Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Nice! Great to read your experience from creating a product to launching it. Also glad to win over another developer to not thinking that all marketing is BS ;-)

Some tips from a marketer:

+Get analytics set up! I see that you've only mentioned the top of the funnel (traffic) and the bottom of the funnel (downloads). I'm assuming you don't have tracking for the full flow (traffic > install > activation > day 1-30 retention > Sales). Get this set up pronto. It's crucial to understand where the bottlenecks are and to also segment traffic to know which efforts are working.

+Marketing starts before you launch. You'll get a far stronger reaction from blogs, sites, and other people when you contact them 2-3 weeks before launch. Creates a sense of exclusivity and plus gives you some momentum to develop an installed base from Day 1. In light of this, perhaps you should call the current app an 'alpha' and re-launch to get some buzz :-)

+Major sources for you to consider: Organic: SEO Referral: Blogs, 3rd Party App Stores, Tech Sites, Forums, Quora, Stack Overflow, and where ever people who have the problem you're trying to solve is asking for help. Partner: App stores, resellers, etc... Paid: Facebook, AdWords, LinkedIn, GDN (I advise you to do thorough research before starting. It's easy to launch poorly designed campaigns and get the misinformed idea that these channels don't work) Viral: Add any social sharing anywhere you can.

+App Review sites review 100s of requests each day. I ran FreeiPadApps.net for 2-years and received 20+ app review requests/day. Mostly from indie developers, agencies, and bots. Try instead to reach out directly to an editor or writer by email/twitter/linkedin.

+SEO: Get up to best practice (title tags, headings, kw research and mapping to content), but don't bank on it. The gold rush for SEO growth circa 2007 is largely over :-(

+Look heavily into any type of 3rd party app stores for free promotion.

+Not sure of JIRA/Github has any 3rd party app pages. Worthwhile to look into this and seeing if you can get included.

With all that said, doing everything above will get you on par with what everyone else is doing. To separate yourself from the pack, the awesomeness of the product needs to take over :-)

Best of luck!

some other tips

- reddit can be a goldmine of traffic because it has so many subreddits that one is bound to cover your niche (IF you have a really niche product)

- have a blog, then write interesting things that may not necessarily have to do with your product in a direct way 42floors.com is a good example to follow.

- optimize said blog for SEO

- make sure you get email addresses from prospects that land on your site and use them, email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing software ... go here for how http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/05/31/can-i-get-your-email/

- make sure you have at least a twitter account and if you have the time, fish for people that could be interested in your product by finding tweets about competitors, or hashtags related to your product. engage these tweeters.

etc etc ad nauseam

I hate to admit I'm mostly posting to remind myself of this comment but all of this advice is pure gold. You can almost never have too many metrics and you can always dial it back. Not knowing is the worst feeling and there's so many ways to track in apps like this, it always makes sense unless you pay per volume. Hitting that volume would most likely be a great problem to have anyway so there's very little to lose, I think.

Extremely great advice here. Most people might think this is second nature, but there really is a list of boxes to check and these are all necessary.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact