The first week of sales for Hearts Attack finished up earlier this week. It was a typical first week for an iPhone app; that is, a large spike of sales followed by a rapid crash to nothing. Here’s a graphic illustrating this:

Car Crash

Oops, sorry, wrong graphic. I meant this one:

First Week Sales Graph

Hmmm… not much difference really. As you can see I actually sold nothing on Sunday. Apparently everyone was interpreting “day of rest” as “don’t buy any iPhone apps today.”

This article is kind of a postmortem for the launch of Hearts Attack. I attempted a few different things in order to drum up sales. Some were more successful than others.

  • One of the things I did before the launch was some search engine optimization on the Hearts Attack product page. Dan Wood of Karelia has some good resources on how to do SEO.

    I was fairly pleased with the results. The product page ended up on the first results page for a few of the keywords I was targeting. It could be better, but not bad for a PageRank amateur such as myself.

  • On the day of launch, I issued a press release through prMac. I opted for their “extended press release” which sends the press release the same day and to more people. It’s only $20 so it’s low risk.

    I did see a couple of obvious benefits from this. The first benefit is “link juice” to the Hearts Attack product page and our company website in general. I had done some SEO earlier and discovered the biggest thing we were in need of was links. This helped immensely with that.

    Secondly, I mentioned in the press release that promotional codes were available upon request. Only three people ever asked for them, but I happily gave them away. I have not seen any reviews as a result, but hopefully at least I garnered some good will among reviewers.

    Speaking of reviewers, one thing I did not have ready at launch, that I should have, was a press kit. I kept mine simple in that it just contains screenshots and images of the app icon. I should have linked to it in the press release and product page, because it was something the reviewers immediately asked for.

    It terms of how many sales were made because of the press release, I don’t know. It did noticeably increase traffic to our site, but I didn’t have LinkShare hooked up at the time, so I don’t know how many of those visitors became customers.

  • I wrote about Hearts Attack here and tweeted about it. I both published my own press release and then followed up with the story about Hearts Attack came about.

    This drove a decent amount of traffic to our website, and resulted in a few sales from my friends and other people who follow me on Twitter. Like the press release, it also helped with the “link juice” of our website.

  • I asked my wife, Elaine, to write about it on Facebook since she has approximately 30 bazillion friends on there and I have none. Some say this is because I haven’t even created an account, but I think Facebook is just being stuck up.

    Anywho, this didn’t create much traffic, but it did create a couple of sales from friends who follow Elaine on Facebook, but not me on Twitter.

Of course the biggest driver of sales is being listed at the top in the App Store, which by default is sorted by the release date. Unfortunately being at the top is fated to be temporary, and I could easily tell when I fell down the list by looking at my sales.

In summary, I learned: I should have had LinkShare up and running to begin with so I could properly track conversions and know what approach is the most successful as far as sales. Second, I should have a press kit ready at launch and linked to it from the press release.