App download numbers are exploding and usage now tops 85% of user time on smartphones.
App creators can look forward to getting a lot of attention for their apps, but do they make money? The ones that do need to use a variety of strategies for mobile app monetization.
In order to turn your million dollar idea into an actual paycheck, you need to make sure that users can see that your app is worth the price. There are some general ways that every app can make money and then there are ways that can be unique to the kind of app that you design.
If you want to start seeing those download numbers converted into something for your bank account, you need to use some of that design savvy for marketing. Here are the top 7 mobile app monetization tactics that designers are using now.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Advertise
Internet users are accustomed to seeing ads when they’re receiving free content. If you’ve built an app that your users depend on or has become a part of their daily routine, start introducing ads.
Digital advertising through apps allows a level of targeting for goods and services more accurate than ever before. Being able to integrate relevant and related ads has never been easier or more impactful.
You might find that download numbers weren’t as high as you expected when you posted your app for a price. Instead of selling your app, offer it for free. You could generate more money through ads than through download sales.
There are a variety of advertising options. You could have an ad run on the loading screen. It could run along the bottom of the screen for the first ten seconds of use.
Depending on your app, ads could be integrated seamlessly with content, like audio ads that run on music apps like Spotify and Pandora.
Try a different option with each of your first few release versions. Track what works the best and which users engage with the most. This way you can generate data even as you generate revenue.
2. Link Up
Creating sponsorship or partnership connections with other brands can bring your monetization to the next level. If you know of a partner with an overlapping customer base, work together to forge a relationship.
Perhaps there is a way you can integrate your apps to offer a broader set of experiences to your users. Having your logo or brand name in a menu that will open your app for an integrated experience could add value to both apps.
See if your partner will trade ad space with you. This way your click-through rates could both increase based on the trust you’ve both built with your audiences.
Working together to combine your audiences could put you on the top of the sales chart in every app marketplace. Partnerships between local businesses are a time-tested tactic for sales. This approach can work just as well in networked digital communities.
3. Write Great Code
A powerful code base will put you ahead of the competition because of a great user experience that your customers will come to know and trust. They’ll love interacting with an app that never crashes and has no visible bugs.
If you’ve developed the code yourself, you’ve also got the code itself to use as a sales tool.
Perhaps another company has lots of money and great ideas, but none of the talent that your team has. What if they could just reskin your app, using your brilliant technology, to push their idea out into the world?
At some point, most apps hit their peak download number and reach their highest possible base. Rather than continuing to support a legacy product and wasting money advertising to converts, you could allow your concept to grow.
Selling your code allows you to keep your intellectual property while you keep your creation growing in ways you may have never imagined. You never know what industry could take up your app, whether its someone creating an extension for a mapping app or a registry for composite decking.
4. Add Some In-App Purchasing
If you create an app that people love, they’ll be happy to enhance their experience. While almost 90% of all downloads are for free apps, once apps are integrated into users’ lives, users can start to see the added value.
In-app purchases allow you to create features that are catered to user feedback. “Freemium” apps allow users to access the basic features of the app while seeing the potential.
Any mobile app monetization strategy that uses in-app purchases must take be careful with dividing the free from paid features. You don’t want to offer too little to users in a free version, but you don’t want your app to seem already too full of features to begin with.
Start by offering a limited number of daily free credits for some action or interaction. After that, they’ll have to deal with ads or a paywall when they use that feature.
5. Try SMS Ads
When you collect data for app registration, try to get users to give their phone number. This means that when they haven’t engaged your app in awhile, you can remind them that you’ve added new features.
You can also give out special deals like additional credits for free or special discounts.
Use their number with care, as there can be a fine line between feeling engaged and feeling harassed. Be positive and offer only great deals through SMS.
6. Add Full Premium and Free Versions
Have a variety of engagement levels that users purchase when dealing with your app. While you may want to have some small credits or features tied to in-app purchases, allow customers to have an unlimited version for a premium.
Free versions can be for amateur or casual users. You can spend your time marketing your paid version of your app toward professionals.
Once you start making sales, keep in mind that users will hold your app to a high standard.
While app prices are low, you might find yourself expected to give the kind of service and responsiveness as a high-end tech company.
7. Try New Content Strategies
Like any company, you should have a roadmap for where you want to be in 6 months, a year, two years.
There should be some development of your content including new approaches, features, and ideas. Figure out which concepts are most pertinent and stagger your releases out to be regularly scheduled.
There will inevitably be bumps in the road and bugs in your code, but as long as you stay engaged with customers, they’ll be faithful to you.
Mobile App Monetization Comes In Many Colors
There are so many different ways to approach mobile app monetization. What’s essential is that you’re always using an approach that works for your customer base. Listen to what they want, respond to their complaints, and take into account useful suggestions.
If you’re ready to start making money from your mobile app, contact us to get started today.