Apple has announced that developers will now get 100 promo codes per app release. Until now, when an app is released in the Apple App Store, the developer would get only 50 promo codes that can be used to download that app for free.
Usually, the developer gives those promo codes to reviewers, bloggers and media outlets so they can try the app and, hopefully, write about it in their respective media channel. The codes make it much easier to get paid apps into the hands of the media and discussed; because few will pay to review an app. This practice is key part of marketing and promoting your app.
When the App Store first launched, users could leave reviews in the App Store without downloading the app, but this led to all kinds havoc with competitive slamming and unfounded comments in the App Store reviews. So, Apple changed the rules, requiring that users download the app before leaving an App Store review. However, the problem then became developers using their entire batch of promo codes to write positive reviews to boost their profile.
Now, to further prevent developers from manipulating App Store ratings, Apple doesn’t allow any users with a promo code to leave an App Store review. Their intended use is for promoting and marketing your app outside of the App Store, not within it.
The increase from 50 to 100 promo codes opens many opportunities for promotion, and you can be creative with your distribution methods. Besides giving them to reviewers, you can offer codes as contest prizes or rewards for loyal customers. For example, running a Twitter contest (ie Tweet for a free promo code) can not only promote your app, but also gain social media traffic. Using them as gifts or rewards for preferred or loyal customers is another way to generate excitement. They also receive the same benefits as users who pay for the app, such as ongoing updates. Because there aren’t 1,000’s of codes available, the sense of exclusivity makes them valuable.
If you have any questions about how to best use your 100 promo codes and promote your app launch, feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help!