You spend endless hours creating that perfect app. You went to the Apple Store and “hit” the publish button and though…. “The downloads is going to explode now!”
But, nothing happened.
Only a few downloads, and a lot of embarrassment for you.
On top of this enormous issue is another problem for your app developers – i.e., monetizing your mobile apps.
You see, monetization is not only science. It is also an art, and today, in this article, I’ll show exactly 15 ways to do it.
1. Ad placement
It sounds obvious, but running ads is the most popular method of monetizing mobile applications.
To get more ROIs from your ad spends, make sure the ads do not look too intrusive and make the ads fit in context (contextual advertising) with the content and theme of your app.
Run ads with those brands, products, or services that complement your business (not compete with yours).
2. Develop universal and easy to read code
You’ll make a good source of income by creating an app that is universal and easy to read (code-wise). These type of base app can later become a highly specialized app. For example, template copyrights can bring a significant amount of profit for the developers is because many companies want to buy ready-made-solutions, as they can get the branded solution quickly and inexpensively.
You can change your base app to the unique needs of your customer.
Customizing the app is also super easy, as you only need to change the front-end design (“White Label Solution.”)
3. Charge people have the ads removed from your apps
While it’s true that many users don’t care if there’s an ad running across the screen, others would pay money to have it removed.
4. Offer in-app purchases
Your app download is most likely free, just like most apps on app store. Most app downloads are free. However, once people start to use your app more, they might be interested in making in-app purchases to improve their experience.
To make in-app purchases easier, Google and Apple offer billing services. However, they don’t have full coverage in the international markets.
For example, people living in Brazil usually don’t use cards (credit cards and scratch cards) so making in-app purchases is not possible for them. They don’t have scratch card printing services in their country, and hence, they cannot get it printed and use it make in-app purchases.
5. Propose a subscription-based service.
You won’t have a stable recurring income from your mobile app until you have monthly recurring revenue business model. Sometimes, there will be good months and occasionally the opposite.
With unstable revenue, taking your business to the next level can be an uphill battle.
However, there’s a solution to it.
You can add subscription-based model which will be more stable and deliver you more predictable income.
Your users only need to submit their bank card details once, and until they cancel it, they’ll continue to get billed, generating recurring income for your business.
6. Keep testing.
If you’re not sure how your app users are using your apps or what’s the best method of monetizing your app, then don’t just leave it to guesswork. Until you have real data, you won’t know for sure. But once you have user data, you can then begin split testing to make big profits down the road. (You can gather user data from Google Analytics.)
7. Make your free app a ‘premium’ app.
If possible, don’t offer a free version of your app. Make sure to keep the cost of the app low to prevent scaring people away, nonetheless, charge a little as download fee.
You’ll also filter out users who aren’t interested in your app. And those who will pay are often the ones who are going to be engaged, responsive, and eventually profitable users.
8. Use SMS marketing.
SMS marketing works similar to email marketing. People hardly even change their phone numbers, and they often forget to unsubscribe.
SMS works wonders because, just like Email, it is highly personal which helps convert users into purchasers.
But you can’t know for sure until you test and see if it genuinely works for you|.
9. Offer your app as a “White label” solution
If you have an incredibly original app, but you lack necessary skills in the sales and marketing departments, consider giving your app as a white label solution. It’s a process of creating a product or service and selling to a company who can brand it as their own.
10. Reactivate dormant users through email and push notifications.
Do not harass users, but make sure to incentivize by reminding what they’re missing out on by sending occasional email and push notification. Maybe, you can offer a small free offer to entice dormant users to become active.
11. Think sponsored content.
Let me tell you a well-kept secret about most apps: even if your app generates over 1 million downloads won’t guarantee you profitability.
Let’s say, you have a $1 product, and only 2% of users convert. To make a good income through apps, you’ll need a lot of downloads.
But, there are other ways to monetize your app. One of my favorite ways is via Sponsored Content.
While your user base may not generate enough income for you, you could probably find a brand willing to pay you a hefty amount of bucks to get their sponsored content in front of your user base.
12. Form partnerships and find sponsorships.
You can also find a partner or a sponsor who have a similar customer base as you do and propose them to cross-promote each other’s apps to other’s email list.
If you don’t have an email list, don’t panic!
You can offer a gift (an ebook, or a discount on your services) for free that your partner’s audience will love. In exchange for this gift, you can ask your partner to mention your brand to their audience and drive their audience towards your call to action (CTA).
13. Data monetization
Make sure you are aware of the privacy laws and legal proceedings before you try to sell the data collected from the customer.
There are different ways for making money through customer data. One of the ways is to sell the data directly. The other way is to influence non-mobile decisions.
14. Start with a blended model
If you’re not sure what will work best for you, you can opt for a blended model.
You can use several of the tips shared above to monetize your app.
You’ll notice that one tactic outperforms the other.
And when you do, you’ll know for sure which model to repeat for more profits.
15. Start an email list
Display ads, social media, and SEO are all great techniques to monetize your app. But email is where all the profit lies.
If you don’t have an email list, consider offering a free offer (book, for example) in exchange for their email address.
When you build an email list, you can communicate directly with your customers, without having to rely on Google and Facebook.
And, one more thing. People hardly ever change their email address – meaning it can be a sales funnel that can last a lifetime.