Distribution practices of coupons

What’s your favourite way of distributing Play Store coupons? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in the way you do it?

I go first. I tried a few different ways, experimented with them and here are my thoughts and the results.

  1. Shared Google spreadsheet - 50 codes, 10% installations, no store ratings
  • Pros: easy, fast, lazy way
  • Cons: codes are being snatched up in a matter of minutes, but doesn’t reflect on the number of installations. Zero feedback, zero ratings in the store. I tried the codes after people marked them used, and most were never used.
  1. Distribution portals (e.g. watchfacecoupon.com) - 50 codes, 15% installations, no store ratings
  • Pros: fairly simple setup, more control where to distribute, can use reference links to share at different places and see where the clicks come from, has some basic analytics to see countries for example
  • Cons: codes were also used up very quickly, but the number of installations didn’t go up, zero feedback, zero ratings in the store.
  1. Comment / Like / Follow gating (only give it to people who did some of these actions) - 10-20 codes (depends on the number of requests), 100% installations, 20% store ratings
    For example I drop a post on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter where I tell people to comment on the post for a free coupon. On Instagram you can set the option that only followers can comment.
  • Pros: 100% installations, a lot of feedbacks, several ratings on the Play Store
  • Cons: time consuming to answer to everyone individually (although people do appreciate it). Some people don’t use social networks, but if they request on Reddit for example, you can ask them to follow you there and give the code in a DM. Some people feel you are just doing this to gain followers and prefer the previous two methods.

My conclusion: I switched to social media gating. Many developers suspect that bots and third parties snatch up codes to sell them later. This can drive up the number of installs over time, but doesn’t bring profit nor ratings or feedbacks.
I also appreciate the human connection between seller and customers, it even helps with sales. People who asked for a coupon sometimes bought some of my other watch faces that didn’t have promotion. Some even asked for a coupon but told me that they bought it instead, before I could even send them a code.


All the above is the how you said. For a while i was using media gating until i was told to stop from a group admin of a social network for unnecessary comments from users asking for coupons that they were bumping the thread.
Now i rarely give any wear os coupons and if i do i will give max 50 coupons but even so there will be no feedback, or it will be negative feedback on the store of people complaining that they can’t install the watch face after using the coupon… which is not my fault and they could have directly asked me for help via support but they thought it would be best to leave negative feedback on the store for something they got for free and they cannot install it because of play store’s bad implementation of the coupons.

Another thing is some devs (no offense) have spoiled the users of the watch faces by giving day after day hundreds of coupons and now they always expect you/me to give them a coupon

I believe coupons should be given as a promotional practice once in a while for a new watch face or maybe if you have a price offer for an old one. Giving hundreds of coupons daily just spoils them and they will always expect a coupon from you.

Yeah, I definitely see some butthurt spoils who want to be mouth fed with coupons and I agree, giving away hundreds is just a lazy practice. I much rather download/pay for a watch that has real reviews and a handful of installs than the ones that have hundreds of installs without reviews. Especially that the store only has filters for ratings. This should be a motivator for devs, to gain more ratings.
I also understand groups not liking comments, that’s why I drive away the comments from the groups to my socials.

The thing is they will claim the coupon even when they don’t plan to use the watch face at all, they are just greedy and they get more greedy the more they get.

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I only occasionally give out coupons through the BoxFaces app. Reviews are very rarely left on Google Play. I prefer giving coupons to a YouTuber. There you get a good review and the coupons are only given out on request. In general, however, I have to say that the majority of all users rarely give reviews on Google Play. However, it is not optimally solved either, since you have to click on the purchase history for a later review because the Watch Faces are not listed under “My Apps”.

I have stopped distributing coupons for almost two years.

Users have gotten used to only downloading free stuff and that’s not good.

It seems that some developers enjoy working for free by handing out coupons … Lucky them, maybe they don’t have to pay their bills every month!

I prefer to have fewer reviews and downloads but get paid for my work.

It’s crazy to spend whole days developing watch faces and then giving away on social channels … Everyone will always want things for free.

The “mass distribution” of coupons was born from a bug that had Galaxy Store a few years ago … It was a cheat to climb the ranking.

Today it doesn’t make sense anymore … Especially on the Play Store which has tons of bugs.

I only issue around 20 coupons when given a video review by the channel author and sometimes in BOGO offers.

Then remember: we must respect users who usually buy our watch faces without giving anything away to those who may never buy a watch faces from you.

Get paid for your work, users have to “buy”.


Also i have noticed that many of those coupon grabbers potential clients already own the watch face from previous coupon promotions, still they will claim the coupon because they have long forgotten that they already have the watch face.

Watch faces might be cheap, costing the price a packet of gums that they will last a couple of days, even though our work will be owned by the buyer forever. But they keep asking for free coupons even when the price is low… I haven’t seen anyone going to the market and asking for a free packet of gums.

I would rather not sell a single watch face than keep feeding them coupons. I will give coupons to loyal customers that actually buy and people that are willing to give me constructive feedback in order to improve.

Sorry for my rant but i am getting fed up from people emailing me for coupons.


One of the reasons I don’t invest much time in watch faces any more, the ROI is so low.

I did get a DM two days ago from someone in Malaysia asking if I could lower my watch face prices from US$0.42 to $US0.02 because they are willing to buy 50 of them… US$1.00 worth LOL. I price my faces in Malaysia at 42c there because I know they are not rich, and someone wants them for 2c :slight_smile:

Agree 100%. The problem is publishers like Google Play and Galaxy Store incentivize it by making free contents more visible in the stores. Free contents are great traffic generator for the publishers and hardware manufacturers, at the expense of developers.

As long as publishers continue to incentivizing free contents, then the new developers have little or no choice but to offer free contents as a part of branding strategy.