Diary of a programmer with no clue about marketing

Thu 07 November 2013

I built this thing over several years because I wanted it and thought others might want it too.

Last week I launched it. When I say “I launched it”, I mean I tweeted about it.

Here’s what I’ve done in the space of a week in an effort to get the word out:

  • Listed on MacUpdate
    • Surprised to see 40 downloads through there after a day or two.
  • Emailed a couple of blogs and review sites to see if they would review it.
    • No response.
  • FogBugz kindly tweeted about it from their Twitter handle.
  • Many of my beta testers tweeted about the app on launch day.
    • So grateful! :)
  • Got several requests for business and volume purchases so decided to open my own online store.
    • Launched online store (day 5) and implemented a custom registration scheme for the app.
    • No sales through here yet though (day 8).
  • Gave away many promo codes (~50).
    • Anyone who asked got a promo code.
  • Realised my site didn’t rank at all on Google, so opened webmaster tools and submitted the site to Google.
  • Listed the app on Atlassian Marketplace.
  • Emailed a couple more blogs and review sites (day 7).
    • No response.
  • As of today (day 8), the site has seen 2,291 hits.
  • Twitter handle @thebeeapp has 38 followers currently (day 8).

So far I've had 11 sales, all through the MAS (day 8). Are people waiting for the trial to run out (14 day trial) or have they deleted the app? No idea.

Reflection

Regarding the review sites, maybe this app just isn't a typical consumer app which they would review.

So now after years of neglecting anything to do with marketing. I get it. Marketing is hard. So crushingly hard.

Also I was incredibly naive in thinking that the product was so good that the marketing would just snowball itself into action.

The frightening thing is that people go to the site, download the app, decide they don't like it for whatever reason and then delete it. I'll probably never hear from them, and never understand why they deleted it. I'm so grateful to the people that email and ask for features or report bugs.

My story is the same as countless other programmers who thought they could just "launch".

Next up: going to try adwords, find out more about SEO and keep pushing out updates to the app to fill out the feature requests existing users have.