$4,812 in Two Days: Behind the Scenes of My Most Profitable App Launch Ever

October 2016 Update: I just launched a new app and beat this record by over $7,000.

Soundboard Studio launched on Tuesday March 8th with a 48-hour special early-bird price of $19.99, so I’m going to focus on the numbers from Tuesday March 8th and Wednesday March 9th and call those the “launch” numbers.

You’ll find some of the revenue numbers don’t quite calculate properly, this is because the App Store uses tiered pricing around the world. For example, a $19.99 app is Ā£14.99 in the UK which converts to $21.29.

Tuesday March 8th: 213 sales of Soundboard Studio at $19.99
This equated to $4,337 in revenue, $2,842 in royalties and $188.42 in affiliate commissions.

Wednesday March 9th: 147 sales Soundboard Studio at $19.99
This equated to $2,990 in revenue, $1,970 in royalties and $121.98 in affiliate commissions.

The ‘royalties’ is the actual amount that I will earn as the developer, so in total Soundboard Studio earned $4,812 during the 48-hour launch with an additional $310.40 in affiliate commissions. The most profitable app launch I’ve ever done.

Notable achievements

During the launch Soundboard Studio quickly reached #1 in the Top Paid charts in the Music category on iPad in both the US and the UK, it also raked well in the Top Grossing charts behind only the big names like Spotify. It was also the first time I’d ever had an app appear in the Top Paid charts across all categories.

Digging deeper into the numbers

Firstly, I’m frustrated that the app analytics campaign tracking inside of iTunes Connect failed to track my campaign links, despite them being correctly formatted, and detected by the iTunes Affiliates console. It seems as though the campaign tracking in iTunes Connect will only work with one particular kind of App Store link. And there’s no way of testing it, as you can’t see any results until 24-48 hours later, and only after more than 5 installations through a campaign link. Lesson learned.

Luckily, the iTunes Affiliate console was successfully tracking my campaign links, but it’s not easy to filter the data on a per-campaign level.

My total affiliate commissions for the launch were $310.40, which is an interesting number… The affiliate commission level is 7% of revenue, so from my $310.40 I can calculate that my affiliate link generated $4,434.28 in revenue, that’s just $377 below the total revenue for the launch.

This means that 92.2% of sales came thorough clicks on my campaign links. Which were only sent out in my emails to subscribers.

Easy soundboard options, fade outs, file loading, setting play-over defaults, individual track volumes…to name a few. Joe nailed it on this one.

My friends Sean McCabe, Cory Miller and Aaron Dowd were amongst others who very kindly tweeted about the launch and generally helped spread the word. I’m truly grateful for everyone’s support, it’s great social proof of the value of the app.

I also got some really valuable shout-outs in the seanwes podcast and The Podcast Dude, I look forward to the huge spikes in sales once those shows get published to their subscribers. šŸ™‚

In an ideal world, I would have liked more widespread excitement about the upcoming launch, but I failed to do much other than invite my existing subscribers to sign up to be notified about the launch. This is certainly something I’ll put a lot more effort into in the future.

How I’m going to level-up next time

562 people had subscribed to be notified about the launch of Soundboard Studio, and I was really unsure if this was enough people for a successful launch. After all, I was asking them to buy a $19.99 app.

Now that I have my revenue numbers for each of my campaign links, I know that 133 sales came from the link that I only sent to my early subscribers. This means that 24% of my subscribers actually converted into sales, that’s an incredible number.

Compare those results to the number of sales that came from my list of 124,572 subscribers from Teleprompter Premium… Just 227 sales came from my Teleprompter Premium subscribers, which is an absolutely tiny 0.18% conversion rate.

“Just 227 sales”, I know right?!

I now know that I should be spending much more time building up a great list of early subscribers. If I had a list of 10,000 early subscribers who converted at 24%, I’d be writing about a $33,000 launch. I should be spending several months building this list, not just a couple of weeks.

I also need to produce a whole lot more content. For the launch I only really produced a few basic marketing materials like a demo video and a few blog posts explaining the features. I need to work harder to produce valuable and engaging content that my target audience are interested in, this will help be build that list to 10,000.

Ask me anything!

I’m about to start a new weekly podcast, in which I will go into depth about running an app business as well as building and launching digital products. If you’re interested in launching an app, or you want to take your app business to the next level, this will be the podcast for you. So I need your questions! Don’t be afraid to ask me anything and I’ll cover the most interesting answers in the podcast. Ask away in the comments, or send me a quick email. šŸ™‚