To say that it was surprising was a dramatic understatement.
My app development mentor suggested such a small change to my apps, but when I implemented his suggestion, revenue skyrocketed a whopping 41.3% almost overnight.
It honestly blew me away.
So what was this tiny addition to my apps that helped to make SO MUCH more money?
The simple change was what is known as Localization. Basically it’s creating your apps in a way that if someone speaks another language, the app shows the language they speak. Often apps will give someone an option for their language and often there is a fairly limited selection of languages available.
As an example, I localize my apps with Mandarin Chinese (China is now the worlds largest app market), Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Hindi, Farsi, Russian, and Polish. With those languages I capture an overwhelming majority of the population of the world.
The reason doing this makes your apps SO MUCH more money is actually quite simple … much of the world would rather not have to deal with English. It’s an odd language that routinely breaks its own grammatical and spelling rules in ways no other language does.
By putting my apps into multiple languages it ALSO means that they are MUCH more likely to be downloaded a lot. Far too few apps try to take into account the fact that the US is only about half of the total iPhone App Store market. In fact, China now outstrips the US in terms of numbers of iOS downloads.
For that reason, At a bare minimum, you absolutely need to be localizing your apps to Mandarin Chinese.
But Don’t Be Stupid About It
You can’t simply slide your stuff through some idiotic online language translator and you don’t want to use a “translation service” that will simply do that either.
You need to get someone that speaks the language you want to localize to as their first language. This kind of person will make sure that phrasing and “idioms” are moved over correctly and that any relevant slang terms are used instead of proper names. This will make the app “feel natural” to people that grew up speaking the language which will make it much more likely that your app will be used, but more importantly shared with others thus dramatically increasing your downloads.
For this I often just use eLance and typically it doesn’t even cost very much. Generally $50 or less to get an app fully localized to a language. When you figure that Chinese alone could be worth tens of thousands of dollars in your pocket this is money VERY well spent.
But Be Warned
If you are going to be using linkshare for iTunes affiliate purchasing as part of your monetization strategy then you should know that linkshare is for US and Canadian purchasers only. Outside the US you will need your app to utilize the appropriate service for this.
TradeDoubler is the service to use for much of Europe and Asia while DGMpro is the service for Australia and New Zealand. That means when you localize, you also need to make sure your app is “location aware” so that the appropriate affiliate links are utilized.
However, just because someone is in Europe doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t prefer that their apps show up in Hindi, or mandarin, so allow someone to select their language independent of their physical location on the globe.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this, for a few hundred extra bucks you can literally add multiple tens of thousands of dollars per month to your app revenue stream by simply making your apps so that they will display in multiple languages.
How would you like to learn 4 other ways that you can monetize your apps for easy cash. I explain more ways you can monetize your apps in my App Developers Toolbox. Check it out …