With over two and a half million apps available between Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, consumers simply have too many choices. Leaving it to luck alone for your app to go viral just isn’t enough. You need to have an effective marketing plan in place (and a little luck), to help ensure your app avoids obscurity and helps you start raking in the revenue you deserve.
Along with a good marketing plan, one crucial tool that should be in every app marketing toolbox is a link management platform. “Raw links” is the term we use for links that go directly to a third party storefront, such as Amazon’s Appstore for Android, Google’s Play Store, or Apple’s App Store. Generally, these links are great for one thing: sending customers to a specific item in a specific store.
Using raw links in your online promotions and social marketing has been the industry standard, but it’s no longer an industry best practice. There are a number of reasons for this:
Your traffic can use any combination of devices and operating systems from around the world to purchase your app. However, sending a user to the wrong app store or country specific storefront means the loss of a sale.
The Amazon store, iTunes/App Store and Google Play stores are actually separate, country or region-specific stores – each with their own accounts, language, and currency. Sending users to a foreign storefront, instead of their local storefront, often means it’s unlikely they’ll purchase and they might even see an error message instead.
If you’re utilizing the Amazon Associates Program, you only make commissions off of the single storefront you’re sending traffic to, not from any international sales. So, if you have your US affiliate tag set, but one of your German users purchases an item from your referral link at Amazon.de, you won’t earn a commission.
All of these things add up to something we have coined the “Purchasing Gap”. It’s defined in simple terms as the rift between the product you’re promoting and the storefront where each person is most likely to purchase.
How do you manage to take care of every user, regardless of the device and country they are clicking from? The current standard is just to paste multiple links for each app, to cover the different stores and devices that you support. The problem with this approach is that you run out of characters in your tweets, your pages get cluttered in links, or your emails get crowded with buttons. Regardless, users quickly get overwhelmed and don’t know where to click (so they don’t), and you lose out on a sale.
Enter link management platforms such as Georiot.com. Using a good link management platform with your marketing efforts gives you a fair amount of insurance, as they offer you the ability to dynamically alter the final destination URL for your link, most often based on geography. However, with some of the most sophisticated link management platforms, you can have a single link, that changes based on geography. You can also create additional “scenarios” where you associate different links to specific devices, operating systems, and even dates to seamlessly target your traffic to the best possible place for them to purchase.
For example, if you’re marketing an app that is available across iTunes / App Store, Amazon Apps for Android, and Google Play, you can create a scenario that sends iPads and iPhones to the App Store, Kindles to Amazon’s appstore, and Android mobile devices to Google Play. Clicks from Windows or Blackberry devices could go to your YouTube teaser video where you announce support for their devices in the coming months. Your users get the best experience possible and you have a higher chance of converting that person to a sale. Everyone wins!
Jesse Lakes first realized he had an issue with Geo-Fragmentation in 2009. He’s been working on a cure ever since. This path has taken him from being the first author about the iTunes Affiliate Program, to a job with Apple as the Global Product Manager of the iTunes Affiliate Program. He is now the co-founder and CEO of GeoRiot. Based in Seattle, GeoRiot is working to eradicate Geo-Fragmentation and bridge the Purchasing Gap.