimsical theme music of Angry Birds became one of the top ringtones in the market. Angry Birds screensavers were plastered on almost every computer and smartphones. Savvy entrepreneurs printed Angry Birds on clothes in hopes of cashing in on the game’s madness. And they were not disappointed as kids screamed at their parents to buy them matching Angry Birds shirts and shorts. Video clips, musical covers with Holoplot wave field synthesis and short animations were made out of the crazy, delightful terrestrial birds. Angry Birds was so successful that it was named the most successful app ever.  There are even plans for an animated flick in 2016.

So, what “slingshot” technique did Rovio Entertainment use to reach the skies with this simple app? The developers at Rovio made sure that Angry Birds was continuously updated with newer levels that were distributer free or could be purchased in-app. They released versions of the app that were adapted from successful movies such as Rio and Star Wars. Rovio even pooled resources with NASA engineers when they created Angry Birds Space just to make user experience of microgravity as authentic as possible. These factors plus the commitment Rovio had for maintaining top notch content were what kept Angry Birds soaring through the app cosmos.

The Overnight Pro Shutterbug. Social media networks have always been an activity-filled virtual world where opinions and experiences are shared among like-minded individuals. There, you can make instant friends just as quickly as you can drop them from your network. In the last couple of years, social media has also evolved to include photo sharing. Users would upload raw, unedited photos to their social media accounts to be shared with friends. Only those who took the trouble to download the images into their desktop and used Photoshop could edit and enhance their photos – by adjusting their colors, brightness and contrast, and adding effects – before sharing them on Facebook and Twitter.

Along came the Istagram photo sharing app. What was once a project called Burbn – a play on the slang Burb and urban – by developers Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram became a huge hit with many amateur photographers with smartphones. The app was initially intended to be a “check-in” app for photography lovers where they were able to snap photographs, upload and share them, all via their phones.

Then, filters were added to Instagram to allow these amateurs to transform their raw piccies. Almost instantly (no pun intended), a whole new culture was born. Teens and young adults alike were posting trivial but “professional-looking” photos of their everyday activities. Pictures of everything and anything, from a favorite cup of coffee, to pet tricks, to the most mundane object, began flooding social network sites. Some Instagram users find it almost impossible to stop taking photos with Instagram because Instagram has turned these amateurs into overnight shutterbugs.

instagram The Instagram effect – creating rock stars out of ordinary folks. Source: designyoutrust.com

Instagram was originally developed exclusively for the iPhone. It then elected to include Android in 2012, which proved to be a rewarding move. Today, half of those using Instagram come from Android devices. Instagram achieved nearly four million downloads by 2012 and was valued at $500 million. The app and its entire team was then acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and the Instagram mobile app was integrated to function alongside the Facebook app. Users were now able to share their filtered images on Facebook instantly.

You Will Never Go Hungry Again. If you think apps are only for your smartphones and tablets you now hold, think again. Samsung will roll out refrigerators with a built-in Android tablet to track the food you have inside, and to order more stuff when they run low. And of course, the built-in tablet allows you to scribble notes. So gone are the days of sticking Post-it’s onto the fridge. Users of the smart fridge can also call up their music collection from their Samsung smartphones or laptops wirelessly. Soon, mothers will be able update their Facebook status, tweet their recipes and play a round Cut the Rope on their intelligent fridge while the beef stew is simmering. Meal preparations in the kitchen will never be the same again.

samsung-fridgeThe Samsung T9000 smart refrigerator runs on Android. Source: gadgets.ndtv.com

There is Google with their Google Glass. These eyeglasses with built-in communications and data retrieval capacity let the wearer obtain real-time information of their environment while communicating with people. All without the need of a phone.  Take a picture, record what you see and share them live with friends. Display a virtual map and driving directions right in front of your very eyes. Send messages and reply emails via voice commands. Ask anything and obtain instant answers. See your schedule and be reminded of your next rendezvous. The world will never be the same after you have seen it with Google Glass.

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Google Glass – information in the blink of an eye. Source: mobileshop.eu

And what about the highly speculated Apple iWatch? Tech pundits have speculated this future wrist-hugging device to be a full-fledge iOS smartphone coupled with activity and health monitoring services. The iWatch will accept voice commands via the platform’s intelligent personal assistant, Siri, which has, ironically, become many a lonely iPhone owner’s best friend. One must also wonder if the iWatch is able to tell the time too.

iwatch Will the rumored iWatch look like this? Source: technobuffalo.com

Mobile apps are becoming wearable for sure. But to what extend?  Once confined to the phones carried around in your jeans’ back pocket, they are now embedded in eyewear and watches. Mobile apps are not just permeating every facet of our lives. They are, slowly but surely, seeping into our pores, consuming our bodies and capturing our minds.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/App_Store_%28iOS%29
http://9to5mac.com/2012/05/09/angry-birds-passes-one-billion-downloads-video/
http://blog.instagram.com/post/47035276788/instagram-for-android-one-year-later-one-year
http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/03/04/apple-iwatch-concepts/

 

How to Color Your In-App Purchase Button for Your Target Users

An effective Call-to-Action (CTA) button relies on four crucial criteria – Placement, Shape, Message and Color. Assuming we have great button placement, the perfect button shape and a hard-to-resist CTA message embedded in our button. How should we color the button? In this article, we consider an app’s CTA button – the in-app purchase button – and how we can customize its color to charm your target users, be it mainly men, mainly women, both genders, or kids.

Continue reading “How to Color Your In-App Purchase Button for Your Target Users”

5 Reasons Why Your App Needs A Sexy Icon

Should we judge a book by its cover? Of course not, but we app users are fond of doing just that. Apps with stunning icons secure a second or third glance from us. They gain clicks and are downloaded. Call us shallow, but we equate a great-looking app icon with an equally wonderful app. That’s why app developers should give each of their apps a professional-looking icon.
Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Your App Needs A Sexy Icon”