This Blog’s 1st Product to Market – Dogs of the Dow App

(Photo Credit – and how you can create product mockups just like this!)

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  AS OF FEB. 18, 2015 – THE DOGS OF THE DOW APP IS NOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES – CLICK HERE TO GET IT!

We’re certainly starting this year off with a major milestone: on February 18th, our first app will be available for download in Apple’s iTunes. This is the first project completed and released in conjunction with the work done here on this blog, Testing the Muse. That’s worth celebrating!

Firstly, I just want to share with you a bit about the nature of the app – what it is and what it does. But more importantly, I want to take you behind the scenes for a glimpse of how this ties into the Testing the Muse process and blog, which will ultimately lead to a very valuable case study.

 

Dogs of the Dow App

The name of the app is Dogs of the Dow, based on the popular investment strategy, which consists of buying the 10 Dow Jones Industrial Average (the “Dow”) stocks with the highest dividend yields, and re-calculating/re-adjusting this portfolio on a regular basis (typically annually).

Icon-dogsofthedowThe following is an excerpt directly from the app’s website – www.dogsofthedowapp.com – which should give you some context for both the investment strategy and app:

The Dogs of the Dow’s popularity is due to the formula’s ability to consistently deliver a diversified portfolio of high yielding blue chip stocks, with higher than average upside potential, every year!

App Features & Benefits:

  • Automatically calculates the highest yielding, under-performing blue chip stocks, helping deliver the best value and biggest profit potential to your portfolio.
  • Instantly notifies you with specific actions to balance & diversify your portfolio, helping take the guess-work out of your investment decisions.
  • Conveniently provides up-to-the-minute market data on the Dow Jones 30 companies, year-over-year Dogs of the Dow stock performance & the step-by-step Dogs of the Dow allocation strategy, helping you increase your return on investment.

Simple. Proven. Profitable.
(And the App is FREE!  CLICK HERE to Download on iTunes)

This App now has a Facebook Page – please visit and “Like” us! 

 

10 Months Early or 2 Months Late

Yep, you read that last section right – the app is being offered 100% FREE for download.

With the exception of potentially adding some mobile advertising to the app – how does a “free” app fit into our mission of developing muses that generate passive streams of income? It doesn’t.

Well, free for now, that is – for at least the next 6-9 months. The peak usage for this app is anticipated in December/January, which essentially means this app is two months late (but I like to refer to it as 10 months early). You can read more about this app’s prolonged hiring process (and what you can do to avoid those pitfalls) in the following posts:

As we approach November/December later this year, I’ll look to up the ante on both the marketing and pricing of the app. For now, I would call this release the beta launch, or ‘small “l” launch’, in preparation for the ‘big “L” Launch’ next Fall.

If you know someone who may benefit from this type of financial tool, please share this post with them on Facebook or Twitter. It’s a good opportunity to get the app while it’s FREE!  CLICK HERE to Download on iTunes.

 

Testing the Muse Works

Firstly I should note that, to avoid any confusion – this is NOT the “This Car or That Car” app we’re currently conceptualizing and testing through our Testing the Muse in Practice series.

This concept – the Dogs of the Dow App – has already gone through the rigorous process that we’re currently reporting on through a real-time experiment – found here. The Dogs of the Dow App was already tested this past Fall.

In fact, it was in August that I began brainstorming this concept, right around the same time that Testing the Muse was conceived. It’s one of many ideas that I’ve tested through this process, but this one coincides directly with the launching of this blog.

What does it mean to have this blog’s 1st product come to market?

The Testing the Muse process works. Period. I would never put my time and money into a project blindly.  I validate first, by going through the very process of Testing the Muse that I’m currently highlighting through our current series on the “This Car or That Car” app.

You may recall that I discussed building my first app here.  In that post, I noted that initial tests yielded a 5.83% conversion rate (total website visitors to visitors who signed-up to download the app – before it was even in development) during the testing period, while ads were running to drive traffic to the mock sales page For the reasons stated in that earlier post, there was enough interest and justification to move forward with developing this product.

During development, I left the mock sales page live – with the expectation of potentially using it when the product was being built/ready to sell, and also to keep the website and SEO relevant.

A neat thing happened – although not altogether unexpected – traffic continued to trickle into the website, and people still submitted their email addresses in anticipation of the app becoming available.

Today’s conversion rate, with no additional advertising since the testing phase, sits at 12.94%. From approximately 6% to 13%, with no additional marketing, is a great indicator that interest exists and we’re on the right path. Awesome motivation.

 

Start with the End in Mind

It’s been written before, and this won’t be the last time you see that phrase here on Testing the Muse either – starting with the end in mind is critical to defining your product, path and launching in an efficient manner.

Sure, this site is all about testing your “crazy” ideas – but heaven forbid – one of your ideas gains some traction and garners interest! This is exactly why it’s important to conceptualize your ideas and testing materials with the end in mind – it makes the transition from prototype to product (or idea to reality) that much easier.

With respect to this app, the first example of why it’s important to start with the end in mind began with the product’s website (www.dogsofthedowapp.com), which I described above. I spent a little more time upfront on the design and content, such as including an About page and a Privacy Policy, and although it’s not a cutting-edge site, it represents the brand well and only required some minor tweaking to move from a mock sales page, to a legitimate sales page.

What has (or soon will) change on the website? Here’s a brief list:

  • The links to download the app will soon point directly to the app on the App Store. Previously the links took the user to a page stating “It’s Almost Here!” which requested their email if they wanted to get on the waiting list;
  • I removed any references to the Android version of the app. Although an Android version may be developed in the future, this option had the lowest conversion rate among website visitors during testing, which made the decision easy to focus on developing for Apple first.
  • The graphics were updated with the final screenshots and icons taken directly from the actual app. Previously the site featured mock-up versions of the app being offered;
  • The website now has an email associated with the domain (contact@dogsofthedowapp.com). Previously, I didn’t have an email address for the website at all. Any contact forms were sent directly to my personal inbox.

Another example of working to implement the final vision early in the process, even during the testing phase, is with the UI Design (UI, “User Interface”), including the mock-up screenshots that I had developed for the concept. By understanding the potential functionality and user experience, in addition to knowing existing apps that are already popular and meet your criteria (discussed in depth here), it was much easier to envision how the app would “look” as a final product.

Another tip would be to frame your screenshots within a mobile device, so your prospective customers can envision your app or website while in-use. The banner photo featured for this blog post (above) is case-in-point. A fantastic tool for this is PlaceIt.net – very professional looking, affordable, and easy to use. What’s cool about PlaceIt.net is that they also have video capabilities (e.g. can have a video of your website or app in action, playing on one of their still shots) and feature a range of mobile devices in a number of different scenarios.

Here are a couple samples of the graphic evolution of this app – from my inspiration (existing apps), to the mock-up (for testing), to the final version (for sale):

Settings page – Apple Reminders / Mock-up / Final

4-DoD Reminder4-DoD-Mufrids_screenshot-Settings-1Screenshot-DoD-5

 

Custom Dogs of the Dow page – Apple Stocks / Mock-Up / Final

2-DoD 20132-DoD-Mufrids_screenshot-2013-1Screenshot-DoD-3

 

Much more in-depth information, processes and “trade secrets” will be shared in a Case Study on the Dogs of the Dow App. This will likely be posted in due time (perhaps after a year of sales, etc.), here in blog posts or through a more detailed eBook on Testing the Muse (FREE to you, as a current subscriber, of course!)

A quick re-cap:

  • Dogs of the Dow app is Testing the Muse’s first success story!
  • This financial app will be available in the App Store on Feb. 18thNOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES – CLICK HERE TO GET IT!
  • Download is 100% FREE (for now…)
  • To learn more about the Dogs of the Dow, and this app, visit: dogsofthedowapp.com, or email: contact@dogsofthedowapp.com.

Again, If you know someone who may benefit from this type of financial tool, please share this post with them on Facebook or Twitter. It’s a good opportunity to get the app while it’s FREE!

CLICK HERE to Download on iTunes.

In addition, if you download this app, PLEASE leave a review.  Reviews are essential testimonials or social proof, which help build invaluable credibility and can help propel an app’s success on the App Store.

Any and all support is extremely appreciated. But also know that, out of respect for my readers, this blog post is not simply a platform for my own self-promotion. I share this success story as a glimpse into the process to show that anyone can dream up an idea for a product, test that idea, and ultimately turn that idea into a reality – an actual product, service or website – that has the potential to earn you income.

We demonstrate that, not only can it be done, but more importantly, how it can done. That’s what Testing the Muse is all about.

 

Action you can take:

 

Best Always,

Jonah

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