Pitch Perfect: The Art of Promoting Your App on the Web


The Must-Have Promotion Guide for Every App and Hardware Developer!

Developing your product took lots of hard work over months, nights, and weekends filled with blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t abandon it now. Shower your app with the quality promotion it deserves!

Erica Sadun and Steve Sande help you earn strong app reviews that can transform sales from lackluster to blockbuster. As leading tech bloggers, they ...

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Pitch Perfect: The Art of Promoting Your App on the Web

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The Must-Have Promotion Guide for Every App and Hardware Developer!

Developing your product took lots of hard work over months, nights, and weekends filled with blood, sweat, and tears. Don’t abandon it now. Shower your app with the quality promotion it deserves!

Erica Sadun and Steve Sande help you earn strong app reviews that can transform sales from lackluster to blockbuster. As leading tech bloggers, they know exactly what reviewers are looking for.

Now, they deliver simple step-by-step advice to position your product, build key relationships, and sell your story. Packed with real case studies from their overflowing inboxes, they reveal where developers can go wrong and when they’ve gotten it right.

Great tech promotion doesn’t need to cost a lot. You can do it yourself, even if you’ve never marketed anything before. It just takes a little time, thought, and the skills you learn in this book.

• Peek behind the curtain to learn how web review sites really work
• Get your product into shape and ready for your marketing push
• Craft great pitches that sell your excitement and explain your product’s key features and appeal
• Lead reviewers “by the hand” with simple, succinct language
• Avoid common mistakes that kill your chances for a review
• Create the essential PR support material your product needs
• Respond productively to both good and negative coverage
• Keep bloggers in the loop about what you’ll be doing next

Includes exclusive worksheets and checklists for:
• Profiling potential customers
• Evaluating competitors
• Estimating market size
• Writing and checking your pitch
• Tracking and targeting bloggers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321917614
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 5/10/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 185
  • Sales rank: 1,443,152
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Erica Sadun (@ericasadun) writes lots of books and blogs at TUAW. When not writing, she’s a full-time parent of geeks who are brushing up on their world domination skills. According to her academic dosimeter, she’s acquired more education than any self-respecting person might consider wise. She enjoys deep-diving into technology and has written, co-written, and contributed to dozens of books about computing and digital media. Sadun has also blogged at Ars Technica, O’Reilly, and Lifehacker.

Steve Sande (@stevensande) is considering an intervention to heal his addiction to writing. He’s the Hardware Editor at TUAW and has written millions of words for the blog. Steve has authored numerous books for Que, Take Control Books, and Apress, is married to a rocket scientist, and spends his days being bossed around by a cat. His gray beard and baseball cap can be seen every Wednesday afternoon at 5 PM ET on TUAW TV Live (http://www.tuaw.com/tag/tuawtvlive).

Sadun and Sande are the founders of Sand Dune Books and co-authors of the best-selling Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple’s Intelligent Assistant

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Table of Contents

Preface xviii

Who This Book Is For xviii

Why Pitch Perfect xviii

How This Book Is Organized xx

1 How Blogs Work 1

A Typical Day at a Major Blog 2

Review Requests 2

Smaller Blogs 4

Making Sausage: How Reviews Happen 4

What Do Bloggers Look For? 5

Why Do Bloggers Review? 6

Attracting Readers 7

Providing Criticism 7

How Do Bloggers Perform Evaluations? 8

Performing the Review 9

What About Accessories and Other Hardware? 10

Elements of Review 10

Graphics and Design 12

User Interface 12

Value 13

Utility 14

Settings 14

Options 15

Features 16

Finish 16

How Much Time Is Spent Reviewing Each Product? 17

What Kind of Timeline Crunch Are Reviewers Under? 18

How Long Does It Take to Tell You’re Trying Out a Lemon? 19

What Kinds Of Reviews Do Bloggers Write? 19

First Look 20

Overview 20

Hands On 20

In Depth 20

Choosing a Review Type 21

Why Blog Reviews Matter 21

Marketing Realities 23

Wrapping Up 24

2 The Attractive Product 27

Product Definition 28

Who Is Your Customer? 28

What Problem Does It Solve? 29

How Does It Pop? 29

What Makes a Good Product? 30

They Have Awesome and Easily Understood User Interfaces 30

They Empower Users to Do Something 31

They Change to Meet a User’s Needs 32

Successful Developers Know Their Markets 32

They Are Polished 33

They Keep Current 33

They Are Relevant 33

Why Good Interface Design Matters 34

Refining the Product 35

Beta Testing Your App 36

Falling in Love with Your Product 37

Nondisclosures, Embargos, and Exclusives 38

Competing Against the Big Guys 39

Building in Self-Promotion 40

Wrapping Up 42

3 Crafting Your Pitch 43

Designing the Pitch 44

Essential Pitch Components 45

A Motivating Subject Line 45

Product Name 45

Product Price 46

Links 46

Screenshots 47

Video 48

Description 49

Feature List 50

Contact Information 50

A Sample Pitch 51

Remind Us Who You Are 52

Capturing Attention Through the Subject Line 53

The Subject Line’s Role 53

Good Subject Lines 54

Why Subject Lines Fail 55

Subjects for Non-Review Pitches 56

Promo Codes 57

How to Send Promo Codes 59

Creating a Product Link 60

Creating a Company Link 61

Tokens for Mac 62

Going Free 63

Differences Between Hardware and Software Pitches 64

Design 64

Value 66

Functionality 66

Hardware Pricing 67

Video Gold 67

Hardware Review Logistics 68

Benchmarks 69

A Word About Kickstarter 70

Case Study: The Une Bobine Video 71

Common Hardware Product Categories 72

Cases 72

Headphones/Earphones 73

Docks 73

Speakers 74

Drives 75

Power Supplies (Batteries, Chargers, Car Chargers) 75

Camera Accessories 76

Books/Ebooks 77

Cables and Gizmos 78

Hardware Pitches 79

Wrapping Up 79

4 Pitching Do’s and Don’ts 81

Know the Site 82

DO Address Requests to Specific Bloggers 82

DO Aim for Series Posts 83

DO Consider Being a Podcast Guest 84

DO Consider Non-Review Posts 84

Scheduling Out 86

DO Provide Specific Dates and Timelines 86

DO Bring Up the Topic of Exclusive First Looks 87

DO NOT Jump the Gun 87

Leverage Personality 87

DO Offer Access 88

DO NOT Hijack Conversations to Pitch Your App 88

DO Listen When the Blogger Offers Feedback 89

DO Be Friendly 89

DO NOT Subscribe Us to Your Personal Email List 90

Communicate Well 91

DO Leverage Success 91

DO NOT Name Drop Celebrities Unless You’re Getting VC Funding 91

DO NOT Snitch on Competitors 92

DO Know Who You’re Writing To 92

DO Avoid the “Ugly Sister” Scenario 93

DO Use Native Review 93

Checking In 94

DO NOT Harass the Blogger 95

DO NOT Spam Bloggers 95

DO NOT Presume That a Promo Code Request Leads to a Review 97

DO Presume That a Tangible Product Request Leads to Coverage 97

DO NOT Expect a Reply 98

DO Jump on Replies 98

DO NOT Resubmit Your App Pitches 98

Watching Your Timing 99

DO Accommodate Current Events 99

DO Build Opportunities 99

Gaming the System 100

DO NOT Astroturf 100

DO NOT Offer to Pay for a Review or Prioritize Your Product 100

DO NOT Try to Make Us Pity You 101

DO NOT Pretend to “Just Be a Customer” and Talk About a Product You Just “Discovered” 102

DO NOT Quote Reviews Out of Context 102

DO NOT Specify “Terms” for Your Review 102

DO NOT Lie and Mislead 103

Avoiding Offense 103

DO NOT Be Racist, Sexist, Etc. 103

DO NOT Burn Bridges 104

Submitting Through Channels 104

End Run Exceptions 105

When to Pitch 106

Dealing with Apple Review Headaches 107

Wrapping Up 109

5 Case Studies 111

Case Study: Short But Sweet 112

Case Study: The Solid Query 112

Case Study: The Professional Pitch 113

Case Study: The Lost Holiday Opportunity 115

Case Study: The Meh Pitch 115

Case Study: The Completely Inappropriate Pitch That Made Us Smile 116

Case Study: Winning by Charm 117

Case Study: Completely Missing the Mark 119

Case Study: The Perils of Autocorrect 119

Case Study: Buzzwords 120

Case Study: Not Enough Detail 122

Case Study: The WTF We Don’t Even Pitch 123

Case Study: The Pitch That Got Away 123

Case Study: Don’t Submit Multiple Products All at Once 124

Case Study: Machine Translation 124

Case Study: Avoid Unspecific Bullets 125

Case Study: The Excellent Response 126

Case Study: The Pitch Rewrite 127

The Original Pitch 128

The Rewrite 130

Case Study: Remembering That the App Is the Hero 130

Case Study: The Twitter Pitch 131

Final Tips: Avoiding Grandiosity 132

Wrapping Up 134

6 Preparing for PR 135

Get Your Product into Shape 135

Prepare Your Marketing Text 137

Choose Strong Branding 137

Website Essentials 138

Add a “Contact Us” Link 139

Take Care with Company Branding 140

Creating a Reviewer’s Guide 142

The Tao of Reviewer’s Guides 143

About Press Releases 144

Preparing That All-Important Product Video 145

Recording Videos 146

Good Demo Videos Qualities 147

Editing Videos 147

Tightening Your Pitch Video 148

Video Music 149

Posting Videos 150

The Live Demo 150

Preparing Review Materials 152

Do You Want the Product Back? 152

Should You Include Other Items in the Package? 152

Should You Submit Full Copies or Time-Limited Demos? 152

Social Media 153

Be Interactive 154

Be Diplomatic 154

Don’t Be Hostile 154

Be Human 154

Be Focused 154

Be Informative 154

Be Active 155

Use Automatic Posting Tools 155

Cover All Possible Outlets 155

Be Giving 155

Wrapping Up 156

7 The Care and Feeding of Your Blogger 157

Establishing Relationships with Bloggers 157

Be Patient and Persistent 158

Be Understanding 158

Accept Criticism Graciously 158

Advocate for Yourself 159

Be Human 159

Be Available 159

Be Aware of the Blogger’s Focus 160

The “Be a Decent Human Being” Rule 160

Responding to Reviews–Both Good and Bad 161

Handling Good Reviews 162

Responding to Negative Reviews 162

Inconsistent Reviews 163

Incorrect Facts 163

Using Comments 163

Why Wasn’t My Product Reviewed? 165

Wrapping Up 166

8 Worksheets and Checklists 167

Know Your Customer: Developing a Customer Profile 167

Worksheet 1: Likely Customer Overview 168

Competitive Analysis 169

Worksheet 2: Evaluating Competition 169

Potential Market Size Calculation 170

Worksheet 3: Market Size Calculation Worksheet 173

Pitch Checklists 173

Worksheet 4: Checking Your Subject Line 174

Worksheet 5: Checking Your Pitch 174

Reviewer’s Guide Checklist 175

Worksheet 6: Essential Reviewer’s Guide Elements 175

Blogger Relationship Database 175

Worksheet 7: Blogger Contact Details 175

Wrapping Up 176

Index 177

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