When it comes to free downloads, one plus one is less than two.

As part of our marketing efforts, last Monday our iPhone app Groupshot was free for 24 hours. We have used Facebook and Twitter to let the world know about it and also launched a campaign with the great guys from AppTurbo that recommended their users to download our app. Some bloggers that follow us helped to spread the word, and many websites and Twitter users that watch freebies (some of them are automatic) helped to complete the picture.

At the end of the day, the results were pretty amazing and definitely exceeded all our expectations:

In 24 hours, GroupShot had 224,234 downloads.

The campaign was successful in every term we checked except one small problem: The numbers we saw on iTunes Connect and the numbers we saw in our analytics reports were completely different. We are using a few different analytics methods (Google, Flurry, Appoxee) , as well as our own tracking system, and all of them showed that yesterday we had around 100,000 new app users.

So where did the other 140,000 users go?

The answer is simple. When you are offered to get something for free you don’t think twice, you just grab it even if you don’t really need it. You do it for the simple reason that tomorrow it is not going to be free any more. Apparently only 40% of the users that got our app tried to use it. It does not mean that the other 60% will never do, they may do that tomorrow, the day after or over the weekend, however they also may leave it at the back of their iPhone and never see it again.

When promoting a free app remember that not every download counts. Some users just grab your app and keep it for a rainy day.


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