Given the huge number of apps that are available in app stores and the incessant flux of new apps that are entering the fray, getting your apps noticed is a challenge in itself, let alone making money on it. But it is not impossible. With the right tools and planning, you can make the most out of the valuable time that you’ve spent developing the fabulous app that you’ve just launched in your favorite app store.
In this post, I’ll examine ways that can help you successfully monetize your app, whether it’s a free title or a paid app.
Need to make money without spending money? Five Free And Low Cost Tactics To Increase App Installs
Monetizing tips for paid apps
When you want to monetize a paid app, the first reality you have to realize and recognize is that there are dozens of other apps that offer similar services to your audience. You have to identify those apps, learn from their strengths, avoid their mistakes, and formulate a plan to convince your users that they’ll will receive much more value by spending time – and money – in your app. Here are a few great methods to stand out from the crowd.
- Offer a free trial
One of the best ways to convince users to spend money in your app is to give them a taste for free. Why not try offering a free trial period? You let your customers test-drive the app for a week or two, enough time to let them to get used to the interface, tap into the features, integrate it with their lives, and realize the benefits of using it by the time the trial period expires.
Afterwards, in order to continue using the app, they’ll have to subscribe to a monthly or yearly paid plan. By experiencing the app beforehand, users are much more likely to sign up for a paid plan. Not many people will pull out their wallet before knowing exactly what they’re going to get.
- Offer free and premium options
Free trial periods might not be enough to convince your users to pay for your app. If they have to choose between paying and leaving your app, they might opt for the latter and uninstall your app to allocate their device’s real estate to someone else. In order to maximize your user retention, you can offer free and premium account options.
Users who choose the free account option will get to use your app for an unlimited period of time, but with limited features. The premium option will give them much stronger features for a monthly (or yearly) fee.
The advantage of the free and premium account plan is that, while your more serious users pay for your services, you also get to keep the more reluctant ones. You'll get the opportunity to re-engage them and eventually convert them in the future.
- Diversify your payment options
When it comes to payment, users have different habits. Some like to make ad hoc payments per service. Others (who usually make more purchases) would like to buy bundles or packages that help them save money by making one-time payments. This second type of users may get annoyed when they have to pay for every little task they want to complete. By offering different payment options, you make sure that you can satisfy the preferences of all your audience.
- Make special offers
Naturally, your users will be spending money in several other apps aside from yours, possibly including some of your competitors.
Special offers can go a long way toward encouraging users come back to you after they make their first purchase. By knowing that the more they spend in your app, the more they’ll save on their future purchases, your users will be more inclined to buy from you than a competitor.
Be on the lookout for in-app events where you can offer special discounts to users. Sending your offers as push notifications at the right time can re-engage inactive users.
Monetizing tips for Free apps
The main source of revenue for free apps is advertising. However, these days advertisements have gained a bad reputation as disruptive third-party pop-ups that break the user experience and create major deterrents for regular usage of your app.
Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls and make the best of advertising .
- Avoid intrusive ads
You have to find the right balance to monetize your apps while increasing app usage and user retention. I suggest you avoid using forcible methods, such as pre-roll videos. These kinds of advertisements are so intrusive that users never find the opportunity to appreciate the content, and they either ignore it - or, worse, abandon your app altogether.
The same goes for pop-up ads, which are usually difficult to exit. They frequently result in the user accidentally tapping on them in the wrong way and being redirected out of your app.
These user mistakes also have the bad side effect of creating false data on user behavior.
- Integrate your ads with your content
In order to avoid disenchanting your users and ruining their experience, take care to show ads that are actually relevant to what they’re doing within your app.
Try to integrate the ads that appear in your app with its content and the user’s behavior and preferences. For instance, if you have a travel app, it is preferable to show travel-related ads.
Also, consider using native advertising. Instead of showing your ads as noisome pop-ups, try to blend them into your app’s interface to make them far less obtrusive.
- Try to add to the user experience
In order to neutralize the evilness that has been attributed to ads in general, try to make them smart by adding value to the user experience.
Display ads that complement the services that users are purchasing. For instance, while browsing in a hotel app, users might appreciate viewing ads for cab services, because it will complement their order by helping them get to the hotel suite they’ve reserved.
License your code
This is a bonus tip.
If you’ve built an app that has created enough traction with a free model, you’ll probably have other devs trailing you, trying to use your brand and reputation to kickstart their own app. You can make money by licensing your code to other developers.
This works in situations where you already have a large audience, and the benefit is that you won’t disrupt your users’ experience while also making some cash on the side.
These were just a few of the ways you can monetize your app. With a little thinking and planning, you can make money out of your app while also improving your user retention and engagement rates.
How do you monetize your own app? I’d love to hear your strategy. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.