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Best Mobile App Monetization Techniques: Pick One To Suit Your Business

Why Struggle To Pick The Right Monetization Strategy? Mobile App Monetization Techniques: Pick One To Suit Your Business

In case, you are reading this blog, chances are that you have invested in an app, well congrats on that! So, you might be looking forward to opting for an app monetization strategy that could bring success, visibility, and increased revenue for the application. All right, the good news is such strategies are available and the bad news is practices are available in plenty of number. So, you need to choose the best strategy and it is possible only when you know them all.

Every application is different and this makes it compulsory to choose the best-suited strategy that could monetize the app in the best way possible. It is all about generating the revenue for your business so there is no escaping from opting the right strategy that could drive the revenue. This article will take you through the compilation of the best mobile app monetization strategies to educate you about the practices that could bring the return on your investment.

1. Advertising

The statistics from all across the globe are depicting similar scenario, online advertising is huge and carries a great potential to grow further. Look at these overflowing numbers:

  • 95% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising

  • Global internet advertising revenue is expected to exceed $200 billion

  • US digital advertising has already crossed $83 billion

These stats are clearly depicting that online advertising can bring back the core value to your revenue model.

stats for application

Marketers can include online advertising in a variety of ways including:

  • Displaying ads (designed personally or by third-party apps) on mobile or company website

  • You can choose to be specific with your ad network including Facebook, Google, Linkedin or Twitter

  • You can opt for a marketing strategy similar to marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon

It is important to work on a strategy on how you will display the ads. To be very honest no one likes ads. None of the users wish their app browsing experience get harmed by a series of ads popping out one after another. But you need to search out a way that could educate users without harming their app viewing experience.

Most of the startups work on a premium model by guaranteeing exceptional app features. You could also opt for similar strategies.  


2. Practicing affiliate marketing and generating leads

Another app monetization technique that could bring visibility and the revenue back to your business is affiliate marketing. This kind of marketing depends on how exceptionally another company’s services and products can be promoted by third parties or by other companies to earn a piece of profit for selling others’ products. This kind of marketing earns you following advantages:

  • A referral for praising others’ services or products

  • A new sales medium for the company

In this case, both the company and the clients are getting something in return and that’s why such kind of marketing is equally liked and praised by the users. Basically, affiliate marketing involves earning commission when users buy a product or service by following a link hosted on the website or within an application.  

Thus, hosting ads on the website or mobile could bring additional traffic for your application. You might have seen such ad campaigns in a number of apps. This way you can generate leads for your app by including interested parties. Here, potential parties play a prominent role in helping the app gain extended profitability along with the visibility.

app stats

3. In-app purchasing

IAP or In-App purchasing has proved to be a boon for marketers. US top 50 grossing Android companies believe the model to generate revenue for them. Such a model includes a simple strategy with the apps that come for “free to play” but with “pay to win” model. Let’s break this strategy through an example:

  • In-app purchasing was nicely broken down by Niantic. The company that created the famous Pokémon GO app

  • The game absolutely went viral with over 550 million registered downloads that helped it to make $470 million worldwide. However, the game was never about winning

  • Well, Niantic overhauled its monetization strategy by introducing egg hatching option. As per the option, the users need to buy incubators to hatch the eggs.

  • The plan worked to add revenue for the company from users requiring to buy incubators to hatch as many eggs as they can.

  • The game still generates $2 million in daily revenue

Niantic’s move shows a simple strategy. Make your game available for free, add more functionality and ask your users to pay for it.

4. Subscription

If your application does a certain job regularly to your customers, you have the chance to monetize by offering the subscription. The subscription model works best for the apps that deliver content. And, the marketers can focus on providing the content on a little subscription fee that was till now available free of cost. And, thus, to continue receiving the content users will need to pay a subscription fee.

  • Forbes, the globally-renowned business magazine opted for a similar strategy in order to monetize its mobile application.

  • The app offers different subscription plan to the users, which they can choose as per their needs.

  • These plans are developed strategically with a number of promotional activities in the mind.

  • The longer period you choose, the less you will have to pay. Adversely, choosing shorter subscription plan will cost you more.

forbes app

5. The Freemium Model

The freemium model is another great way to collecting revenue from the users. The model is generally followed by web-based services including digital apps. Freemium apps’ basic approach is easy to understand. The app publishers offer the application free of cost initially and then ask users to pay for unlocking a more advanced version. The users who are loving the functionality of such applications are sure to pay a little more for it. The advanced version of the app is always more-feature rich and is made available under freemium version. Here is an example of Evernote adopting similar strategy.


6. Sponsorship

Getting sponsors for your application is an option to those app marketers who haven’t found success with the ads. The marketers can experiment with this strategy in partnership with advertisers. With this model, the advertisers offer relevant rewards to the customers when they complete any designated action within the application. Revenue earned is then shared between marketers and advertisers. This model takes ad personalization to the next level altogether.

This helps enriching customer engagement and the revenue by providing real value to them. By providing customers with real value the option helps to monetize the application. There are a number of ways that app marketers opt for to earn revenue for their applications. Here are a few ones:

Sponsor banner  : Such banners are highly visible, which brings visibility to the app and finally the required revenue.

Sponsor tweets   : To encourage conversation on social media, sponsor tweets are a great medium for advertisers.

Sponsored pools : Sponsored pools hold equal capability to bring the traffic right there at your website

7. Paid Download

With paid downloads, users pay once for downloading the application. It is one of the obvious ways for generating revenue by selling your application in the app store. It is important to showcase your app as something exceptional having brand-new features and functionalities to offer to the users. The app will only get extended visibility if it provides something much valuable to the users that other apps fail to offer.

In order to monetize the application, this model proves to be a challenging one as it may become a difficult job for the users to convince them on why they should pay for a service they have not used yet especially with so many apps available free of cost. When opting for paid downloads the marketers need to re-think on this app monetization technique as:

  • Both Google Play Store & Apple App Store take 30% of the price from the app publisher

  • Putting price on the app creates a barrier for the people to download the same

  • The app may fail to meet the expectations of the users resulting in reduced download numbers

  • Paid download model is not suitable for every app out there

Choose paid download model for your app, when:

  • The app offers value over free

  • You can do a robust app marketing

  • You want to tie revenue directly to the downloads

  • You are marketing the app under a brand name

8. Software-as-a-service (SaaS)/ Subscription

Software-as-a-service (SaaS)/ Subscription can prove to be an attractive option for startups provided their services are designed to suit the subscription approach. The approach is also helpful to lock the clients in the long-term payment commitments, which contributes towards a valuable lifetime relationship with the clients.

Opting for Software-as-a-service (SaaS)/ Subscription (if it suits your business) can help increase the revenue along with helping marketers to secure income stream on which they can easily rely upon. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has a number of approaches that a marketer can opt for bringing revenue to the business. The most popular options are:

  1. Pay as you go: In this kind of subscription plan the marketers charge users as per the individual plan. The option was quite popular in previous days and companies like Amazon still rely on such plans to generate the revenue. However, the plan comes with some downsides too. Besides the fact that how much services any particular consumers enjoy, it is quite difficult to sustain the predictable revenue.  

  2. Tiered pricing: In this model, the marketer divides his/her services into different levels based on the usage amount that a particular customer pays. It is one of the most common models used within SaaS. The best benefit of such a model is it clearly shows the users their specific needs.

9. White Labeling

White labeling is the practice of selling a product or service under the brand name of a company other than it was developed. In such a business model a company produces a product and then sells to another one for further marketing. To the users, the product appears under the brand name it is marketed by.

The model generally suits the mobile app development ecosystem the best. For such businesses, the model is proved to offer certain benefits. In case an app is developed with proper coding for providing a very positive user experience, it can be sold to other companies having an excellent marketing model to take the app finally to the users.

A number of brands generally prefer getting ready-to-use application just to market them under their brand name. This way another company doesn’t need to create the product from the scratch, which saves huge development cost. In such a model both the sides can work on the areas they hold expertise into. Thus, the development partner focuses on the actual product development while another company takes care of the promotion, distribution, and advertisement as well. GameZBoost is one fine example that practices similar strategy.

The Upshot

This is the end of our coverage on the best mobile app monetization methods you could opt in 2018. Every practice explained here has its own pros to suit a particular kind of app marketing strategy and thus the trick lies in opting for the best method depending on the type of business you have. It is important to figure out the benefits of each of methods listed-above to make the most profit out of these methodologies. App monetization technique has advantages of its own and to make your app the most successful, it is advised opt one of the strategies we have listed here.

Neha Baluni
Written By Neha Baluni

Being a Senior Technical Writer at MobileAppDaily, Neha Baluni loves jotting down her piece of opinion for the advancing technology in mobile app world. Having a journalism background, she is a writer by day and a reader by night. Her passion for writing covers different categories of technical and non-technical genre. In addition to writing, Neha loves traveling a lot.

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