We've mentioned that you can draw traffic to paid mobile applications by creating a free "lite" version. Once users deem it useful, they may be happy to pay for the full version.

But what's a company to do if it can't afford to create a whole new version of an existing app—with the intent of just giving it away?

Lucky for us, French travel guide company Le Guide du Routard ("The Hitchhiker's Guide") cracked that nut. Here's how:

  • It created a suite of great paid applications. For 4.99€ (slightly over $5), users can choose from 10 geolocation apps for New York, Paris, London, Amsterdam and other metropoles. The apps guide you to whatever you need: museums, a hotel, restaurants, car/bike rentals—even public transport. Why, each app is a vessel into the arteries of a foreign land!
  • It let users download all the apps they wanted, free, for 24 hours. The promo spread as traveling users rapidly equipped themselves. (This happened in August, the height of vacation time in Europe.)

The payoff? The spree exposed Routard to countless hoards who would never have heard of it otherwise. And the company didn't have to create a "lite" version of a single app to do it!

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