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App Development

General

How to Write an App Store Description That Sells Itself

Got a new app that’s ready to go live? Or is your app discoverable in the app stores but not seeing many downloads? It’s time to write (or rewrite) your app store description, one that’s crisp, juicy, and convincing. You don’t have to be a marketing magician to write a powerful app store description that sells. In this article, we’ll walk you through the formula for app store writing that gets you the downloads you deserve.

The parts to an excellent app store description

What are the elements of a winning description?

Most of the top downloaded apps in the app stores have a few things in common when it comes to their descriptions. They’ll have some or all of these components, usually in the following order:

  • Catchy hook
  • Short description
  • Bulleted list of features
  • Reviews
  • FAQ

Let's learn how to write convincing app store descriptions.

Examples of great app store descriptions

If you want to do a little research, check out some of the descriptions of the top downloaded or editor’s choice apps in either app store for examples of how to do it right. I’ve collected a couple of screenshots from excellent descriptions so you can see them for yourself. For the purposes of this blog post, I’ve shared screenshots from my desktop computer. But when you’re writing your app store description, remember that most of your readers will be seeing it on a mobile device.

Snapchat

Snapchat uses most of the elements we covered in the previous section.

See the first line?

Snapchat is a fast and fun way to share the moment with friends and family?

That’s the catchy hook. They’ve captured not only the essence of the app but also your attention, in just one line.

Under the hook, they’ve written a short description that describes how to use the app and what its main features are.

Below the short description, there are bulleted lists describing key aspects of the app features. They’ve used emojis tastefully to grab attention without distracting the reader. The bullets are quick and easy to read — this is important because over half of readers are skimmers who’ll want to get your point at a glance.

Stellarium Mobile Plus

Stellarium’s introduction tells readers exactly what the app does in simple words. The description makes good use of bold text for emphasis and cute little stars as bullet points (very on-brand for this app), which catch the eye as you scroll. The text mentions that this app is award-winning (though it would be nice if they mentioned what these awards are).

To give it some extra oomph, they could add a quote or two from their reviews, many of which are glowing. This one, for example, clearly highlights the app’s benefit to the user. “I no longer have to carry a red flashlight, planisphere, and star charts… All in all, this is an excellent app for those who like things simple.” When people love your product, they’ll do your marketing for you. Use quotes to your benefit when you can!

How to write your app store description

Now that you’ve seen some examples of great app store descriptions, you probably have a good idea of what you need to write to make an impact. Let’s cover the elements of effective app store descriptions in greater detail.

Hook

You have about 50 characters to get your reader’s attention before the rest of your description is truncated. Your words will need to tempt them into pressing Read More. The hook should interest the reader and explain your app in one sentence or less. Figure out what’s special about your app and distill that into one line; if you’re stuck on how to do it in so few words, follow Stellarium’s example.

Stellarium Mobile Plus – Star Map is a planetarium app that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars.

This example uses a simple formula:

(your app) is a (what it is) that (what it does).

Short Description

You’ve caught the reader’s attention. Now build on your hook by adding a short description. Take a few sentences to further explain your app’s features and their benefit to the user. Remember, your reader will most likely be seeing this on their mobile phone screen. Keep it concise and use line breaks after every sentence to make it easy on the eyes.

Bullet Points

Here’s where you can share some of the finer details about your app. Don't mince your words here, you want each point to be short and sharp. Breaking your features down into lists helps readers absorb more information at a glance as they skim your text.

Reviews

Reviews are what marketers call “social proof.” Sometimes a quote from a real user is much more convincing to a prospect than anything you can say. If you have won any awards or gotten any superb reviews that clearly highlight the benefit to the user, then add them to your description.

FAQ

This isn’t necessary for most apps, but if you have any standout frequently asked questions that will be helpful to the reader, then add them at the bottom of your description.

Wrapping Up

Now that you've read this guide to writing your app store description, you're ready to write a winner. Do you need help with other aspects of your app store marketing? If you need help with the app submission process, check out our articles on how to submit your app to the App Store or how to submit your app to the Google Play store. For quick tips on getting noticed, check out how to get your app featured on Google Play.

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