People are always complaining about the difficulty of getting found in the Apple App Store, so a new startup called Alau.me (pronounced “allow me”) is trying to tackle the problem through a Bit.ly-like link service with referral tracking.
Co-founder Brian Sabino says the team has built iOS apps itself, and it found that the current app advertising and promotional system is broken for most developers, with the cost of a download often exceeding the revenue or value that it might bring to the company. He argues that it’s time for developers to start exploring other promotional channels, with help from Alau.me.
After downloading the Alau.me SDK, Sabino says it’s easy for developers to create links to their app store download pages. Supposedly, those links don’t just track every time someone clicks, but also how often those clicks lead to downloads and usage.
Sabino says Alau.me technology can help with three main types of promotion: You can improve your word-of-mouth efforts by giving your users special links to share with friends, then reward users with things like virtual goods or gift cards when their sharing actually leads to downloads. You can also offer rewards to limited groups of users, like your Twitter followers or Facebook fans. And despite Sabino’s misgivings about advertising, you can also track the effectiveness of different campaigns, whether they’re through traditional Web ads, social campaigns, or print. (Alau.me offers QR codes to track that last category.)
The product is priced based on the popularity of your app, with up to 10,000 registered devices available for free. You can read more about the technology here.
even though Alau.me might solve the promotion problem for many developers, Sabino cautions that it won’t work for everyone: “Your app still has to be good.”