Bribe For Install

[UPDATE: Both discontinued.]

So, just how desperate can you possibly get to market your app?

First off, you can just mark it free on the store. Easy. But everybody does that.

So, to take things up a notch, you pay people money to advertise you’re giving it away for free. Most successful with that as a business model appears to be that thing we dismissed before but, we’re willing to concede, some people do claim to have found a successful marketing channel. We’ll take their word for it.

But where do you go from there? It’s free, you’re paying for advertising, maybe you’re even paying per install to advertisers like Tapjoy and Flurry and Burstly have marketplaces for … or maybe you’ve tried out some of the other free app sites like Applifter or AppRebates [UPDATE: Discontinued.]

… but how can you really go completely over the top from really dubious CPA propositions into outright insanity?

Well, welcome to the next level: Bribe For Install.

Yes, folks, this is the new cutting, bleeding, dripping, edge in marketing: just plain outright bribing people with cash to install your app. And there are two services that will help you along with that, on the theory apparently that if you’re that dumb they might as well make a buck off you too!

Option A: Apperang



We were going to proceed with seeing just exactly who it is that thinks this is a good idea, but it booted us from signing up. The excuse was that we’re outside the U.S., but we just think it could smell our cynicism even through teh Intertubez.

Option B: Ads Reloaded

These dudes at least let you see the dosh up front:

… and that appears to be all of them, unless we’re missing something, so it’s not exactly setting the world on fire yet.

Which, actually, is somewhat of a surprise. Leaving aside our gentle mocking above, if you’re dead set on downloads at all costs, these actually do look like rather more cost-effective alternatives to regular advertising … at least if you’re this poor sucker who tried out iAd for Developers, anyways!

However, we’d have to really, seriously, question whether people you get this way are going to stay engaged with your app long enough for there to conceivably be any positive value proposition attached to their acquisition. However, we’re always open to being educated; if anybody who’s tried these has found it rewarding, we would certainly love to hear details!

And if you’re trying to pick just one of these to sign up with; check out the market research here. There are some real gems in the comments:

I am unsure what [Apperang]’s website is about from looking at the URL. I would be skeptical to go to a website that I do not understand the name of.

[Apperang] is better because it explains the steps of setting up an account. I don’t like [Ads Reloaded] because I don’t like the sound of the robot voice and cartoon.

I do not like [Ads Reloaded], I dislike ads and loaded makes me think of being drunk.

Ah yes, the wild wooly wonderful world of being a user. Reading these comments makes us think of being drunk too, now that they mention it. In fact, we do believe we’re going to go have a drink right now. A hefty chug of our current favorite vodka Żubrówka is no doubt the best way to make all this make sense, indeed.

Alex | September 5, 2010
  • Ray Wenderlich September 6, 2010 at 9:05 am
    Lol hilarious article - and marketing sites :]
  • Matt Sencenbaugh September 7, 2010 at 12:44 am
    Hey Alex, I'm the Founder/CEO of and I have to say that I love the article. Yes as it turns out I actually do exist, and have a sense of humor. (Speaking of which have you read the amazon ceo's blog post when they were acquired by amazon? Favorite of all time or just youtube Jim Gaffigan, amazing stand up comedian). To push back a little on whether users acquired in this way are actually worth anything I've discovered an odd thing since starting the site; users are still picky about what apps they download, even if they know it will be free. In other words, very few of my users have downloaded every app I have available. This is a little baffling but certainly encouraging, although certainly not a conclusive answer. You also nailed the "mission" of AdsReloaded right on the head. After hearing horror stories about terrible download numbers with traditional cpc campaigns, I set out to make something that maximized the ratio of advertising dollars spent to actual downloads. Nice blog :) -Matt Sencenbaugh
  • Alex September 7, 2010 at 8:04 am
    Nice to have you drop by Matt! Yes, that certainly is interesting about people being fussy what they download when they're GETTING PAID to do it, and I'd agree that's a solid argument in favour of this being a valid marketing alternative. I'd certainly be vastly more inclined based on current impressions to give you guys a try than iAds, that's for sure...
  • Matt Sencenbaugh September 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm
    Not a problem! Love to hear what people have to say about AdsReloaded. It does appear to be a solid argument although the jury may still be out on the issue. In any case it's certainly a very good sign for AdsReloaded and app developers. Hope you stop by sometime :) And yes some of those conversion rates and CPA's are absurd haha. -Matt

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