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Is advertising ever worth it for a paid app?

10-02-2015, 10:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 129
Is advertising ever worth it for a paid app?

We released our first iOS app about 2 days ago, it's getting really good feedback from those who have tried it and our conversion rate on those who purchase vs. those who visit the app store listing is really high right now (20%).

Now, I understand that our conversion rate is abnormally high because we have friends / family / TA members going there and purchasing it but I'm curious if advertising using Google Adwords or advertising networks is possibly a good value. I know freemium games advertise, knowing that if they spend X on a user and return X+Y, they are making a profit and can therefore dump tons of money into advertising and make even more.

I haven't seen any paid apps use advertising of this sort, and I'm just curious if it possibly could pay for itself (the advertising spend). Has anyone on this forum tried an advertising buy, and what did it return?

Here is our app if anyone is curious - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id936504469
10-04-2015, 03:14 AM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 22
I think the main problem is that many users expect a free download when clicking an ad. So ad networks like chartboost don't allow a 'cost per install' campaign for paid apps, only 'cost per click'. Since you are competing for clicks with F2P games and they are much more likely to be downloaded after being clicked my guess is paid apps would end up costing more per install than free apps.

I guess it depends on how much you can pay per click. Most ad networks give you an estimate of how much you can pay/bid per click so you can calculate if it's worth it based on your estimated conversion rate, and you can always try a small campaign to test it out.
Also by 'buying' more users you get additional users for free either from word of mouth or climbing store charts so you should factor that in too. I read somewhere that on average for every user you buy you get almost another one for free.
10-04-2015, 03:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,066
You have to do something. You can't just people to organically buy your app. Organic is more likely for free apps than paid.

As for what is most effective, I would say a demo version would prob get the most benefit. Also updating your app page with a video would be good. Your screen shots are confusing and I don't get what you are selling.

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
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10-04-2015, 04:00 AM
I agree with Destined. A video would really help. I also think screenshots with borders and some text help to illustrate what features each screenshot is trying to sell.

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10-04-2015, 03:13 PM
If i were in your shoes, i would tryout advertising for a smaller amount first to test out the "numbers".