Did I Mention It’s Also A Calculator?

Following suggestions, PCalc is now called “PCalc RPN Calculator” on the App Store – that way searches for “calculator” will actually find it, and it’s blindingly obvious what it does on a first glance. I feel bad that I need to spell it out like that, but sales are sales, and pride and self-esteem can be bought back later.

Of course, it’s not just an RPN calculator, so I hope that doesn’t scare off more people than it attracts, but it seems a lot of our users do like it for the optional RPN side of things, and that’s a reasonable marketing hook for now. I might play with the name a bit over time, see if it affects sales one way or another. 

You can change the name as displayed in the store independently of what the app is actually called, so people still end up with something called PCalc on their phone, and updates happen correctly for people who bought it with the original name. Plus you can change the name at any point using the “Edit Application” section of iTunes Connect – you don’t need to wait until you release an update.

Anyway, sales picked up a little bit yesterday – not by any large amount, but statistically significant at least. But I fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is, never change more than one thing at a time when you are testing.

So, PCalc is now closer to the front of the App Store due to the “Availability Trick”, I’ve changed the name to something more obvious, but I’ve also got a lot of hits on these blog articles. Which of those changes is responsible for improving sales, however slightly?

I’m guessing at this point, to be honest, it’s the blog. I got close to 4000 people reading my post-mortem post on the PCalc 1.1 release, and if only a tiny percentage of them was moved to purchase a copy, that would account for the difference I’ve seen over the last 48 hours.

We shall see – blog traffic is falling off a little now that I’m not on the front page of Daring Fireball, so if sales drop accordingly today, that should give me an idea how much of it is down to that.

Come back tomorrow for more iPhone App Marketing 101!

Author: James Thomson

Indie iOS / Mac developer, maker of PCalc and DragThing. Occasional writer, conference speaker, and podcast pundit.

3 thoughts on “Did I Mention It’s Also A Calculator?”

  1. I think changing the name probably has a huge amount more effect than you think it does. While I like your blog, I like others already knew about your app (and own it) and I suspect the large majority of your 4000 readers do too (especially given how MANY users you have…).

    As the number of applications grows, it’s now ridiculously hard to find a category of application other than by using the search field.

    I hope Apple rectifies this for both the developers and the users. The app store is overwhelmed by it’s own success, I hope it gets revised soon.

  2. Oh, and another thing… it’s a unit conversion application too and better than the others in that it’s also a calculator, which means once I have my converted number I can then perform operations on it, which is not the case with most (all?) of the unit conversion applications available.

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