If you want to use iPhone Apps as a way to get your brand out there, then you should be looking to create a free iPhone app.
Yes, you could charge for the app and there might even be a chance that you recover your costs. But what are you in the business of doing selling iPhone apps or selling your service or product?
If you aren’t in the business of selling iPhone apps then you want is a marketing tool and you want it to reach and engage the greatest number of people possible. Free apps are downloaded around 400 times more than paid apps according to one report. From a sheer numbers point of view, free apps are the best bet as marketing tool.
Yyou might not get the level of engagement with a free app versus a paid app
; however you are only forgoing a small loss in engagement versus a huge gain in overall reach. The weight of overall reach in this case, to me, is a clear winner over the small loss in engagement.
But what about recovering the cost of the app? Well chances are it won’t happen. An app developer with nearly 20 apps in the App Store, some ranked in the top 20-40 apps, points out that his apps only make $20-30 per day in downloads. That’s about $7,300 per year and he’s top 20-40 out of over 100,000 apps.
So, if you get lucky you’ll recover your costs and then some, if you get really lucky you might end up making hundreds of thousands. Chances are you’ll barely recover your costs and barely reach your full potential audience.
With a free app you’ll reach a much larger audience and, let’s face it, the cost of development really isn’t that high either (probably cheaper than some YellowPages subscriptions I hear about). So why not use a free app as a marketing tool to get your business in front of the millions of iPhone users.