How to Monetize Free Apps (2023 Money Guide)


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Money Guide

If we observe the most popular and lucrative apps available today, we can observe that they are all provided to users free of charge. While it may be perplexing for those unfamiliar with the industry, leading development companies continue to generate profits from their free applications. Are you interested in replicating this success? Let’s delve into it.

Ad Revenue Generation

One of the most apparent ways to generate revenue is through advertisements. By incorporating ads into your app, you can increase your income and establish a reliable source of revenue, especially if you already have a user base.

However, it is crucial to strike a balance with this approach. Overloading your app with ads can be both advantageous and detrimental. Users tend to become frustrated and may abandon the app if they are bombarded with excessive and intrusive advertisements. It’s important to remember that users generally dislike apps that inundate them with irritating ads.

Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the ad banners seamlessly blend into the app’s design and that the information presented in the ads is relevant to the app’s theme. It would be nonsensical, for instance, to advertise alcohol in an app focused on religious scripts.

There are several types of advertisements that you can incorporate into your app:

Video ads: Users are required to watch a brief teaser or trailer before they can proceed to use the app.

Video ads with rewards: Building upon the previous option, you can incentivize users to watch the entire ad by offering them additional bonuses or rewards.

In-app trial of another app: This involves a more elaborate form of video ad, providing an opportunity for another developer to showcase and test their app within your app, without the risk of losing users due to uninstallations. However, this type of advertisement typically comes at a higher cost.

In-App Advertising

Monetization through In-App Purchases

Developers often utilize this strategy, particularly in the mobile gaming industry. The process typically unfolds as follows:

  1. Download the free game.
  2. Progress through various levels and encounter enticing additional options.
  3. To access these extra features, you must purchase in-game currency such as coins, gems, or stones using real money via platforms like Google Play or the App Store.

This approach is not limited to gaming apps. Non-gaming apps often employ a similar model, where users can initially access only a few sections for free. To unlock the remaining content, users are required to purchase a monthly subscription. This monetization method is particularly popular among meditation apps.

In-App Purchase

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Diverse options for In-App Purchases

In-app purchases encompass a wide range of offerings, spanning from small additions that enhance the user experience to paid subscriptions. This method of monetization is commonly employed in app development.

Before implementing in-app purchases, it is essential to conduct a financial analysis of your app to determine the most suitable approach. Create a plan and integrate it seamlessly into the app’s functionality.

Naming your in-app purchases is crucial for branding purposes. Ensure that the names align with your app’s identity and resonate with users.

Don’t overlook the potential of offering package deals at discounted prices. By bundling multiple purchases together, you can entice users with special pricing options.

A notable example of successful in-app purchases is demonstrated by the Tinder app. While users can opt for the free version, they are presented with advertisements and are unable to see who has liked their profile. Tinder offers several levels of upgrades, each doubling in price. With each upgrade, users gain expanded possibilities and status enhancements.

Trial Periods

This strategy builds upon the previous method. One effective approach to persuade users to purchase your app or subscribe to it is by offering them a chance to experience the full benefits it can provide in their lives.

A common practice is to provide a 7-day trial period for lifestyle, health, or financial apps, and a 30-day trial period for photo and video editing apps. By offering these trial periods, you minimize potential losses while simultaneously attracting a growing number of subscribers, provided that your app genuinely delivers value to their lives.

Additionally, it is advisable to provide users with subscription options for different durations, rather than just a single paid subscription. For instance, offering a one-month subscription at $12, a six-month subscription at $65, and a one-year subscription at $120. This approach appeals to users who seek to maximize their value and are more likely to opt for longer subscription periods to secure a perceived bargain.

Trial Period

Offering an Ad-Free Version of the App

Developers often adopt a common approach of providing two versions of their app: a free version and a paid version. The paid version grants users the benefit of an ad-free experience, unlike the free version.

However, the differentiation between the two versions is not limited to ad removal alone. The paid version can offer additional value by incorporating extra levels, features, sections, or other enhancements. The specific differentiating factors between the two versions depend on the decisions made by the developer.

App Funding from Brands and Companies

If your app aligns with the target audience of a particular brand, there is a possibility that the brand may be interested in financing your app in exchange for promotional exposure.

For instance, if you have developed an outfit-planning app, well-known clothing retailers like Zara or H&M might be interested in collaborating with you, especially once you have established a substantial user base.

App Funding

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Affiliate Programs

Major tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft provide affiliate programs that offer modest commissions. These programs allow you to customize ads based on your preferences and choose the specific apps you wish to promote within your own app.

Marketing Automation

If your free app serves as a middleman between users and sellers, it is important to incorporate automated marketing tools. For instance, a travel app can utilize reminders to prompt users to pay for their booked tickets and encourage them to book a hotel as well.

To summarize, these are the most effective approaches for monetizing your free app. If you aim to further increase your user base, we recommend considering additional promotions on our website, which can generate thousands of downloads for your app over an extended period of time.

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