When You Try

Do you think you’ve got everything down pat for pitching Apple for a feature, but it just isn’t working?

Are you certain you’re forgetting something in your Apple feature pitch, but can’t quite nail down what it is?

Let’s face it, there’s a ton of things to remember when you’re trying to get Apple to feature your app. Let’s take a look at some common things people forget about, so you can learn from those mistakes and have the best shot at getting featured.

1. You forget to focus on design

Take a good hard look at the design of your app, especially your icon and screenshots. In a previous article, we pointed out that Apple’s review team looks at a screen full of icons and picks the best-looking ones from there. This happens before they even read your App Store description, let alone actually look at your app.

This means you should make sure you don’t lose focus on design when you get down to your app icon. Make sure it stands out from the crowd in a good way, and is a great representation of your app and what it does.

2. You forget to give Apple enough time

Apple likes to have at least two weeks before your app’s launch or update. Don’t forget to include that window in your timeline, or you could miss out on the opportunity to be featured at all. Send your pitch early, but also make it clear that you can delay your launch if Apple needs more time to decide about featuring your app.

Remember, you’re pitching an App Store business manager, who then has to decide whether or not to pass your app on to the editorial team. That takes time, so you must factor that into your launch timeline and plans.

3. Forget to include a video? Bad news!

To properly showcase your app, you really need to show it in motion. “But Steve,” I hear you saying, “I’ve got a video for my app on the App Store!” (You do have a video on your App Store listing, don’t you? We recommend that as one of the top ways to market your app using video.)

Sure, you might have the video on the App Store, but first of all: do you think the App Store business manager wants to hunt it down? Secondly, the limit of 30 seconds can really cut back on what you can showcase. Instead, you should have a professional marketing video, either on YouTube or Vimeo, to really show off your app. If you aren’t sure how to go about doing that, our friends over at Apptamin are experts!

4. Don’t forget how to pick who you pitch to

Either I or Jeff have told this story before: one of our clients pitched 26 people at Apple, trying to get their app featured. The end result was an email telling him to stop emailing them!

Limit how many people you send your pitch to. You should send to the App Store business managers in the United States, Canada, and your home country, for starters. You should also make sure those people are appropriate for the category of your app. Make sure you find the right contact person, or your email will just go into the bit bucket.

5. Remember Apple’s ever-changing schedule

It used to be true that the featured apps section of the App Store only refreshed on Thursdays. Recently, however, Apple has started covering new app features on a daily basis. That means you have to more carefully decide when to launch your app. If your app is a game, Wednesdays and Thursdays are still good, because those still update every Thursday. What if your app isn’t a game, though?

In that case, we recommend launching your app on a Tuesday. Web traffic is great for PR on Tuesdays, and there’s less competition because of game launches still focusing around Thursdays.

6. Don’t forget to leverage that feature when you get it!

You got your Apple feature, so your work is done, right? Wrong! You need to level up that win by reaching out to bloggers and journalists, letting them know you’ve been featured. While it’s true that some writers will peruse the featured apps section of the App Store, that doesn’t always guarantee they’ll notice your app and write about it.

Email them, include a screen shot of the feature, and ask them to help spread the word. Getting featured by Apple might put you on their radar, but an email about it can make the difference between being a little blip and a big one.

7. Don’t forget that an Apple feature isn’t all you need

Don’t rely on an Apple feature to drive tons of downloads. While it certainly helps, there’s a lot more you can do to ensure the success of your app. PR outreach is big, especially once you get featured, but other strategies like influencer marketing can make a huge impact in your downloads.

Don’t forget that an Apple feature is just a piece in the puzzle. You need other pieces, like influencer marketing, to make up the whole picture.

Don’t forget!

There are seven things you might be forgetting when you try for an Apple feature. There’s a lot to remember, but it’s all worth it in the end.