Direct Marketing your App to Tip Lines

In TimeToCall - After One Month, I stated that my next marketing experiment would be to send a PR style email to popular press site tip lines to see if they worked. In parallel, and unbeknownst to me, Christian Tietze was doing the same thing, just paying for it (See Sales and experience for Calendar Paste, worth a read and reminding me to post this).

The results are:

  • 12 PR messages sent (see the actual message sent at the bottom of this post)
  • 1 delivery failure (so I used a backup address)
  • 2 robo-responders indicating that the emails were received, thank you
  • 0 reviews
  • 0 posts about the product
  • 0 requests for promo codes
  • 0 responses
  • 0 sales

To be clear, I do not blame any of these folks for the lack of response (and I did not really expect any). They get hundreds of PR messages like mine every day. They are good people trying their best to sift through a morass of messy messages to find the gems that would interest and delight their readers. Either my message did not stand out, did not resonate, got nailed by a spam catcher somewhere, or was just not the kind of thing they thought would work for their readership. I’m OK with that because I understand their situation. I knew this going in to the experiment.

Unfortunately, Christian paid for his PR. I think that if one is paying, one should get a better response than free and none. In his data (see the chart in his article) I see the sales spikes he got from Brett Terpstra’s review and the press reviews he got a week later via his own direct interpersonal relationships. But I do not see any as a result of the paid press release that went out blind.

In short, the lesson learned is that blindly sending PR emails to even the best industry sites simply does not work. I think you need to have a personal relationship with someone at each place or build your own online presence for them to find and follow you.

I guess it’s time to step away from the screen and start getting to know the good folks in the press personally. First drink is on me.

Follow the author as @hiltmon on Twitter and @hiltmon on App.Net. Mute #xpost on one.

Aside: The message that was sent

I followed the advice of the folks at the App Design Vault in The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Getting iPhone App Reviews and made it look like
Christopher Phin’s anatomy of a perfect press release example.

In order to get attention, I also

  • Referred to the post series on how it was made, hoping that would interest these writers to learn about what is behind the products they review all the time.
  • Included a Brett Terpstra quote because everybody knows he’s a software wizard.
  • I even made a press kit, so the art and assets were easily accessible.

So here it is, an image of the PR message sent:

Posted By Hilton Lipschitz · Mar 28, 2013 12:41 PM