I have a lot of ideas for products. Some are really bad, others are quite good.
Once in a while a really good idea comes along. This is the product I build.
The last good idea turned into Drive Mode. A good product that solves a real pain for users. I also know that people are actively looking to solve this pain.
I created two versions of the app:
- A localized version for my own country (Israel)
- A multi-language version
Marketing is so easy
The localized version was so easy to market. I just sent a few emails to relevant blogs, they picked it up and so did the users. A national newspaper wrote about it and I was even interviewed for a popular TV show about it.
(I do have eyes in real life, just not in this photo)
The app is still a regular Top 10 ranked app in the Israeli App Store and it has a great rating score from a lot of users. Not my-friends-users, but real users who use the app every day (And I have the analytics to prove it).
Marketing is so hard
After conquering the Israeli market, I was sure I could repeat the same success in other markets.
So I took the “Marketing Recipe” from the localized version and applied it again: I sent the information about the app to as many blogs and review sites as I could. Not only to English blogs, but to French, Dutch, Italian and you-name-it language blogs as well.
It got a few reviews on those blogs, but it didn’t drive many users to download and use the app.
Those who did use it liked it. I know, they said so on the App Store: “Ottima”, “WELL DONE !!!”, “Perfect”, “Fantasticaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!”, “Realmente práctica”, “Life saver”, “Handige app!”. (To be fair, there were some users who weren’t impressed by it, but they are the minority).
So here’s a useful product that people like. Why doesn’t it take off by itself?
I knew I had to do something about it. I started reading every blog post ever about marketing apps and marketing in general and took some actions. Still, I couldn’t reach the result I aimed for and that is suitable for the app.
What should I do next?
“What have you tried?”
Matt wrote a long time ago that after asking a question you might face with the “What have you tried?” question. I’m all up for that.
Here’s what I’ve tried:
- I used Applaunch.us services to help me reach bigger review sites. It didn’t work.
- I wrote on car/driving forums about the app. I don’t regularly visit these communities, so my posts were not welcomed there (I asked for permission before posting about the app. Most told me “Thanks for being honest and asking for permission, but please don’t advertise on our forums”).
- I dropped the app price to attract more downloads. It didn’t work. People were either willing to pay or not. It wasn’t about the price.
- I posted a few posts on hacker news about it.
- I updated the app to support more navigation apps. That didn’t change much (Most users did upgrade to it).
- I’ve tried using Google Adwords to attract traffic to the app landing page. Unfortunately, Google did not approve the keywords I was targeting (They didn’t like “Siri” nor “Google Maps”).
- I’m currently looking at Twitter ads as well. I love Twitter and I hope this might actually work.
I have a few ideas for my next steps.
People like the app once they download it, but not many are willing to give it a spin. I could create a new lite version of the app and give it away for free. It will support X operations and users can unlock it with an In-App Purchase.
Friends told me that the app name should be better and that it should say clearly what the app does. The current name is “Drive Mode”. The idea was that when you get on an Airplane you use “Airplane Mode” and when you start Driving you use “Drive Mode”. I might change the app name to something like “Speak and Navigate”, “Speak and Drive” or similar.
Other than that I’m quite lost. I suck at marketing.
Do you have an idea?
I would really love to hear your ideas about what can/should be done. Please leave a comment below, I read and answer every single one, always.
You can download it for free with one of these app promo codes:
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