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#AFtalks: App Marketing with Readdle’s Denys Zhadanov

A Twitter chat about app marketing with Deny Zhadanov of Readdle

AFtalks is a series of chats conducted on Twitter where we discuss building and selling apps. We’ve got a different topic/expert every week, and everyone is welcome to join the conversation.

Welcome to our #AFtalks recap!

This week we talked about App Marketing! The success of your app isn’t just about the design and launching it in the stores. Having a strong marketing strategy can make or break your app. We took a deeper look behind app marketing to give you insights into what you should be paying attention to when thinking future logistics of your app.

Our guest this week was Denys Zhadanov, VP of Marketing at Readdle. We asked him to share his insights on this topic with the questions below. Included are his answers, as well as some of our favorite insights from the community:

Q1: What is your most important channel for marketing your app?

A: The marketing channels for apps evolve and change over time. Currently I see email being the biggest channel for us, mostly because we have amassed a lot of email subscribers (in millions).

Q2: How has marketing for your app changed since your launch?

A: Back in 2008, when we launched our first app (ReaddleDocs, now called Documents), we saw that press coverage gave amazing results. Over time, I’ve been adding more and more channels, including email, Apple’s featuring on the App Store, in-app communication and brand building. What has always been great for us – super responsive customer support. This is where Readdle excels. Last year alone our customer support team has answered over 130K emails from our users.

Q3: Do you engage with forums (i.e reddit, quora, etc) as part of your marketing strategy?

A: Of course. Not only that, but App Store too, since Apple has allowed us to reply to customer reviews. If handled properly, average app rating can go up 1.5 stars.
Ratings on the App Store are super important and can affect app sales and revenues up to 50% (in our case with paid apps).

Q4: How do you keep up with the changing trends to keep your app successful?

A: Always focus on the product. Reevaluate how people use it, why do they use it, listen to their feedback and think of the ways to improve things. Keep innovating, add new technologies and expand use cases. I’d say these are the main things, if you do it right – marketing all these innovations will be a walk in the park. I mean, who wouldn’t want to try, or to review a new app that uses AR Kit, or blockchain, or AI?

As for marketing trends it is always important to see where your efforts can bring maximum value. Define goals, what you measure, and how you measure things. Act on the focal points where you can make the most impact within given time, doing two-week sprints and iterations.

Q5: Do you have any tips for first-time developers on getting press to cover your app?

A: To get press you should think like press. They need screaming headers, interesting stories and insights, in order to get clicks and attention from their readers. Give them what they need. iOS 11 might be a good entry point – make something cool with AR Kit, or add drag-and-drop support for your iPad app, or make the kick-ass WatchOS 4 support. The odds of being covered grow exponentially if you support the latest technologies, and come with interesting use cases.

PR is called that for a reason. It is a long lasting relations that you have to build with press. Follow reporters, comment on their stories, give them insights and opinions, stand out from hundreds of other founders. Establish initial contact, meet in person during conferences, keep them up to date- and when the time comes – you can ask to cover your new product.

Q6: What do you wish you knew about marketing before your first app?

A: I wish I knew more about storytelling, pitching and building relations. It took me two years to master these skills. I wish I had read the “Pitch Perfect” book in 2008 :)

Check out the rest of the insights we heard today on the #AFtalks hashtag!

A huge thanks to Denys Zhadanov and to all those that were part of today’s discussion! Join us for our weekly Twitter chat every Tuesday at 1pm ET (and bring your friends!). See you all next week where #AFtalks about Prepping for iOS11.