Promo codes allow you to give away your paid app for free.  They are mainly used for sending your app to journalists or bloggers so that they can review your app at no cost to them.  You can also send them to your friends or reward those who made some contribution to the apps development.  Developers can generate up to 100 promo codes per version.  Each code expires 28 days after generation or when you release a new version of the app, whichever comes first.

In-app purchase promo codes are limited to 100 per item for a total of 1,000 total codes.  The 1,000 limit is per every six months (resetting on January 1 and July 1).  Note that this is different from paid app promo codes which reset with each version release. In-app purchase promo codes also expire 28 days after generation.

Since promo codes are tied to a specific app version they can also be used to grant early access to an app in pre-release (version status must be “Pending Developer Release”).  Promo codes can also be used to redeem a free app.

To create a promo code follow the steps below:

  1. Log into iTunes Connect with a user that has the Admin or Marketer role.
  2. Select My Apps
  3. Select the App you wish to generate the code for
  4. Select Features
  5. Select Promo Codes
  6. Enter a number between 1 and 100 next to the platform (there are separate codes for iOS and tvOS even if it is a universal purchase), or the in-app purchase. Only generate as many codes as you need to avoid them expiring unused.
  7. Select Generate Codes
  8. Agree to the terms
  9. Select Generate Codes
  10. The codes will be displayed.  You can download as a .txt file.  The codes will also be emailed to you.  They are also available in the History section.

The code will look like: N3PMTMFRJEKF

You can send the code to the user by itself or in a preformatted link.  To create the link use the following template and replace the code at the end with your own:

https://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZFinance.woa/wa/freeProductCodeWizard?code=TA6FWX69RJ9A

When the recipient opens the link, it will open iTunes and prompt the user for their iTunes password before downloading the app.

 

Alternatively you can send the recipient just the code and they can redeem it manually with the following steps:

  1. From the desktop, open iTunes and navigate to the App Store.  From an iPhone/iPad just open the App Store and select the Featured tab.
  2. Browse to the bottom of the page and select Redeem
  3. Enter iTunes password
  4. Select “You can also enter your code manually”, enter the code, then press Redeem.

 

An app downloaded with a promo code gives the user access to all future version updates.  However, users cannot leave a review for the app in iTunes and downloads do not count towards an app’s ranking in the charts.

 

Some services for automating giveaways of promo codes include:

Google Spreadsheet template

http://redeem-now.com

http://www.appcodes.com

http://www.appcodes.com

 

Apple documentation.

 

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How to create promo codes for your iOS or tvOS paid app or in-app purchase
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