Launching an App (with Gab)

Launch Marketing Checklist


Many people struggle launching an App, what things to do, what not to do, so I have decided to make this post and eventually improve it step by step in the next months.

I’ve broken down the launch marketing tactics according to the day. Some of these tactics require preparation in advance. Please reference the iOS App Pre-Submission Checklist.


Did you test the app for bugs on multiple devices with different versions of iOS? Did you test the app with Wi-fi and 3G or 4G? Did someone in another country test the app for you?

Quality Assurance

Do the graphics look right on different devices with different aspect ratios? Do the layouts and individual buttons and icons look distorted, pinched, or stretched? Does the app load quickly?

User Interface

Does your app have “mystery meat” buttons or icons that will not make sense immediately to new users? Does each screen offer a way to go back home or to navigate to a different screen? Are there any design dead ends?

Interstitial & Banner Ads

Create custom interstitial and banner ads for crosspromotion within your existing apps.
For example, you will need two sizes for a Playhaven internal cross promotion: 320x480px (Regular) and 640x960px (Retina/iPad). For Chartboost, you’ll need 240x350px Portrait interstitials and 390x200px Landscape interstitials.

Internal Cross Promotions

Ad services, such as Chartboost, Playhaven, and Flurry enable you to upload custom ads for your apps and promote them in your other apps. I recommend creating the ads and setting up the campaigns well in advance so that on Launch Day all you have to do is turn them on.

Other Cross Promotions

Negotiate and coordinate cross promotions with your developer friends in advance, and send them ad creative before the app goes live. Be sure to follow up to ensure that they have already set up their campaigns and can easily press “Play” on Launch Day.

Keyword Research (SEO) – Use Market Samurai to do your keyword research.

Press Release

Remember to write and distribute a press release. For $22.95, will distribute your press release to Apple- and Mac-related websites. is free. I typically send out press release through PRMac the morning of the launch, and the same press release with a different headline, using, the following day.


Make list of friends and family whom you can ask for reviews.

In the rating/review pop-up section, I explained how important positive reviews are for ranking. The sooner you get at least 5 reviews or ratings, the sooner your app will gain credibility and rank for keywords. If your app is a paid app, you should gift the app to friends and family within iTunes Connect. People who download your app using a promo code CANNOT leave a review.

App Page on Your Website

Set up web page with your app icon, description, and a purchase link. Once your app is live in the App Store, publish a dedicated page for your app on your website. If you already created a Coming Soon page, then be sure to edit the language and embed the working link several places on the page.

Press Kit Page on Your Website

Write and set up a Press Kit web page that includes the following: “vanilla” Facebook post, Tweet, and press release for your app, as well as the iTunes link, short link, app icon, and screenshots. Be sure to compress everything in a .zip and make that available as well. Add the Press Kit link in the appropriate metadata field in iTunes Connect.

Email Newsletter

If you’ve got an email list, then you should use it. Write a short email, describing your app’s best features. Embed the iTunes link in at least two to three places, usually at the beginning, middle, and end. Tell people what you’ve got, why it matters to them, and what you want them to do next. Make the ask.

Promo Video

You can use the simulator in Xcode and a nifty piece of software called Screenflow to record a screen capture video of your app in action. You can also use Reflector App to tether your device, mirror your device’s screen on your computer, and record a video.

Facebook Fan Page

Create a Facebook fan page for each app or for your app company.

Twitter Account

Create a Twitter account for your app company.

Updates & Tweets

Use Buffer App to schedule morning and afternoon tweets for Launch Day,

Day 2, Day 3, and beyond.

Include a short link to your app. Post as often as you can without spamming your fans and followers. Be creative and change up how you talk about the app. Draw attention to special features.

Facebook Ad Campaigns

Turn on your Facebook ad campaigns.

Tapjoy Incentivized Install Campaigns

If you chose to integrate the Tapjoy Advertising SDK, be sure to turn update your app as soon as it is live and to submit your incentivized installs campaign for review. Also, be sure to email Tapjoy support to ask for expedited review of your campaign.


Mohound makes it easy to buy mobile advertising and to track which traffic sources are monetizing the best. To use Mohound’s platform, you’ll need to integrate their SDK.

Push Notifications

In the days before your app goes live, write your push notifications. iPhones will safely display 107 characters.

Longer notifications will probably get truncated, so use or georiot short links. Next, use Google Translate to localize your push notifications before scheduling them with whichever push service you use—e.g., Pushwoosh.


Before you submit your app, you will need to add each localization in iTunes Connect. Services, such as and, offer affordable translations for titles, descriptions, keywords, and screenshot captions.

Localized Screenshots

Be sure to add translated captions to each of your screenshots and to upload them in iTunes Connect.

Release Day

If you set your release day for some day in the distant future before submitting it for review, be sure to set back your future release day after approval to 48 hours before your desired release day. This way, you can ensure that your app shows up in the new releases in App Stores around the world.

Strategic Partners

Identify people and organizations whose business interests and hobbies overlap with your app’s theme or intended purpose.


You can participate in Tapdaq’s community and help other indie developers by leaving reviews and sharing their apps. These activities will earn you “daq” that you can spend on reviews and social shares for your app. To use Tapdaq’s platform you will need to integrate their SDK.

Launch Day

Your app is live. Now what?

  • Turn ON any ad campaigns that you might have turned off while the app was in review.
  • Publish the app’s page on your website.
  • Publish the app’s Press Kit page on your website.
  • Ask for reviews from friends and family (preferably via text message). Try to get a least 10 4- or 5-star reviews within the first two hours.
  • Turn ON cross promotions inside your app network.
  • Turn ON cross promotions inside your friends’ app networks.
  • Publish press release on
  • Touch base with local media contacts and let them know the app is live.
  • Contact your strategic partners and let them know the app is live.
  • Make posts in relevant forums about why the app is fun, helpful, or valuable, and include your app’s iTunes link (or GeoRiot affiliate link).
  • Tell your Facebook groups that the app was approved and is now live.
  • Tell your Twitter groups that the app was approved and is now live.
  • Contact editors of app review sites via Twitter, email, or contact form.
  • Test the app links on your website.
  • Send out a newsletter to your email list.
  • Post your promo video on YouTube.
  • Spread the news on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
  • Post screenshots of your app on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Notify media contacts that your new app is live.
  • Publish a blog post about the app’s value proposition and best features.
  • Email Apple’s review team ( and ask them politely to choose your app to be featured.
  • Use the Review Sites & Services spreadsheet to submit your app to the best app review websites.
  • Put a short link to your app in your email signature.

Day 2

Continue to spread the news, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Consider buying 25 unbiased reviews from a service like, or give reviews to receive reviews with or

You can only use Tapdaq if you have integrated Tapdaq’s SDK before publishing your app.


Buying biased reviews is a violation of Apple’s Terms & Conditions, but unbiased reviews are fair game. A word to the wise: only pay for reviews if your app is going to make a positive impression!

  • Consider buying incentivized downloads through Tapjoy or another service.
  • Roll out other advertising, such as Facebook ads or an Appoday promotion.
  • Solicit reviews from friends and family.
  • Notify top-tier bloggers that your new app is live.
  • Notify Facebook and Twitter groups that your new app is live.
  • Reach out to thought leaders and industry experts on Twitter.
  • Publish press release on
  • Use the Review Sites & Services spreadsheet to submit your app to the best app review websites.

Day 3

  • Continue to spread the news, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • Consider buying incentivized downloads through Tapjoy or another service.
  • Solicit reviews from friends and family.
  • Begin planning an update to your app.
  • Respond to any customer support emails.
  • Take a look at your app’s activity in Flurry Analytics. Can you gain insight into your users’ preferences and behavior by observing Flurry events? Can you benchmark your metrics and identify trends?
  • Figure out your revenue per install (RPI) by dividing the total amount of money made on in-app purchases and ad revenue by the total number of installs.
  • Do regular Google search for your app to see if any review sites have mentioned your app or done a write-up. Save the best blurbs and links to the original posts in a separate text document.
  • Use the Review Sites & Services spreadsheet to submit your app to the best app review websites.
  • Notify Facebook and Twitter groups that your new app is live.
  • Submit your application to various app directories such as Appolocious.

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