Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Create better ads for your apps

As an app developer you're probably not an expert in advertising (I'm not either), but over the last couple of weeks I've been running such an experiment with the creators of  a few apps in store to help us all, hopefully, learn a few things about what makes a good app advert.

Let me start by introducing the apps:
Digi Clock Plus Digi Clock Plus
Digi Clock Plus is all you need whilst at home or travelling to transform your phone into a functional digital alarm clock with fun added extras.
This is one of the most comprehensive clocks in the marketplace and delivers some of the top requested features - photo frame, weather, personalised alarm music and speech.

Grid Ref UTM Grid Ref UTM
Pinpoint your current map reference location anywhere in the world, using the Universal Transverse Mercator geographic coordinate system. (UTM)
App Provides: UTM Grid Ref, Hemisphere, and WGS84 Latitude and Longitude values.
The Accuracy of Readings, as indicated by your device, will also be shown.
Grid Ref UTM - Your Grid Refrence App!

MetroSpec MetroSpec
MetroSpec is a fully featured 16K/48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone.
Relive the 80's & early 90's by playing the classics, on the 8-bit micro that, kick started the home computer boom.
The ZX Spectrum was an 8-bit computer released in 1982, as the successor to the ZX81. Based around a Zilog Z80 CPU, 48Kb of RAM, 16Kb ROM, beeper sound, rubber keyboard, and tape loading, the ZX Spectrum was a true classic, and now you can relive the experience, bring back your old memories, or beat that final boss you found so hard before.

Night Chopper Night Chopper
Silly and weird little chopping game! Tap tap tap, and chop down that tree under the moonlight to nice piano sounds. The viewpoint is bottom-up, and you have 4 positions to chop from. Avoid those sharp branches!

Yaht 3D Yaht 3D
If you like Yahtzee then this game is for you!
Yaht 3D is based on the dice game called 'Yacht' which is the predecessor to Yahtzee.
Play this simple and fun game against your friends in hotseat mode or try to beat the phone.
Yaht 3D takes advantage of the performance of the Windows Phone to bring you accurately simulated dice rolls. See the 3D dice leap out of your phone, spinning, colliding and tumbling under the forces of gravity.

Each of the above apps are currently available in store and are part of the AdDuplex cross promotion network.

For the experiment we ran two versions of an advert for each app for a week to see how different wording would impact how successful the ad was in persuading people to click on it.

To keep things simple all ads were text ads.
If you're not familiar with how these work: "Text ads are automatically animated to show blocks of 2 lines at a time. Line 1 and 2 are displayed together on one panel of the ad and lines 3 and 4 on the second panel."

Here are the ads we used:

Digi Clock Plus
Option 1     Option 2
Digi Clock Plus
all you need whilst at home or travelling
transform your phone into a functional digital
alarm clock with fun added extras
Digi Clock Plus
Free app
transform your phone into a functional digital
alarm clock with fun added extras

Option 2 produced a CTP that was 13% higher.
The only difference between the two ads is the second line. Highlighting that the ad was for a free meant more people clicked on the app.

Grid Ref UTM
Option 1     Option 2
Grid Ref UTM gives you UTM Coordinates, Zone,
and Hemisphere information, on your Windows Phone
Know where you are with UTM / MGRS information
simply presented, on your Windows Phone handset
Never get lost again, thanks to your phone
lookup your current UTM location, zone..
..hemisphere, and latitude/longitude coordinates,
simply presented, on your Windows Phone handset.

Option 2 produced a CTP that was 6% higher.
There's not a lot in it but the more successful option is shorter and starts with a clear description of the value the app provides. "Never get lost again" is easier to understand than "gives you UTM Coordinates......" and makes it clearer what the app can do for the potential user.

Option 1     Option 2
Love Retro gaming? Love 8-bit?
Relive the 80’s
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Emulator
Remember the good old days?
Manic Miner, Sabrewulf, Highway Encounter
Play them again, and more, with MetroSpec
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Emulator

Option 1 produced a CTP that was 2% higher.
It's hard to draw a conclusion from this as while the two ads are different they were both equally effective. They didn't just produce the same level of results they were amongst the highest of all the ads listed here.

Night Chopper
Option 1     Option 2
Night Chopper
tap tap and chop down that tree!
Night Chopper
avoid those sharp branches!
Night Chopper - FREE and downloaded by 250.000!
Relaxing game with beautiful piano songs
Nigh Chopper - Rated 4.5 stars by 2.000!
Listen to anime, TV/movie themes++ while playing

Option 1 produced a CTP that was 15% higher.
This result actually surprised me. In adverts, at least, showing how many downloads the app has had, or the ratings it's been given didn't lead to more clicks.
The more successful advert was simpler and, I think, intriguing.

Yaht 3D
Option 1     Option 2
Yaht 3D
Like Yahtzee? Try this 3D dice game.
Yaht 3D brings ultra realistic dice physics
Download full game for FREE!
Yaht 3D
"A fascinating and beautiful game" - 5 stars
Tap here to download
"I am hooked. This game is so much fun :-)" - 5 stars

Option 1 produced a CTP that was 8% higher.
As with Night Chopper, highlighting the star ratings that other people have given it didn't lead to better results.
Also, as with Digi Clock Plus, highlighting that the app is free was a successful strategy.

So, to recap, what have we learnt from all this?
I think we can draw the following recommendations:

  • If you're advertising a free app make sure that you highlight this in the ad.
  • Having less text in an ad is better than having more text.
  • Have a clear value proposition. - Make it clear what will people get from your app.
  • Don't bother focusing on how good other people thought the app was by listing your reviews and number of downloads. Tell people what's in it for them.

Hopefully these tips will help you improve the copy in the ads for your apps.
I'd encourage you to test whatever text you use in your ads though.

If you're in the UK, already have an app in the AdDuplex cross promotion network and are interested in me running some ads for your apps on your behalf please get in touch. The only deal is that you agree to me sharing the results of the test like above.
What have you got to lose?


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