Getting Featured

We did it! Knard got featured on itunes. With over 1000 apps being published on itunes every day this is probably the highest accolade for our storybook and it just feels awesome.
In my last post about visibilty I wrote about how I think it's important that you put all your love in your product (instead of slapping out app by app) so that you'll have the required endurance when it comes to promoting it. That being said - after writing over 500 emails to almost everybody who has an audience that intersects with our target audience, I was close to calling it a day. Instead of further trying to promote Knard, I was going to do the English loca. Not to increase the audience (there are plenty of german-speaking people left who could buy it) but to ease my PR efforts which suffered a lot from having created a german-only App:
It hadn't occured to me earlier but it's very diffcult to promote a german-only app for children, mainly because the top blogs, website or magazines you'd want to contact to do that, are American.
However, I wanted to try one more thing after having read this article on reddit. I wanted to use all those great reviews - which I had accumulated by harrassing mom-blogs and magazines, cf. the Knard website - to convince apple that Knard was worthy of a second glance. I wrote an email to appstorepromotion@apple.com in which I told them how 'magical', 'outstanding' and so on our app was, giving them a weblink with each quote and suggesting they should have their german colleagues look at Knard.
Some weeks later, I received a very short response that my email was 'forwarded to someone appropriate' and not long after, a friend of mine found Knard featured on the Appstore.
Sales have risen by factor 15 or so, taking us into regions where we finally get some money for all our efforts. The greatest thing about it ain't the money though, it's the endorsement that every indie developer yearns for, together with the knowledge that so many children out there are now going to get to know Knard.
knardsales
So what can you make of all this? Well, even though I admit I didn't plan things this way beforehand, but rather built this strategy on-the-go, I still think the whole thing might be a well applicable strategy for indies. Just writing to apple's promotion adress probably won't do you much good if you can't tell them anything essential. And they won't be suprised that you like your own app. So why not start out contacting every blog and website that might be interested in your topic, provide them with a quick glance at your product - I used the Knard trailer - and ask them whether they're interested in a promo code. If they love your app they'll come up with a review that you can cite on your website or the appstore. And once you feel like you have enough of them (hopefully positive ones), write a nice email to apple mentioning those. I think it's obvious that they'll pay more attention to what others say about your app.