Getting your app featured by Apple is one of the best ways to drive and generate traffic; ultimately converting into hundreds of thousands of downloads – entirely for free. But the main problem is that, how exactly do you get featured amidst the myriad of apps getting submitted every single day? Simple! Just follow these effectual strategies and you’ll definitely stand out from the rest!

Can You Get Featured for an App Update?

The rule of thumb for trying to get featured is usually “the newer the app the better the chances of getting a feature”. But there are always exceptions to the rule; non-game apps have a greater chance at getting a feature for their new updates compared to games. If you have a game app and unless you’re a big player chances are very rare.

Don’t let that discourage you though, we’ve had our fair share of trying to tackle the market saturation and have successfully helped nine clients get featured by Apple.

Although the chances are slim the benefits are quite rewarding. It doesn’t only give you the likelihood of amassing 100,000 downloads for game apps and 15,000-40,000 downloads for non-game apps, but gives your product the extra press leverage and helps build its credibility.

Getting featured by Apple doesn’t involve rocket science or complex algorithms–these apps are actually handpicked. With that being said, there’s really no rhyme or reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.

So we’ve rounded up the five steps we’ve continuously used for a shot at that App Store Holy Grail:

1. Soft Launch

One of the most crucial elements that developers tend to disregard is the importance of soft launch. Usually, prominent companies apt to exert more effort and resources during the app’s soft launch. For the most part, they try to target small communities during their soft launch and try to garner as much information as possible: customer feedback, UI and platform reviews, even the game’s monetization processes.

Now, the importance of mimicking this strategy is that, it creates an impression that you’re one of the “big guys” – putting all the necessary pieces before submitting the entire artwork. Furthermore, it also removes all possible barriers and impediment during your desired launch date.

2. Submit Your App

Now, this one is quite obvious but there’s actually an essential piece of information that you need to obtain before pitching Apple and this is the App ID. Basically, you need to include this piece of information within your email. Here’s the entire process in getting your App ID:

  • Log in your iTunes Connect
  • Go to your App
  • Find your App ID Here

3. Pitch Apple 3 Weeks Before Launch

In the past, we usually pitch App Stores managers prior to launching. But due to the amount of load that these people get, consequently, they now refer you to App Store Promotion at Apple.com. Now, the question is, does that email count? Yes of course! One of our clients got featured earlier on March just by pitching Apple Store Promotion through email. However, it’s important that you pitch Apple three weeks prior to launching. This gives you enough flexibility to make amendments and follow-ups.

Now, with regards to effectively pitching Apple, it’s important to include all of this information in your email:

  • App ID
  • Video
  • Highlight any other featured Apps or affiliations
  • Highlight your credentials (ex. If you’re an ex Apple Engineer, Microsoft Programmer, etc.)
  • Launch Date

4. Track Your Emails

It’s imperative that you track your emails using tools such as Bananatag or SideKick. These apps provide tracking data about your email, informing you if your emails have been opened, linked, etc. It also gives you a clear understanding when to make those crucial follow ups.

In certain cases where your emails aren’t opened, you can use an aggressive approach by using a different subject line on your emails. But if you want to get ultra-aggressive, you can simply pitch an App Store manager directly. Here’s how.

5. Follow-up Post Launch

Following your app’s launch, you can make additional follow-ups on Apple stating the current stature of your app and how it has been getting stellar success on its first week. For example, if your app has gone viral, Apple wouldn’t hesitate to feature your app in the front page – further escalating traffic and eventual downloads. It’s also important to note that Games tend to find difficulty getting featured on post launch. One trick you can do is to completely withdraw your app from App Store and re-launch it in a later date – with this; you can significantly increase your chances of getting featured.

Before closing this one out, keep in mind that you shouldn’t rely solely on Apple Feature as it’s highly unpredictable and a lot harder to contest – considering the number of vying developers trying to get ahold of such promotion. So be sure to get other means of hitting those target metrics without getting featured; otherwise, you’re doom to fail. Use Apple Feature as your buoyancy, not as mercy.

Download Our Apple Email Template

Get instant access to the EXACT email we used to get our app featured by Apple. Also, get our email template that you can use to pitch your app.

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Steve Young

Founder at AppMasters
I started building apps in 2011 and my first app hit #8 under educational games. I started making a few hundred dollars a month, but had no idea what I was doing. Then in 2013 I decided to start a podcast so I could pick the brains of app creators that I admired including the co-founder of Shazam, Tapbots, Crossy Road, etc and that changed everything.

Now I run an app marketing agency where we’ve helped 8 clients get featured by Apple, 5X downloads with ASO, and get coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat and other major publications. I also write about apps on The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, and on my blog AppMasters.co.