One great way to get some exposure to your application is to get it in front of as many Apple employees as you can. Ideally, give your program away! Apple employees would include, say, engineers or administrative assistants or in Cupertino, who might enjoy using your program but were probably not going to be buying it anyhow. (But if you application is cool, they will talk about it inside and outside of Apple!) Other apple employees who might pick up your program are the sales engineers, whose job it is to help clients set up their Macs. If they are familiar with your software and it will solve a problem for their clients, you might get a recommendation — maybe even a big one. And of course there are hundreds and hundreds of Apple employees who work at the retail stores. These people are talking to Mac-using people all day, and if they happen to know and like your software that can help the customer do what they want, of course they will recommend it! We've gotten plenty of notes from people, for example, who wound up buying Sandvox because somebody at the Apple store suggested they check it out when they discovered that iWeb wasn't powerful enough for them.
How do you get your software offered to Apple employees? It's called "The Source;" it used to be called "Third-Party Promo" ("3PP" for short). You can offer any kind of promo for Apple employees. It could be a discount of some percentage, but really I think you are best off just giving your application away. Don't think of Apple employees as part of your customer base; think of them as your volunteer "buzz" force.
The way it works is that you send your information to the email address "thirdpartypromos" at the usual domain. You can send in the following information, and upon approval, it will be published on an internal Apple web page. (In other words, the general public can't get to the page.)
- Company name
- Company logo, up to 145px by 100px
- A one-sentence description of what your company provides/creates.
- A one-sentence description of the offer for Apple employees
- Whether the offer is open only to U.S. Apple employees or all employees internationally.
- Any additional keywords not in the above description (for searching)
- URL of a hidden offer page on your own website with ordering details, or a special code for employees to use at your normal store.
You'll need to set up a page on your website describing the offer, or set up a coupon code in your online store to handle these orders.
If you are building an offer page, it should have a URL that's not too easy to guess, and it should probably be blocked from being indexed by search engines as well. (One useful technique is to put it into a directory of not-to-be-indexed pages, and then put that directory name — but not the file name — in your web server's robots.txt file.) This offer page could have instructions for how to obtain the license, or a form to fill out that generates the license immediately (or lets you verify things before generating the license), etc.
If you are just making a coupon code available, ideally you would set up your store so that the coupon code only works for people using their Apple email address, just in case the code gets out "into the wild."
If you are checking email addresses in your offer, Apple says that your must accept @apple.com, @filemaker.com, and @braeburncapital.com email addresses. (The latter two are subsidiaries of Apple.) If your offer is international, it should also accept @asia.apple.com and @euro.apple.com addresses.
There you have it!