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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Anybody Have An App For Their Site?
    Just wondering if anybody has an app for their site for the iphone or droid? I won one from a contest here awhile back but gave it away to Legacy Learning, should have kept it but didn't have any ideas at the time. Now I have a site I'm going to start, that an app would be perfect.

    I have some bookmarks for some places after reading this article -

    How To Make An iPhone App

    Links

    Bizness Apps - iPhone, Android, & iPad apps for small businesses made easy - Only $39 a month!

    MyAppBuilder.com - Create iPhone Apps & Android Apps Software/Platform.

    iPhone Apps Development | Mobile Development by SwebApps

    iSites — Create apps for iPhone, Android & iPad. Manage them from one place.

    AppMakr :: iPhone App Maker | Make your own iPhone App | Free iPhone App Maker

    So if somebody has one, where did you get it done? Looking for recommendations. Thanks.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Way back in the day, before the iPhone launched, I was approached by a guy who was really hot on building an iPhone application for my website.

    We ended up launching the application as a business partnership. I wrote a REST based API for my website and I helped him understand all of my website's functionality. Because we launched at the same time as the app store, we had a first to market advantage that lasted for almost a year. We initially gave the application away and had huge user numbers. Apple promoted our application in ALL US print publications. We were on tv and the radio. During all of this I learned a few things...

    1) People don't complete very many purchases on their phone. The process is too frustrating. They like to window shop and they like to use shopping apps to get better prices in brick and mortar stores.

    2) Beware client -> server architectures with nebulous monetization strategies. I have a hardware load balancer and two front end servers and still had trouble with the traffic volume. I did not build in a way to monetize this free traffic, so it was a bit of a money suck. I had expected to make money from affiliate sales and this did not materialize.

    We ended up charging for our application. This limited growth and turned a big money loser into a small money maker.

    In hindsight, I should have figured out a way to monetize via CPM or CPC and gone for huge volume, winner take all with the end goal of selling for a big payoff. I must admit that I wasn't 100% behind the application. I felt that it was distracting from my website, which was/is the big money maker. I was looking at ever increasing hardware costs and the need to rapidly re-architect my site to handle the load. It felt like a "facebook" type of problem, e.g. large volume of hard-to-monetize traffic.

    We still get regular checks of decent size from app sales but things have really changed in the app store. It is hard to get noticed and hard to stay on top. The competition is fierce. We are probably still riding the wave from the huge media blitz a few years ago. We are in a lot of "best of" lists that probably contribute to continued sales.

    And that's my story Trust...
    Last edited by isellstuff; July 4th, 2011 at 10:10 PM.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  4. #3
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    very interesting....thanks for sharing!

  5. #4
    Affiliate Manager CTanK's Avatar
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    I've actually used the iSites platform before, it looks good and is great if you are building an app that can be driven mostly by RSS feeds. You can actually set up the app and check everything out prior to paying, so you can see if the resulting app has the right functionality/look and feel.

    The downside is that it's a smaller company, so support is a little slow.

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  7. #5
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Oh, one other mobile application tidbit...

    Amazon does not want affiliate sales via mobile. If they find their data on a mobile application they will terminate your associates account immediately for violation of TOS.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  8. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    Oh, one other mobile application tidbit...

    Amazon does not want affiliate sales via mobile. If they find their data on a mobile application they will terminate your associates account immediately for violation of TOS.
    Really? That's one of the merchants I had planned on using. I wonder if there are other merchants that are anti-mobile sales. I wonder why they have a problem with that.

  9. #7
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    Really? That's one of the merchants I had planned on using. I wonder if there are other merchants that are anti-mobile sales. I wonder why they have a problem with that.
    Amazon has been the only one in my experience. The Amazon associates program is structured with the idea that your customers will become their customers and by-pass your website in the future. Mobile applications provide a captive audience. Amazon knows that mobile application users will always go through the mobile application, thus removing the profit potential from the associates program.

    Amazon Killing Mobile Apps That Use Its Data
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  10. #8
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Oh Tidbit #3....

    I had a real hard time with any program that used "smart pricing" of clicks. In other words, shopping.com, eBay. I found it hard to keep my conversions up high enough to keep my EPC from converging on zero. My current eBay EPC is 0... Also note, you must let eBay know you are doing a mobile application. They will flag your account as such. I run my mobile partnership under a different EPN account and when I applied I let them know I was doing mobile, as per their TOS.

    I'd be interested in hearing from an affiliate who has had a positive mobile application experience. I think it requires a different mindset. I've never tried to monetize say, a flash gaming website, a bittorrent website, an image hosting website, a free mobile game, etc... I feel that this is the mindset you need to succeed. Maybe if your application operated on a subscription model.
    Last edited by isellstuff; July 5th, 2011 at 01:30 PM.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  11. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    With the proliferation of tablets and mobile browsing I definitely see the need to adjust marketing and GUI to these devises. I remember reading like 6 years ago that Coke had a vending machine (in Malaysia?) that took payments from smart phones. Actually most of Asia has been centered around m-commerce. Granted that's not app based, but these new mediums and GUI offer many opportunities, not just banners, clicks and impressions ... the sky is truly the limit ... as the box is still being defined.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  12. #10
    Manager - Affiliate Marketing Patrick Vesperman's Avatar
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    We have our Gibson's Learn & Master Guitar App. (if you're a guitarist, it's a must-have) I know you're thinking more about affiliates, but we have had over 2,000,000 (yep, 2 million!) downloads and has greatly helped business.

    Our developer is Deepwell Software and they are great.
    Word of caution - if you have an app, make sure you have a mobile version of your site.

  13. #11
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    Sorry I'm late to the party here, but our app business has kept me busy and away from forum participation. I have not even posted to the Corvette Forum in ages!

    One thing to pay attention to with the app builders is monthly fees. Many charge a monthly fee to keep your app working which works out to hundreds of dollars a year.

    Selling apps is a very tough market. You need a great idea or a unique app that people will want to pay for. You also need great marketing skills as was said above - it is very hard to get noticed. Selling on Android is even harder than iPhone. I know people who had very good selling apps on iOS that did not sell on Android. They swapped to display ads and made more money than selling the app.

    We also have an app builder service that lets you build your own app (Legacy Learning has one through us created by your predecessor for your affiliates) for $279 for iOS and $479 for Android and iOS. Affiliate program is through ShareASale and I don't care if you buy through your own link.

    We also have quite a business building, fixing, and porting apps for others. We have done some pretty complex apps, and have been doing a lot of iOS to Android ports lately. The most recent was Impossible Quiz for the Android. If any ABWer needs a custom app or app work done, I can get you a good deal, and if you know someone and make a personal referral, I'll reward you with a 10% referral fee.

    Any other app related questions, DM me or start a new thread and let me know it is there so I can participate.
    Brad Waller | VP, Business and Affiliate Development
    EPage.com

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  15. #12
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcwaller View Post
    One thing to pay attention to with the app builders is monthly fees. Many charge a monthly fee to keep your app working which works out to hundreds of dollars a year.

    Selling apps is a very tough market. You need a great idea or a unique app that people will want to pay for. You also need great marketing skills as was said above - it is very hard to get noticed. Selling on Android is even harder than iPhone. I know people who had very good selling apps on iOS that did not sell on Android. They swapped to display ads and made more money than selling the app.
    Question: Is it not possible to offer the app as a download on your site first to test the waters? We have been interested in an app and want to give it away, not charge for it.

    And - with your program are there monthly fees?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  16. #13
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    Android can be downloaded from a Web site or the market. All you need is the .apk file that is the same file you send to the market on a Web server and tell Android users to go to that page with their device. It's very easy.

    Apple makes it hard. The only way to get apps without using the Apple store (or the 3rd party stores for jailbroken phones) is to get the UDID number(s) of the device(s) you want to install it on and build the app for those devices. Users can install through iTunes.

    And - we have no monthly fees. One time to build and upload the app and that is it. We do charge $49 after one year if you want to continue to update and edit the app through our Web interface. Otherwise the app will continue to run and access feeds, social media, or whatever it was set up to do.
    Brad Waller | VP, Business and Affiliate Development
    EPage.com

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