5 Things You Should Know About Using App Promo Codes

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Promo Codes via iTunes Connect

When it comes to marketing your App, promo codes can be a really helpful tool to increase its visibility by getting more reviews from bloggers and engaging new users through contests or giveaways. Often, developers underestimate the power of giving others the chance to try out their Apps for free – that’s why knowing how and where to pitch promo codes can get your App far ahead of its competitors.

Even though promo codes are only available on Apple’s App Store and not on Google Play, iOS users still represent a great portion of the market, so you should consider using promo codes regularly as part of the marketing activities for your App. That’s why we’ve handpicked the five most important things you should know.

1. 50 codes per update, 4 weeks each

You get 50 promo codes on your App’s launch and 50 more every time you update your App. Each code has a lifespan of 4 weeks (28 days) and they’re meant for promotional purposes – giving users a chance to try it out for free or giving bloggers and journalists enough time to review its features.

When consumers have downloaded an App with a gift card or gift certificate, they’re allowed to rate or review it in the App Store. But, to avoid black hat marketing techniques, they can’t do so with a promo code, unless they log in with a different iTunes Connect account and purchase the app.

You can request promo codes from your App’s Version Details page.

2. Promo code dispensers save time

It may take lots of time to find 50 users and send them their promo codes, hoping to get your App reviewed. That’s why services like Promo Dispenser help you spread the word at a good price, without the hassle of individually contacting such a large number of people. App developers create promotional campaigns that last 14 days. During that time, Promo Dispenser’s users download and review their Apps in the site within 24 hours – and get a portion of the campaign fee in return.

A survey by AppStoreHQ found that Promo Dispenser was the 5th most effective App promotion service, mainly because iOS bloggers use it regularly to find new interesting products to review for free. The site has already had more than 4,000 reviews and 160+ promotional campaigns for Apps.

3. Special links are allowed

Sure, promo code dispensers come in handy when you need reviews on 3rd party websites by random users. But what if you already have a list of those who want the codes – and simply want to save time when distributing them? Instead of copy/pasting each code on email, you’re allowed to create unique links. Once clicked, iTunes conveniently opens up on the user’s desktop or mobile device.

There are several ways to create unique links containing promotional codes for Apple’s App Store.

You can create each promo link individually. Just replace the PROMOCODEGOESHERE with each unique code below and send it out to the person to redeem it. If it seems a bit long, you can always use a link shortener like Bit.ly.


Alternatively, you can try a native iPhone application, created by alariccole on GitHub. It’s called Dispenser and lets you easily import the promo codes, create links and send them out via email.

4. They’re really useful for giveaways

Everyone loves a good bargain – especially when it comes to premium Apps they can use all day long on their mobile devices. Most developers underestimate the effect of a good giveaway campaign and focus on advertising instead, those that have a smart approach to their App’s marketing strategy regularly use promotional codes for contests and giveaways.

If you want more publicity for your App’s official blog, create a ‘giveaway post’ and make sure it’s very visible on social media – ideally, promote the post about it on Facebook to gain maximum exposure. Doing so will also be good for your site’s SEO, since users are likely to share the news with friends.

App Giveaway is a useful platform to hold giveaways and reach new audiences. You set a certain amount of promo codes to give for free and users take part in a contest – the more they spread the word about your app on social media, the higher their chance to win and try out your product for free.

5. Share codes with bloggers and journalists

We’ve covered promotional campaigns for random users and giveaways to gain more coverage on social media. The real benefit of using promo codes, however, can be seen when collaborating with bloggers and journalists – the people with a targeted audience of trusty readers, eagerly waiting for interesting new content by their favorite authors.

Do take caution when sending out promo codes to bloggers – make sure they’re really interested in reviewing your app first. Otherwise, you may waste a precious code that will only get lost inside somebody’s stream of incoming email. Contact them in advance and offer to send them a promo code. Only once they’ve confirmed, you have a green light to create a unique link and email it to them.

Rafflecopter is the most advanced tool available for conducting giveaways.

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