The Effects of Getting Your Sticker Pack Featured by Apple

The Perks of Being Featured in the App Store

Mar Kevin Cayabyab, Founder of Pixeptional provides insight into the effect on sales and app store impressions after his iMessage Sticker Pack “Avocado Emoji” was featured in the App Store.

A couple of weeks ago, my Avocado Emoji sticker pack got featured in the App Store for a week. This post is a documentation of its effect on my sales and steps that I would personally take to increase my chances of getting featured again.

Avocado Emoji featured on the App Store

Honestly, I’m not sure whether this is the first time I have been featured. I never really looked through the App Store or iMessage Store before, simply because I didn’t own an iPhone or iPad then. For nine months, I had been creating stickers that I personally have never used nor tested on a physical device. I knew that testing on an actual device was best, but not having an iPhone didn’t hinder me from starting — the device is not cheap after all.

Getting featured alongside other well-known brands and global creatives sure felt amazing, but is it replicable?

The Numbers

Avocado Emoji App Store Sales

I got a total of 257 USD in sales during that week. 104 USD of which came from my featured sticker pack, Avocado Emoji. This was something big and new for me. No other sticker pack I made previously was ever able to beat my best seller Schwifty Catchphrases on a weekly basis. This was intriguing considering that I only made the Avocado Emoji two weeks earlier and had almost no sale prior to getting featured.

The Avocado Emoji gained 3,983,137 Impressions. Even my other sticker packs increased in their weekly sales. The figures may not look big but they add up in the long run. Like currency, drawing attention is something that I extremely value in business – especially if it is organic or requires no payment.

How to Get Featured in the App Store

I wish I knew the answer to getting featured. I’ve googled a bit and read several articles, most of which were app-centric, non-sticker related, and were more like general guidelines instead of definitive answers. I also tried going directly to the source: App Store on Discoverability and it said,

“There is no paid placement or checklist of requirements for apps we write about or feature.”

Go ahead and read the article if you haven’t yet.

The following guidelines have been made for apps and games but I believe are also helpful when applied to making iMessage sticker packs.

  • Localizations: high-quality and relevant
  • App Store product page: compelling screenshots, app previews, and descriptions
  • Uniqueness
     

The Case of Avocado Emoji

Avocado Emoji Illustrations
Holy guacamole! Avocado Emoji!

Relevance

When I created Avocado Emoji, I didn’t come up with idea randomly. I first checked whether there were a lot of people on social media sharing avocado related things. You would actually be amazed at how many people like to wear avocado pun tees and how often they like to take pictures of their avocado meals. Because there seemed to be so much interest in the avocado, I thought people would find it usable.

Stickers are not necessarily a need. They do not solve a problem. They can enhance a conversation, but people will not buy it because they need it. They buy it because it is related to something they are passionate about. If you love cute items, you would probably buy kawaii stickers. If you are vegan, you might want a set of vegetable emojis. If you are a gym rat, you might fancy a fitness or motivational sticker pack.

In short, we should create stickers that align with what people are passionate about. Funny, my wife randomly suggested “Placemat Emoji.” I love my wife so much but couldn’t use that suggestion. We both just ended up laughing about it!

App Store Product Page

I’ve talked previously about my personal strategy in creating effective app previews and screenshots. It is disappointing when a sticker pack or app is designed beautifully but presented poorly.

One thing I should personally be doing with my next sticker pack would be to have a well thought out and clearly written description. I neglected this thinking that most people would simply stick to checking the screenshots. That isn’t wrong, but I failed to consider the fact that others (like the editors) enjoy reading the story behind the app. People would appreciate your product more if they knew the process of how you made it.

In the case of Avocado Emoji, the description during the time of release was:

Holy guacamole! Avocado Emoji!

New emojis will be added by batch! Want to add more? Email us at pixeptional@gmail.com!

Definitely not the best example of a good description. If the editors ended up liking my sticker pack, I’m sure it wasn’t because of this.

Uniqueness

There are literally thousands of sticker packs in the store and more are being added by the hour. You would think that uniqueness is becoming hard to achieve and that is true. In a sense though, anything you come up with is unique – built according to your taste, crafted with your own style, and designed with your own creative voice.

The idea of using avocado as an emoji was not unique. Many others have already used the same concept. But my version looked a little different from the avocado stickers already available in the App Store. They stood out for some reason. And somehow, editors felt like featuring the pack. Maybe it was relevant to them? Maybe an editor was an avocado lover and the sticker pack somehow embodied his interest? I don’t really know for sure.

Focus on the quality and keep doing designs in your own unique way. Don’t let the saturation of the App Store scare you and stop you from executing your ideas. Remember that users, like you, have different tastes and preferences. They might actually prefer your wonky emoji over some mainstream sticker pack offered by a bigger brand.

Thanks to Kevin for his insights and experience on being featured in the App Store. Kevin is a UX Designer and creator of Pixeptional and is based in the Philippines.

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