Christmas is coming soon. This is an important holiday worldwide, when many people, potential users, are concerned with the topic of Christmas and even search for it in the stores. After all, gamers want to get into the Christmas spirit when they play.
This offers app publishers a wealth of opportunities. A new version, even for established apps, offers new opportunities for new downloads and users. Here are some ideas to get this Christmas boost for your apps!
- Create a temporary app icon with a Christmas touch
- Update app Screenshots and give them a Christmas look
- Modify your app and apply a Christmas theme
- Update App Description with Christmas keywords
Why do you need Christmas ASO?
Implementing holiday-themed events to your app can bring significant advantages, as seen in many genres of games.
By introducing a combo of features including event-specific currency, seasonal tasks, unique game modes, and collaborations, you can greatly boost your chances of revenue growth and even attract old users that are looking for new content and an entirely different experience.
Seasonal ASO is a great way to highlight today's agenda. Mobile games generally get a lot of organic traffic from the Browse/Explore sections of the App Stores.
Besides, it may be essential if you want your app to get featured – by getting into a thematic collection of the App Store/Google Play, you will acquire new users and that's your primary goal.
And don't forget that seasonal In-App Purchases associated with certain holidays (unique rewards, improvements, or cosmetic items) are only available during a limited time. Players see that content as something exclusive and limited, and IAPs automatically become more valuable in their eyes… Which translates into revenue growth!
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Holiday schedule planning
Even though the reviewers will not be away, due to the immense volume of app reviews expected to be incoming, releases should be scheduled, submitted and approved in advance. The review process takes time on the App Store, and to prevent delays developers should aim to submit their apps well in advance of the end-of-year.
If an app is submitted near the holidays, it may fall low in the massive queue of apps waiting to be reviewed. Even then, the built-up backlog and influx of new approvals may mean the release won't go out until the new year.
Developers should try to have their apps submitted for review around a week before the holidays. This should not only allow time for reviewers to get to the app, but it should also allow some breathing room for any adjustments that might be needed in case of a rejection.
Historically this unspoken "submit by" date has been December 18th, depending on the day of the week. Though no shutdown will technically occur this year, developers should likely aim for somewhere between the 15th and 18th of December.
Many developers rush to get their new apps and updates out as the holidays approach, so the earlier the better. Otherwise, the update runs the risk of not going live for new users installing apps on the new devices they received as gifts (or gifted to themself).
Getting your app ready
If there is a major update or bug fix going out, then it is a good idea to submit as early as possible to avoid unnecessary delays. Ideally, any significant update or brand new app should be submitted before the 15th. There are other circumstances that would necessitate submitting early, especially if there are aspects of an app that have the potential to lead to rejection the first time around.
A few criteria that run the risk of longer review times and possible rejection include:
- Multiple prior rejections
- Features or assets that require proof of licensing permission/copyright ownership
- Apps in highly-regulated fields, such as banking and financial services, healthcare, gambling, legal cannabis use, and air travel
- Apps designed for children
- Apps with gambling, lottery or sweepstakes features
- Apps potentially subject to Apple's "spam" guidelines, such as those in the "dating" and "fortune telling" genre
Even if the above items are not applicable, brand new apps from new developers may have a longer review time as they undergo an initial vetting process. A rejection could mean several cycles back and forth in the Resolution Center with an App Store Review representative, leading to further delay and potentially not going live before the holidays.
Create a temporary app icon with a Christmas touch
App icons are usually the first impression potential users get of your app. Therefore an appealing icon is mandatory. Icons can be tested underbar such as A+B Testing. Which one appeals to more users? Which one manages to move more users from viewing the app in the store to downloading it. The Christmas season is ideal to test a new icon, a new style, or a different look and feel.
To do this, it also appeals more to users in the Christmas spirit. Important, regular updates of apps, but also the assets in the stores are essential for good placement. this includes, of course, the icons.
The example below shows three icons, The yellow one is the regular standard version. The two red ones are the customized versions for wintertime. They replace the normal, more generic icon with themes from the actual Christmas variant of the app. And red is of course always a good color for Christmas. Our experience shows, this measure alone, promises double-digit growth rates.
Create Christmas screenshots
App screenshots are always important. Users look at the first 2-3 images before they decide to download an app. Ideally, these should also contain real scenes from the apps.
By the way, not only ASO managers demand this, but also the regulations of the stores.
So, of course, it is also important to transfer the individualization or branding for Christmas to the screenshots as well. Screenshots can of course be created with common design tools.
In addition, there are also a number of online tools that support the creation. For an easy upload of the screenshots – there can be thousands if you do it for all languages – you can use the App Store Manager with its bulk upload.
Apply a Christmas theme to your app
It involves a little more work, but also to retain existing users and offer them something new, it is recommended to customize the actual app. I.e. assets, texts, symbols, icons, or even different characters. Users will certainly appreciate the variety. The positive side effect, a new app update also brings positive effects in the findability in the app stores.
Update app description with Christmas keywords
After the app, the screenshots and also the icon is customized, the descriptions in App Store Connect and Google Play remain. It is important to include a few Christmas keywords.
To do this, you first need to research for new, good terms. Use tools like Keyword Tool or one of the many commercial providers (many allow a few weeks of free use).
Once you have rewritten your descriptions and modified your keywords, use the App Store Manager to translate everything and upload all texts with a few clicks.
Get more downloads with a Christmas Edition
Our customers and our own test series prove us right. It is always worthwhile to adapt apps to certain circumstances, such as Christmas. The relatively small effort is worth it.
With a few clever adjustments, best of all using some clever tools, almost every app can be redesigned. In our experience, this immediately results in two to three-digit growth rates in views and downloads. So give it a try!