Tag Archives: analytics

A+ Work: Analytics and Ad Tracking

01.09.2014

The app is up, the youtube video has 100k views, your favorite tech websites are singing your praises (sort of). But. Is the app actually being downloaded and used?

To quote “Uncle Kevin” from, our favorite past time, Sharktank. “How do I make moonnneeeeey?”. This is where the analytics come in. We signed up for both Flurry and App Annie.

Screen shot 2013-12-28 at 1.20.19 PMFlurry is very simple to integrate within the code of your app (less than an hour). We set it up to track specific metrics, like what sort of in-app purchases were bought, and what IAP’s were viewed (but not committed to). It also let us gather some other random factoids for example:

  • Users have added items to the canvas 539,000 times
  • 28.9% of our users are from Asia
  • 6,584 users have selected the “print collage” option

These facts let us know what part of the app users are having issues with, who and where our main userbase is, how much the app is being used beyond the first download, etc.

App Annie, on the other hand, scrapes public data and organizes it in a much better manner than your iTunes Connect portal (which is a huge piece of shit, but more on that later). It shows download rankings and revenue. We have it set to send an email once a day and its quite interesting what will cause the app to bump in downloads. We realized an article had been written in both Russia and France 2 months after launch date due to AppAnnie emails (see that little bump in the middle-right-ish?).

Screen shot 2013-12-28 at 12.50.51 PM
All of this is pretttty interesting, but only so much as you choose to sift through it and use it.

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One last little experiment we decided to do after the intial launch was a Christmas push. After several years in an advertising job, I am deeply suspicious of “SEO” and Online Ad gurus promising you the moon. I believe you can achieve more worth while results by organically growing press and interest in specific groups instead of generally throwing money into the gaping maw of google adwords and hoping .01% sticks. That said, we knew our main audience was tweens. And guess what tweens would be getting for Christmas? You got it. 5cs. 5Cs FOR EVERYONE. For this instance we didn’t really have time to “organically” grow interest. We knew these kids would be bored the day after Christmas and dying to load their new phones up with dozens of new, shiny apps. How to let them know?

This is where Facebook comes in. Well, facebook and instagram. Facebook had “generously” offered me a $50 credit for FB ads (after I had purposefully tripped their “interest analytics” by clicking on tell me more, but not actually committing, muahahaha).  We thought we’d kick in $50 and just see where it wento-ONE-WEIRD-TRICK-facebook.Screen shot 2013-12-28 at 12.23.20 PM

 

While I was very tempted to see how many clicks I’d get with this first ad, we went in and designed a CaseCollage ad instead. We set our audience to be very limited and sat back to wait. After 3 days, we had garnered around 30,000 total impressions and a 4% CTR (1,406 clicks).

detail-0524542001331537745In addition we ventured into the motherland of tweens: Instagram. Our wonderful buddy over at Versagram pushed us to his instagram audience as well as us uploading some “holiday themed” collages to our 1500 followers. Hopefully that will get some “buzz” going at all the schools, we’ll see.

With these efforts combined we saw a 357% jump in downloads, and a 71% jump in revenue. I’m interested to see how long it takes before these numbers dwindle back down to our average 30 downloads/$3 a day.

Analytics and Advertising are definitely the less “exciting” parts of app promotion, but are vital if you wish to sustain and grow your userbase. Testing out campaigns and doing your research are both items you should be doing if you’re in it for the long haul.

More about the “long haul” next…

If you’re late to this rodeo, you may not know, we built an app and wanted to share some of the details. You can find related articles below:
Part 1: The Ah-Ha Moment And What Comes After – The idea for the CaseCollage app

Part 2: Building an App in 2 Weeks – App development process, Wiley’s analytical take

Part 3: Roller Coaster App Store Review – App store submission hurdles

Part 4: Becoming “Internet-Famous”- Prepping for launch and app marketing 101

Part 5: Squashing the Bugs and App MaintenanceWhen things invariably go wrong

Squashing the Bugs and App Maintenance

01.08.2014

No matter how much you test an app prior to launching it, IT WILL HAVE BUGS. Sneaky, weird, strange things that only appear once thousands of eyes and fingers start exploring what you have built.

With the shortened build window for CaseCollage, we had to move extremely fast. We rode the line of what is necessary to produce a functional, pleasing app, with the “just ship it” mentality. We got our MVP into the hands of as many people as possible but with a 2 week development window we only had a few days to gather feedback and iterate. Let’s hope we know what we’re doing :)

Once your app is in the wild, there are 2 kinds of bugs you want to look for: bugs in the code and bugs in the UX. Bugs in the code usually manifest themselves as crashes and we were pleased not to have too many of those (less than 2% of sessions resulted in a crash). Crashes are relatively easy to handle as long as you can get a stack trace. We used Flurry analytics to gather crash reports automatically and tackled the biggest offenders in each iteration until we got the crashes down to under 1%.

UX bugs on the other hand are annoying, frustrating, and eat away at a user’s app experience. They’re also hard to track down without very, very detailed explanations. “It just doesn’t work right” is not what you want to hear from a disgruntled user. What did you do? In what order? On what device? Odds are they did something you’ve never even remotely thought to try (otherwise you would have seen the issue and fixed it, right?). The main UX bug for our users happened when they exited the app to add photos to their camera roll, only to return and find they didn’t show up in the app. After many confusing emails referencing the problem we finally grokked the issue, fixed it, and got an update to our users.

My favorite part of app updates these days is the relative speed at which updates get to your users (at least after you get through app review). While its not the 100% day one adoption you get on some other platforms, the automatic app update feature introduced in iOS 7 seems to have really helped uptake. Here’s a graph of our users by version over time. Not too bad:

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 12.56.11 PM

Fixing bugs is never the most glamorous part of app development but its extremely important if you want to keep your users happy. Happy hunting!

If you’re late to this rodeo, you may not know, we built an app and wanted to share some of the details. You can find related articles below:
Part 1: The Ah-Ha Moment And What Comes After – The idea for the CaseCollage app

Part 2: Building an App in 2 Weeks – App development process, Wiley’s analytical take

Part 3: Roller Coaster App Store Review – App store submission hurdles

Part 4: Becoming “Internet-Famous”- Prepping for launch and app marketing 101

Part 5: Squashing the Bugs and App MaintenanceWhen things invariably go wrong