App Discovery Services – How To Get Quality Users For A Free App

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Emmanuel Carraud is CEO of MagicSolver, the user acquisition specialists for mobile applications. Emmanuel has over 15 years of experience in consumer marketing and mobile advertising across Europe. Fluent in French, Spanish and English, he has a Masters degree from Sciences Po Paris and an MBA from Judge Business School, Cambridge University. We were pleased to hear him talk at the App Promotion Summit in London. For those who missed him we’ve prepared audio recordings of his talk as well as a transcription.

The talk covered:

  • The App Selection Process: How to Guarantee Quality
  • How It Works For Paid Apps and Free Apps
  • Case Study – Success Through An App Discovery Campaign – 50k Downloads In A Single Day
  • User Quality – Case Study Free App Magic
  • The Future Of App Discovery – Curation, Tracking, Targeting Recommendations

For those who prefer listening or like a podcast we have the “APP DISCOVERY SERVICES” talk recorded in high quality below:

The presentation of the talk on “APP DISCOVERY SERVICES”  is available below on slideshare

Finally for those who prefer reading, below you can find a transcription of the entire talk:

Emmanuel Carraud:  Thank you. So, I’m going to try to give you some energy because it’s always a bit hard after lunch not to feel a nap. I’m going to talk about how to get quality users for a free app. So, following a lot of discussion we had this morning. There’s a lot of apps it’s great but, how to get users and the right users for you. Just a quick background about our company MagicSolver. We are a spin out from Cambridge University. We started exactly four years ago, this week. It’s a bit like the apps store; just one year after the app store. We are doing IOS and underrated applications, and we specialized in apps curation and apps discovery. We have a team of thirty with twelve nationalities in Cambridge and overseas in different countries. We are working with developers all over the world, more than 500 developers. So, we celebrated this week our 30 million dollars for our apps and more than 50 million dollars for our partners. So, that’s why we are expert in how do we get the app discovered and how you get downloads for your app. App stores are great but there are too many apps out there. Today there is more than 800 thousand apps for IOS, it’s the same for Android; more than 1000 new apps every day. So, it’s really hard to get visible. It’s a challenge for users because ‘How can I find the right app for me?’ Apps that are relevant, easy to use, we can deliver from user to user. And, for the developer this all can be visible on the app store, reach more target audience, get quality users, and make money. How we do that we do that in several ways. Usually we do that on a daily basis with free app magic. It is an editorial based app. Every day we select, among the thousands, the best free apps every day. Either paid apps we would ask the developer to make free, during a period of twenty four hours. We offer it free all day and we ask for a special gift to the developer. We get exposed with developers to millions of users for app magic.

We have over 7 million downloads for this application. The app is available in twelve different languages in 120 countries. So, there is always a way to reach the masses. How that works, every day our users receive some proof certification, they can download a lot of free apps every day, and we already sold over 15 million dollars both in paid apps for free and free and app purchases. First, it’s all about quality because behind the apps discovery is faced with plenty of realities. Some services try to market apps but don’t really try to use quality or interest by users to get like an incentivized download. But it’s not like in real users in the sense that users won’t really engage with your app. That’s why we do all un incentivized downloads with all natural downloads. How we do that: we have a process of selection. We have a sense team, we have a lot of contacts from different people around the world, and then they negotiate with the developer and they do a first filter of the quality of apps. Is it suitable for our target audience? Are we globally getting money, or in a specific market? And we have a content team. We have George here in the room, which is the head of the content team.

Every day as a line to see which app is going to be inside app magic, and is going to write reviews, write everyday reviews in seven different languages. English obviously, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese. So, we have more and more engagement with user community around the world. We have translators and editors who are usually living in this country so being a native speaker for these different markets so we can really engage with the audience and adapt the contents to the local audience. It’s all about quality in the selection. So, I’m going to show you some case studies and how that works; what could the impact for paid apps or free apps. So, I’m using rare figures for some individual developer partners of ours that have been sharing with us data.  Obviously, we also get data for free partners and things but, there is a lot of confidential. So, we figure is partners are willing to give them. 1 November, there was a Christmas booth only in December it was a paid app for around 99. On 16th of December we selected in our Christmas calendar, which is a free app version of natural magic. We can see here clearly in a graph, we so jump and download the app got over 4800 downloads, quite significant. Around the world, and that was an IOS platform. Iphone and Ipad. And over a period we snowballed the effect by being more visible, the app getting over 1.2 million downloads in December. Good figures in number, how to in monetization? So, we compare the previous monetization of the app, which was a paid app, and we compare to the after. We saw twenty times the revenue for different purchases. You could buy stickers for your Christmas boots. And we’ve seen twenty times the daily revenues from before and during the promotion. What is quite interesting is the lasting effect while during the period of before, after, we have on average 7 times more daily revenues for the two week period. So of course, we mentioned this morning, it really depends on the type of apps the type of demographic. And again, not all apps will have the same type of behavior. Some apps are more seasonal, some apps are more lasting around the year.

So, usually we analyze in the difference,  when it is the best day to select to promote this app. Some apps are much better to be advertised during the week, apps usage is higher during weekdays, or some apps are more like a weekend usage. It’s really important to know your users and what works better your type of apps, for your self configuring. So in app magic it gets around 20,000 downloads during the 48 hours of the promotion, on the 30th of July. We notice a couple of things here. It is a snowball effect. As we were mentioning this morning in SEO, the more you get downloaded the more you get visible of SEO. Basically, the algorithm on both the IOS and Android, is the more you get downloads in a recent period, some last a long time some are for a short period, but it will give a bonus to your SEO. So, you get like sponsored demand and it’s free. Which is also interesting, you’ll see this lasting effect for after a promotion if the it was base line, if it was 800 downloads a day it moves to 1000 downloads a day, to plus twenty percent, on a regular basis after the promotion. Because of more word of mouth, there is a viral effect inside the application, it gains an SEO effect, your app will get more searchable in any queries from users. So, it’s important to match those figures with this morning about, and this plus twenty percent usually on the increment base line, plus the impact during the promotion. But, something that is really important is yes, okay, that’s amazing, you get a spike of users but, are these users good? Are these users good, better or worse than you can get organically, users you can get through different channels. It can be Facebook, and network incentivized downloads. And we done a lot analysis with global companies around the world, and we did with some like with this thing, and amazingly it is even much better than the organic downloads on the app store.

So, I’m sharing his figures with a cohort of users, it’s been sort of a flurry, so we’ve been matching all the users. So, for this app quote of the day and which is a daily retention from the first day you open the app how many users are still using the app after, two days after and one week after, so we have the daily usage over a long period. What is interesting is that this type of apps which we get quotes of every day, we saw very interesting lasting behavior. We get for free app magic users 77 percent, so the day after 77 percent of people came back and used the organization inside the application. And after a week, we see 61 percent of users using the app.   I compare what we get during the seven days after, like promotions, people coming from free app magic, daily apps discovery, to users to be completely organic, and seeing the developer having done any other user acquisition outside of this free app magic, no Facebook banners or anything like that.

On average, out of the last three months, we get 71 percent on the second day and 54 percent on the seventh day. So, there’s a retention after the seventh day, 54 percent average of users are still using the app daily. And the users of free app magic 61 percent. So, it’s quite interesting to see and really observe it with a interface that’s a good match in demographic of users, also different behaviors in user type. We know, it’s been mentioned this morning, on average users are using five apps on their phone. But that’s like every average, just an average. Which means you have heavy users who spend a lot of time on the phone for instance users spending a lot of time on the TV for instance, and the users we tend to follow what we do are kind of heavy consumers of different types of apps. So, we end up adding a long engagement of a lot of apps. Why even the organic downloads you can get in some visibility by being featured on the app store, but sometimes it’s just people who download periodically but not so much engagement with the app. So, we get on average 13 percent more loyal users then average users. We’ve been measuring that with different gaming and non gaming applications.

Also, it really depends on type of geography and type of user, etc. So, just to put into perspective what apps discovery and I would say that it is one of the key tools in user acquisition campaign. I’ve discussed with different people about publishing channels, because we can bring different types of users or we can be more or less efficient at different times of the year, or for different type of target audience. What is really important in app discovery, to do it you have to do it well. In a sense, you have to be the proper channel so there needs to be selection to be quality driven, editorial driven. So, not just app discovery or people going to put up like banners, but we’re really going to explain and present your app to your clients. So, quality driven in with external motivation to be downloaded, to the right target audience, at the right time at the right geographies at the right market. That is pretty useful because we can get ten, twenty thousand users in twenty four hours, much more during seasons. We have a great snowball effect. It could be five times more if you have become visible. you have a snowball effect after the campaign, after getting more your base line kind of download increasing. And a lifetime compilation of users which is much higher than organic users over user acquisition tools.

So, to conclude on that, here at the discovery service we’ve had a lot of debate in the last few months because some services like the one we heard have been pulled out from the app stores, there’s been some controversy in the market. But, we believe that there is a future for apps discovery; both Iphone and Android which is quality, editorial driven, with a local touch. You have to adapt to the local needs. Creation of the app store, to be an expert, to be credible.  Our users fans rely on the recommendations we give so we be really selective in the apps and items we promote, so analytics are key. PI tracking the consumer behavior and the best LTV and the targeting is getting more and more based on geography, device, and consumer behavior to get the best experience from the users and developer. Thank you very much.

You can find more talks from App Promotion Summit London here