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Right Time to Switch From Free to Paid

INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
edited November 2010 in Mobile Marketing Techniques
Hi Developers,

My first app Geometrica, has been out for about 3 weeks. It's now available for free, and it receives less than 100 downloads per day. I'm thinking about making it a paid app starting tomorrow, but I'm not sure if this is the right time or not !!! Should I do more promotion and wait or should I just give it shot ? :confused: :confused:

Any advice will be highly appreciated? :)

I'm very new in this business. :(

Thanks ...
Post edited by INNOVATTY on
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Replies

  • hosamhosam Posts: 252Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    If you have watched "The Social Network", you would have knew the answer to that :)

    Always remember the golden rule "Never end the party too early"

    The more users you have the better, just focus on doing something cool and money will come later either using iAd, switching to paid or adding in app purchases.

    Good luck with ur app
    -Hosam<br />
    Managing Director, <a href="http://www.taphive.com"; target="_blank">Taphive</a>
  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Thank you so much Hosam. I will definitely watch "The Social Network".

    Do I understand from your reply that waiting for 3 weeks is not long enough?

    I was thinking about switching the app to paid for few days and monitor the progress, but my concern is the loss the momentum. If I switch it back to free, will the app regain its momentum?

    Thanks again ...
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  • hosamhosam Posts: 252Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    INNOVATTY wrote: »
    Thank you so much Hosam. I will definitely watch "The Social Network".

    Do I understand from your reply that waiting for 3 weeks is not long enough?

    I was thinking about switching the app to paid for few days and monitor the progress, but my concern is the loss the momentum. If I switch it back to free, will the app regain its momentum?

    Thanks again ...

    Just focus on development and make the App better. If the users love you App then will recommend it to others, tweet about it,...etc. If it's free then it's much easier to spread of course.

    After reaching maybe more than 200k+ users then I would suggest you switch to iAds. Switching it to paid now won't really get you anywhere if you started with it as a Free App. Just take a look at the top grossing and not top paid Apps and you know what I mean.
    -Hosam<br />
    Managing Director, <a href="http://www.taphive.com"; target="_blank">Taphive</a>
  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Thanks again, Hosam. I really appreciate your advice.

    I'll keep it free for now until it gains more users.

    I'll definitely need your advice in the future. I'll keep you updated.
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  • bignogginsbignoggins Posts: 2,198Registered Users @ @ @ @
    edited November 2010
    sorry but this advice is just terrible. Websites are completely different animal than apps. Apps don't have "users" like facebook does. You don't register and use an app. You just download it, use it a couple times, and then delete it. Especially a free app.

    Typical conversion rates from free to paid is about 5%. So 100 free downloads will probably translate into 5 paid downloads a day. I would at the very least put advertising into the app. Just waiting around for 200K downloads is silly. Even if you get there eventually, chances are your daily users will be 1% of that number if you're lucky.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]<br />
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  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    mightybao wrote: »
    sorry but this advice is just terrible. Websites are completely different animal than apps. Apps don't have "users" like facebook does. You don't register and use an app. You just download it, use it a couple times, and then delete it. Especially a free app.

    Typical conversion rates from free to paid is about 5%. So 100 free downloads will probably translate into 5 paid downloads a day. I would at the very least put advertising into the app. Just waiting around for 200K downloads is silly. Even if you get there eventually, chances are your daily users will be 1% of that number if you're lucky.

    Thanks for your feedback, mightybao. I was planning to keep the app as free for a while, however the automatic price change took effect hours earlier than expected, and I decided to keep it like that. I'm using promo codes to promote the app for now, and I'll be interested in seeing how many downloads I get tomorrow. I'll let you know how close the number of downloads are to the 5% you mentioned.

    If I would combine hosam's advice and yours, I come to the conclusion that I have better chances of promoting my app as free version than as paid version, and I should keep in mind the 5% conversion rate. Of course I have to monitor the rate of change in the number of downloads and based on that I decide if it make sense to wait longer or not.

    Thanks again to both of you :)
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  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Just to report on the status.

    mightybao, your prediction was right :eek:

    Believe it or not, the number of paid downloads I received yesterday was almost 5% of the number of free downloads I received the day before. How do you know that?

    I don't know if this will be constant or not, but I expect some fluctuation from one day to the other. Hopefully numbers don't go down every day.

    Anyway, I'll keep you posted.
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  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Today it is less than 5% :(
    Almost 50% down compared to yesterday.
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  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Yesterday I decided to make Geometrica free as a Thanksgiving promotion.

    Believe it or not, the number of downloads was about 10 times it was before starting this thread :eek:

    Thanks to all my Geometrican supporters all over the world :D

    Conclusion So Far:
    If your free app is not receiving a lot of downloads, make it paid for a certain period and provide promo codes. When you switch it back to free, the number of downloads will increase dramatically. I think this should apply for paid apps as well. Increase the price slightly so it becomes more desirable. When switch back to the old price, the old price will be very affordable. I think we as human always compare numbers. Note that when your price drops, certain websites and apps report that, so it is another way for your app to get noticed.

    I hope some will find this helpful :)

    I'll keep everyone updated ;)
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  • SpaceAceSpaceAce Posts: 138Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    You should probably observe the numbers for some time and not derive your assumptions based on one day figures!

    A lot of sites and some Apps will monitor price changes / price drops so when you make your App free a lot of users will see it on that day and download it. But the next days it will already come down again. (Look at AppShopper for example. There are price-drops every couple of minutes.)

    How were the numbers for yesterday? Still 10 times as on the first day "free"?
  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    SpaceAce wrote: »
    You should probably observe the numbers for some time and not derive your assumptions based on one day figures!

    A lot of sites and some Apps will monitor price changes / price drops so when you make your App free a lot of users will see it on that day and download it. But the next days it will already come down again. (Look at AppShopper for example. There are price-drops every couple of minutes.)

    How were the numbers for yesterday? Still 10 times as on the first day "free"?

    Thanks for your comment SpaceAce

    Total number of downloads has doubled compared to yesterday :)

    Number of downloads in the US store hasn't changed much, however the number of downloads in other stores has increased significantly.

    I think you're right; this increase is triggered by websites reporting the price drop in different stores, and this will not last for a long time. How long will this continue before number of downloads starts to settle? I don't know!

    If the numbers are increasing every day, that means more people are talking about it, and if the numbers start to go down significantly, that means I have more work to do ;)

    I'll report more status updates tomorrow
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  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    SpaceAce wrote: »
    You should probably observe the numbers for some time and not derive your assumptions based on one day figures!

    A lot of sites and some Apps will monitor price changes / price drops so when you make your App free a lot of users will see it on that day and download it. But the next days it will already come down again. (Look at AppShopper for example. There are price-drops every couple of minutes.)

    How were the numbers for yesterday? Still 10 times as on the first day "free"?

    Numbers are down for yesterday. They're back to what they were 3 days ago :(

    See the chart below *:

    Geometrica_Downloads_Trend.png

    It seems that numbers will continue to go down. Let's see how far it goes.

    * Note that the number of downloads in 21st and 22nd were very low because the tool was on sale for $0.99
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  • HunnenkoenigHunnenkoenig Posts: 460Banned Members
    edited November 2010
    I love your naivity. :)
    I would advice to rather read this forums as much as you can. Look not only on the first page, but dig deeper.

    Use the search function too.

    You can learn very much by reading this forum. Don't think, you are the first man on the moon and everybody is interested in your 3 days numbers.

    I don't say it because I want to be rude, but because it is senseless for you to post all this. We already have been through this ten times and many of us already posted their experiences.

    You can find way more data here, that those 3 day statistics on your itunes connect account.

    For example I already posted about our app getting 70.000 downloads in one day after we changed it to free, just to go back to 20-30 downloads per day when we changed back to .99

    Cheers
  • INNOVATTYINNOVATTY Posts: 190Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    I love your naivity. :)
    I would advice to rather read this forums as much as you can. Look not only on the first page, but dig deeper.

    Use the search function too.

    You can learn very much by reading this forum. Don't think, you are the first man on the moon and everybody is interested in your 3 days numbers.

    I don't say it because I want to be rude, but because it is senseless for you to post all this. We already have been through this ten times and many of us already posted their experiences.

    You can find way more data here, that those 3 day statistics on your itunes connect account.

    For example I already posted about our app getting 70.000 downloads in one day after we changed it to free, just to go back to 20-30 downloads per day when we changed back to .99

    Cheers

    :o

    Thank you so much for the feedback Hunnenkoenig

    I really really appreciate it. I'm here to learn from the experts.

    And don't worry, I'm not being offended by any of this. Any feedback is always welcome.

    Why am I posting all this? It is just a different learning style. I try something, share results and conclusions, get feedback, make corrections and repeat the cycle until I have a full understanding. Other naive people get a chance to learn ;)

    I'll follow your advice and do more research in the forum.

    As you can see, I'm really excited about this whole experience, and this forum is a great place to learn and share :)

    Thanks again ...
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  • HunnenkoenigHunnenkoenig Posts: 460Banned Members
    edited November 2010
    It is indeed a great place.
    The best to be honest.

    I do it almost since two years and I am still very excited and can't say, that I am pro.

    Anyway... there are countless threads for every thinkable topic, to share your experiences and to read other's ;)

    Good luck!
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