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17 Tips To A Killer App Description


Your app description page is not an app description page at all. It’s an app marketing page and you, the developer, are the salesman trying to get people to download your app. Since you can’t market to your potential users in person, pitching the value of your app in the app description page is the next best thing you can do to market your app. If your app is free, potential users will skim through the app description, looking for key information that will compel them to download the app. If you are charging for your app, then trust me, users will scrutinize every single word you put into the app description page before deciding to charge the app to their credit card.

I’m going to list 17 tips to a great app description. Each comes with a real app description snippet highlighted in red to bring home the point.

1. Clearly describe what the app does in a few short and sweet sentences before the “Read More” link. Viber does a very good job at this by telling the user what it is able to do – call, text and send photos for free to 175 million users worldwide – in the very first sentence itself. No fluff. Just straight to the point.

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Viber. Source: play.google.com

2. Make the user read more by teasing them. If the user is not interested in clicking the “Read More” link to read a more detailed app description, you have pretty much lost the user. Besides being straight to the point, your first couple of sentences should make the user want to read more. If you read the first sentence in Scanner Radio Pro’s app description, the first thing that goes through your head is “Wow, am I really able to listen in on police scanners?? Way cooool… let’s see what this thing can do.” And you will instinctively want to see details of this radio scanner app.

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Scanner Radio Pro. Source: play.google.com

3. Have you ever encountered a boring but successful sales pitch? No? Then your app description shouldn’t put people to sleep. See how Pig Rush portrays its app in a fun, appealing and interesting manner. Makes you want rush out, download the app and save poor Jumpy, doesn’t it?

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Pig Rush. Source: play.google.com

4. Skip anything that doesn’t do you justice. Cut out any texts that don’t have anything to do with the app. It does you no good if you tell your potential downloaders that the app is your first attempt in app development. Or, do you think users would be more inclined to download the app if you tell them your app development company “hails from sunny Maldives”?

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Catbug Soundboard. Source: play.google.com

5. User reviews tell other users that the app has been downloaded, tried, and is useful or entertaining. For instance, we know most women take their menstrual cycles seriously, and there are loads of apps out there that track a woman’s cycles. If there’s one thing that a woman will trust, it’s the product reviews from other women. A satisfied female user who positively reviews your app sends a powerful marketing message to other women. Just take a look at Period Calendar/Tracker.

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Period Calendar/Tracker. Source: play.google.com

6. Endorsements from the press or magazines tell would-be users that these guys, the influencers, have tried the app, and so should you. Besides being a cool app, Evernote has endorsements from big-timers like New York Times, TechCrunch and Mashable. They have tried the app and they loved it, so what are you waiting for?

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Evernote. Source: play.google.com

7. Being featured on the media tells users that the influencers found your app interesting enough to give air time or column space to. Calorie Counter was featured in a variety of heavyweights, from NY Times to WSJ to NBC. The message is clear: the authorities like the app; unless one is an eccentric, he or she will not regret downloading this featured app.

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Calorie Counter. Source: play.google.com

8. Explain the app’s value proposition in bullet points. Your app needs to be special enough for people to download it. File Manager’s compelling value proposition (like FTP and Dropbox support) makes people want to download the app and use it in place of the platform’s native file manager. And these features are all listed in bullet points for easy reading.

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File Manager. Source: play.google.com

9. State your target audience. The person is more likely to download your app if they fall into the target audience you have indicated. Imagine a mother looking for an app for her two-year-old daughter who is still a couple of years away from being categorized as preschool. There are tons of preschool apps out there and she isn’t sure if any of them are suitable for a two year old. However, she comes across Kids ABC Phonics that discloses the app is suitable for kids from two to seven. Mother hits jackpot. The chances of her trying this app skyrockets.

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Kids ABC Phonics. Source: play.google.com

10. Assure the user, especially if it’s a paid app. Assure them that you are reputable and not a fly-by-night app developer. Promise them they can reach you if they have any queries or hitches with the app. If you offer refunds, write that assurance down.

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Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden. Source: play.google.com

11. If your app is really that good and has received plenty of 4-5 star ratings, mention it in your app description. ROM Toolbox isn’t shy to reveal that they have garnered 13,000 five stars. A very powerful endorsement by actual people using the app indeed.

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ROM Toolbox Pro. Source: play.google.com

12. State the number of downloads if this figure is impressive. The advantage of showing the number of downloads is obvious. It is further proof that your app is entertaining (games) or useful (non-games). OfficeSuite Pro 7 (PDF & HD) boasts that its app has been installed on over 100 million devices with more than 40k registrations a day. Putting this number high up in the app description really gets people mesmerized enough to pay a rather high price of US$14.99 for the app.

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Office Suite Pro 7 (PDF & HD). Source: play.google.com

13. Display other great apps you have developed. If you are launching a new app, your app description should include some of the popular apps that you have created, if any. People will acknowledge you as a seasoned and successful developer, and will confidently believe the app you are launching will be just as successful.

dr-panda1 Dr. Panda’s Restaurant. Source: play.google.com

14. Use asterisks, arrows, stars, checkmarks, hearts and other symbols to make your app description stand out. Compare the description by Titanium Backup and My Backup Root. Which app description is visually more appealing?

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Titanium Backup’s app description versus My Backup Root’s app description. Source: play.google.com

15. Use only screenshots that show the essence of your app. Leave out the rest. Chrome does a very good job at this. It includes informative screenshots that show the user what they can expect before they download the app – like how the tabs are laid out like a deck of cards, how they can go incognito for private surfing and search as you type.

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Chrome. Source: play.google.com

16. If your app contains features that can be unlocked when the user reaches a certain level or if they pay for them, put them into the app description. In Angry Birds, users can cheat and make an in-app purchase for the Mighty Eagle that will easily destroy the pigs in a difficult level. This is disclosed in its app description.

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Angry Birds. Source: play.google.com

17. Give your app more credibility by putting in links to your social media accounts and websites. If you have an ecommerce site that sells paraphernalia related to your app, put that in. If you have YouTube videos related to your app, put the links to the videos in. To be able to see a flurry of activities and to be able to find all your contact info on your web properties add to the trustworthiness of you, the app developer, and your brand.

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Plants vs. Zombies. Source: play.google.com

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