The developer of V for Wikipedia tells us how he uses Tokens to distribute loads of app copies to folks eager to spread the word.
Typography is stimulating. It's stunning. It's a fundamental branch of design that deals with how we communicate at a level even deeper than language itself. Frank Rausch understands this—in fact, he teaches it.
Frank co-owns the design studio Raureif and advocates the importance of beautifully interactive interfaces at design conferences. He's also an experienced frontend dev. This potent mixture of fields led him to build a crispy-clean Wikipedia browser that has won multiple awards.
Making apps makes me happy. I built V for Wiki to show off typography during talks and Tokens lets me give out copies free to my students.
We asked Frank how he came across Tokens in the first place. He told us how he's a huge proponent of privacy and when in 2013 he heard a colleague was using it, Frank instantly thought it was a scam! "But indie developers are fantastic. It's easy to go onto a fellow dev's site and get a glimpse of their values. I looked up Supertop* and then felt they were trustworthy," says Frank.
*The original developers of Tokens
Once Frank started using Tokens for V for Wiki codes, he couldn't stop.
Tokens feels just absolutely right as a tool. It's got the right amount of complexity and simplicity—it doesn't even feel like I'm using it.
It delighted us to hear this. We wondered what Frank meant by not feeling like he uses Tokens. "I don't use it in the sense that it just works. In the same way you use any other Apple feature, it just blends in. You make a code, hand it out, and move on. Then it gets redeemed and you just won another happy customer who will spread the love of your app to others."
He described to us how App Store Connect is not elegant whatsoever. As a man who creates nothing short of elegance, we believe him. Frank told us, "It doesn't feel like Apple even wants you to use ASC and it's a shame. Promo codes are perfect for all sorts of marketing." Each app has 100 codes allotted per update, and Frank uses a fair share of them.
Since Tokens is so much faster than manual generation, Frank can whip up an entire batch of codes before he heads to teach typography in Potsdam. Or create a campaign in an airport with dozens of codes ready to go for the next conference.
Over the past four years, I've given out 585 codes. All through Tokens.
When Frank told us how many he'd generated, we were like... woah. That's a lot. For his $4 app, that's $2340 in revenue. But! Those who got V for Wiki for free then went on to promote it indirectly. Word of mouth is a powerful thing.
Before Tokens, Frank used to print out manually-generated promo codes and hand them out at events like business cards. He's even printed out a few Tokens links. Once our iOS app is out, he'll be able to generate and share codes instantly on iPhone.
Apart from events, Frank drops codes in email pitches to companies like MacRumors before major updates to his app.
"I read the first Talking Tokens with Ryan," says Frank. "I have to agree with him—it feels so good to know when a code is redeemed by someone I admire. Bit of dopamine, haha!"
We didn't intend for Tokens to be addicting but it can have that effect. It's not necessarily a bad thing. When your creation lands in yet another pocket, that's another marketing vector entirely.
It was really neat to chat with Frank. We share a love of typography and playing with design. Frank made V for Wiki to prove that a great reading experience is possible on a relatively small screen. He's absolutely right!
If you haven't poked around yourself, give it a try. Just so happens this Talking Tokens is published on the release of a major V for Wiki update.
Tokens isn't available for public yet, but we're expecting to launch the second beta in late July! Get on the wait list to have a chance to be one of the 100 lucky devs who'll get an exclusive early access.