How To A/B Test Your App Icon

I highly recommend doing an A/B test on your app icon so you can get more downloads. Here are 3 strategies to do this:

1. Posting on Facebook

You can do the testing on your own Facebook page. But the best place is typically in Facebook groups with other people who are used to providing feedback. Any group of people who are supportive of entrepreneurs, app marketers. You can post a few different options and just ask people: “Hey, which one do you like? Leave a comment.” And people will comment “I like icon A” or “I like icon B”. It’s an easy, free way to quickly get information from people.

If you’re not part of a group, you can use your personal page. Or you can email your family and friends and ask, “Which one of these icons do you like the most?”

2. Facebook Advertising

This is going to get you a lot more data, and a lot more objective data because the people typically don’t know you. But it will cost a couple of bucks, maybe $5, $10 a day to get this kind of impression and click data.

What you do is run two advertisements. One has one icon, the other ad has a different icon, and everything else stays the same. You send both ads to people, with the same budget, and the only thing different is the advertisement itself which is the icon. With this you will see which one people click on more often. When you see the one people click on, that’s the one you should pick. You could do this with 3 or 4 different tests.

This is what Tim Ferriss did with the cover of “The 4-Hour Workweek.” He used Google adwords to test the title to see which ones people click on most often. It works. It’s a very good strategy and people do this with many different things.

3. Change the icon on your app in the iTunes store

In the iTunes store, you will see the analytics that shows how many people saw your iTunes page in the store and then went and actually downloaded your app. That shows what the conversion rate was to get them onto your page. You will see those conversion metrics. So for one week, you run one icon and that gets 30% of people to come into your iTunes page. And the next week you run another icon and see that it gets 50% of people to come in. You know that you’re going to keep the second one.

While this step takes the longest, this is the truest test because this is the ultimate goal of testing the icon. That is, to get more downloads.

So, friends and family and Facebook groups, using a small sample size, is the easiest and cheapest way to do it. Facebook ads will cost some money but it will give you great objective data that you can get in a matter of hours. Last, go to your iTunes account and update the app and see which one moves the needle for you.

Having a better icon, changing a few things about the icon can make a huge difference in the long term. So I highly recommend testing out your app icon.

See ya!

Carter

COMMENTS

  • Marcus Kay April 24, 2017

    Hey Carter, great post here!

    I’d like to add one more option for Android app developers: Google Play Store lets developers A/B test their app icon, images, video, and description with store listing experiments.

    https://developer.android.com/distribute/best-practices/grow/store-listing-experiments.html

    Maybe it could make the list?

    Either way, keep up the good work!

  • Jaye Adams April 24, 2017

    Hi Carter,

    Awesome post! I’ve been really enjoying the blog posts you provide.

    I’ve now got my first couple of apps live and I’m really playing about with ASO so these tips will really help as I’ve not experimented with the icon yet.

    Thanks
    Jaye

  • Susannah Skyer Gupta April 24, 2017

    Great piece, thank you! Are there particular Facebook groups you would recommend for iOS app entrepreneurs/marketers? TIA.

  • Robert Smith May 5, 2017

    Your article is wonderful and enjoyed the post. you made it truly straight forward this quite hard time for beginners. You helped me alot so I just wanna say thank you.

  • Jon Howard May 16, 2017

    From what I can see, to actually change the app icon on your iTunes listing you actually have to submit an app update. Do you know of another way?

    PS. Loving the content and can’t wait to get started in BlueCloudSelect!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas May 16, 2017

    @Jon – Right on Jon, thanks for the feedback!

    Yes, for apps on the App Store you need to submit an app update to implement a new icon. Besides the strategies listed above, you can change an icon almost immediately on the Android platform. Remember, your icon is your most important resource.

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