Submitting an iPhone App – A Primer for Marketers

Apple recently announced that there are now 100,000 Apps in the store.  That’s a lot of Apps, but what amazes me is that 100,000 people have successfully submitted to the iTunes Appstore.  Seriously.  Apple’s stringent guidelines must be followed to the letter.  All the marketing assets must be submitted along with the App code itself.  One mistake will earn you not just a trip back to square one, but a likely machete attack from a team of sleep-deprived developers who have forsaken family, friends and food to get the App developed. 


So, in an effort to assist my fellow marketers and/or the hapless developer attempting to handle the marketing aspects of an iTunes Appstore submission, here’s what we learned from our recent submission.  My sources are Apple’s own 112-page document (get the login info from your engineer and go to and download ITC_Dev_Guide_5.0 for your beach-reading pleasure), research in the iTunes Appstore itself plus some good advice from others who have learned from trial and error.


1) The first thing you should know is that once you submit, you cannot make any changes without resubmitting the App and the marketing assets all over again.      


2) For the person in charge of the marketing components of the submission, the most relevant sections of the iTunes Connect Developer’s Guide are ppg. 5-7, 29-38.  It’s also a good idea to read the Best Practices Section ppg. 110-112.


3) Here are the marketing components needed for submission. (See pages 5-7 in iTunes Connect Developer’s Guide)


Application Name: No longer than 255 characters.  It must be unique. You may get rejected if you get too cutesy with search terms here.  Stick with the name and keep it simple.


Application Description:

  • No longer than 4000 characters (Apple recommends limiting to 700), plain text only.  No HTML tags.
  • Line breaks will appear as inserted. 
  • Headers should be used to offer the reader relevant information, quickly.
  • Don’t include listof keywords here.
  • Users will likely be downloading from their devices, so the description should be concise enough to appear “above the fold” on the device.
  • Small icon image accompanies description at the top.
  • For optimal viewing on device, avoid dense paragraphs of copy.  Where possible, use bullets and line breaks to make it easy to read.
  • On device, user must scroll through ALL text before they get to additional visuals.


Typical section headers under application description:

******* 3-4 WORDS *******

Who uses this App?

What’s new?


Killer Features


User Quotes – (Make sure you get usable quotes from beta testers, ask permission to use their first name and last initial)


Category:  Choose carefully – put yourself in the user’s place – what category would they put the app in?  Choices for categories are:








Healthcare & Fitness










Social networking








Copyright: Year. Company. All Rights Reserved.


SKU Number: Any UTF-8 alphanumeric sequence you want to use as a unique identifier in the system.  No kidding – you just make it up yourself.  Consider whether or not you are likely to make other Appstore submissions at a later date and try to create a number you can sequence out.


Keywords Field:  Up to 100 characters comprised of single words or phrases, separated by commas.

  • Apple recommends making keywords as specific as possible.  More general keywords are likely to send seekers to other Apps.
  • Keyword terms must be related to the App content and cannot contain offensive words.
  • Keyword abuse (Use of other application names and use of unrelated terms is discouraged by Apple and frowned on by the community.)


Artwork: (See pages 5-7 in iTunes Connect Developer’s Guide)

App Icon – you’ll need to create a square tile icon design for use in your App and as a recognizable image in the App store.

  • Small icon should be submitted as 57px square, 72ppi, RGB, flattened, no transparency, 24bit PNG file
  • Large icon should be submitted as 512px square, 72ppi, RGB, flattened, no transparency, high-quality JPEG or TIFF


Use up to 4 screen shots in addition to the primary one.  How to capture screen shots:

  • Make sure content on screen shot is legible on an iPhone.  Remove status bar.
  • Take screenshots from the target device (not a simulator).  To do this, hold down the Power button and press Home button.  The screenshot is saved to Camera Roll.
  • Use Xcode Organizer.


Application URL: Oh yeah – you gotta build a Website too!


Support URL: URL for specific support section on Website.


Support Email Address: An email address where Apple can contact you if there are problems with the App.  This is not seen by customer.


End User License Agreement: (EULA) Not required.  If a EULA is not submitted, Apple will insert the standard version.  If a custom EULA is being submitted with the App, the following guidelines apply:

  • Plain text – no HTML tags
  • Line breaks will remain

You must indicate in which countries the EULA applies.


Got all that?  Good luck!

 Posted By: Alison Moore

(Disclaimer:  BluePoint shall not be held responsible for rejected Apps or any damage or damages inflicted on persons or property by frustrated App submitters)


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