I’ve lost count of the amount of times my mother uttered the following phrase: “You’d forget your own head if it wasn’t screwed on so tight.” We tried everything – notes pinned to my jacket, string tied to my finger, writing notes on my hand. Of course, I’d forget my jacket, spend way too much time trying to remember why I had a string tied to my finger, and I’d wash my hands. None of it worked.
Fortunately for me (and my marriage), today there are better ways to remind myself of important events; like a wedding anniversary! Mobile apps are everywhere and we use our smartphones to remind ourselves of all sorts of things. That being said, we’re underutilizing the capabilities of our technological devices. We create dumb reminders everyday – we set timers, make notes, set alarms, and so on.
What we don’t do well enough is create smart reminder apps. Apps that automatically create reminders, reminders that are prompted by location, and apps that automatically incorporate friends who need reminders as well. We’re talking about apps that leverage the interconnectivity of our world; we’re talking about indispensible tools to everyday life. We’re talking about apps that make money.
Step One: Why Android?
An app that reminds you of upcoming events or deadlines seems like it would be extremely useful on either iOS or Android, right? So why are we talking about only Android here? It goes back to the different methods of monetization and marketing between the two OS’.
We all know the facts: Android apps dominate Apple in terms of market share – nearly two to 1, in fact. Despite that, iOS app developers made more money than Android developers. So why are we suggesting Android?
Step Two: It’s Marketing, Stupid
First and foremost, we should be clear here: we recommend that you start on a single device platform, in this case Android. Our project managers and market specialists always suggest starting on a single platform for a few reasons:
1. It’s cheaper to launch on a single platform, so it’s a great option for SMB;
2. It helps work out all the kinks and creates a better UX;
3. It allows growth to occur smoothly without overwhelming your existing resources.
We don’t always suggest starting with Android; in fact, more often than not, we recommend going with iOS. Why is this time different? The type of app: iOS apps make money because Apple users are more willing to pay outright or pay a subscription for an app. Android apps are traditionally free and Android users are generally unwilling to pay upfront for a download.
I’m sure some of you are thinking “wait, is the whole point of this to make money??” and yes , absolutely. So why are we saying to start on the platform that makes little upfront money?
The type of app. The reality is that reminder apps have a huge potential to make a mound of cash, but charging upfront is not one of them. There are simply too many other options for users to risk paying for a download (and yes it is a risk, albeit a minor one). Once your app reaches a million downloads, you can start ramping up into paid services.
So if you can’t monetize with paid services immediately, how do you make money? Through advertisements and analytics. This brings us back to why Android: more users = more data to sell and more potential for ad outreach.
Step Three: Make it Connected
The world of apps and technology is a world of connections, a world of integration. Modern tech users expect their devices to not only recognize one another, but to communicate and exchange information. The good news for the entrepreneur is that it makes creating a valuable app all that much easier.
A reminder app should be able to connect to all relevant apps – as decide by the user! Remember, app features aren’t for you; they’re for the user. Don’t make the same mistake as so many have before. Listen to your users!
So imagine an app that connects to your note taking app, your travel apps and your calendar. Now take it one step further; imagine that same app could pull information from all of those various apps to automatically create reminders for you. When you arrive at a grocery store, this app knows to remind you of your list- and can take you right to the note. Automated, intelligent comprehensive features are where the tech of the future is headed.
Step Four: A Money Maker
While this isn’t a clear step on the development path, the smart entrepreneur begins thinking about how to monetize their app before development. Designing in monetization methods makes generating an actual revenue stream much easier.
This type of app has several monetization strategies our project managers have created, but we’ll only go into a few here. Get in touch with our representatives if you would like a free hour of market/business consultation.
Ad space is a strategy that is well-known to anyone with an app. Ad banners sell for pennies on the dollar, so it will only make substantial cash when you get users in the 6 digit range.
iBeacon technology is still a relatively underused strategy, but is growing in popularity. Through partnerships with retailers, you can inform your users of local stores in which they may be interested. For instance,by programming your app to recognize a grocery list, users can be informed of local grocery stores – plus any local sales that might be occurring.
Analytics data is very valuable today. The modern consumer expects a certain customization of ads – for instance, I’m allergic to things that bloom. Pretty much anything – so pushing ads for flowers at me is a waste of my time and your money. Most retailers recognize this – and will pay an arm and a leg for usage data.
Step Five: Find a Trustworthy Partner
SDI is the Bay Area’s app development company. The bulk of our business is driven by entrepreneurs with a great idea and some spare cash. The organizational structure of our business allows us to keep our prices lower than our competitors, while still maintaining the high quality of the work for which we are known.
We can get started on your project immediately and have it launched within 6 months. All you have to do is contact us or give us a call at 408.802.2885 today. To sweeten the pot, we’re currently offering the first 4 screens of your app designed for 35% off our normal rate.