Creating an iPhone App for Your Ad Agency’s Blog

Ad Agency New Business, there’s an App for that!

Having your own iPhone app for your website or blog will become a common way to promote and extend your agency’s brand. I found that actually creating that application and getting it into the App Store can be a lengthy and expensive process.

I’ve discovered a very inexpensive tool that will allow you to create an iPhone app for your agency’s blog easily.

I recently tried out a new product called AppMakr, which is designed to make creating your own iPhone app simple and inexpensive. In literally 20 minutes I was able to create an iPhone app for Fuel Lines from my existing RSS feeds and then submit it to the iTunes App Store for approval at a cost of $49.

Click here to get the FUEL LINES’ iPhone App

AppMakr has two pricing options:

  • $199 for AppMakr to publish your app — which means you don’t have to have your own Apple Developer Account (AppMakr gets credit in the app’s opening splash screen)
  • or $499 if you want to use your own Apple Developer Account, but still have AppMakr take care of the provisioning and management features.

I was so impressed that I sent a note to AppMakr and asked if I could extend their special introductory offer to readers of Fuel Lines ($49) and soon received this reply back from Scott Suhy,

“Michael, we talked about it and agreed to provide you with a $100 discount promo code for your readers. The coupon code is “MICHAELGASS” and it’s good through 1/31. We’d love to see the article when you write it!”

Please note that I do not receive any benefits from this offer whatsoever. Just glad the company was willing to provide an introductory for Fuel Lines’s readers. If you do create an agency iPhone app, please send the link to me and I’ll share it.

As Apps continue to rise in popularity having one for your agency is an important demonstration to prospective clients that you are walking the walk.

2010 will be the year that smartphones go mainstream and iPhone is leading the way.

While the economy is still in a state of recession, the smarthpone market continues to go up, with a total of 39.9 million smartphones shipped during the third calendar quarter of the year. A 28% increase over last year.

These are some iPhone App stats that will of interest:

  • all the iPods and iPhones sold as of December you reach a total number of 214 million and change
  • 1 Billion iPhone Apps downloaded
  • 100 million apps are downloaded from the Apple app store each month
  • the average apps downloaded per device is 50
  • iPhone’s App Store hits 1.5 billion downloads in first year
  • top apps can make $400 to $5,000 per day on ads
  • average number of apps sold per device is nearly twice as high as songs at 53
  • Domino’s claims to have sold over $1 million worth of pizza through their app

Agency iPhone Apps:

Ad Agency Resources iPhone Apps:

Agency Client iPhone Apps:

Social Media Resources iPhone Apps:


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Wow, how cool, nice work Michael. I wasn’t aware of AppMakr previously,good stuff. Hope to see some agencies send in some of their own apps.

  2. Great post Michael, thank you. Seth Godin also wrote about having an iphone app for his blog. I am going to look into this for our blog!

    Best Nicole

  3. Great post as always Michael. I read about these guys on Mashable. Inquired but have not heard back from them. Do yo have a phone number by chance?

  4. Great article Michael. Interesting though, when I searched for your app on my iPhone nothing came up. I had to do the search thru iTunes on my laptop.

    Happy New Year



  5. John, I just emailed you the contact info. Let me know if I can be of any further help.

  6. Thanks for letting me know Mike. I didn’t even realize that the Fuel Lines’s App was ready. Here’s the link:

  7. App for Big Fuel, NYC ad agency

  8. Thank you Nicole. If your agency creates an app please send me the link and I’ll include it in this post.

  9. I’ve been taking a look around your website for

  10. Top marks Michael. Appreciate the heads up on this ap “makr”.

  11. Thanks Colin. I’ve really been pleased with AppMakr.

  12. Great info – thanks for the post!

  13. I have to completely disagree with this post. For an agency to push out their blog in App form shows a lack of understanding of the mobile space, the App Store ecosystem, and what App users are typically wanting from a branded App; specifically location-aware and time-aware content and features, not blog posts.

    Sure, launching an App for an agency (or any brand for that matter) could very well be a good idea, if it’s useful, provides branded engagement, and meets the needs of a mobile user. But it needs to do a couple things:

    • Apps should provide users with some form of content and/or features that cant simply be delivered through the mobile web browser. The mobile web is a crucial part of a mobile strategy for any brand, far before they consider launching branded software, which is really what an App is. It’s also important to consider that a blog, including all of its features, can very easily be delivered through the mobile web browser. WordPress even has template plug-ins that are specifically made to detect a mobile device and display the blog in a mobile-friendly format (see WP Touch: The mobile web is indexed by search engines just like any other website, and show you’re going to get traffic just like you would to your desktop browser based blog.

    • Apps should leverage the native features of the device (i.e. in the case of the iPhone these are the internal Contacts, Camera, Accelerometer, etc.). Connecting with, and utilizing the functionality of the device is where the opportunity lies. Figuring out how to connect those things to your brand is the challenge. Smart agencies will figure out how to get there for themselves and their clients.

    • Know where your audience is – if your they’re not predominantly on the iPhone, then building just for the Apple App Store is probably not a great plan, even though it’s the most hyped up mobile device for your brand to connect with. Most enterprise organizations are running Blackberry’s – this is probably the case with many, if not most marketing departments; the main audience of most agencies. While we all love the iPhone, it’s not the device of big business – yet, so be cautions selecting the platform you plan to launch on. On the other hand, Blackberry users are far less inclined to download Apps, and Blackberry hasn’t exactly made it easy for developers to launch on their platform.

    If you’ve approached App development with this stuff in mind, sure, throw in access to your agency blog too – just don’t make it the primary focus, because that’s a boring user experience.

    Also, consider the barriers you face when launching an App:

    • Once your App approved (who knows how long this could take) and launched, how are people going to know you’ve launched it? It’s not like the desktop web, where visitors will land on your blog through search or inbound links. The App Store is a retail space, and Apps need to be marketed just like any other product. As of April 2010, there are 185,000 Apps in the App store. For most marketers, knowing you’re competing with that many brands would be a daunting thought, so know that in the App store, its pretty common that an unmarketed App, and one that doesn’t do something truly amazingly different is bound to sink to the bottom.

    • Even if you market your App well, you now have to wait and see if anyone will download it. Even if they’re aware of your agency, what are you providing within the App that will give the user some kind of incentive for downloading? If its just a blog, you can be sure they’ll use it once, maybe twice, and then trash it (a very common issue with Apps. And once its gone from their device, they’re unlikely to download it again. Not the case with mobile web.

    • Now consider maintenance of your App. What if you want to make updates? Sure you can push out an update, but you’ll have to assume your users will accept the update. Some will, some wont, but again, with the mobile web, you can avoid the uncertainty and update, revise, modify, improve, at will.

    Apps are certainly a great space for brands (and agencies) to extend the user experience. If done right, a really great mobile App can get a ton of traction. But users want far more than blog posts from an App experience, and if your intention is simply to deliver your agency blog, I would urge you to consider the mobile web instead.


  14. Sorry. Sunday afternoon post. Lots of typos in there.

  15. Stephen,

    You’ve missed the focus of my post.

    This post reflects upon an integrated social media strategy of which valued, resourceful blog content is an integral part. The recommendations I’ve made for an App for an agency’s blog is very simplistic – solely intended to meet the needs of their mobile readers.

    The AppMkr works great from this aspect. Creation of the App takes only a few minutes, 4 days for approval from iTunes and very inexpensive.

    I also use Apps from other bloggers such as Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, Big Fuel, etc. when I’m on the road. It allows me to conveniently read their new content.

  16. FYI: prices have changed through appmakr. As of April 2010, $299 for developer and non-developer app builds alike. And even that might change in the future!

  17. Shahab,

    You may try calling and asking for the reduced rate. They’ve given this to a number of my readers beyond the $49 during the 30 day period.

  18. Hey, awesome website. I actually came across this on Yahoo, and I am really happy I did. I will definately be revisiting here more often. Wish I could add to the post and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.

    Thank You

    Chinese Restaurant Dublin

  19. As you look into the different packages out there – take a look at TapLynx ( We’ve taken a slightly different approach, we start with an easy, out of box solution for content rich applications but allow developers to tweak and add lots of customization. Ads and analytics all baked in, of course. Give it a look! thx

%d bloggers like this: