Marketing a New App

I have created an App that provides network alerting for emergency situations such as Fire, Tornado, Shooter, Lockdown, etc.

I am not sure what the best way is to marketing the app. I have created a website as a start, but unsure on how to take it to the next level.

After I tell the browser to ignore the security misconfiguration I get this:

503 Service Unavailable

No server is available to handle this request.

Expired website | This website has expired (

Error 404 (Not Found)!!1 ( (

Cant see what it does. :neutral_face:

I fat fingered the site try:

So this is my experience of using a 3 finger salute. In this pick you can see a Ctrl Alt P template.
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It pops up a message showing me the procedure name and module, nothing flash but when someone phones or emails me and say they were having problems with a window or wanted to describe some new feature they wanted in a window, I got them to do the CTRL ALT P and tell me what the procedure name module file is so I knew exactly what window there were referring to. This is because what they might think is just one window could be a few different windows, they didnt know what was going on under the hood so to speak.

Anyway my experience of users using it was, some remembered the 3 finger salute others didnt, those that remembered it were the one’s typically requesting updates/changes/new features to their software, other users on the same site wouldnt always remember it or needed prompting/reminding and then remembered for a few weeks or maybe a month and then it would slip their mind, but I was also dealing with people who would forget their passwords over a heavy weekend so I had those early Monday morning calls requesting a password reset, and that why I’d say good luck getting them to remember your three finger salute when a disaster unfolds!

I’m not knocking the idea but I think the stumbling block is getting users, some of whom might be more focused on other things, might not remember what they need to in a panic situation, buts its also why training and drills take place. Saying that you might have that all covered and I’ve not seen it on your website, I only did a cursory skim read. Here in the UK not only can you call the emergency services using 999 (last number on the rotary dial on early phones), you can also call them using 911 which is what’s used elsewhere in the world so overseas people in the UK can still get through to the emergency services, but I also remember the IRA bomb threat at the Cheltenham Gold Cup races when I think Princess Anne was there, someone phoned in a bomb threat which triggered the mobile phone phones going offline and some of the police hadnt registered their mobile phone to be kept online. Now in those situations it was always head to the nearest payphone but thats not the case anymore the surveillance with mobile phone’s is on steroids, but saying that when I phoned in an emergency call to the police when in Cambridge, other’s were trying to get through to 999, I bowl up, phone 999 and got through straight away but it was a very psychological situation in a number of ways anyway, but thats another story!

Anyway, marketing it. Me personally, I’d make it free to install on all and any device and charge a fee when its used when someone presses that CTRL Alt S key combo. If its used in schools, you’ll get some joker of a student who will do a false alarm just like fire alarms get set off, but the important thing is this eliminates any barriers or resistance to getting it onto a machine.

If you can make it a national thing, then people moving around the country (I’m assuming you are US based) will know its not a state thing but a national thing.

Ways to market it? Networking, find out who the decision makers are, school board, maybe politicians who have a say in what goes on. If you have any elections coming up, get in touch with the most likely successful candidate and “sell” it to them. At the same time, search for like minded people, maybe some groups exist which are trying to achieve something similar to prevent future school shooter things so get them on board. I know there are other emergencies like the one’s mentioned on the website, but I think in these situations, you would be best networking with like mind people.

Here in the UK we have something called the civil contingencies act Civil Contingencies Act 2004: post implementation review report (2022) - GOV.UK (
which also involves the emergency services Civil contingencies | College of Policing local councils [Click here and type Unit Title] ( and volunteer groups How voluntary organisations can help in emergencies - GOV.UK (

The Red Cross have been involved with some of that for the obvious first aid role’s people can play, but its those people I think you need to be talking to because there will be different procedures that kick in in different situations. For example if hill walking in mountains and someone has an accident, falls down the mountain and dies, when the police arrive they will separate the party and interview individually to look for inconsistencies in the story in case of foul play. You see this in general anyway, they also get taught the pressures points I got taught when I was in the Red Cross which can be used to not only control people but also helps to stem blood loss! You’ll also find knowledge is divided up so something the Police might know wont be known by another group. For example, supposedly there is a chemical which can trigger a heart attack within seconds and kill, it metabolises so quickly there is no trace of it after a few minutes so pathologists and gp’s dont get taught about this particular chemical, but the security services will know about it as it can be an easy way to bunk people off and the pathologists just record the death as a heart attack no suspicions raised of foul play! :roll_eyes:
Its like if we have a nuclear attack in the UK, supposedly all military and police are under orders to keep everyone contained in their towns and cities (yeah good luck with that) and those living in the countryside are deemed to know how to live off the land and are left to fend for themselves. The shops wont be open if that happens. Its logical but thats how it is and I would imagine that mindset is echoed in many other countries.
So can you see why you need to talk (network) with those who would be involved in the emergencies you need to raise in order to make sure it would work?

If you can track it down, look at the US Gov reports the post mortems if you like on catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina. Things that were learnt, were things like, having mobile cell towers powered with backup diesel generators and topped up because the phone lines went down but the masts stayed operational when power to the masts existed, and loads of other things to do with utilities & shelters.
You dont want to be reinventing the wheel but working with the wheel makers, but the beauty of capitalism is it allows for entrepreneurs like yourself to spot gaps and fill them. Thats why I say get it deployed and charge when its put into action, drills/training give that psychological reinforcement.

Anyway thats my take on things, this is a massive subject, but you also have a bit of an insight into how my 3 finger salute has worked out on a more frequent basis than just being used for a periodic disaster, but thats not to say it couldnt become incorporated into some sort of disaster training like the Japanese go through for earthquakes and being in an earthquake is a funny experience because the infrasound messes with your vision.

The three finger salute as you call it is one way to intiate a Panic alarm. The CovertCall icon is always located in the system tray in the lower right side. Clicking on the Icon brings up the main screen that offers the different alert selections.

There are similar programs that require monthly fees and servers, while monthly fees would be great, I wanted to offer a similar product without the monthly fees and the need for a centralized server. The concept of what my app does is already out there. I wanted to provide a low cost solution with my app.

Few examples of similar more expensive programs:

With any system in place regular testing should be conducted to keep people familar with how it works. There is a audit trail on each PC that keeps track on which PC generated the alert. a little redundant I know but this insures that even if one log is deleted there are bsck ups. The alert window that pops up on the users monitors also displays who created the alert.

The plan was to offer a 30 trial version for up to 5 people to try.

I appreciate your time and candor.

My personal experience is that advertising doesnt work for my products and services, but look at the advertising by stock market listed or big profitable business and see what they do. So if you are a product or service which is negatively perceived like oil companies are at the moment, then advertising with newspapers and tv channels is a way of buying off investigations and bad press because advertising income is part of their lifeline. Its a stealth form of buying someone off in a way.

I wouldnt rely on the search engines or other forms of online advertising, they will just take your money as you cant tell who is at the other end of the IP address so to speak. Spent loads of money with google adwords and that just burnt through the budget.

Spent money advertising with yellow pages & other types, I used to get joke phone’s during the night. In fact I will go on the record to say I actually caught the ThomsonLocal directory pretending to be members of the public making enquiries about my services. So when my contract with them was nearly up for renewal, all of a sudden I would get people phoning up asking but never committing about my IT services ie fixing pc’s. I got wise to them so I stopped advertising with them and I called them out about it, I used to offer a free call out to fix their computers but they would never commit, couldnt get any details like an address, type of pc to fix or even the type of problem, extremely vague so I set a trap for the ThomsonLocal and caught them because they didnt know about website logging then, so I could tell instantly when someone had been on my webpages, this was before google analytics and I would ask them when they had been on the website, what pages they had seen and it was lies because the logs didnt tally. For the record I used to use cookies as a web browser database written in Javascript and this was so novel the website got featured on TV here in the UK because this was when server side hadnt become dominant here in the UK, broadband was still dialup and things like ASP and things like that were just getting going because it was all up in the air.

I bought in a mailling list, so I could do a postal and fax campaign, again spent alot of money targeting the whole of the UK, it resulted in one enquiry from a fax 5 years later! So I wasted money buying in the mailing list, doing the fax campaign and paying for graphic designers to do leaflets and then send the info with covering letters in the post. Absolute waste of time, but then I released what do I do with junk mail etc. I just point blank bin it or refuse the phone calls. I just dont engage with them.
I block adverts in the webbrowser and things like that. I just dont engage with advertising and I think based on my own experience alot of people are actually like that, if not the vast majority. My tv media systems I built even had addons to recognise adverts on tv recordings and block them from the recording so I never saw tv adverts when I had recorded a tv program, and this was 10-15years ago. How many people fast forward through adverts when watching TV recordings even to this day?

What people will do is ask other people they “trust” or know in their vicinity for recommendations, things like builders, plumbers, website designers, lawyers, accountants etc etc and then get those people in for quotes. Software is the same, all my external work came from people knowing me and recommending me, nothing more nothing less. I got more work running the UK Clarion User Group than I did through any other means, but the risk then was you end up on the payroll and heading in a diffferent direction to where you want to head with software development.

And thats why I say network and get yourself in front of the decision makers, its probably the most effective way you can spend your time and money. I also wouldnt rely too heavily on other people to sell it because as the programmer, you are the one who knows it inside and out. Unless you are paying a massive commission or something, “employees” dont have the same detailed knowledge and are not heavily invested in it or motivated by it, its just another job and you only have to look on places like to see some of the extreme views coming to light.

When I worked in London, I got to chat to a lot of decision makers, some of them famous in their field like this bloke Donald Cruickshank - Wikipedia and its interesting how they view things, ie its good to learn their perspectives which you will only get from networking. Now ways you can spend time with these people is to do conferences and things like that. I got invited to one at Silverstone where they do all the motor racing like Formula 1. You need something to entice the decision makers out, now at lower levels that could be a game a golf and meal in the club house, but everyone’s time is finite and you need to find ways to get to talk to these people quickly and efficiently. Just look at the media and things like the stings some newspapers have done on Royal’s and politicians, they get invited out to dinner at a nice place and try to do business. :grinning:

My TL;DR is, unless people can make money out of you or you can save them alot of hassle, they dont want to know you, its as basic as that. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia will explain why.

So Selling is just that, Marketing is about creating the desire, and thats where the psychology comes into it and whilst you dont want to play anyone’s fears and be accused of fearmongering, you have to get them to explore these fears and recognise these fears in order to get them to use your product because its a product for fearful situations, so you will need to tread carefully with this one, its not like selling washing powder. :grinning:

So thats my candor and wider experience if you like. Take from that what you will. :wink: Dont expect any miracles though and a good gambler knows when to quit the table and you may find you could be up against the authorities in some respect because they are the one’s the public turn to in an emergency and they want to maintain control and authority over situations that your program may be used for.

You cant use Skype to make emergency phone 999/911 calls here in the UK, there are certain procedure the authorities will not deviate from so your program if it doesnt may well have to work with the authorities to keep them onside and then you might get it accredited when others are not. :thinking: