New app promotion artwork

One of our app customers recently sent us an email:

“We have used the old set of ads for several years now and are in need of something new to get the word out. We are looking for something bright, hip, young, colorful, eye catching.”

Good news! We now have a snazzy new design:

If you’d like to use this new design to help promote your Crib Sheet app, please let us know. We’ll also supply you with native Photoshop files.

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New App Promotion Posts

An app customer recently requested additional posts to help them promote their app. I hope everyone enjoys these ideas.

January:
It’s Image Improvement Month. Time for a cherry red convertible? Read about Buying vs. Leasing a Car in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

February:
Valentine’s got you seeing red? Time to redecorate. Brush up on all you need to know about Paint in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

March:
Whoa! It’s National Collision Awareness Month. Learn about Care Care and Disability Insurance in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

April:
Not contributing much to National Smile Month? Learn about the research behind Happiness in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

May:
Not sure how to celebrate Older American’s Month? Read up on Retirement Accounts in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

June:
Job hunting? Get helpful tips on interviewing in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

July:
Celebrate your independence this July 4th with tips on apartment hunting and home buying in our free alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

August:
Football season make you feel inadequate? Up your game with tips on Watching Football in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

September:
It’s Subliminal Marketing Month? We’ll skip the subliminal stuff if you’ll read up on Alumni Giving in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

October:
Raise your awareness this Disability Employment Awareness Month. Brush up on Disability Etiquette in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

November:
First Thanksgiving with the in-laws? First business dinner? Get tips on Dinner Etiquette in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

December:
All this talk of a man coming down the chimney got you sweating? Read up on Renter’s Insurance in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Promoting Your App Via Social Media: Do This, Not That

This post is part of a series for our customers on easy ways to promote your app.

Have you ever read the “Eat This, Not That” books? They’re fun books that not only tell you what’s bad for you, but they give you a healthier alternative.

I hope this post will give you similar “healthy” tips for promoting our app (or any app) via your social media and get you more downloads.

A Typical Mobile Reader

I’d like to caption the above photo: My husband reading e-mail while holding toddler and doing dishes.  The truth is that your typical “mobile reader” is a multitasking alum with a short attention span and a tiny screen.

The below tips will help get your typical mobile reader to quickly download your app.

Tip #1: Keep it simple.

Link directly to the app (using our smart link, see Tip #2). If you send users to another page describing the app with more instructions for downloading the app, they’ll give up.

Tip #2: Make your links tappable. 

If the “http://” prefix is in your link, it will usually be tappable (otherwise, it may just be text). In the above example, our smart link recognizes the reader’s device, and gets them to the right app store to download the app.

Tip #3: Use your actual app name.

Some readers will search for your app in an app store. If you supply extra words, their search results might be empty.

Tip #4: Give specific reasons to download the app.

Tell them it’s FREE, available on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and any computer. It’s full of news from you and useful life tips.

Tip #5: Don’t use QR codes in social media.

QR codes are cool, but they’re best used in print ads. A QR code is scanned by a phone. If users read your post on their phones, they would need to set up a complicated set of mirrors to scan your QR code.

Here’s an ideal post (from a fictional college):

##

The “Faber Alumni Crib Sheet” is live! Search for our FREE app in any app store with timely news from us and humorous life 101 tips for you. It’s available on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and any computer. Learn more at http://www.mycribsheet.com/faber.

##

And if your creative juices are running low, we’ve got monthly post suggestions for you. Or, feel free to run a post by me at nicole@capandcompass.com.

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Creative Promotions: La Salle’s Scavenger Hunt

This post is part of a series for our customers on easy ways to promote your app.

Searching for ways to promote your app? La Salle University recently used a wonderfully creative “scavenger hunt” to help promote their “crib sheet” app.

The goal

Get La Salle young alumni to download and explore the app.

The idea

Offer a drawing to win an iPad 2 to La Salle 2011 grads. To enter, they needed to download the app and fill out a “scavenger hunt” form (on questions about our life skills topic content) prior to graduation.

How they did it

La Salle promoted the scavenger hunt with e-mail blasts, flyers around campus and advertising at Senior events. Students were instructed to download the app and look for the “Scavenger Hunt” feedback form in their news feed.

Via the Dashboard, they added this Feature:

When users tapped on this Feature, they are taken to the feedback form they created for the scavenger hunt:

This form asked users to read through various topics to find answers (and hopefully learn a bit on credit, home buying, and more along the way).

Result

La Salle had over 50 feedback form responses, but more importantly their downloads grew to roughly the size of their graduating class.

Takeaway

Use events like graduation and homecoming to rally your alumni/members around a creative incentive to get and use your app.

If you don’t have the funds for a large prize, consider using smaller gift cards for local restaurants or tickets to an upcoming campus event.

Keep your feedback form to 3-5 questions, so the incentive matches the work required.

And most of all, like La Salle, keep those creative juices flowing on how to get the word out about your app!

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Products with Soul

Some of the most successful products on the market today may not differ much from their competitors, except for that thing that’s hard to define: soul.

Take Ben & Jerry’s.

Their brand isn’t about just ice cream. The company sends their ice cream waste to a pig farm, where the pigs run at the first sight of their truck. It’s my daughter’s dream to be reincarnated as one of those pigs. That’s soul.

Many companies try to manufacture soul. Chain restaurants put local high school teams on their wall and adorn their servers with crazy pins.

Right out of the starting gate, I wanted our products to have soul.

Prior to writing our content, we surveyed other books and websites that tried to explain “life skills.” Generally speaking, they were just boring.

So we focused on being smart and concise with a quirky sense of humor. Take this example from our topic on dinner etiquette:

On a business dinner, it’s always nice to extend your hand when you first meet (no fist bumps). A proper handshake involves eye contact and three-second, firm grip. That’s it. And don’t count to three out loud.

We keep this cheeky tone in the “life 101″ photos from our app:

Soul is that “special something” that often connects people to brands. Our content has soul… which you can use to build your brand with alumni.

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Promoting Your App: Monthly Social Media Posts

This post is part of a series for our customers on easy ways to promote your app.

It’s a simple equation – the more you tell your alumni and members about your app, the more will download and use it.

We’re seeing high download statistics from customers who make monthly posts via their existing social media about their app. Plus, this type of promotion is free.

To make your job easy, we’ve put together sample posts for every month of the year (see below). Just copy, paste and substitute your institution’s name and smart link.

Remember to include your “smart link” in your announcement – it recognizes the kind of device it is clicked on from, and directs your users to the easiest way to download.

For example, Michigan State University’s smart link is: http://mycribsheet.com/msu.  If you are not sure what your smart link is, e-mail nicole@capandcompass.com

Happy posting!

January
Ring 201X with [YOUR NAME]’s alumni app on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, or desktop: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

February
Happy Valentine’s! If Cupid found his mark, read about engagement rings in our mobile alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

March
Dreading tax time? Get tips on taxes, and the latest [YOUR NAME] news, in our free alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

April
It’s National Financial Literacy Month! Learn about credit and investing in our free alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

May
Congrats, Class of 201X, on joining the ranks of [YOUR NAME] alumni! Download our alumni app today: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

June
Relocating? Get helpful hints on moving, and follow your new local alumni club news, in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

July
Happy 4th! Before you light those fireworks, brush up on health insurance choices in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

August
Heat got you down? Refresh with the latest [YOUR NAME] news through our cool mobile app for alumni: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

September
It’s Labor Day! Use the day off to brush up on Work Etiquette with our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

October
Get the latest on Homecoming with our alumni app on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, or desktop: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

November
Want a super stylish” I Voted” sticker? Get voting tips, and [YOUR NAME] news, in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

December
Happy Holidays from [YOUR NAME]! Enjoy a gift from us all year with our free alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/[USERNAME]

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Promotional Package for your App

This post is part of a series on easy ways to get the word out about your app.

Want to send a strong signal out to your alumni or members about your app?

Beyond projecting a large silhouetted shape of your logo across the cloudy sky, we have some more traditional ideas for you.

As we review statistics and talk with our current app customers, one thing is clear: when the app is promoted, the app gets used (big surprise).

We make it super easy to get the word out. Once your app is live, we’ll send you a our free, custom promotional package with print and online ads.

Tips

Below are tips on how to use our package. Promote your app at least FOUR simple ways every year:

1) WEBSITE ADS
2) SOCIAL MEDIA
3) HTML EMAIL
4) PRINT ADS

Smart Link

First, you’ll see some common elements in most of these promotional pieces. The most important is your smart link.

A smart link recognizes the kind of device it is clicked on from, and directs your users to the right app store to download.  It is the most efficient way to get your reader to download the app. Here’s an example:

http://www.mycribsheet.com/msu

Try using this URL on your smartphone to see how it works.

You’ll also see a QR code – this is simply a scannable version of your smart link.  A smartphone user can see this code in a magazine ad or website ad, and scan it with their phone instead of typing the smart link address into their mobile browser.

1) Always: Website Ads

Place your (a) app icon and (b) one ad on your website:

Our Small Website Ad

Our Medium Website Ad

Our Large Website Ad

2) Monthly: Social Media Annoucements

Announce your app (over and over again) via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and elsewhere:

MSU’s free new alumni app on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, or desktop: http://mycribsheet.com/msu

Or, use our seasonal updates about certain topics, like taxes in April, voting in November, and engagement rings on Valentine’s Day:

Love is in the air (Feb. 14th). Read about engagement rings in “MSU Crib Sheet”, our mobile app. http://www.mycribsheet.com/msu

3) Annually: HTML Email

Use our template and/or include one of our on-line ads in your normal HTML email.

Our HTML E-mail Template

4) Annually: Print Ad

Place a magazine ad, add a buckslip to a mailing, or distribute pocket guides.

Our Full Page Magazine Ad

Our Half Page Magazine Ad

Buckslips -
Include a 9″ x 4″ buckslip in your next mailing.

Our Buckslip

You can print them or contact us and we’ll print them at cost (the below rates include shipping):

2,500 = $400
5,000 = $600
10,000 = $1,200
15,000 = $1,800
+ add’l 5,000 = +$500

Pocket Guides
Give these popular, glossary cards at events. They fit perfectly in a wallet or pocket, and provide mini tips from our life skills topics.

Our Pocket Guide (Back)

Our Pocket Guide (Front)

Contact us and we’ll print them at cost (the below rates include shipping):
2,500 = $300
5,000 = $400
10,000 = $600
+ 5,000 add’l = + $200

Make It Your Own

We provide you the native Photoshop files to make edits (and finished PDF files).

If you decide to create your own designs, remember to include your smart link, QR code, and our basic language (these elements have proven effective in getting downloads).

Takeaway

Use our free custom artwork to promote your app at least FOUR simple ways every year:

1) WEBSITE ADS
2) SOCIAL MEDIA
3) HTML EMAIL
4) PRINT ADS

Our current customer statistics show that once a user downloads the app, they return to it again and again.

Give your app the superhero treatment with our promotional package. Our stuff even works on cloudless nights…

Let us know what we can do to help by contacting Nicole at nicole@capandcompass.com.

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