About three weeks ago, we at SmartBrief finally got our new iPhone app approved by Apple. Excited and eager to get the word out, we gathered the troops to discuss how to best spread the news. We toyed with the idea of sending press releases and doing media outreach, but quickly realized that “we have a new app” isn’t much of a story.
Rather than hoping for some media coverage and simply pointing our readers to iTunes to download the app, we looked to some of the lessons learned from this blog, and decided to create our own buzz. Contrary to the one-way “download please” approach, we turned to our readers to help us name the new product. We created a video and posted a description of the app and the contest on our blog — creating a space for our customers to interact with us directly.
Admittedly, it felt like a gamble. Many, including myself, worried that few would participate and we’d be forced to choose from two or three submissions. Just over one week and more than a 2,000 submissions later, we’re more concerned with how to sort through the suggestions and select a winner.
So what’s the takeaway here? First, never underestimate your customers. Second, give them the tools to interact and become part of the product development. They’ll thank you for it. And you’ll be thanking them in return.
And oh yeah, we just broke into the Top 10 free news apps.
Image credit, wakila, via iStock