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Pitch Perfect: The Art of Promoting Your App on the Web

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Pitch Perfect: The Art of Promoting Your App on the Web


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  • Copyright 2013
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-91761-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-91761-4

The Must-Have Promotion Guide for Every App and Hardware Developer!

Developing your product took lots of hard work over months, nights, and weekends filled with blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t abandon it now. Shower your app with the quality promotion it deserves!

Erica Sadun and Steve Sande help you earn strong app reviews that can transform sales from lackluster to blockbuster. As leading tech bloggers, they know exactly what reviewers are looking for.

Now, they deliver simple step-by-step advice to position your product, build key relationships, and sell your story. Packed with real case studies from their overflowing inboxes, they reveal where developers can go wrong and when they’ve gotten it right.

Great tech promotion doesn’t need to cost a lot. You can do it yourself, even if you’ve never marketed anything before. It just takes a little time, thought, and the skills you learn in this book.

• Peek behind the curtain to learn how web review sites really work
• Get your product into shape and ready for your marketing push
• Craft great pitches that sell your excitement and explain your product’s key features and appeal
• Lead reviewers “by the hand” with simple, succinct language
• Avoid common mistakes that kill your chances for a review
• Create the essential PR support material your product needs
• Respond productively to both good and negative coverage
• Keep bloggers in the loop about what you’ll be doing next

Includes exclusive worksheets and checklists for:
• Profiling potential customers
• Evaluating competitors
• Estimating market size
• Writing and checking your pitch
• Tracking and targeting bloggers

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

The Art of Promoting Your App on the Web: How Blogs Work

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)

Table of Contents

Preface     xviii

Who This Book Is For     xviii

Why Pitch Perfect     xviii

   How This Book Is Organized     xx

1 How Blogs Work     1

A Typical Day at a Major Blog     2

   Review Requests     2

Smaller Blogs     4

   Making Sausage: How Reviews Happen     4

   What Do Bloggers Look For?     5

   Why Do Bloggers Review?     6

   Attracting Readers     7

   Providing Criticism     7

   How Do Bloggers Perform Evaluations?     8

Performing the Review     9

   What About Accessories and Other Hardware?     10

Elements of Review     10

   Graphics and Design     12

   User Interface     12

   Value     13

   Utility     14

   Settings     14

   Options     15

   Features     16

   Finish     16

How Much Time Is Spent Reviewing Each Product?     17

   What Kind of Timeline Crunch Are Reviewers Under?     18

   How Long Does It Take to Tell You’re Trying Out a Lemon?     19

What Kinds Of Reviews Do Bloggers Write?     19

   First Look     20

   Overview     20

   Hands On     20

   In Depth     20

Choosing a Review Type     21

Why Blog Reviews Matter     21

Marketing Realities     23

Wrapping Up     24

2 The Attractive Product     27

Product Definition     28

   Who Is Your Customer?     28

   What Problem Does It Solve?     29

   How Does It Pop?     29

What Makes a Good Product?     30

   They Have Awesome and Easily Understood User Interfaces     30

   They Empower Users to Do Something     31

   They Change to Meet a User’s Needs     32

   Successful Developers Know Their Markets     32

   They Are Polished     33

   They Keep Current     33

   They Are Relevant     33

Why Good Interface Design Matters     34

Refining the Product     35

   Beta Testing Your App     36

Falling in Love with Your Product     37

Nondisclosures, Embargos, and Exclusives     38

Competing Against the Big Guys     39

Building in Self-Promotion     40

Wrapping Up     42

3 Crafting Your Pitch     43

Designing the Pitch     44

Essential Pitch Components     45

   A Motivating Subject Line     45

   Product Name     45

   Product Price     46

   Links     46

   Screenshots     47

   Video     48

   Description     49

   Feature List     50

   Contact Information     50

A Sample Pitch     51

Remind Us Who You Are     52

Capturing Attention Through the Subject Line     53

   The Subject Line’s Role     53

   Good Subject Lines     54

   Why Subject Lines Fail     55

   Subjects for Non-Review Pitches     56

Promo Codes     57

   How to Send Promo Codes     59

   Creating a Product Link     60

   Creating a Company Link     61

   Tokens for Mac     62

   Going Free     63

Differences Between Hardware and Software Pitches     64

   Design     64

   Value     66

   Functionality     66

Hardware Pricing     67

Video Gold     67

Hardware Review Logistics     68

Benchmarks     69

A Word About Kickstarter     70

   Case Study: The Une Bobine Video     71

   Common Hardware Product Categories     72

   Cases     72

   Headphones/Earphones     73

   Docks     73

   Speakers     74

   Drives     75

   Power Supplies (Batteries, Chargers, Car Chargers)     75

   Camera Accessories     76

   Books/Ebooks     77

   Cables and Gizmos     78

Hardware Pitches     79

Wrapping Up     79

4 Pitching Do’s and Don’ts     81

Know the Site     82

   DO Address Requests to Specific Bloggers     82

   DO Aim for Series Posts     83

   DO Consider Being a Podcast Guest     84

   DO Consider Non-Review Posts     84

Scheduling Out     86

   DO Provide Specific Dates and Timelines     86

   DO Bring Up the Topic of Exclusive First Looks     87

   DO NOT Jump the Gun     87

Leverage Personality     87

   DO Offer Access     88

   DO NOT Hijack Conversations to Pitch Your App     88

   DO Listen When the Blogger Offers Feedback     89

   DO Be Friendly     89

   DO NOT Subscribe Us to Your Personal Email List     90

Communicate Well     91

   DO Leverage Success     91

   DO NOT Name Drop Celebrities Unless You’re Getting VC Funding     91

   DO NOT Snitch on Competitors     92

   DO Know Who You’re Writing To     92

   DO Avoid the “Ugly Sister” Scenario     93

   DO Use Native Review     93

Checking In     94

   DO NOT Harass the Blogger     95

   DO NOT Spam Bloggers     95

   DO NOT Presume That a Promo Code Request Leads to a Review      97

   DO Presume That a Tangible Product Request Leads to Coverage     97

   DO NOT Expect a Reply     98

   DO Jump on Replies     98

   DO NOT Resubmit Your App Pitches     98

Watching Your Timing     99

   DO Accommodate Current Events     99

   DO Build Opportunities     99

Gaming the System     100

   DO NOT Astroturf     100

   DO NOT Offer to Pay for a Review or Prioritize Your Product     100

   DO NOT Try to Make Us Pity You     101

   DO NOT Pretend to “Just Be a Customer” and Talk About a Product You Just “Discovered”     102

   DO NOT Quote Reviews Out of Context     102

   DO NOT Specify “Terms” for Your Review     102

   DO NOT Lie and Mislead     103

Avoiding Offense     103

   DO NOT Be Racist, Sexist, Etc.     103

   DO NOT Burn Bridges     104

Submitting Through Channels     104

   End Run Exceptions     105

When to Pitch     106

   Dealing with Apple Review Headaches     107

Wrapping Up     109

5 Case Studies     111

Case Study: Short But Sweet     112

Case Study: The Solid Query     112

Case Study: The Professional Pitch     113

Case Study: The Lost Holiday Opportunity     115

Case Study: The Meh Pitch     115

Case Study: The Completely Inappropriate Pitch That Made Us Smile     116

Case Study: Winning by Charm     117

Case Study: Completely Missing the Mark     119

Case Study: The Perils of Autocorrect     119

Case Study: Buzzwords     120

Case Study: Not Enough Detail     122

Case Study: The WTF We Don’t Even Pitch     123

Case Study: The Pitch That Got Away     123

Case Study: Don’t Submit Multiple Products All at Once     124

Case Study: Machine Translation     124

Case Study: Avoid Unspecific Bullets     125

Case Study: The Excellent Response     126

Case Study: The Pitch Rewrite     127

   The Original Pitch     128

   The Rewrite     130

Case Study: Remembering That the App Is the Hero     130

Case Study: The Twitter Pitch     131

Final Tips: Avoiding Grandiosity     132

Wrapping Up     134

6 Preparing for PR     135

Get Your Product into Shape     135

Prepare Your Marketing Text     137

Choose Strong Branding     137

Website Essentials     138

   Add a “Contact Us” Link     139

   Take Care with Company Branding     140

Creating a Reviewer’s Guide     142

   The Tao of Reviewer’s Guides     143

About Press Releases     144

Preparing That All-Important Product Video     145

   Recording Videos     146

   Good Demo Videos Qualities     147

   Editing Videos     147

   Tightening Your Pitch Video     148

   Video Music     149

   Posting Videos     150

   The Live Demo     150

Preparing Review Materials     152

   Do You Want the Product Back?     152

   Should You Include Other Items in the Package?     152

   Should You Submit Full Copies or Time-Limited Demos?     152

Social Media     153

   Be Interactive     154

   Be Diplomatic     154

   Don’t Be Hostile     154

   Be Human     154

   Be Focused     154

   Be Informative     154

   Be Active     155

   Use Automatic Posting Tools     155

   Cover All Possible Outlets     155

   Be Giving     155

Wrapping Up     156

7 The Care and Feeding of Your Blogger     157

Establishing Relationships with Bloggers     157

   Be Patient and Persistent     158

   Be Understanding     158

   Accept Criticism Graciously     158

   Advocate for Yourself     159

   Be Human      159

   Be Available     159

   Be Aware of the Blogger’s Focus     160

The “Be a Decent Human Being” Rule     160

Responding to Reviews–Both Good and Bad     161

   Handling Good Reviews     162

   Responding to Negative Reviews     162

   Inconsistent Reviews     163

   Incorrect Facts     163

   Using Comments     163

Why Wasn’t My Product Reviewed?     165

Wrapping Up     166

8 Worksheets and Checklists     167

Know Your Customer: Developing a Customer Profile     167

   Worksheet 1: Likely Customer Overview     168

Competitive Analysis     169

   Worksheet 2: Evaluating Competition     169

Potential Market Size Calculation     170

   Worksheet 3: Market Size Calculation Worksheet     173

Pitch Checklists     173

   Worksheet 4: Checking Your Subject Line     174

   Worksheet 5: Checking Your Pitch     174

Reviewer’s Guide Checklist     175

   Worksheet 6: Essential Reviewer’s Guide Elements     175

Blogger Relationship Database     175

   Worksheet 7: Blogger Contact Details     175

Wrapping Up     176

Index     177


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