How to Monetize After Launch
In the app market, it typically takes exceptionally high awareness and brand name recognition to get users to buy the app or make in-app purchases. To profit from a free app while retaining users can be done, but it needs to be done right. App companies simply need to be more strategic with monetizing. Implementing monetization takes time, actual users and data.
Many top grossing apps cost nothing to download. Take Spotify and Instagram for instance; they’re both free and highly successful in a market where the majority of users expect their apps to be free. There are plenty of ways to make money off your app while remaining free to download.
- Freemium: apps are free to download and offer paid access to additional features.
- In-app purchases: consumable or non-consumable, this is a way to offer optional, paid features within an app.
- Subscription Model: provide paid content or features over a set amount of time.
- In-app advertising: generates revenue from user click-throughs and impressions.
- SMS Marketing: a great way to promote new products and services that you may have integrated into your app by collecting users’ mobile numbers upon install.
- Sponsorships: You will need a strong user base to take advantage of the sponsorship, like social media, you can leverage your app to build sponsorship relationships with brands that may be interested in advertising on your app.
- Build Email List: compile emails upon install to send informative newsletters, updates, offers, and more to drive activity or in-app purchases.
- Charge for App Installs: on the other hand, you can charge them to download your app. This is not the most optimal but has benefits for a few apps in health niches like heath, fitness, and productivity.
To start, grow a large, active user base to improve your chances of generating significant revenue. Once you begin to plan out your monetization strategy, keep in mind that successful monetization tactics look and feel like a normal part of the app experience.
Once a user has gone through the trouble of downloading and opening the app, half the battle has been won. Now an app has the opportunity to win over a user with unique, interactive content. However, some mobile advertisements are so intrusive that users never have the opportunity to appreciate the content. In an over-saturated app marketplace, a user most likely won’t think twice about deleting a free app with intrusive advertising.
Remember the purpose of your app. Few users will tolerate an app that’s only focus is making money off advertisements or in-app purchases. Successful free apps weave their monetization efforts into the app so that they feel like a normal part of the user experience. Make sure you focus and refine your monetization strategy to your business goals, your market, and your users.
Whatever strategy you implement, keep track of your own data and monitor it to ensure your assumptions are right. Once you have a good stream of data, innovate. Try new things based on this data, test them, and iterate based on your results to find the monetization strategy that works for your users and your app.