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Showing posts by Mike Hines

April 05, 2017

Mike Hines


Here's a recap of our webinar on Making Money with Promotions That Work. We shared tips on how you can build effective promotions that can increase your conversion rate, including how to run a social good campaign with Seeds, a company that provides microfinance loans for women in Africa.


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March 30, 2017

Mike Hines



Belka Games is a social and mobile game development company from Belarus, specializing in creating casual game applications with rich graphics. I recently had a chance to sit with Belka Games’ Head of Marketing, Zar Serebryannikov, to chat about game development and their recent successes.

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March 15, 2017

Mike Hines


Even the best apps and games need a solid promotion strategy to turn a profit. In this webinar, I will teach you how to create promotions that deliver results.

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February 16, 2017

Mike Hines


Last month we announced the Indie Favorites Showcase, a new program highlighting outstanding achievers in indie mobile games. Each month Amazon Appstore will feature of a special collection of indie game titles that have earned accolades in indie prize competitions around the world.

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January 27, 2017

Mike Hines


Earlier this month we launched a brand new program to highlight outstanding achievers in indie mobile games; those earning accolades in indie prize competitions around the world. Each month Amazon Appstore will feature of a special collection of these indie game titles on the Games gateway on the Amazon Appstore.

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November 03, 2016

Mike Hines

You work hard to convert your non-spenders (or at least I do in my apps and games). But have you ever thought about turning non-converting users into agents of positive change? Or did you realize that you could earn more money as a result of doing good. I didn't!

But then I learned about Seeds, and a discovery they made: giving non-payers the opportunity to make in-app purchases for good could be the most powerful conversion tool there is. Seeds found that non-paying users are 58% more likely to spend when their purchase is for good. And these newly converted payers go on to spend an average of $25.

The kicker: Seeds focuses on for-profit, sustainable forms of social good such as microloans. These microloans are a form of sustainable social good because they’re interest-bearing, and the capital can be lent out again and again as loans are repaid. In most regions, default rates are lower than 2%.

This sounded interesting, but when I discussed Seeds with my colleagues, we assumed it would be a pretty hard sell to convince developers who are already struggling with low IAP conversion rates to give up some of those earnings to support a for-profit organization, regardless of how noble the cause may be.

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October 27, 2016

Mike Hines

There are a lot of considerations you want to consider when developing a game, from IAP design, to level difficulty and more. While some of the basic considerations, such as “fun and engaging” go without saying, there’s an additional requirement that successful developers are increasingly taking into consideration when designing a mobile game: longevity.

Incorporate ongoing, perpetual content

In a study of the top-grossing freemium games in the Amazon Appstore, we found that 56% of a game’s revenue occurs after the first 30 days. And the players that stick around past the 30-day mark are willing to spend 60% more for in-app purchase items.

The depressing news is that about 80% of the users in our study didn’t launch the games again after the 7-day mark.

So how do you encourage more of those 80% to stick around? One solution is to design your game with a strategic approach of perpetual content. In other words, carefully create a plan to deliver ongoing, changing content. This is the approach that Wooga takes with their hidden object games, and they have been successful in their design goal to “make games fun for a year”! As a result, their customers have rewarded them with significantly higher revenues.

What does perpetual content really mean? Consider adding new game modes, outfits, weapons, maps or whatever else your users want every week or month.

Here are some other things for developers to consider in the longevity arena:

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October 24, 2016

Mike Hines

You’ve worked hard to create a new app—devoting hours to developing the concept, designing the user interface and prototypes, and coding your vision. But even the best app needs help in gaining visibility and awareness: If your customers don’t know about it, they can’t try it. The best way to put your app in front of customers who will enjoy your work is with MARKETING. A marketing campaign, including in- and out-of-store promotion, can be the difference between your apps taking off or staying stuck on the runway. This is why I want to invite you to a free live webinar with me, Mike Hines, Developer Evangelist at Amazon, to learn a few tactics that can be game-changing in your marketing

I will share with you not only what I’ve learned from my own startups and working at Microsoft and Amazon, but also what I’ve learned from studying the successful indies in the Amazon Appstore. 

You will learn five tactics that can make a huge difference in the distribution and adoption of your app. You’ll also learn the one key strategy, without which, these tactics will probably be a lot less effective.

Join us on October 27th to learn Five Key Tactics and One Critical Strategy for Marketing Your Mobile App. At the end of this webinar:

  • You will be able to make a better pitch to the tech media.
  • You will learn how improve your chances of getting featured by an Appstore and get more positive reviews.
  • You will be able to drive significantly more organic downloads from your product listing page.

Reserve Your Spot Today

Register for 7:00am PDT (3:00pm GMT) on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Register for 1:00pm PDT (9:00pm GMT) on Thursday, October 27, 2016



October 20, 2016

Mike Hines

One of the biggest challenges I have in my apps is keeping users interested. If you share this challenge, you might be interested in some things that we’ve learned in the Amazon Appstore, and some simple things we found that work well to keep customers engaged.

First and foremost: customer expectations are really high. No wonder, there are so many apps available—it’s easy for them to simply delete my app and download another.

Consider this: According to Google, the average user downloads about 26 apps on their mobile device. And because average users only spend about two hours a day using apps, there isn’t much time to convince customers that your mobile game is where they should be spending their time.

How can we keep the interest of users that are swamped with a million things to do and so many other apps to distract them?

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October 13, 2016

Mike Hines

A free chocolate. Extra storage. A rare gem. A badge of loyalty. A new character or theme.

We can all agree: everyone loves an unexpected gift. And it doesn’t matter how big or small the gift is, it makes you feel good.

Whether it’s a bonus storefront item or a character upgrade, offering a free gift is a smart, surprise-and-delight monetization tactic that we see developers use to create “happiness in the moment,” as well as to strengthen a game’s loyal fan-base and bottom line over time.

Gifting: a closer look

You want your users to feel good, right?

Of course you do. But you also need to meet your game’s revenue goals by having players visit and buy your in-app-purchase (IAP) items.

Here are three ideas on how to engage users with nice gifts and transform that gift into meaningful revenue down the road:

  1. Increase Player Retention: Sending a small “gift” to your game’s users on a random basis can be a great way to encourage players to return frequently—while adding an exciting element of surprise. This also plays into what social psychologists call the law of reciprocity. Giving an unexpected gift encourages players to respond to your positive action with another positive action. It’s nice to be nice!
  2. Encourage Future IAP Purchases: When a new player finishes their first session of your game, give them a free IAP item as thanks for having tried your game. Many users will recognize the kind gesture and will return to the game later to try the new items, and may be even more likely to check out your IAP store upon their return. Note: Do NOT make this gift contingent upon their visiting your store or buying something first. Experienced players can be cynical when it comes to the “the first one is free” method of marketing IAP items. Make it a genuine, no-strings-attached gift for the best response.
  3. Encourage Re-Engagement: If you want to remind inactive users that your game still exists, consider creating incentives—like extra lives for characters or eye-appealing cupcake toppings—for your customers to encourage them to re-connect with your game. Doing this can remind them why they liked your game in the first place, and can bring them back to re-engage.  

Turning a free app into meaningful revenue

Developers who use the freemium model must first focus on building an innovative, engaging game, and then also create high-value IAP content that will delight players. Offering special, unique gifts to introduce players to the value you’ve added in your IAP content is one smart way to showcase that value to potential customers. It could even encourage players to make future purchases and engage for longer, generating meaningful revenue for your game.

The Amazon Appstore is designed to make it easy to manage your IAP catalog, and we have enhanced our In-App Purchasing API to make it easier (and faster) than ever for you to integrate Amazon IAP into your game.

To learn about why IAP should not be an after-thought in game development, but rather a key factor in your design requirements, check out our recent eBook: In-App Purchasing Lessons from the Top 50 Game Developers”. The eBook highlights the top five actionable insights we uncovered in our recent study focused on the top 50 freemium games in the Amazon Appstore.