Outstanding Mobile Apps Monetisation Strategies For 2018 and Beyond

Right now, there are over 3.5 million apps in the Google Play store and 2.7 million in the Apple App Store. That is a lot of apps, especially when most people only use 9 per day and 30 over the course of the month, according to TechCrunch.

Putting those numbers in that context, it demonstrates the scale of the challenge to secure downloads and keep users engaged. It isn’t easy.

And neither is generating revenue from apps. Most apps are free, which can make some wonder how app developers can make any money. According to Gartner, in 2018, most consumers will trust friends, social media recommendations, reviews and adverts to decide which apps to download.

Generating revenue is essential for app developers, so let’s review a few ways to monetize an app before putting one in production.

App Monetisation in 2018 and Beyond

The most common and popular methods are freemium and offering in-app purchases. Advertising is also often used as a revenue generating tools, with apps as a valuable part of mobile and display network advertising channels.

All three methods have positive points to recommend them and drawbacks.

With the in-app purchase option, users might prefer to download apps that are completely free and don’t come with that label. However, most people know that apps that don’t have a price or don’t have in-app purchase options will have adverts, which can be intrusive.

Freemium is proving more popular, although this does require a longer sales cycle and sufficient engagement within the app when onboarding new users to ensure they convert. Acquiring and winning over new customers does take time and money, so this approach won’t necessarily suit those who aren’t working on their business or startup full-time.

With all of that in mind, here are a few other ways you can use to monetize an app without investing thousands every month in advertising and other marketing strategies.

Working with a Data Partner

App data is one way to monetize an app without resorting to adverts.

One way to do this, which will also potentially give you a new way to create features that users need, is to partner with a data software development kit (SDK) partner. User data is highly sought after by market and consumer researchers, providing this data doesn’t include usernames and contact details.

Digital marketing and advertising agencies also find this data highly useful, since they’re always trying to find ways to deliver adverts more effectively.

With an SDK data partner, you can sell this data to third-parties, generating revenue without asking your customers to pay or interrupting the experience with adverts.

However, you must be careful when it comes to consent, making the data anonymous and is as secure as possible. Users must know, it must be made clear in the T&Cs that you have the right to sell their data to third-parties so that they can provide consent; otherwise, you could get in a lot of trouble in Europe after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018.

Paid Download

Creating an app of sufficient value that users pay to download isn’t easy, but it is the quickest and clearest route to revenue.

Look at competitors to get a sense of the average price. Find out, if you can, download numbers of the free vs. paid apps in your sector/category, as a way of working out if this is the right approach, and then give it a price which reflects a fair value (per user) that will enable you to break even on the app within a timescale that fits your goals.

You may need to invest more in marketing to win customers, so one way to improve the odds is to get your app to as many influencers, bloggers, vloggers, and tech journalists as possible before launching. Generate a buzz. Get much-needed reviews, online and in app stores to show people that paying a small amount up-front will give them an app that will solve the particular problem you created it for. In 2017, paid apps generated $29 billion in revenue for developers.

Do as much as you can to encourage consumers or business customers to pay a small amount to download and use so that you generate revenue from the hundreds of hours invested in the app.

Email Marketing

Email marketing, either by selling email data to a third-party, or building up an email newsletter that people open and click (thereby proving its value as an advertising channel for brands) is another effective way to generate revenue.

Similar to working with an SDK data partner: make sure you have permission, and you look after this data well, with as many encryptions as possible to prevent cyber attacks. After all, the last thing any app developer wants is the brand damage after a data breach, followed by a costly fine for failing to protect your customers, even if the breach was the responsibility of any third-party you might be working with.

Which app monetization strategy will you choose?

Source: B2C
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