SMS From Android: the app that went from no revenue to €130,000 in ten months

In early 2016, the SMS From Android was a typical app economy success story: 1.5 million downloads, thousands of positive reviews, huge daily installs. And no revenue.

The app was one of millions of products competing for the attention of Google Play customers. And in one sense, it had succeeded. SMS From Android identified a gap in the market. It lets users revert back to older versions of the native Android messaging app. This is something hundreds of thousands of Android users clearly want to do.

But, as app makers know, an army of happy customers is not enough to make money. Then, SMS From Android did something to change its business model. And this change worked brilliantly.

Ten months later it had made €130,000.

More accurately, it was Appsbuyout that changed the model. Appsbuyout is a publisher that scours the market for popular and well-reviewed apps with unfulfilled potential. Then it buys them.

It saw huge promise in SMS From Android, and acquired the app in May 2016.

Soon after, Appsbuyout set about fixing bugs and other shortcomings in the product. It made the MMS functionality work correctly. It ensured the app worked across virtually all Android devices. It changed the product imagery and added the ability to send audio recordings.

Then it made the most significant change of all. It embraced a new form of mobile advertising based on the Caller ID screen.

It did this by adding a free SDK from Calldorado. This adds a caller ID functionality to the phone. Caller ID tells the user who is calling even when they don’t have their contact details.

Evidence suggests most people like having this feature. Though they can turn Caller ID off if they wish, Calldorado says 70 per cent of users choose to keep the feature active.

However, the bigger benefit to app makers is that the caller ID screen also displays ads at the end of a call. Clearly there are many more opportunities for users to see these ads that with a conventional in-app model.

For Appsbuyout, the pay-off came far quicker than expected. Once it completed its improvements of the app in June 2016, it spent €19,000 on a Google Search campaign to drive more installs. This delivered 104,000 new downloads.

It hoped to recoup the money in four months, but did so in just 10 weeks. After 10 months, the total was €130,000. As well as bringing in more revenue, Calldorado also improves app engagement. The SDK lets developers add a dynamic link back to the app on the end-of- call screen. This acts as a reminder to users several times a day.

Calldorado’s research suggests this works. It says up to 10 per cent of users re-engage with an app when the SDK is installed.

Marta Jarzyńska, App Acquisition Manage at Appsbuyout, is very satisfied with the project. “It was extremely easy to install the SDK,” she says. “It took a few minutes, and it was free. We’ve also had excellent support from Calldorado throughout.

“Caller ID advertising offers so many more times to view an ad, but it is not disruptive like many more traditional formats inside the app. It’s been so rewarding for us, and I’m excited to bring it to more of our apps in the future.”

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