Time machine to 2013. Weather Line is about to launch on the App Store. Ryan Jones and his team expect modest coverage and gradual downloads amid a bursting weather app market. Once everything’s in place, Ryan generates a few promo codes for free copies of his app via Tokens. He reaches out to a few influential developers on Twitter and hands out the codes—a few seconds that change everything.
I consider Tokens a required tool for any developer’s marketing strategy.
Industry leaders like John Gruber, Federico Viticci, and Marco Arment hopped on the bandwagon. They tried Weather Line, loved it, and spread the word on their socials. Meanwhile, Ryan could track their redemption of his promo codes using Tokens.
Using Tokens to generate codes in seconds and then see who redeems and when is indescribably exciting. We had 50x the attention we expected on launch day because of influencer interaction, and that was possible because of Tokens.
When we spoke with Ryan, we wanted to understand how much of a dent an app like Tokens could truly make in overall marketing strategy. He explained how generating promo codes manually via Apple’s system is laborious and and an afterthought, while Tokens puts code generation and tracking into the forefront.
“The manual method is not intuitive whatsoever. When rewarding users with free subscriptions or winning the word of influencers, the whole promotion process should be fluid,” says Ryan.
Beyond launch day, good feedback is essential to keeping any app afloat. Ryan explained how providing a skeptical customer with a free round of app usage can completely flip the script. Freebies are also particularly good for keeping keen customers on board—those who seek and report bugs and request features simply because they enjoy the app.
Tokens allows Ryan to reward users while keeping their data private. This is huge to hear at Gikken where privacy is a top priority. Users don’t have to hand over emails or any private details to join TestFlight, for example. Ryan opens Tokens, clicks a button to get a code, and shoots it over to whoever needs it.
It reduces so much friction that you actually want to give out promos. They redeem and your app gets more eyeballs and happy users.
We asked how Tokens stacks up against alternatives. Ryan told us he used to generate a handful of codes manually and jot them down in case he needed to hand them out later. “There’s really no question that you should be using Tokens,” says Ryan. We pressed him for downsides. He stared thoughtfully, then chuckled. “I got nothing, really. It’s fantastic.”
Along with Weather Line, Ryan and his team develop Flighty, the wildly popular mobile flight tracker. He kept telling us how much they cherish user experience and how Tokens feels right at home in their marketing workflow.
“I’m not an emotional guy. But when you see that notification that your app was downloaded by a developer you admire, it’s exciting, I’ll admit that much!” says Ryan.
Such praise for such a simple app. We were elated to hear how Tokens has put apps like Weather Line and Flighty on the tiny screens of thousands of users across the globe. Ryan is a veteran Tokens user and considers it a classic behind-the-scenes tool for devs at all stages of the app lifecycle.
My team built Weather Line to keep people in the moment. Tokens follows that same mentality. When it’s sunny, get outside. When opportunity strikes, give a Token.
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