Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.


The Holy Grail for mobile app marketers always seems to be a featured place in the Apple App Store. 23snaps has been lucky enough to be featured a number of times, and while we’ve seen fantastic boosts in downloads, featured apps don’t always gain long term active users from their featured placement. This is because so many people browsing the App Store for new apps will give a featured app a go, especially if it’s free, just to see what it is even if they’re not particularly interested in it.

There are, however, parts of the App Store that offer great promotional opportunities as well as a targeted audience – and those are the hugely underrated App Collections.

Apple introduced App Collections a little over a year ago to help counter the argument that the App Store was frustratingly hard to navigate. They have a number of collections that are more specific than the high level categories including Apps for Music, Apps for Heathcare Professionals, Apps for Kids and many more.

When I first started at 23snaps, I wanted more than anything to get 23snaps into the Apps for Parents Collection. This would offer us ongoing promotion in the App Store but to a targeted audience, exposing us to a group of people who would actually use and love the app.

Apple staff get hundreds of emails begging for featured placement but I took a guess that they get fewer requests for inclusion in a particular collection (you can contact an App Store representative through the Help and Support section of the iTunes Developer dashboard).

Before I reached out to Apple directly, I spent some time researching the other apps in the collection – what purpose did they serve? How many reviews and ratings did they have? What did they look like? I wanted to be able to clearly articulate why 23snaps belonged in the collection, both because it was relevant for the group and because it would complement the existing apps in the collection.

Since our inclusion in the Apps for Parents collection, we haven’t necessarily seen the same boost we experienced while featured on the homepage of the App Store, but we have seen a steady stream of downloads of, most importantly, engaged users.


My Monday Mobile Marketing Tip for this week: explore the App Store Collections and see if any are a good fit for your app. Research the other apps in that collection and make a compelling case for why your app should be included. Contact an App Store representative through the iTunes Developer dashboard and you never know – you might see your app featured in an App Store Collection.

Image credit: 99designs.com

Image credit: 99designs.com

In my previous role at Spoonfed Media Ltd, I undertook a project to migrate the team one CRM to another, administer the system and train the team on the new system. I learned a ton about how the right or wrong CRM can make a big difference in a small company and wanted to share a couple of comments.

Our team made the decision to migrate from Zoho CRM to Salesforce for three primary reasons. Important metrics were inaccessible to key decision makers, our talented top-performers were doing repetitive tasks and we were missing out on sales opportunities because customers did not get responses quickly enough.

In a small company, there may not be a specialized data analysis team so the CRM needs to make it easy and quick to view key metrics. Fewer people means that the more automated processes, the better, otherwise top staff might end up doing data entry or data cleansing. Finally, limited man hours in the day means that without powerful tools in the CRM to either auto-respond to customers, auto-assign leads or quickly qualify sales opportunities will mean missed sales opportunities or time spent on the wrong opportunities.

The impact of switching to Salesforce was dramatic. Reporting tools allowed us to determine critical metrics including total revenue, customer lifetime value and churn rate, making us more efficient in our spending. Talented recruits who previously focused on data maintenance spent more time analysis, a more satisfying and productive role. And automated processes improved our response time for new prospects from days to minutes, significantly increasing the likelihood of a sale.

For your small business, consider the following when deciding on a CRM:
– How accessible is your data
– How robust are the data management tools, and can they reduce man-hours spent in the system
– Can marketing be automated to improve response times and sales

If your CRM isn’t checking out against those three points, it might be time to consider a switch.

Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.


A fair amount has been written about search optimization for the App Store – that is, the practice of getting your app to rank higher for certain search terms when someone is browsing the app store. In a recent survey of our most active users, we found that about a third had discovered 23snaps through the App Store so it makes sense that marketers and developers want to be more discoverable there.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your downloads is to make sure you are using the right (and the maximum number) of keywords in your app listing. Keywords don’t display on your App Store page so can’t be seen by customers or competitors, but they are the biggest factor in where your app appears in search results in the Store. In fact, the words you have in your description (the public one) make no difference at all!

You can only edit your app’s keywords when you push a new version of your app to the App Store but you can start thinking about which keywords you should include when you next release an update. You can include up to 100 characters, including the commas between keywords, in the keywords field when submitting your release and you don’t need to include plurals (i.e. game and games) as different keywords.

The best tool I’ve found for tracking, researching and optimizing app keywords is https://appstorerankings.net/ which helps you see where your app currently ranks, suggests what keywords your competitors might be using, and indicates how competitive different keywords are.

When we changed our keywords for 23snaps, we saw an immediate improvement in organic downloads.

My Monday Mobile Marketing Tip for this week: sign up for the free trial (or paid as it’s definitely worth the money!) of Appstorerankings.net and research the keywords you’ll use in your next app release. If you can, release a new version of your app with the new keywords and monitor any improvements in rankings along with any corresponding increase in downloads.

Image copyright The Verizon Foundation - Basking Ridge, NJ

Image copyright The Verizon Foundation – Basking Ridge, NJ

I love my job and working with technology companies and later today, I get the chance to share that experience with a group of Girl Guides (that’s Girl Scouts for the Americans).

Mobile apps and careers related to mobile are becoming increasingly important, relevant and lucrative as the industry grows. The mobile apps are expected to generate $25 billion in sales this year alone (Wall Street Journal, March 2013).

However, with more than a billion apps available for download for smartphones, companies need people who can help them stand out in a crowded market. They need people who understand where to target advertising, how to attract downloads and how to acquire users that stick around (and ideally pay money).

In addition to explaining what I do, I’ve also been asked to put together an activity that helps the girls understand how my job works. I thought the activity I prepared might be useful for other groups that want to introduce girls, teens, students or young people in general to the ideas behind how mobile apps get promoted and make money. This activity is aimed at getting teens to think about where they might place adverts for different mobile apps, in order to encourage the most relevant people to download their app – at the best price.

Want to use this activity for your group? Download the activity sheets here:

Mobile Marketing Exercise (UK Version) / Mobile Marketing Exercise (US Version)

If you do have a chance to use them, please leave a comment below and let me know how it goes!


Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.


Google AdWords is, you may be surprised to hear, the world’s biggest mobile ad network; far surpassing Apple’s own iAd and any of the dedicated mobile ad networks.  This is mostly because many of Google’s ads run on mobile devices and desktop devices automatically but hundreds of thousands of apps have actually enabled in-app advertising using Google’s AdSense code. This means that not only can you advertise in search results and normal web pages to mobile users, you can actually display ads insides other applications using the Google platform.

I’ve found this a really effective way to reach targeted users and because Google Adwords offers flexible cost-per-click bidding with no minimum spend (unlike other mobile ad networks which might charge upwards of $15,000 to run a campaign) it’s incredibly cost efficient to test.

Here is how to set up a Google Adwords campaign to run in other Apps.

  1. Create a Google AdWords account if you don’t have one already.
  2. Create a new campaign and choose the option “Display Network Only”. This means that your ads will not show in Google search results, just on third party sites that have enabled Google ads to display in their site or app.
  3. Set your campaign settings. You will have a number of criteria unique to your app, like location, language, device type which are easy enough to set but the most important piece is to select the option Mobile Apps next to Display Targeting, ensuring your ads appear in applications, not on other webpages.create-new-campaign
  4. Choose where to display your ad. There are three ways to place your ad in apps.First, and least targeted, is to chose an app category (like Games, Lifestyle, Photography) and let Google do all the hard work. Any app that is eligible to show Google Ads and is in that category might display your ad (depending on your bids).

    Second, you can search for specific apps by keyword (see the image below). This search functionality is limited and I’ve found I get the same results again and again however this does allow you more targeting than the broad category match and ensure you are advertising in apps that are actually going to show your ad.


    The final way is to manually enter in the IDs of apps you want to advertise in. You can find the app ID in the URL of their App Store listing. This is by far the best way to target the most relevant advertising locations but the problem with this method is that you may try to target an app that doesn’t support Google Ads (in fact, 9 times out of 10 this will be the case). That said, I still prefer to have the ability to choose exactly which apps my ad displays in so I will use this method, and delete the apps from my targeting if they don’t track any ad impressions at the end of the week and add in new targeting options instead.


  5. Add your ad creative and turn on your ad. Be sure you’re not linking the ad to your website but instead directly to the app store. Remember you are targeting app users on their phones from inside another app. If you direct them to the App Store, they can download your app immediately from their phone.

That’s it! You have created an AdWords campaign that shows an ad for your app inside other applications and you only pay if someone clicks your ad. You can even install the Google SDK that will allow you to track conversions to downloads within the AdWords dashboard.

I hope to write more about advanced ways to use AdWords to do effective mobile marketing, but for now;

My Monday Mobile Marketing Tip for this week: create a Google Adwords campaign with a small budget to test advertising your application inside other apps. The more targeted your advertising, and relevant and appealing your ad, the more successful you will be.