About the Author: Jonathan Raveh is the Director of Partnerships at appnext, a technology platform that helps its partners to build and scale great mobile businesses by promoting apps. The appnext platform connects the advertisers and app developers directly and transparently, operating on RTB basis. The company provides native app discovery opportunities via API, and scalable SDK tools. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, with offices in Europe and North America, appnext is comprised of a passionate team dedicated to helping developers.
Monetization is essential to any developer’s strategy. The bottom line is that the success of a game or app hinges on a well-planned monetization approach, while a poorly designed approach can be devastating.
To avoid a negative response to your game or app, costing you your user base, you need to understand how to effectively enhance monetization as well as how to procure more money from each user group. Check out these 7 simple tips to gain the foundation for a sound monetization strategy.
Let’s look at the facts. For the iPad market, paid app ARPD (average revenue per download) is higher than in-app ARPD. Thus, don’t be too quick to reject the traditional Paid App model especially if you deal with categories where users welcome these paid apps.
Recommendation: When selecting the paid app monetization model, make sure that your product is truly unique, is innovative, and has the wow-factor, since all the activities aimed at further promoting your paid app will require more effort than promoting a free app.
Creating great apps is not easy. Neither is marketing them and tuning the revenue mechanisms.
If your app monetization strategy is based mostly on advertising, you need to strike the right balance between ad frequency and satisfying user experience. The developers’ dilemma in this sense is a hard one to solve.
But defining your perfect equilibrium between the ad-unit density and UX will pay off soon in higher user retention and engagement, increased eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions), and overall app success.
Try to use less intrusive ad units in your advertising monetization model. These types of ads are also known as Native Ads, and over 60% of publishers prefer this format.
Many ad platforms also consider this format to be the most profitable one for developers, since Native Ads help to maintain the required balance between your earnings and satisfactory UX (User Experience).
You will need to use different monetization strategies for your App Store-based apps and your Google Play-based apps. That is, the success of a particular ad format at one of these stores does not necessarily mean that the same ad format will perform as well at the other store.
Since differences in technology, user behavior, and other factors play a critical part in this process, it is important to customize your monetization strategy accordingly.
Try to avoid using banner ads as the main ad format for your app. This format has been shown to produce a relatively low CTR and eCPM.
For example, use App Wall in your advertising monetization model. Unlike banner ads, this format could produce a CTR of up to 10% as well as an impressive IR rate of up to 3.5%. In light of these figures, App Wall can result in substantial earnings for the developer, making it a profitable alternative to banner ads.
Try to reduce the number of redirects leading to the app that you are advertising. Often, a large number of redirects and additional layers decrease your rates since many users may not wait until they are forwarded to the target page. Therefore, it is better to select the offer with fewer redirects in order to prevent a drop in the number of users.
Apart from the traditional monetization models, there are other interesting models, which recently have started gaining popularity.
This model falls in between the in-app purchases model and the ad model. It is sometimes classified as the in-app/in-game purchases model and is often viewed as a type of paid app with customized payment frequency. This model is rarely used in games today.
In order to use the subscription model, you should prepare the content of your future updates in advance, as well as set up the update schedule for at least 6 months ahead. In this way, you will be able to offer packages with different subscription periods enabling users to clearly see the benefits of buying longer-term subscription packages.
This model can be divided into two types, namely, stimulating and altruistic. The stimulating type means that the user is granted access to the full content and the functionality over the course of time. If the player does not want to wait, he or she has the option to pay in order to access these facilities immediately.
The altruistic type, on the other hand, does not reward the players for making a donation, and there is no limiting of the game. This means that the user does not get anything, such as added benefits or extended content, in return for their donation.
Selecting the best optimized monetization model is fundamental to the success of your product. Experiment, measure everything and stay creative to differentiate your apps even in the way they are monetized.
What have been your experiences with monetizing your app? Share your thoughts in the comments below.