Mobile marketing platform Appsfire is launching a new ad unit for iPhone that lets app developers promote the applications they're about to launch. The “Coming Soon” ad doesn't just announce the forthcoming applications, however, but can also gather early sign-ups from potential users through its “notify me” button.
According to Appsfire Co-founder Ouriel Ohayon (and former editor of TechCrunch France), most app developers wait until their app has launched before they start marketing it, when really they should start before. I have to agree with him there – after all, the formula is pretty successful for all the startups we cover here, which often promote their soon-to-launch services via landing pages from LaunchRock or KickOffLabs, for instance. Why shouldn't mobile app developers do the same?
The new ad unit, which functions sort of like a trailer for mobile apps, includes a full screen preview, a few visuals and the above-mentioned “notify me” button. Users can be notified both by push messages and via email, depending on their preference. On the backend, Appsfire tracks the application in real-time so it knows when the app goes live and then handles the automatic notification process.
The ad unit was launched into private beta testing a few weeks ago, with Tinyco, Capcom Labotec, UsTwo, Metamoki and others as testers. Early results have been good, says Ohayon, with up to 30% CTR on the “notify me” button.
The company is now working on bringing the same ad unit to Android and will be making it available for use in other apps (not just AppsFire). The unit may also be expanded to support the collection of beta testers.
AppsFire raised $3.6 million in Series A funding earlier this year and is now listed as a top 15 free app on iTunes.