A passion for writing, social media, and everything marketing, Emily thrives in the online marketing realm. She is constantly looking for new and innovative techniques to implement. When Emily isn’t writing or finding new content to explore, she can be found hiking or diving. Emily holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Religion from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Guest Post

About the Author: Cyrus Kasaaian is a co-owner of the indie game company Castor Games. His passion for mathematics, programming, innovative gameplay, and unarmed combat drive him ever forward in pursuit of his two loves: creating new gaming experiences and being a martial arts instructor. To learn more about his work at CG check out CastorGames.com or follow @CastorGames.

(1200x600) Woodchippers Postmortem

In 2012, my college friend and I decided to start making mobile games. Like many people, we heard about the big success stories and thought “hey, why couldn’t that be us?” Last year we launched our first title, Woodchippers!, after a mountain of work and great test results and reviews. So why is this the first time you’re meeting our hero Axel? Well, chances are you’re not one of the 300 users that downloaded the game. In this postmortem we looked back at almost three years of work and attempted to explain why the title was such a smashing failure, and how we’ve applied these lessons in our new puzzle game, Project: sHE.

1) Tools

The first big mistake we made was not picking the best tool available to build our game. We decided to build Woodchippers! without the help of a pre-made game engine, because we thought we would learn more from doing everything ourselves. While that’s probably true, we also wasted many, many hours on developing things that products like Unity allow you to do in one line of code.

We built the game in Java, exclusively for Android. We created the entire UI system from scratch, with a few native Android elements thrown in. Unfortunately, as first-timers, our engine wasn’t very robust and adaptable; every iteration or attempt at adding polish resulted in hours of extra work. First lesson: use the best tools for the job. Most of the work has already been done before! Investigating and transitioning to Unity was the first thing we did when starting our new project.

Our original idea was to make a very quick, simple game, to learn from and then move on. If we had stuck to that plan, building our own engine might’ve been fine, but this leads us to the next topic.

2) Overly Ambitious

What started as a simple point-and-shoot game kept adding more and more features until it became a full title, with complex weapons, upgrades, enemies, menus and so on. We developed multiple playthroughs, leaderboards, achievements, and social media functionalities. This was our first game, first major project even, and we created our own graphics, UI, and physics engine, all from scratch – none of which we’d ever done before. Woodchippers StoreThe visuals in particular were difficult, because neither of us had experience in digital art or graphic design, and it showed.

As a two-man team, this was way too much to be able to focus attention on making any given element great. Combined with the fact that our homemade engine made iterations take forever, we became completely incapable of giving the game true polish. The final product contains mostly first and second attempts at any given thing, because we didn’t have the time or experience to develop them better.

To any aspiring game developers out there: make your first few games quickly, and then move on from them. They can’t possibly be perfect, because your craft isn’t perfect – practice, practice, practice.

With Project: sHE we had a much better idea of what we were getting in to, so we broke our features into categories: “Launch,” “Post-release updates/DLC,” and “Expansions.” This allowed us a lot of flexibility, plus a natural marketing thread. This format is just as good for indies as it is for major AAA games.

3) Usability

In terms of actual gameplay, we planned out Woodchippers! to a large degree and we actually love how the game turned out. All our players who’ve learned the basics have loved the game and gotten sucked in. It’s incredibly addictive.

However, that “who’ve learned the basics” caveat is huge. Woodchippers - Player Retention V1Most people who turn the game on don’t get past a few levels before giving up, because they find it too difficult and they don’t understand what they’re doing. Between the lack of polish and the unintuitive interface, people’s initial reaction to the game is largely negative, and they don’t last long enough to get to the fun part.

Our first attempt at a tutorial was interesting. We just wrote out, in a text box, instructions for how to play. Then we gave it to friends and asked them to test the game. They literally did not read any of it. And, of course, they were lost. At one point there was a menu where a giant flashing arrow pointed to the next button to press – a friend said “I don’t know what to do next” after tapping every other spot on the screen (incidentally, we added an achievement to the game titled “Why Won’t It Read?!” for ignoring the directions enough times).

The point is, we learned that we can’t just tell people what to do, we had to design our interface to make the correct options be obvious and natural. We came upon a dialog system that was a much better way to communicate, and made a number of other interface improvements so that players stopped getting completely lost. After many iterations and rounds of testing, we finally got the interface to “usable.” Sometimes even “fun” (due to the dialog)! But never quite “natural.”

In Project: sHE, we made a specific point to simplify the user experience as much as possible. For example, Woodchippers! has 3-4 menus before you can shoot stuff. This time around we designed our game to launch directly into the gameplay, without so much as a title screen. The overall polish and design of the game push the player naturally to interact with it how we intended. For each menu and button we ask ourselves “is this necessary, or are we falling into doing things how they’ve always been done before?”Woodchippers Screenshots

Lesson: plan your interface and your tutorials early on, they will need a lot of development, and they can sometimes shape the gameplay itself. Also, keep the tutorials as flexible as possible – as the designer, it’s hard to tell what’s intuitive for someone else. You probably won’t get it right the first time (or the second, or the third, or …).

4) Marketing

Our initial idea of marketing went something like this: “If our game is awesome, people will give us money. Otherwise, they won’t. Fancy marketing speeds things up, but if our game is awesome then everything will work out.” i.e. the “Field of Dreams” strategy.

This, of course, was wrong. There are tons and tons of great games out there, and most do not get any attention. Now, it’s unfair to say that Woodchippers! is an unqualified “awesome” game, for the reasons mentioned above (though it really is fun when you get the hang of it). But no one would even know, because no one knew it existed. We didn’t talk about it, even with friends, until after the release. We had no social media presence, until after the release. We had no public testing of any sort. In fact, this is the first real online discussion of the game – and it was released a year ago.

There are plenty of other resources online that know more about mobile marketing than we do, but a couple of things are clear: we didn’t start early enough and we didn’t do enough overall. Not that it would’ve mattered, because of our last point…

5) Monetization

Of the ~300 people worldwide who’ve played Woodchippers!, the only ones who created any revenue were our families. It’s almost embarrassing to think about the number of years we put in to this game.

Our first mistake was thinking that we could just tack on some in-app purchases to monetize the game. This is hugely wrong. Effective IAPs should be designed into the game from step 1, with the rest of the game design planned around it. Adding IAPs requires answering too many questions that you will be too far along to pivot on at the end:

  • How does the transaction flow fit within the context of the game?
  • What resources should you sell in the store and how do they impact gameplay?
  • Can the player also obtain premium content in-game without spending money?
  • How can the game be designed to maximize the appeal of the premium content?

Even when considering IAPs that don’t affect gameplay, early planning is still needed. For example, buying a new costume for a character is more appealing in a game where other players will be able to see it. Effective IAPs are profoundly linked to the details of the game itself, and by adding them at the end we ignored this fact and it was a big mistake.

One thing that Woodchippers! does well is drive players to the in-game store – it’s a prominent button on every screen, we have our own internal advertisements scattered through the game, and you’re prompted to visit the store whenever you run out of a resource. This is a strong element. PremiumUnfortunately, the conversion rate is virtually zero, because none of our IAPs are interesting enough (or necessary enough) to buy.

In the end, IAPs are a really hard thing to get right. A first-time developer probably won’t pull it off. For Project: sHE, we knew that the game we wanted to make wouldn’t mesh with the freemium model, so we avoided IAPs altogether and made the game a direct purchase. It was clearly the best monetization strategy for the game we were creating, so we planned it that way from the start.

Overall

Woodchippers! is a fun, addictive, unique game – but most players fail to realize it, because the lack of polish (due to a custom game engine and massive scope creep), awkward interface, and challenging learning curve prevent players from investing in the game in the first place.

But even if the game were perfect, it wouldn’t matter, because no one would’ve heard about it with our negligent marketing strategy.

And if by some miracle the perfect game created a storm of word-of-mouth advertising on its own, we still wouldn’t make much money due to poor IAP design.

Having fun gameplay is obviously important, but it’s easy to miss all the other factors that affect the game experience, and even then, marketing and monetizing during the current mobile app rush is incredibly difficult, a topic that we still haven’t figured out. But hopefully through sharing our learned lessons we can help some aspiring developers avoid the mistakes we’ve made so far.

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Guest Post

About the Author: Garrett Weinzierl is founder of PlayWin Multiplayer, a cross platform eSport enablement solution that allows gamers to play against their friends for fun or real money. Join today at playwin.me.

(1200x600) What are eSports

Much has been written about the eSports ecosystem, yet it is unclear what actually constitutes an eSport. Anyone can look and see the development of PC based games such as Starcraft or League of Legends and see that these games are part of the eSports ecosystem. But what at a fundamental level is it that creates an eSports community? Before we can move on to the innovation of mobile eSports we need to discuss the three core elements that are required for a game to evolve into what is commonly considered an eSport:

1) Competition: A game must have a clear way for players to gauge performance against one another. While Mario Maker is a great game, it doesn’t present a clear way for players to judge themselves against one another based on their creations. (But the possibility does exist for a speed running community to develop around the levels that are constructed.) Head to head based games remain the most common, while time and score based games have a huge opportunity for the expanding asynchronous market.

2) Multiplayer: Many people have some confusion over what constitutes multiplayer. At the most primitive level, multiplayer functionality can be as simple as a leaderboard. This dates back to the earliest iteration of competitive gaming, the arcade. Arming yourself with a handful of tokens and deciding that your initials will occupy the top spot. However, with modern technology we have developed an entire niche of eSports that are centered around this concept. Speedrunning allows gamers to play against each other for the fastest time within a simple set of criteria. However, traditional multiplayers games where you choose your teammates and/or opponents will always remain a stalwart due to the unique social aspect that only knowing your competition can provide.

3) Ecosystem: The final piece required for an eSport community is the most difficult. The gap between games that meet the first two criteria and what we commonly consider eSports is where this third requirement lies. Large companies like Blizzard and Valve enlist the support of a variety of federations to promote their professional scenes and brand their games as eSports. Ho2016-02-26 15.14.41wever, this presents an inherent barrier to the average user trying to form a competitive scene around their game of choice. This is where the innovations on mobile platforms are poised to make the biggest difference in the expansion of eSports.

Mobile platforms have several built in advantages in how they will grasp the mantle as the preferred eSports platform of the future. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the most ubiquitous and heavily used devices to game on. While they will not displace the PC as the preferred eSports platform for longer session games such as DOTA2, a new era of shorter games optimized for the mobile experience will begin to emerge. This has already started with early innovators such as Vainglory and Critical Force optimizing the MOBA and FPS genres for mobile. The upcoming collectible card game, Clash Royale, looks to further improve a genre that is well suited for the mobile experience into shorter, faster paced games. Yet the biggest innovation on mobile will be the advent of democratization platforms such as PlayWin, Skillz and Grumblr that allow users to play real money challenges against one another. This removes the ability of large corporations to control how their games are branded as eSports and gives the choice to the game community.

In the future, gamers will be able to initiate their challenges without the oversight and bureaucracy of third party enablers.  This is the critical element of expanding what are commonly considered casual games into bona fide eSports. A simple puzzle game such as 2048 could be enabled with a competitive multiplayer platform allowing gamers to play directly against one another or in a larger tournament based format. With the shorter game sessions and the ability of people to initiate the challenges without outside interference, we will quickly see an entire new world of what people consider eSports to emerge and take center stage.

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Guest Post

About the Author: Maria Antony is a digital marketer and specializes in SEO, content marketing & conversion rate optimization. A computer engineer by education, passionate about gaming and she also loves to write and read about updated gaming technologies.

RiseOfSocialGames1

Being able to socialize is one of the big factors that make human beings distinct from other species on Earth. For centuries, games have been a great source of socialization among human beings and our ancestors perhaps conceptualized them to give rise to social circles. If we talk about the present, online social games share the major chunk of the video gaming market since people now like to play games that offer them not only entertainment but a way to interact with other players too. Below are some factors that contribute to the immense popularity of online social games:

  • Connectivity to millions of like minded people
  • Rise in numbers of internet users worldwide
  • Competition, achievements and leaderboards
  • Stress buster
  • Score sharing on social media
  • Cost-effective environment

Online social casino is one of many examples of online social games. Social media sites, like Facebook, have played a key role in making social games so popular. Coming to an important point here, mobile games are becoming a new trend and steadily cruising towards surpassing PC games. This pie chart shows the percentage of mobile internet users in 2015 against PC internet users in the same year.

Users graph

Source: http://www.statista.com/topics/779/mobile-internet/

The number of mobile internet users are expected to only grow in coming years and account for 63.4% of all internet users worldwide by 2019. Rise in popularity of mobile devices has also greatly impacted the gaming market. More and more gaming apps are being developed for mobile to download from Play Store, App Store etc. As screen sizes of mobile devices have become bigger, players find them suitable to entertain themselves whenever they have spare time. Mobile apps have many advantages over websites and web apps, perhaps people find them apt to carry them in their mobile phones and access from anywhere.

With mobile games, developers also get monetization opportunities. Most developers have inclination towards development of games that are based on freemium model concept. A freemium gaming app is free to download  and a freemium gaming website is free to register, however in-app purchases are always there for developers to mint money.

Monetization opportunities with in-app purchases

Via in-app purchases, players buy virtual currency or points to move to more advanced levels of the games they are currently playing. Also, there is social-quotient involved in these games as we human beings like to give gifts to each other. Players have the option to send gifts or goodies to fellow players by making in-app purchases. Clash of Clans and Game of War are developed for mobile devices and currently have millions of subscribed users world over.  

It’s no hyperbole to say that mobile games have become new video games, and the biggest factor is users can access them from anywhere. Workers refresh themselves during breaks by playing games on their mobiles. Playing with more players evokes the feeling of competition and gives rise to more engagement, which in turn results into more in-app purchases. Mobile technology advancement has mutually benefited both the users and app developers. There is an app for almost everything in current digital arena and gamings apps top them all.

Check out the infographic below to gain better insight into how the future holds great growth opportunities for mobile game developers.

Infographic

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Guest Post

About the Author: My name is Marc, I live in Barcelona and in the past year I founded the indie studio Kinematic Games and I created my first game, Cubes. If you want to read more about the process I recommend following my blog Indie Thoughts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

(1200x600) My Journey into the Indie

My journey began in late 2014, after my university graduation as a multimedia engineer. I was looking for a job for some months, but I knew deep down I wouldn’t find anything that fit what I wanted to do. In the end, I decided to create my own game and with the game came the studio.

My professional experience until then wasn’t related to gaming and the only experience I had was making a game with four colleagues for the videogames subject in my last year of college (that’s when I heard the word Unity for the first time in my life) and my final project. The project was a VR horror game made for Oculus Rift and that’s what really gave me the confidence necessary to start developing a professional game on my own. kg_logo_alpha

It was a decision that I was half super confident with and half totally crazy because I had never done anything like that. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to face the next months, but the idea of creating a game all alone was super exciting to me and I became unstoppable.

The process taught me a lot, but my first lesson was to keep it simple – very, very simple. That meant having to start all over about three times because my first apparently simple ideas were too complex. And while simplifying the ideas I realized that I had to boost my imagination to create a great game with no resources. After that, I brainstormed a bunch of new ideas and days later I was back to the game!

During the development process I also needed help from other people, sometimes a friend who was a designer would give me advice, sometimes a colleague or family member to test the early versions of the game or most of the time the two life savers of the game, were: the developer communities (Unity answers, Stackoverflow, etc). I was able to find or ask any question I had about any problem and other developers would help me. SOOMLA was also a lot of help and brought my game to a whole new level. Even though I created the game all alone, it’s been crucial having other people near because one always needs a hand sooner or later.

I consider myself a casual gamer with a strong artistic sense, so I wanted my game to fit that description. I set out with 4 main goals to achieve.

1. Find a funny, engaging and challenging game mechanic.

I wanted the player to have fun while playing and at the same time feel: “I’m sure I’ll do better next time.”

What I did:

  • I started with a basic mechanic, but I ended up making six variations of it (Arcade, Continuous, Epileptic, Expert, Inverse and Shooter).
  • I thought about more mechanics to try in case some didn’t work or in case I want to expand the game someday.

2. Define a very specific visual style.

My goal was to make the player see something nice and clean at all points in the game.

What I did:

  • I very carefully picked the color palette and the combination of colors.
  • I created a global style and made variations for each mode.

3. Maintain my values.

I think that values are one of the most important things to remember while developing a game because it’s where you put your personality as a game designer.

What I did:

  • For example, one of the things I knew from the beginning was that my game wouldn’t have any ads in it.

4. My worst critic.

Even though you have incredible ideas in your head, sometimes when you try them they aren’t as good as you thought they would be. So this usually starts an internal debate about leaving the idea as it was or throwing away days of work to search for a better one.

What I did:

  • Always went for the second option. If I wasn’t completely satisfied with the result I started again until I was.

In brief, that’s how I ended, more than a year later, with my game Cubes.

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Guest Post

About the Author: Aloha and Konnichiwa! My name is Jason Sio and I’m the founder and CEO of Apartment 507, which is a startup company based in Japan that focuses on investing and publishing indie games. We recently partnered up with an indie game studio that we met in Tokyo and are ready to show off our first mobile iOS/Android game called Fluff Eaters. We will be debuting at this year’s PAX South event in San Antonio, TX. Please come visit us at Booth #15055.

(1200x600) Advertising-for-PAX

Ask anyone who is into gaming, and that person might have heard of PAX. Each year the PAX event invites more people than the last. For any game developer hoping to get their games noticed, this annual event is a potential gold mine of opportunities to connect with the right type of people who come for only one reason: games.

PaxAdTest2

Official Fluff Eaters Advertisements PAX South

Let’s face it, for any indie developer looking to attend a PAX event, you know it’s not going to be cheap especially if you’re on a tight budget. This is where partnering with a publisher really helps with the cost of attending events and paying for marketing ad space. But what if indie developers don’t want to partner up or just want to take a financial risk? Just exactly how much does it cost to attend a single PAX event? In this article, I will break down the basic marketing cost as a startup gaming publisher and attempt to reason why we decided on the things we did and did not.

Booth

First and foremost, you need to rent a booth. By having a booth, you allow people to interact with your game, collect leads, and connect with people in the gaming industry. The cost of renting this year’s booth at PAX South cost a reasonable $1,250 for a 10’x10’ booth. This is the smallest and cheapest booth that a PAX South event offers. If you want to go bigger, you must have some serious cash to burn. The cost to hang with the big boys can go as high as $45,000 dollars, which is no longer classified as a booth, but an island. As luck would have it, we got moved to a new spot at the last minute to float near the big boys.

Ads

When it comes to exhibiting at an event as big as PAX you have to stand out from the rest of the crowd. We decided we needed a way to reach the eyes of attendees and renting a booth was not enough to have over 60,000 visitors notice our game. So that’s where paid advertising comes into play. When it comes to advertising, PAX offers various options. Options include everything from having your logo on the lanyard ($6000) to becoming the official bag sponsor ($10,000). Since money isn’t growing on our trees, we opted for an ad space in the official PAX pamphlet. We had two choices, a half page ad or a full-page ad that would fit within our ideal budget. A half page ad cost $1500 and a full-page ad cost $2000. We decided to go with the full-page ad so people are more likely see the ad while flipping through the booklet.

Cosplay Outfit

Three out of five members of our team (including me) will wear a purple cat onesie ($38.95 each), which were ordered through Cosplay Shopper. We originally wanted to have one of our fuCosplay outfitlly-grown bearded men dress up as a Japanese school girl outfit, but decided against it after talking to the organizers of the event saying that might violate their “no booth babe” policy.

The purple cat onesie outfits will sure turn anyone’s head when passing our booth. Not one, but three purple cats at our booth will allow us to bait unsuspecting prey to come to our booth.

Print outs

We could have stopped at the one-page ad and not spend any more money on marketing materials, but we didn’t. We wanted to make a presence at the show and felt that we needed some free swag so visitors will remember us afterwards. In my past experience at gaming conventions, the things I actually keep from shows are unique stuff that I collect. Those things are buttons and beautifully printed posters. When it comes to having things printed, early planning is key. Most organizers that handle events will have an early bird printing discount for various types of print jobs. We jumped in early on having our vinyl poster printed at $19 per sq. ft., which saved us from having to pay a standard price of $28.50 per sq. ft.

We also decide to print 200 A3 sized posters ($54.95) at a local print shop. We called a few places and the prices varied greatly. It pays to do some research first. For the postcard, we went to Vista Print. They were the cheapest place for postcards. For buttons, we ordered them through Wacky Buttons in two designs, 1000 each, for a total of $352.31.

Fluff Eater Buttons

Official Fluff Eaters Buttons PAX South

When all is said and done, we’re looking at around $4500 in total cost to setup our booth and prepare the necessary marketing materials. The cost maybe hard to swallow for an indie developer, but we believe it’s worth the initial investment for any indie game studio to show off their game. It’s also worth noting that travel and hotel cost has not been factored to the breakdown. In a sea of competitors vying for the attention of guest, it is utterly important that game studios reach as many people as possible while staying within their budget.

Cost Breakdown:

10’x10’ Booth: $1250

Full page PAX Ad: $2000

Purple Cat Outfits x 3: $116.85

Vinyl backdrop poster: 256.50

200 Posters: $54.95

5000 Postcard hand out: $335.98

2000 Buttons: $352.31

Renting one extra table and two chairs: $60

Snacks and drinks: $50

Miscellaneous (markers, duck tape, clips): $50

Grand Total: $4526.59

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Research

(1200x600) Mobile Game Analytics Comparison

As of July 2015 there were 1.6 million apps in the Google Play Store and 1.5 million in the Apple App Store. Both stores continue to grow at exponential rates yet there’s a continuous trend that there are only a handful of apps that make the top charts. Looking specifically at mobile games the top charts are populated with games from King, Supercell and the likes. For a mobile game developer they not only have to create a killer game, but also continually work on improving it.

In today’s mobile game world, it’s not a question to have analytics in a game, but what company to use. Studios must constantly be improving and adapting games to keep users engaged. With mobile analytics and marketing platforms studios can slice and dice their data, gain powerful insights and communicate directly with users.

Regardless of the analytics platform you are using, tracing-back your ad revenue is a seperate domain. If your game uses ads – you can send ad revenue data from SOOMLA TRACEBACK to your analytics platform.

Learn More

Here’s a comprehensive list of the top mobile analytic platforms. We’ve excluded install tracking and attribution analytic platforms which are often categorized under analytic tools. We view them as analytic tools for very specific purposes of examining marketing channel effectivity and not necessarily measuring user behavior. These include Appsflyer, TUNE (Mobile App Tracking), Adjust, Apsalar, and Kochava.

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

“You can’t go wrong”new-google-logo-2015

Gain valuable insights with Google Analytics for Mobile Apps. You’ll see analytics for the full cycle of your app. When you install GA you’ll automatically get analytics covering number of users/sessions, session duration, operating system, device models, and geography. Developers can also delve deeper into their analytics and look at specific user behavior and interact with the app.  

  • Founded: Built by Urchin which was acquired by Google in 2005
  • Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Unity (still in beta)
  • Pricing: Free up to 10M monthly events. If you go above the minimum, the price goes to approximately $150,000/year.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios, AAA studios

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 4.57.08 PM

Flurry

“Elder of the analytics tribe”Flurry_Logo_DarkGrey_NoBackground_LoRes

A mobile analytics solution that was acquired by Yahoo! in July 2014. Flurry provides analytics for businesses to monitor user behavior across multiple mobile applications. Flurry has one of the largest networks with more than 700,000 apps on over 1.8 billion devices. In five minutes you can see basic analytics from Flurry, but for more detailed analytics you must set up custom events. One major flaw is that it does not currently support Unity – for that you’ll need to purchase a dedicated plugin from the Unity Asset Store.

  • Founded: 2005
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, HTML5, JavaME, hybrid apps, mobile/web
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios, AAA studios

Flurry Dashboard

GameAnalytics

“Geared for gamers”GameAnalytics-Logo

A free analytics platform tailored for mobile games, providing insightful and actionable data. GameAnalytics supports the full life cycle of a game from acquisition to retention to monetization of a player. It’s platform is solely focused on mobile game specific KPIs. Some features in GameAnalytics’ dashboard include custom dashboards, benchmark analytics, and custom events.

  • Founded: December 2011
  • Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Unity, REST API, Xamarin
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, small studios

GameAnalytics

SOOMLA

[EDIT: Soomla GROW was shut down as of May, 2016. For the shutdown announcement – http://blog.soom.la/2016/05/grow-is-being-shut-down.html]

“God-Mode – see analytics of your users in similar games”image001

GROW, a zero integration analytics platform, brings user behavior and revenue analytics with one-step integration from all the tools you use – mobile SDKs, in-app purchase plugins, and ad networks. A unique feature in the dashboard is God Mode Analytics which shows you the analytics of games similar to yours. You can leverage cross-game intelligence to build a better game.

  • Founded: August 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Unity, Cocos2d-x
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, small studios

SOOMLA dashboard

Unity Analytics

“No need to leave the Unity Editor”$logo-titled

Unity Analytics is part of the larger Unity family which provides a variety of game development tools. Unity offers a standard dashboard with basic KPIs, heatmaps, and market data. Unity Analytics is extremely accessible and can easily be installed in Unity games therefore boosting its popularity amongst mobile game developers.

  • Started: 2015
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Store 8.1, Windows, Mac, Linux/Steam OS, Web, and WebGL
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, big studios

Unity dashboard

deltaDNAdeltadna_www@1x

“Comprehensive, enterprise grade analytics”

deltaDNA provides detailed game analytics and real-time marketing for mobile games. deltaDNA provides a vast amount of analytic tools and various metrics for larger studios to analyze their data. You can track how players interact with your game and adapt your game accordingly. deltaDNA also offers custom dashboards, so you can personalize the analytics you review. With deltaDNA you can understand your game balance and how it affects different player groups.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Unity, GameMaker, Rest API
  • Pricing: Free up to 10k MAU. From $150/month per extra 10K MAU. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Big studios and AAA studios

deltaDNA

App Annie

“A bird’s eye view of the mobile app stores”App-Annie-Logo

App Annie, a leading intelligence platform has over 700,000 mobile apps. Gain key metrics such as downloads and revenue for all your apps. You can break down your data by store, app, country, in-app purchases, and date range. You can track your app’s rankings hour by hour and closely monitor how it’s doing. While App Annie provides some very valuable macro-market analytics, it does not show specific in-game analytics.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Store Platforms Supported: Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, Windows Phone Store
  • Pricing: Free for developers who connect their app store dashboards. For larger companies interested in competitive business intelligence prices start at $59 per app/month up to $599/month for app download and revenue or demographic estimate. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Indies, big studios, AAA studios (App Annie Intelligence)
App Annie dashboard

Image: https://support.appannie.com/hc/en-us/articles/204763554-How-to-Connect-Your-Google-Analytics-Account

Crashlytics (part of Fabric)

“Not just crash reporting”crashlytics-logo

Acquired by Twitter in January 2013, Crashlytics provides crash reporting for iOS and Android. Crashlytics is built into Fabric which gives you detailed analytics about your game. It allows you to keep track of your user behavior and track any crashes.

  • Founded: 2011
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, tvOS, Android
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios
Crashlytics

Image: https://www.crashlytics.com/blog/introducing-crashlytics-for-tvos

Branch Metrics

“Deep linking analytics”Branch_Metrics_low_res_logo

Branch helps mobile apps delve into their analytics with deep links. Branch provides open source, drop-in SDKs that help generate deep links that pass data from app installs. Their analytics dashboard tracks conversions, user behavior, virality, campaign performance, and LTVs.

  • Founded: 2014
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Web, Xamarin, Cordova/Ionic, Unity, Adobe AIR, Titanium, HTTP API
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, big teams, big brands
branch metrics

Image: http://onlinemarketingandseo.com/branch-metrics-convert-grow-and-track-mobile-app-adoption/

Ninja Metrics

“Find your social whales”logo-2015-ninja-metrics

A social analytics platform that offers a cloud computing-based social platform. It enables developers to measure social influence and adjust their game’s social features accordingly. It shows developers the value of social contributions and detailed projections of future social actions from users. Other services offered by Ninja Metrics include basic analytics such as DAU, monetization, and KPI metrics.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Supported Platforms: JavaScript, Java, PHP, iOS, Android, Unreal
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios
Ninja Metrics

Image: https://help.tune.com/marketing-console/ninja-metrics-integration/

Swrve

“Get personal at scale”4eaba4afb2986248f01b16ff5a54705b

A marketing automation platform that believes part of making a great app is nurturing the relationship with the users. With more engaged users, come more installs. Swrve offers in app campaigns, A/B testing, push notifications, and segmentation. Swrve also offers a traditional analytics dashboard which shows key metrics, accurate revenue, cohort analysis, and funnels.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, and Unity
  • Pricing: Free trial. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, big studios, mobile marketers
Swrve dashboard

Image: https://www.swrve.com/product

Upsight

“Enterprise grade analytics for top charts mobile apps”url

Formerly Kontagent+PlayHaven, Upsight is one of the largest mobile analytics and marketing platforms. Their goal is to help transform the world’s data into valuable actions. Upsight offers a variety of customized solutions for more tailored analytics. Upsight offers custom dashboards and business KPIs as well as a variety of marketing tools such as in- and out-of-app engagement, A/B testing, and user segmentation.

  • Founded: 2007
  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Unity, tvOS
  • Pricing: Free trial. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Upsight dashboard

Image: http://www.upsight.com/analytics/

Mixpanel

“All-around, flexible analytics for any purpose”mixpanel_500X1891

Mixpanel, based in San Francisco, is an advanced analytics platform for mobile and web. It helps companies understand their user behavior and explore conversion rates and user retention. Their dashboard includes funnel analysis, retention, mobile A/B testing, and marketing automation.

  • Founded: 2009
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Java, Javascript, Rest API, all popular server side languages
  • Pricing: Free up to 25,000 data points. Or up to 20m data points for $2,000/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers

Mixpanel dashboard

Amplitude

“The new kid on the Mixpanel block”Amplitude-logo

San Francisco based, Amplitude is an analytics platform that helps fuel app growth. Amplitude shows you microscopic views into any data point. You can zoom in and explore behavioral data and even create specific cohorts. Amplitude also gives you direct access to your raw SQL data. This allows developers to answer their most complex questions and delve into their data.

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, JavaScript, Unity
  • Pricing: Free up to 10M monthly events. $995 for 0-100M monthly events. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Ampltude dashboard

Image: https://amplitude.com/blog/2015/01/09/team-sharing-custom-dashboards-amplitude/

Apple App Analytics

“Back to Basics”Apple_Logo_Png_02

Apple introduced their analytics platform in mid 2015. It shows Apple developers their sales, usage, and monetization and does not require any code. Apple recently released that their analytics platform supports tvOS apps. It shows app store views, how users interact with your app on Apple TV, and IAP statistics.

  • Founded: 2015
  • Platforms Supported: tvOS and iOS
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers
Apple dashboard

Image: http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/06/apple-app-analytics-screenshots/itunes-app-analytics-05/

Facebook Analytics for Apps

“Analytics that work well with Facebook campaigns”facebook-logoimage-facebook-logopng-moshi-monsters-wiki-dmua0wep1

Facebook Analytics provides developers with insights about their app’s customer base, engagement, user behavior, and campaign performance. Developers can track users across multiple devices and see if a user in an app went and made a purchase on the website. Facebook Analytics also offers the basic dashboard features such as events, segmentation, cohorts, and funnels.  

  • Founded: 2015
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, JavaScript, PHP, Unity
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, AAA studios, mobile marketers

FB dashboard

Countly

“Open source for the rest of us”countly_logo_color

Countly is a real-time mobile analytics platform that provides data on application usage and user behavior. It has over 3000 apps and more than 2000 running servers worldwide. Countly is an open source framework for developers that want to build their own analytics solution, however they also offer Countly Enterprise Edition for larger companies.

  • Founded: 2013
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Javascript, Mac OS X, Unity 3D, Flash
  • Pricing: From free to $800/month for 10M sessions/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies
countly-dashboard

Image: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/app-analytics-tools/

Localytics

“Mobile marketing mission controlLocalytics_official_logo

Based in Boston, Localytics is one of the leading analytics platforms and has more than 37,000 apps on more than 2.7 billion devices. It is an analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps. You can use their insights to personalize your engagement with users through push, in-app, email or remarketing campaigns which allows for more direct and smarter targeting. Some benefits of the Localytics’ dashboard are LTV measuring, custom dashboards, A/B testing, and real-time analytics.  

  • Founded: 2008
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and HTML 5
  • Pricing: from free to tracking 100k MAU for $1,200/month (for analytics and marketing). Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Localytics dashboard

Image: https://help.tune.com/marketing-console/localytics-integration/

Appsee

“Analytics, Visualized”logo_height_100

Appsee, a Tel Aviv based company, is a SaaS platform to help optimize mobile apps. Appsee’s analytics help show the reasons behind the data and focuses on the user behavior. Focused on user experience, Appsee provides user recordings so you can watch user sessions and see the direct interaction. Appsee also offers real-time analytics, heat maps, and crash videos (to see where and how the app is crashing).

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS and Android
  • Pricing: Free 14-day trial. Regular pricing is not disclosed, but have special rates for startups. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, big studios
Appsee Dashboard

Image: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/app-analytics-tools/

Segment

“One Analytics API to rule them all”segment-logo-black_(1)

San Francisco based, Segment allows developers to collect data from wherever it’s generated with one API. It tracks customer data across multiple devices and then sends it to third party integrations. Segment has over 160 integrations and collects 50 billion API calls a month.  

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Android Wear, Xamarin
  • Pricing: Free 14-day trial. Up to 25M API calls for $449/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, big studios, big brands
segment-warehouses

Image: https://segment.com/

Heap

“Modern analytics for web and iOS.”heap

Heap captures every user action in your app and lets you measure it from swipes and taps to form submissions and page views. With Heap’s dashboard you can see all key metrics, funnels of where and when users are dropping off, and retention rates. 

  • Founded: 2013
  • Platforms: Web and iOS
  • Pricing: Free (up to 5,000 sessions/month) up to $599 for 150,000 sessions/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Heap dashboard

Image: http://blog.heapanalytics.com/a-heap-of-new-features/

You now know the top analytics platforms and you just have to decide which one is right for you. You might even end up picking a few which will only enrich your analytics and data. Depending if you’re only working on apps or games will also be a huge factor in which platform you choose. If you’re a game developer, SOOMLA’s dashboard offers a variety of features from God Mode Analytics to segmenting hidden whales. Check it out here!

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Game Reviews

SpartaniaLogo150Available on Google PlayAvailable on iTunesSpartania: The Spartan War is the Angry Birds version of Clash of Clans, meaning cartoon-ish characters in a free strategy mobile game that aims to appeal not only to die hard fans of strategy games but to casual gamers as well.

Gameplay

The storyline takes place in a made-up Spartan city, Spartania, where an army of Spartans re-group on account of war and their burning need for glory. The Spartan soldiers, led by their commander (the gamer) engage in war with various enemies in order to become the strongest army that ever was. The gamer must plan a defense strategy for the home base as well as an offense strategy in an offense camp. Basically, playing this game allows you to swap between camp types, build and upgrade many cool defense buildings, train different kinds of troops and battle your way up the game’s world leaders chart.

The game encourages you to play and battle against other players, attack their base camps and take all their available loot. The real challenge is – you only get 45 seconds for every battle, so it’s best to stay alert. Spartania also features cool perks like usingphoto_2016-01-19_14-25-23 your Facebook friend’s commander for help in battle, playing against gamers worldwide and occasional bonuses in the shape of green Ambrosia bottles (according to the game, warriors often leave them behind after late night parties…). Spartonix, the game’s creators, implanted many hidden jokes along the way which, combined with the amiable animation style, are sure to raise an occasional smile.

One must carefully plan a strategy in Spartania – you are often faced with the dilemma of either strengthening your offense, winning battles and gaining resources or strengthening your defense, ensuring no one steals your resources from you and upgrading your mines and food collectors (Spartans’ training requires a whole lot of food). Add the fact that the game will occasionally send barbarians after your homebase and you’re in for some hard-core battles and strategy. A small game tip for you – notice the order you send your soldiers into battle. I can say that sending my archers and mages in first proved quite rewarding…

Visuals and audio

Spartania managed to create a unique style when it comes to the popular strategy games currently out there. The characters in Spartania have no arms or legs but floating hands, hooves and feet, Rayman style. Seasons often change in Spartania, so perfectly bright skies in the morning could result in heavy snow in the evening and there is constant movement on screen (clouds and leaves passing by, soldiers marching in the background…). The game’s characters try to look tough but actually end up looking kinda cute with their greek-chic outfits and funny war cries.

Spartania is a lot to take in at first, with buttons and information on all four corners of the screen, which makes the tutorial quite useful (and surprisingly entertaining). The game takes time to advance in – training soldiers and upgrading buildings will take time but can also happen immediately if you spend your Ambrosia bottles. These are occasionally granted free by the game but if you wish to advance faster you’ll have to purchase them in the game’s in-app store.image_2015-12-14_15-49-58

Try it out

To sum it up, Spartania is definitely fun to play and rather easy to figure out. It might be a strategy game but it’s clear to see the game’s designers wanted to make sure it appeals to anyone, and I believe it does. It’s the kind of strategy game that both an Angry Birds fan and a Clash of Clans fan would enjoy. The player can choose between a male or a female commander, the animation is relatable and the game does require the right amount of strategy planning without making it too complicated or dreary. So yeah, I say it’s well worth you checking it out, I know I enjoyed it!

 

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Guest Post

About the Author: Terry Koh is a UC Santa Cruz Banana slug, tech loving, PR/Marketer with an addiction to entrepreneurship and the startup environment. Enjoys all things digital and would almost prefer if every book simply came in PDF format. Born in the Silicon Valley and often found at the cross-section of social and media.

(1200x600) Mobile Marketer’s Checklist

From holiday gifts to the latest smartphone envy, millions of mobile devices are activated this time of year, signaling huge growth opportunities for app marketers. But as the holiday competition begins to heat up, converting this seasonal high-tide into app installs will require a well thought-out strategy. Here is a user acquisition checklist to help guide you through the holiday rush.

☑ Submit early

Historically, the App Store review process is known to take longer and in many cases pause altogether during the week of Christmas. Be sure to submit your app well before the annual slowdown giving you time to boost app rankings and discoverability in time for the install surge.

☑ App Store Optimization

Your app store page is the final gateway between a user and their install. It’s critical that your presence here is optimized. This means having a catchy title and a stand-out app icon, as well as a detailed set of screenshots, demo videos and descriptions utilizing keywords relevant to your audience. It’s also important to pay close attention to your app’s reviews and ratings, since neglecting this can lose you potential holiday downloads.

☑ Goals and KPIs

Defining your campaign goals and KPIs ahead of time will be the key to its success. Understanding this will determine the best campaign type for your app and help keep you on track for ROI.

If organic uplift is a must-have, consider exploring a burst strategy, a common tactic for new apps. Burst campaigns focus on acquiring a high volume of users, which in turn increases your app store rankings and likelihood of attracting organic installs.

If your goal is to drive revenue, plan for a series of sustained campaigns. Users generally have more time and money to spend during the holidays so this is a great time to make a push for IAP. Capitalize on this by targeting these high spenders and funneling them to new seasonal content in your app.

☑ Soft-launch

Like ‘dipping your toes’, soft-launching allows you to test the waters before committing a full campaign launch. For instance, if you plan to acquire users in the United States but have cold feet, consider launching a test budget in a comparable market like Canada, where the market and its audiences behave similarly. Extrapolate what works and apply to your primary market. Soft-launching or ‘test-periods’ should generally span a minimum of 20 days to give you enough performance data to make actionable decisions.

☑ Test your creatives

Take advantage of the holidays by branding your ad creatives with festive themes. Compelling visuals and copy will certainly help capture users caught up in the holiday excitement and encourage their install.

That being said, it’s key that you A/B test your variations and implement only the highest performing combinations. Avoid compromising on well-performing content in an effort to push holiday creatives.

Target & Optimize

Publishers sit on a trove of first-party data which can be used to optimize campaigns. Sharing this data with your campaign managers will assist them in finding ‘look-alikes’ and audiences most relevant to your app. Conversely, you may forego any targeting, and let the early data speak for itself. An optimization approach allows you to discover new audiences while incrementally scaling high performing users. Whichever method you choose, be sure to work closely with your partners to keep your campaigns on track.

☑ Continue into the new year

A record breaking 10 million iOS app downloads occurred in January this year, jumping from 9.2 million downloads in December the year prior. App marketers can take advantage of the impending rise in installs by continuing momentum into the new year. As holiday competition fades and marketing costs settle back down to their annual averages, January and February can serve as great months to acquire new users. It’s also an excellent time to re-engage lapsed users acquired from the holidays as the first several weeks of an install are crucial for long term retention.

Got any other holiday user acquisition tips you’d like to add? Comment below or tweet us at @Supersonicads.

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Marketing, Tips and Advice

You Need an Email Address, You Say?

I’ve recently been working on email outreach. I’ve got my personalized pitch ready to go, but I’m missing one thing. The perfect email address. I’m not just looking for a generic email; I’m looking for a valuable employee email who is relevant to my search.email-2-icon

Most of my searches I’m pretty lucky and after digging around I get the email I want. I will say there are some people who are really good at hiding themselves and I give them kudos. In this day in age, it’s hard to truly hide yourself with such sophisticated tools to track people.

Not to Spam, but to Enlighten

Before we dive in let’s just be clear, use these tools for good, not evil. When I’m reaching out to leads I truly believe our service can and will benefit them. I don’t use these tools to spam, but to enlighten potential customers. Every email sent should be personalized and tailored to the recipient. If it’s not, then you should reconsider your email outreach process. Email outreach is generating valuable leads that will be genuinely interested in your service, not just shouting to the masses that you have a new product.    

Tools of the Trade

I use a variety of tools to find an email. Most are free or give me X number of searches per month. While by the end of the month I’m usually out, I still enjoy these tools and you can too as long as you don’t require significant scale which requires payment. These are the tools I use to assist me on my endeavors:

The Process

I first begin researching the company and if I stumble upon an interesting email I make note of it, but keep researching until I know that is the exact person I want to email.

While at the end of the day I’m trying to find the perfect email address, my search really begins with the company. I begin looking around, trying to figure out the structure of the company, who does what which leads me to my potential contact person. To show how certain steps work my example subject throughout the post will be our VP Marketing, Gur Dotan.

Know Your Company

Company Website

This may seem obvious, but begin your research at the company website. You will, of course, learn a lot about the company and you might even find the email you’re looking for.

Find the “Team/About Us” page. Read about the various team members and decide who is the best person to reach. If they list the employees and their job descriptions pay attention! This will give you a great starting point of who you need to target.

Also, if you can find the company’s social media pages, open them because you’re going to want to go over them.

LinkedIn – Details, Details, Details

Moving right along to my favorite tool, LinkedIn. Wow! Has LinkedIn helped me more often than not. It doesn’t always give me the email, but it helps me learn about the company and/or the person and that’s where looking at the details is important. When I begin my search in LinkedIn I have two objectives:

  1. Nailing the right contact person with the right role in a company.
  2. Exploring if LinkedIn connections permit a more personal reach out than a cold email. Maybe a coworker has a connection and can make an introduction.

I have found, that for the most part, professionals keep their LinkedIn profile up to date. There have been times I have someone in mind, but when I go to their LinkedIn account I realize they don’t work at the company anymore. It’s important to look at these details and read their job descriptions. You might have in mind that you want a Product Manager, but read their description and realize you actually need someone else in the company. Pay attention to their job descriptions and make sure they’re the right target.

I usually begin my LinkedIn search with the company page. I like to:

    • Read/skim the company page top to bottom. I re-familiarize myself with the overarching theme and mission of the company.
    • Review their location and see if they give a range of how many employees work at the company.
    • Members – check to see if you have any second or third connections, if so this is a great way to wiggle yourself an intro or connect on another level.

Google_LinkedIn

Once I’ve reviewed the company page, I find my target and hone in. Each LinkedIn profile is set up differently, so it’s important to go over the various sections to find the information you’re looking for. When looking at a personal LinkedIn account:

    • Review current and past positions.
    • Go over job experience and descriptions (the descriptions can be eye-opening and tell you if you’re even researching the right person).

Gur_LinkedIn

In Gur’s account, he has the relevant information in his summary, rather than his job description.

Facebook – Did you remember to add your email address?

Most companies list an email on their Facebook page under the “About” section. While this might be a generic email address, it is a good starting point and might even show you how their emails are structured.

soomla FB

You also want to review their latest posts and make sure they’re recent. If they haven’t posted since 2013, then sending them a direct message on Facebook might not be the best avenue to reach out.  

Make sure you pay attention to what they’re posting about. Note if they’re posting about any major events, such as conferences they’re attending or an event they’re hosting. If so, it’s unlikely they’re answering emails or, if they are, it could be at a slower rate. For example, if you look up, our VP Marketing, you’ll find that he was on vacation a earlier in the week and know not to start emailing him.

Gur_Facebook

Let’s Find That Email Address

You have now done your research, you’ve got a target in mind, yet no email. This is when the real searching begins. There are a ton of tools that can help you find the email address of your target person.

1. Your Email List – Email Addresses at Your Finger Tips

The very first email list I go to when searching is our MailChimp list. If you don’t use MailChimp, that’s fine, just go to your email list and search. What would be better if the person I’m trying to reach has already signed up! It doesn’t happen often, but I have found team members from that company signed up for our newsletter, which is a great sign! It usually means they’re interested in your company and you can begin by reaching out to that individual. Which could then eventually lead to an introduction to your target.

Gur_MailChimp

2. WHOIS data  

WHOIS data is publicly available data and is usually collected when registering a domain. Any WHOIS tool such as Who.is will generate the information you’re looking for. It’s not my favorite tool, but it has proven useful. Most professional companies will have their domain secured and registered with privacy protection, but I have occasionally found a few relevant emails.

3. Google – Why Not Google the Email Address?

Well, it doesn’t hurt to just Google it. It’s quick easy, might won’t work, but it doesn’t hurt. Have a name? Have a domain? Type them it into Google and see what you get. You might not get an email, but some other sources that can lead you to an email.

Google Gur

4. Twitter Advanced Search – (at) (dot) your way to an email address

It might be surprising, or not, that a lot of people will just ask for emails via Twitter. Use Twitter Advanced Search to help you find an email address.

  1. “All of these words” – search (at) (dot)
  2. “From these accounts” – add Twitter handle of said company

It will then pull up tweets from that company with any (at) (dot) and potentially give you the email you’re looking for.

Twitter

5. Sidekick – Your Trusty Sidekick Will Help You Find an Email Address

Sidekick is a one stop shop email extension from HubSpot. They offer a variety of tools such as tracking email opens, link clicks, how many times a person opened your email and scheduling emails. However, I took advantage of their email profile tool for this process. Sidekick generates a profile for the email recipient when composing an email. I was able to check email addresses by going over the individual’s profile.

When looking at Gur, I can see his job title, company, education and Twitter handle. If you’ve used Sidekick to track the email it will show any opens or clicks as well as mutual connections.

Sidekick

6 . Mixrank – Email Address Generator, For a Price

Mixrank is an awesome tool. We pay for the service, but it helps generate targeted lists of potential leads. You can create lists from specific keywords or categories. We use it in a variety of ways from looking at specific games to looking at various companies in our industry.

To find Gur, I would go to our main page, contacts and search for Gur Dotan. He then pops up and I have his email.

Gur_Mixrank

7. MailTester – Test Email Addresses Before they Bounce

Maybe you have an idea what the email address is, but you don’t want to send an email just to have it bounce. MailTester lets you do exactly what it says, test the address. Put your the email address in their finder and see if it’s right.

MailTester

8. Email Hunter – Email Address by Domain

Email Hunter, another life saving tool, collects and organizes email addresses all over the web. I use the Chrome Extension and it works wonders. I have a little button at the top of my browser and when I’m on the site, I click it and it compiles all the emails for the website.

Email Hunter

On LinkedIn, an Email Hunter button pops up on every account page and can generate an email (usually).

Gur_Email Hunter LI

9. Rapportive – Email Address Finder for Anyone

So you’ve gone through your tools, but still don’t have an email. Rapportive, a tool acquired by LinkedIn, shows LinkedIn profiles when you have the correct email. If I have a first name and a domain, I use Rapportive and play with different email options such as:

    • gur@soom.la
    • gurdotan@soom.la
    • gdotan@soom.la
    • gurd@soom.la
    • gur_dotan@soom.la
    • gur.dotan@soom.la

When it’s a match, you get a popup on the side of your email (like below) and you know you’ve found the right email.

Gur_Rapporative

10. Anymail Finder – Can it Find the Email Address You Need?

Still can’t find that email? There have been times I know the name of the person, have the domain, but don’t want to go through Gmail and/or Rapportive just guessing. Anymail Finder, does the guessing for me which is pretty handy.

Anymail finder

Keep Calm and Find Email Addresses

You are now equipped with a variety of tools to help you find the email address of a potential lead. While these tips will take you far, there is no 100% way to find an email address unless it’s given to you directly. Take your new found knowledge and use it wisely.

Have you ever used any of these tips and tricks? Or do you have any other tools you use? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below!

 

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