This week’s app is…Any.do To-do List

I’m a crack pot when it comes to productivity. I like to know where I’m spending my time and how I can do more with my time. Also, if I don’t have some sort of list I tend to forget the odd thing here and there. Sue me, I’m human.

Because of my passion for productivity you’ll probably see a fair amount of productivity apps pop up in ‘This week’s App‘.

Accidentally More Productive

Honestly. I stumbled upon the Any.do To-do List app through it’s sister app, by Any.do, Cal. Cal, if you hadn’t guessed, is a calendar app which is suppose to integrate with other calendar apps and make you more productive. So far not so good, but that’s another post.

Because Any.do are clever cookies they’ve did their cross app marketing correctly and pushed me Any.do To-do List while setting up Cal. In the end I’ve gravitated towards and starting using Any.do To-do List more often than Cal.

It’s Actually Making Me More Productive

This app is pretty bossy. It keeps telling me to setup my day and asking me if I’ve completed my tasks yet, and if not when will I do them. Honestly, it’s like your mum chasing you to do chores. I think it’s amazing!
One thing I like is that when the app pushes you to respond to a task it gives you reasonable snooze options. It recommends mins, hours then times of day and finally next day. This is a much more realistic option set than just giving you a few option, e.g. minutes, then nothing after that. Some tasks may need to be moved to the evening or the next day. That’s real life.

Some screen shots
Usually I like to use my own screenshots but because I’m using the Any.do To-do List for work, I can’t. It’s got business sensitive tasks in it.




As you can see it’s very iOS’y. Which is fine. The interface is very useful and intuitive you really shouldn’t have a problem getting started. Also it’s traffic light system (are you all beging to see a theme of how I like to categories things Red, Amber, Green – see clueful post :D) allows you to quickly pick what to do with the task.

It’s Not All Easy!

I will admit I don’t find it the simplest app to use. The reason I’m saying this is because I think it has much more functionality than I’m using it for but I’ve not figured out how to use it, yet. I’ll need to dedicate a bit of time to learning the functionality so that I can quickly and comprehensively setup my key tasks for the days and weeks. Right now I’m sporadically setting it up mid-morning. Despite being requested to set it up early morning…this is what I mean by bossy. Bossy is good! Once I learn the functionality I’ll be doing it early morning to avoid being told what to do.

But Yes, Download It
If you are into productivity and like to make sure that your on top of things, but don’t have time to remember to keep on top of things, this app is definitely for you.

You can get the app on Google Play and the App Store.

Got An App I should check out? Tweet me @nickduddy.

App Cost-Per-Acquisition Increases, But Why?

App Cost Per Acquisition Is On A Rocket To The Moon
For months all I’ve been reading in the news about App Marketing is how Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is rocketing and there’s no end in sight. For those who aren’t into marketing performance metrics, CPA or as we should call it CPU (Cost Per User) is the amount of money that you to spend to acquire a single user.

The data comes from various sources. One in particular, which I will not name because I’m not a finger-pointer, regularly puts out press releases on how they are observing the CPA/CPU’s rapid increase. It’s like a template press release.

A Few Things About CPA

If you don’t know about CPA, this information might help when thinking/discussing them.

Apps CPA is worked out by two figures: Spend / Number Of Downloads = CPA

The figure yielded is what it has cost you to acquire the download. The ‘spend’ figure can be calculated a few ways. If you’re using an agency it’s usually what it cost in total for the activity that the agency is working on. This a fair way to calculate it as usually an agency is hired to do a specific job or manage a specific channel with little input into overall strategy. An accountant should use a few figures when calculating this.

What Increases Cost-Per-Acquisition?

CPA will increase if conversion rate decreases. If your spend stays static and conversion rate goes down, then CPA goes up. If your spend increases and the additional traffic is less targeted/ interested conversion rate will go down and CPA goes up. Simple.

Why I Think App Cost-Per-Acquisition Is Going Up

I have a straightforward theory why I believe CPA is rising. Primarily, I believe that when these companies are talking about increased CPA’s they are talking about the CPA of display advertising or the CPA of a specific channel. If CPA is going up it’s probably because of an increase in ad prices caused by an increase in demand. Which in turn was caused by every person flocking to one channel to look for growth. Make sense?

There Could Be Other Reasons

We know that the ‘Boom Money’ is not in the app stores any more. There are more apps flooding Google Play, Kindle App Store and Apple’s App Store every day (probably Window’s App Store too, ha!). It’s a tough game out there. The relentless flow of apps will be having an impact in the cost per acquisition of a user. I won’t deny that. But it’s hard to gauge what that impact actually is. Realistically the 300 apps entering the app stores daily are from indie developers of which very few are producing apps that are any good.

It’s a difficult thing to quantify.

How Can You Cut Your CPA?

App Cost Per Acquisition Up
To decrease your app CPA you need to decide firstly how much is too much to spend on acquiring a customer: get your KPI’s nailed from the start. How to decide this could be an entire post on its own. A quick way to do this is to understand your margins then devote XX% to acquiring customers.

After deciding how much you are willing to spend to acquire a customer you must then begin monitoring your CPA for each channel. If a channel is already over the target CPA you may want to consider cutting it from your activity, unless you have other channels lower that are picking up the slack.

If other channels are creeping towards your maximum CPA then you need to begin to understand why and what has changed. Is it your conversion rate? Could it be that the medium is becoming too expensive because demand has increased? Could it be that your channel manager isn’t doing a great job at managing the account or activity. Answer these questions, fast!

If it’s the channel itself which has become too expensive, you need to understand whether it’s a short term or seasonal shift or if the market has matured and the price is increasing because of demand. PPC in 2006 was super cheap compared to now. The channel matured, became busy, aggressive, competitive and in many cases too expensive to justify.

Find New Channels

new-app-marketing-channels
Most companies roll out one or two channels, mainly because they lack the resource or skills to manage others. If a primary channel is increasing in CPA don’t be complacent and accept this as the future norm. Look at other places for growth and exposure. Email, social, ASO 🙂 whatever you’re not doing, try it and see if you can reduce your CPA. As I mentioned before, if you can get a lower CPA somewhere else you can then bring down your total average, which means you can continue working with the more expensive channels.

The windbag is empty…
Well that’s my mental dump on CPA. In brief: Identify the problem and get on top of it quickly. Try new channels. And be ruthless enough to drop an increasingly ineffective channel.

As I’m writing this post I see that MobileDevHQ has released an API. Twitter has exploded with tweets. I guess I’ll need to respond sometime this week. Exciting times ahead!

The App Store Times, Issue 4

App Store Times: App Store News

The App Store Times, Issue 4

Boom! We are back. A little later than usual, and I’m sorry for that. Last week’s news was a mixed bag but mostly with an Apple focus.

Apple’s 30th Birthday. You Look So Young!

Apple   Thirty Years of Mac
That’s right it was Apple Macintosh’s birthday last week. And like they revolutionised the the PC world they’ve revolutionised the way we purchase music and software on our phones…and possibly payments in the future, but that’s a story for further down the page.

If you want to see a bunch of artists and designers talking nonsense check out Apple’s 30th video.

Give Us Your Money: Apple.

apple-payments
Would you allow Apple to manage your payments for items not from an Apple store? The bosses at Apple are rumoured to have been in talks with industry executives (whoever that is) to discuss growing their payment services for everyday purchases through your mobile device.

This could be absolutely huge for Apple and for the everyday consumer. It could increase competition in the payments sector but once again limiting it to the big tech giants. I’m eager to get more information on this latest development and when I do I’ll share it with y’all.

Got Game On Android And It’s Not In Japanese…

money-app-store
I recently read an article stating that combined with the US, Japan and South Korea make up 75% of global Google Play revenue. What this means is if you’ve got a game or app in the Google Play store and it’s only in English you are missing out in a huge chunk of revenue from the Japanese and South Korean markets.

You need to be thinking Asia for your next marketing tactic.

Well it’s been short and sweet. Tune in next week for more of interesting stuff from the app world.

The App Store Times: Unethical Kids Apps & Apple Pays Back!

App Store Times: App Store News

The App Store Times, Issue 3

Welcome back to The App Store Times. Thankfully this week there is a little more variation in the news around apps. Some of the news makes you think really?? Others makes you ‘Ha!’. I’ll let you decide and hopefully my commentary won’t guide you too much.

GooglePlay Update Preserves Battery

This is not so much an app update. It’s worth note though. Android GooglePlay Services recently released and update to 4.1 that’s main point was battery conservation. However in addition the update to Google Play Services lets developers institute turn-based multi-players. So if your an app games developer on Android that’s pretty good news…possible business model; charge per user?

If you’ve got a good game that could work!

Plastic Surgery Game…Aimed At Children

Frankly. I didn’t see this one coming. A game designed to teach kids about plastic surgery and how to perform it…on Barbie. I’d like to think this that was to promote budding surgeons but can’t see this being the case. It’s no Operation board game!

Understandably the game has struck a nerve with the parenting community and the mass media. Check some of the reactions on twitter.

Looks like Apple pulled the app from the app store after the barrage of complaints. Will be interesting to see if rears it’s head in another category.

Apple Pays Backs Big Time

Apple pays back 32.5million

This is pretty big! Apple had to pay back $32.5 million dollars to parents after their cart didn’t ask for a password for every purchase. It was working on a one-click basket method, link when you buy books on your Kindle. 32.5 Million isn’t a lot of money at Apple but it’s the embarrassment of the error. Also it brings into question how ethical are the conversion rate optimisation tactics of the past. Not having to sign in was clearly removing a barrier to sales and thus increasing sales. Changing this could have long term implications on their bottom line.

In saying that Apple are a smart bunch. I’m sure they’ll figure a way around it. I know what I’d do…

MobileDevHQ Goes Free

Yup! For a basic account you get a lot more free and most importantly we get our grubby hands on their API! I’m not going to doubly explain what they’re giving away and their new features. Check out their blog post on the big news.

Another week done and dusted
If you think you should get a shout in our app news let us know. Whether it’s a cool app or new app marketing tool ping me a message on twitter @nickduddy.

Happy Birthday miratrix!

£3,500 of Services For FREE!!

Well. It’s been a year since I started miratrix. I can’t remember the exact date but I was laid off from my job a few days after my birthday. I’ve decided to keep things simple and make miratrix’s birthday the same day as my own, January 16th. One less thing I need to remember.

I wanted to do something nice. You know, put some karama back into the system. So many people have helped me and given me great advice and direction up until this point and I’d like to put something back. I thought this would be a good way to do it!

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Free App Marketing Audit & Implementation!

We are going to give away a free App Marketing Audit, worth £3,500, and help the lucky person or company to see our recommendations to the end!

What Do You Get?

Audit current activity
Competitor analysis
App Page CRO recommendations
Keyword research
In-app engagement strategy

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How To Win!

I’m not going to make this hard, tricky or annoying. All you need to do is put your name in the hat…the virtual hat that is. Enter your details in the form below and I’ll throw all the names in a hat and pick a lucky winner!

I’m literally going to print out every name, put them in a top hat and pick the winner. I’ll even do it on video so that you can all see.

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What You Waiting For?

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Things you need to know:

  • Any App Can Enter
  • Closing date will be February 28th 2014
  • Winners will be Announced on the 7th of March 2014
  • Good Luck!!

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The App Store Times: All To Be Acquired.

App Store Times: App Store News

App Store Times, Issue 2

It’s not been much of an exciting week in the app world this is probably because CES has been gobbling up all the press! In saying that there were a couple of interesting things and here they are in short, sweet fashion!

Google ‘Acquires At Will’

Creating an app for the sole purpose of being acquired by Google has become a popular business model. Last week we talked about Flock this week we have a new acquisition. This week Google has adsorbed Bitspin, the company behind Timely App.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Apple Picks Up SnappyApp

It looks as if Apple want to add to their already superior camera function by acquiring SnappyApp (I think I should rename these articles to The App Acquisition Times). The app is has been removed from the store and their site had been taken down. You’ve got to say Apple moves fast.

A Hat-trick of Acquisitions. Yahoo Buy Aviate

aviate app acquired by  yahoo
Three in a row this week for app acquisitions for the big boys. Aviate is a pretty cool app (in concept because I couldn’t get a beta pass until I tried it this very minute). It arranges your screen based on behaviour and usage. It’s for the person who can’t be bother creating screens and screens of apps. Those that don’t live and breath through their phones.

TV Apps Could Be The Future

Philips Smart TV GooglePlay
We couldn’t have got through this weeks issue without mentioning CES Vegas 2014. Panasonic, you need to give it to them they do their best to innovate and try new things. A lot of companies can’t legitimately make that claim.

Philips are integrating Google Play into all of their Smart TV’s. As an app marketer you in to consider how this will affect you app usage and how you are going to cater to that change. Obviously this won’t affect all apps but if your if you are a multi-media app e.g. music player/streamer, video or gaming app you need to start thinking about how the in-app interaction will change and cater to this.

With CES and all the acquisitions the news hasn’t left us much room for innovation but it’s early days in 2014. Hopefully the coming weeks will bring some cool apps and useful innovation.

This week’s app is…Clueful

As you can imagine I download and play around with a lot of apps. More apps than you can shake a stick at. This is how the Blippar post came about. Since then I’ve been thinking, ‘Maybe I should tell people when I find a good app’ and that’s what I’m going to do from now on.

Worried About App’s Permissions?

If you’re like me you will check the permissions apps requested before installing. If you don’t do this, start right now!
A good example was an LED torch app that wanted my location and access to my contacts. No mi gusta! As you can imagine that didn’t get installed. The problem is that sometimes you forget to check or are in a rush and don’t. It’d be nice to have something that checks permissions for you and keeps you up to date on any apps permission changes.

…there’s an app for that

That’s right. There is an app to help you keep track of permissions, fight the bad guys if you will, and the one I’ve been using is called Clueful. It’s simple, easy to use and has an absolute gentleman of an icon. How couldn’t I trust these guys to keep me on the straight and narrow and defend me from the darker side of the app stores?

Gentlemen Fighting!

How Does Clueful Work

I don’t know the technicalities, all I know is that Clueful categorises apps into three tiers: High Risk Apps, Moderate Risk Apps and Low Risk Apps. They use a traffic-light colour code to warn you. It couldn’t be simpler.

Clueful Settings

Clueful individual report

Clueful dashboard

And There’s More
Not only does Clueful ‘traffic light’ your apps but it also scans new apps and updates itself to categorise them. It pushes to tell you that there has been a change as well as what category a new app fits into. It’s simplicity made so simple it’s simple enough for simpletons like me. I recommend downloading and testing this app out. Prepare to be surprised with the result.

Gentlemen Handshake

*In an English Victorian accent* Clueful, we at miratrix extend our hand in respect to you. Keep up the good work, Sir!

Clueful Android

iOS

Using Google Analytics For App Store Keyword Research

App Keywords
The questions I am asked most often about the app marketing world are, ‘What keywords should I use for my app’ and, ‘What tools do you use for app store keyword research?’. You’ll all understand the answer I give, and it’s well worth knowing (even if it’s one of my more complicated insights). Here goes: we don’t get keyword data from Google or Apple and based on what Google are doing in the SEO world I would suggest that Google certainly aren’t going to consider making this data available any time soon, if ever.

My tactic tip
This post will show you a specific tactic that I use to try to gain a greater understanding of app keyword targeting outside of the usual ‘look at Google AdWords’ that most people tell you. It also helps me get a picture of what time of the week people are more active in search for the product/ service you sell.

In this case we have data from a fashion retailer throughout December which excludes their brand phrases.

Mobile Keywords From Google Analytics Are Helpful

Keywords taken from users who are on mobile device browsing your site are about as close as you’ll get to actual keyword data for mobile from Google. You need to make a couple of assumptions when using this data.

Firstly, people are searching on Google using their mobile device in the same way that they would in the App Store or Google Play. Secondly they aren’t going to put more effort into searching, for example writing longer phrases for Google, than they would the App Store or Google Play. Finally they will use the ‘Google Suggest’ functionality in the same way they would in the App Store and Google Play.

Trend Keyword Data

Looking at the graph below you can see the season’s spikes and troughs over Christmas and when traffic came back to that specific industry. Using information like this can help you understand the user’s behaviour and when you can expect peak traffic across various keywords and keyword sets.

App Store Keyword Research Graph

Keywords, Sets, Volume and Traffic For Apps

Unfortunately I can’t show you the keywords my client ranks for in mobile but I can show that they do rank for a variety of phrases, 263 to be precise. That’s a good start for app keyword research.

App Keywords Research Table

Sort the data how you like. In this case I sorted by volume but you may want to sort by time on page, revenue, transactions. Whatever your KPI is, that’s where you begin.

How To Pick Your App Keywords

So you’ve got this data. What the hell to do with it!?! Firstly you need to remove keywords with anything under five, at least. Few things will convert with such low search volumes. Ideally you’d only deal in double digit traffic phrases – triple is even better!

Secondly you want to look for themes of words. Are people using particular words regularly? Do the words follow certain orders? There is no hard and fast rule. It takes practice and testing to understand what words will work. Once you’ve identified a theme or some sort of regular pattern, you can begin to work these variations into your app title and app description.

Test, Test, Test!

Don’t use one keyword set as a crutch simply because it earned you a few good results. Another set could easily trump that result so make sure you have a plan in place for testing different themed keywords. Be brave about failing. Failure is a lesson learned. The risk is minimal because you can always revert to the more successful set in a week or so.

It’s Not Simple But Keep Trying

SEO Keyword research is easy to learn and difficult to master. App store keyword research is doubly hard but never despair, keep practicing and learning. It’s taken me years working with multiple brands, sites and apps to gain the knack for it but it can be done and you’ll get there eventually.

Here is a link to the custom report in Google Analytics that I’ve build for identifying mobile traffic. All you need to do is navigate to Acquisition > Keyword > Organic and open the report.

Let me know how you get on with the report. Tell me if you find it useful or if you’ve got any questions, please ask away.

The App Store Times: Flock YAHOO Fail & Google Bump!

App Store Times: App Store News

App Store Times, Issue 1

Hi all! Welcome to a New Year!
I’ve decide that in 2014 I’m going to talk more in blogs, video’s, twitter and also in a couple of other places. This change will either make you cry or smile…not sure you will jump for joy though; some of you might.

The first thing I’m going to do on a weekly basis is write a round up of what’s been happening in the app world. As you’ll have no doubt have guessed it’s called The App Store Times, very original I thoughr. It will contain anything from security breaches to acquisitions, to app store updates which have hammered your downloads! Anything that is interesting in the world.

Yahoo End Year With No Top 100 Apps

Yahoo Not In Top 100 Apps in Apple App Store

Yahoo’s New Branding Didn’t Help This Time.


I’m going to say it. I like Yahoo. But I don’t have one of their apps on my phone. I also like what Marissa Mayer is doing over at Yahoo and I hope that they manage to pull it back.
In saying that for a company who’s entire focus is mobile, it doesn’t look as if the future is bright.

Yahoo have failed to get any of their 10 App’s into the Top 100 of the Apple App Store. Not even the much loved Flickr app managed to get in there. If Yahoo want to become synonymous with mobile they are really going to need to pull something out of the bag in 2014.

Based on their apps at the moment they are trying to compete in super competitive places, weather, sports, news, chat etc. Maybe it’s time that Yahoo developed something useful and niche. Come on Mayer! Put the R&D team to work, maybe try an early days of Apple approach…

FOR FLOCK SAKE! Google Buy And Shut Down Flock App Company

Google Shuts Down Flock App

Google Kicks Another To the curb!


Another one of those stories you hear when a big giant buys a company just to shuts it down, leaving us thinking whhhyyyy?

If you don’t know what Flock does. Flock makes Bump which, you may have guessed, allows you to bump your phone’s together and share files, contacts etc. Google acquired Flock back in September at the time it was all fine and nothing was to change, until now.

I’m not sure if Google are planning on implementing this directly into Android or if they just wanted the brains behind it. We do know that they are working on Android Beam and this would work nicely with it. The team at Flock are now being assimilated (sorry, had to use that word) into Google and are focusing on other projects which leave no time to maintain the Flock and Bump apps. Kind of makes sense.

The next few months will be interesting from a hardware perspective. You’ll all know from posts that I think that Apple and PayPal are trying to kill NFC. If Google release beam and it’s entirely Bluetooth LE then I think it’s fair to say that NFC is about to take a long walk off a short peer.

…in full disclosure. I’m in the Bluetooth LE. BT4 LETS GOOOO!

Meizu’s Giving It Away

Meizu Free App Store

Meizu Just Giving It Away!


This one’s for publishers and developers. Meizu desperately wants developers to publish on their store. They’ve decided to take ZERO percent of app sales. This is a pretty aggressive move. I’m struggling to think of reasons other than time, which can be manage, why people wouldn’t do this. I’m all for competition in app market place. It can only benefit the developers and consumer.

Good luck to Meizu. I’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Well. That’s it for this issue. Hopefully you’ve found it useful. If you’ve got more info on the topics or have your own opinion please chime-in in the comments.

Ciao for Now!