The first month of promotion of a free non-gaming application: rake, bumps, good luck, conclusions

    So, the first month is behind (well, a little more), as our first application appeared on Google. Not only that, non-fiction, but also in one of the saddest categories - books and reference books. Promoting this in our troubled and unreadable time is still a task, although the application is free. Below, I tried to collect everything that may be useful to other same name-game players - statistics, exhausts from different sites, thoughts aloud.

    Immediately - an introductory one, which I drew for myself, while still planning to enter the market. Firstly, I will not spend a penny of money on promoting the application. Not because they are not (though ...), but for now, from the principle - to collect the maximum yield from free options. Secondly, confine yourself only to installations via Google Play. And immediately the spoiler - the first so far succeeds (spent 0 p. 00 kopecks), the second - no longer.

    And another spoiler - under the cut conversion analysis before and after attracting an audience of torrentophiles ...

    The first month of promotion of a free non-gaming application: rake, bumps, good luck, conclusions (Habrahabr)

    So, it all started according to plan - with the placement of an advertisement on our sites: website, social networks, newsletter. To be honest, I was hoping to get at least a couple of dozens of installations from them, because the audience is loyal, we all know, the total number of people, even taking into account takes, is more than 700 ... Schaz! Exhaust is almost zero. Conclusion - hope for "your" ones, but don’t delay the plan.

    Next, I began to methodically spud IT platforms where reviews are posted, and in parallel - where you can publish the news with a link. On Habré I found the list with recommendations, she hummed popular resources. As a result, I accumulated 12. Below is a brief summary of each.
    Published: yes
    Features of placement: Publications of new users only in the sandbox.
    What has been done: Posted a review in the sandbox
    Published: yes
    Features of placement: Publication conditions are not clear: . They answered: the sent materials are 1500-2000 characters for free, their review for a relatively small amount of money.
    What has been done: 11/20/2014 - I sent a question about the possibility and conditions of publication on Partner (@) 11/21/2014 - Submitted a brief review for publication
    Published: yes
    Features of placement: Reviews are written for free. More information:
    What has been done: 11/19/2014 - I sent a letter requesting a review. No answer. But they overlooked!
    Published: no
    Features of placement: Reviews write for free. Read more:
    What has been done: 11/19/2014 - I sent a letter requesting a review. No response
    Published: no
    Placement features : no details and conditions on the site
    What has been done: 11/19/2014 - sent a request to roy (@) Unanswered
    Published: no
    Posting features : Publish submitted articles:
    What is done: 11/19/2014 - Sent an article "About the project". Unanswered
    Published: no
    Features of the placement: They publish for a fee, but they can also see very interesting for free. It’s worth a try
    What has been done: 11/20/2014 - I sent a request for a free review to rost (@), m1 (@) They answered almost immediately what could be, but then silence.
    Published: no
    Placement features: Recommended on Habré that they did a good review. But a year ago.
    What has been done: 11/20/2014 - I sent a request for review through the form on the site
    Published: no
    Placement features: Recommended on Habré. It seems free:
    What has been done: 11/20/2014 - I sent an article "About the project" to
    Posted: no
    Features of placement: Publish free articles with a die “as an advertisement” and signed by Vasya's Advertising Robot. The rest is paid:
    What is done: 11/20/2014 - I sent the article "About the project" as a press release to No response
    Posted: no
    Posting features : Post news and reviews with moderation:
    What is done: 11/20/2014 - I sent an article "About the project" through the form on the website
    Published: no
    Features of placement: Recommended on Habré. It seems free:
    What has been done: 11/20/2014 - I sent a request for a review and the article "About the project". The letter was not delivered.

    Conclusion on the placement - it is worth throwing the network wide, because it’s not clear to anyone what seems interesting. I will not draw conclusions on the effectiveness - further it is better to give specific statistics with the dates of publication of the materials. Compare yourself to whom it is interesting.

    Along with the hilling of android drivers, I tried to cover several literary sites with which I have been friends for a long time. Someone came from AstraNova - our partner. Fantlab gave a good result - with him we generally tuned in to close cooperation. I’m pulling up ratings of stories into the catalog, my plans are to work with reviews. In the zashashnik I have a couple more links, which you have to go out with already some but luggage. the implementation of plans has not been completed (see below). Nuance - in contrast to IT sites with application reviews, profile-based sites are important already established contacts with the administration or top users. I suspect that a couple of the remaining links will give zero exhaust, because there I am only one of a host of users, although long-standing.

    Toward the end of November, preparing a version with Fantlab ratings and sadly looking at the statistics of the installations, I decided to abandon the second point of my introductory and prepared apk with markers for third-party sites - to track the installations from them through Google analytics. By the way, a banal, common truth that I ignored for a headache - analytics must be built into the first release! I only got it in the second, so part of the data is simply lost. A small part, but offensive. And it is necessary to think over formulations of actions and events in advance, and, moreover, from the point of view of convenience of analysis. Now I have a bunch of hemorrhages precisely because of unsuccessful formulations. Building OLAP cubes is terribly inconvenient; you have to redraw data in Excel manually. And their volume is growing ...

    I posted apk on and For some reason, I decided that also needed a file, so the material was posted there much later than the first wave. However, in vain. So ...

    With the file crawled over a bunch of other forums, and in a couple of places interesting reviews appeared without my initiative. Only installations with a marker (i.e. from files pulled from there) are already a fifty dollars, and it affected Google positively. The conclusion is yes!

    But androidforums did not give anything. Not a single installation, no influence on Google. Perhaps the zero settings are due to the fact that the main audience that pulls files for their sites has already merged them with, but this still does not explain such a gap in performance. Or maybe the audience itself is so different that the second our application is just completely past ... Conclusion - if only to be, although I completely would not discount, another application may have a different effect.

    Further - more interesting. “But no bullshit?” I thought, and went to deal with torrents. The application is free, and it’s extremely interesting to look at the change in conversion with the advent of supporters of the free flow of information. Will the hypothesis be confirmed or not that if they are offered a convenient service for choosing and buying books, will they really buy? Conversion chart and comparison of average values ​​before and after see below.

    I included two in the list of torrents: NNM-club and Rutracker. At the first, information is added without pre-moderation, but newly registered users get the right to post only after 3 days. On the second - pre-moderation, which lasts about a day. At least 24 hours later I wrote a request to the admins on the topic, which was quickly considered positively.

    The time difference in publications on torrents I got exactly two days. And again the same picture - NNM-club gave its native settings (25 with a marker), and from Google, and the file spread to other torrents (including porn ...% -0). Rutracker practically didn’t notice the publication (2 installations), and given that, unlike NNM-club, it is forbidden to post links to other sites on this torrent, you won’t be able to put a direct link to the market and you should not hope for an increase in installations on Google . Here I fully admit a large intersection of the audience of these torrents, incl. If I put the apk there in a different sequence, the result could be different (although it is unlikely to affect the settings in Google Play). Spending power on two torrents is pointless. Which to choose? If such an audience is suitable, then NNM-club is more likely yes, Rutracker is more likely not.

    Well, now it's time for statistics:

    Talideoscope - application settings

    Together with the dates of publication of materials on the network:

    11/14/2014 - Announcements on our social networks, our newsletter from the site
    11/19/2014 - and
    11/21/2014 - AstraNova
    11/22/2014 - Fantlab 11.24.2014
    - 12/03/2014
    - and (coincided)
    12/05/2014 -
    12/07/2014 - (review done by yourself)
    12/08/2014 - (review done by ourselves) 12/11/2014
    12/15/2014 -

    And now about conversion ... I admit - I am optimistic and try to think about people well. Therefore, the hypothesis voiced earlier was also adhered to. But the numbers below made me take a couple of steps towards the pessimist camp ... Or realists?


    Yes, there is a surge (although it could come from - see the figure above), but if you look at the average figures before and after, you can see that it is one-time (curiosity?):

    Average number of active users per day 02-12.12 .2014: 19.6
    Average number of sessions per day 12/12/2014: 26.9
    Average conversion December 2-12, 2014: 9.4%

    Average number of active users per day December 13-22, 2014: 23.6
    Average number of sessions on the day of December 13-22, 2014: 38.0
    Average conversion December 13-22, 2014: 3.2%

    Much could be explained by the small amount of data, but not three times! :( Users of the forums did not so much affect the drop in conversion - if the first period is divided into "before 08.12 and after", then its average value will be 10.6% and 8.04%, respectively.

    This is the situation at the moment ... What are the plans ?
    1. Reach the remaining sites where our specialized audience is grouped - readers.
    2. Try to use the media, the benefit is already some results, there is something to write in a press release.
    3. Trying to get publicly the opinion of experts in our publishing industry (I’ve already begun to beat the thresholds, we'll see), and maybe not only in ours - marketers may also be interested in such a promotion tool, and among them people who are reading thinners are found ...
    4. Look at the results of advertising in a paper magazine - at the beginning of the year FanCity issue with our module should go to the page (many thanks to the editors and Andrei Bocharov for their support!)
    5. Released in January version 1.0 with significant updates and try again to bypass the sites where they browse applications.

    Something from the free, but worthy use, I missed?

    And finally, I would like to outline a few points that were important and useful to me, albeit at times, at the cost of full cones:
    • My acquaintance, even if not very deep, with the project management methodology helped me a lot in my work. Especially when you consider that I acted as both a customer and a contractor - to agree among themselves is easier than easy;)
    • Adding pre-designed analytics to the very first release has already mentioned this. It’s also useful to make a global switch constant to completely ban statistics from being sent — useful for testing so as not to clutter the real database with left data.
    • Adding the ACRA library to catch bugs is also in the very first release. Moreover, it is necessary to configure the sending of logs for reasons of balanced volume and the importance of errors. If you send each one, you can get, for example, 100,500 messages about the unavailability of the Internet from the user ... And it’s also useful to make a global switch constant to completely prohibit sending logs - useful for testing so as not to clog the database with left-handed messages that are tracked in the debugger window.
    • Choose the application icon and name from the following considerations (there are a lot of tips like “pay special attention to them” on the network, but they don’t say exactly how):

    The icon in the market should stand out and immediately catch the eye - maybe brightness, or maybe conciseness. But stand out. This is the first chance to hook the user. We need to look at successful examples in the top of the target category. Then - what the bottom and middle looks like at the moment, and do something differently.

    The name (itself or paired with an icon) should immediately open the veil from the list of applications in the catalog - and what's inside. A beautiful, but abstract name will not push the user to open the application page and read its description. It is difficult to keep within 30 characters, but it is possible. Even to the detriment of beauty and sonority - this is not the purpose of the name in the market. The application itself can be called whatever. Here I will still be thinking with my own and maybe experimenting.

    • When developing, clearly fix - which functions to include in the next version, and what can be postponed to the next (in terms of project management - content management), otherwise you can get stuck in endless improvements and additions. If possible, set clear deadlines for yourself, or even announce them publicly so as not to be tempted to shift the release a little more, then a little more, and again to infinity. This approach helped me a lot, otherwise I still wouldn’t start ...
    • Keep on the table, read, re-read and use as reference books the following books:

    Herbert Schildt. Java A complete guide
    to Android Programming (O'Reilly, Peter)
    Eric Freeman, Elizabeth Freeman. Design Patterns (O'Reilly, Peter)

    It seems to me that this kit is a mastrid for every novice Android / Java developer. In a comprehensive, balanced and methodically competent way, all the necessary material that teaches the right one has been submitted. The rest is in addition and the expansion of this base, depending on where you want to specialize. I’ll be looking for something about Android’s work with the clouds and Spring in particular. Course on Coursera to begin to review, re-listen ...

    Well, all with the coming, of course!

    * my plans for the New Year holidays, covered with a copper basin ... I will prepare a new version ...

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