If you’re not in the know about AppGratis, you’re missing out! It’s free app for your iPhone that gets you one free app per day. But not just any app… the AppGratis team works with developers to offer apps for which you’d normally have to fork over some hard-earned cash. This means you’re getting great premium apps you might not otherwise try, for nada.
The AppGratis team told me they were looking to promote more utility and productivity apps, so Copy2Contact would fit right in. After discussing a bit about how things would work, we decided on a date and set things in motion.
What happened next was quite a show, at least from my perspective. AppGratis has worldwide reach, so the promotion started in the wee hours of the morning (I’m in the Eastern US time zone). I awoke to a tangle of error messages and problem reports. Our web server had crashed at 3am due to all the traffic they were sending our way.
The app distribution is handled by Apple’s servers, but people new to Copy2Contact were impressed and using the Tell A Friend feature at an astounding rate, putting a load on our server that it was simply not set up to handle. I could hardly believe it, and the day was just starting.
I reached out to the folks at qwk.net, who handle our dedicated hosting, and they were able to add resources to the server and get it back to full capacity in what can only be described as “lickety split”. Those guys are geniuses and I highly recomend their services to anyone needing business web hosting.
The rest of the day of promotion was uneventful. A few support requests came in from people with questions, and even a couple people telling us how much they like the app. It’s always nice to receive those kinds of messages.
When the dust had settled the next day, I had a chance to look at the numbers. This is where things got really interesting. As a result of the AppGratis promotion, we had well over 230,000 new people try Copy2Contact! And it turned out the promotion didn’t even run in the US or Italy due to scheduling conflicts. AppGratis has a pretty impressive reach!
Even more interesting is that the AppGratis folks said that the results were better even than they were expecting. This speaks both to how great Copy2Contact is but also says people are craving useful utility apps for their mobile devices (a fairly new category for the AppGratis guys).
Now, how does this affect our business bottom line? That’s a more complicated issue… Giving people something for free doesn’t directly generate a single dollar of revenue, but the idea is bigger than that. Obviously we benefit from the exposure, which is hard to get these days with all the marketing noise out there. We were also hoping that new users of the iPhone app would go back to our web site and buy the PC version of our software, but interestingly, not a single one did!
So in the short term this netted the company zero $, but I think in the long term we’ll be better off having more people knowing the Copy2Contact name. We’ve always found it challenging to make people aware of the concept and this kind of thing helps a great deal. And though we don’t get access to these new users directly in order to market other products to them, we did have about 200 sign up for our mailing list and we can occasionally push messages out to the app when we announce new products.
We’re hoping to repeat the AppGratis promotion with their US user base, and it will be interesting to see if the results differ. Top countries in the first round included Brazil, Spain, Germany, and Mexico, where Copy2Contact is not as accurate. Since it works best with US, UK, and Western European contact information, their US users may like the app even more. I’ll write again when we have some results there.
Overall, thanks, AppGratis!