Grow Monetize Optimize
15 Effective Mobile App Monetization Strategies for 2023 and Beyond
Updated on August 11, 2023
The global smartphone market is huge, consisting of 6.648 billion active users, which translates to 83.74% world's population. People who own mobile phones (whether smartphones or feature phones) 7.26 billion, constituting 91.54% of the global population, according to the data from Bankmycell's research.
With such an overwhelming number of mobile phone users, Playstore and iOS stores have also seen a high jump in app launches. The recent data from Techcrunch demonstrates that 218+ apps were downloaded in 2020, showing an increase of 6.86% compared to the previous year. By 2022, global app downloads will reach 258 billion.
Such rapid app industry growth generates excellent mobile app montization opportunities for app owners. With a strategic app revenue model, app owners can monetize their content, reaping the most benefits from the mobile phone revolution.
Successful brands are often limited to mobile app money-making opportunities such as brand sponsorship, referral marketing, merchandise selling, etc. However, new mobile app developers face many challenges in generating revenue. In this regard, let's discuss 15 proven ways to make money from mobile apps. Further, we will dive deeper into strategies to increase mobile app revenue.
Table of Contents
App monetization- how critical it is and where it can fail
Mobile app monetization is a booming industry as millions of apps are currently in use, generating massive revenue for app companies. Let's quickly look at how mobile app revenue has flourished between 2014 to 2023 (anticipated revenue for 2023 based on Statista's report).
Growth in the global app revenue is due to the consistent development of innovative and value-driven apps. Such high growth leads to robust competition among app companies. This competition makes app owners curious about scaling up revenue-oriented strategies.
Selecting the correct app monetization technique is critical to app business success. If a company fails to pick the right monetization strategy, its app cannot generate sustainable revenue, leading to the app's downfall.
Many mobile app growth hacking companies provide app companies with consultation and AI-based app monetization solutions. They help app companies to start working on monetization and revenue growth opportunities in line with app development. This approach prepares an app to generate good revenue right after the launch.
15 effective mobile app monetization strategies for publishers
There are plenty of ways mobile apps can generate good revenue. As mentioned (in the graph), mobile app revenue will reach $935.2 billion in 2023. Following are the tried, tested, and most implemented app monetization strategies to guide startups in the right direction.
Leverage in-app advertising
In-app advertising is arguably the most prevalent and outcome-oriented method to make money from mobile apps. This monetization model involves integrating a third-party ad network into the mobile apps to show for the mobile ecosystem. Initially, the banner ad was
You can choose a preferred ad network from various options like StartApp, AdMob, and InMobi. The ad network pays you based on the clicks or impressions you get on their ad. Also, the cost relies on the ads you run, which can be banner ads, video ads, native ads, interstitial ads, etc.
Advantages of in-app advertising
In-app advertising can be of different formats, from banners, videos, and interstitial and native ads. Hence, in-app ads perform better than banner ads. Moreover, this approach promotes your app to a brand-specific audience rather than targeting random users.
Adopt the in-app purchases model
In-app purchase is a powerful strategy for generating the highest revenue for app owners, and it has continued to evolve in the past few years. In-app purchase is a concept that drives revenue by enabling users to buy virtual items like digital land, outfits, customized avatars, weapons, skin, game characters, and so on within the app. In-app purchases include unlocking a premium feature on a free app or accessing restricted game assets and levels.
Advantages of the in-app purchasing model
For users, in-app purchases ensure convenience as they do not need to exit the app to make purchases. This model offers a flexible monetization strategy for app developers, who can create and sell different content within the app.
Look for sponsorship and partnership
According to the app's niche, mobile apps can generate revenue by attracting sponsorships for promoting upcoming events to OTT shows. For example, if your app is about gaming, you can easily break a sponsorship deal with a tech company that targets youngsters and provides customized educational courses. Reaching out to sponsor the brand and showcase your app's features is a great initiative to grab a profitable sponsorship.
Advantages of sponsorship
Sponsoring a brand is a straightforward and profitable means to monetize a mobile app since brands are ready to pay millions for sponsor ads. App developers can quickly change the layout of their app or add a placement in exchange for money. These ads are then shown as "sponsorship ads" on the desired platform, attracting more views than general ads.
Use premium Subscriptions
Subscriptions allow app owners to generate predictable recurring revenue. That said, your app must have some value to its users that keep them engaged and encourage them to come back and pay every month. The best technique to roll down a premium subscription model is to start with a 14 or 30 days free trial and then charge the subscription fee to users who wish to continue using the paid services.
Advantages of the subscription model
Premium subscriptions generate revenue to fund the development of your app projects underway. With paid users, your app makes money instantly once deployed. Simply put, the premium model ends the struggle of app monetization with free apps.
The term freemium is a combination of "free+premium" that refers to an app monetization model in which free download is available. Still, users need to pay a certain amount to unlock premium features. The users initially download and explore their free version and upgrade to the premium version if they find the content worth paying for. Freemium is an excellent means to showcase your valuable content to the users and entice them.
Advantages of the Freemium model
The Freemium model easily attracts a huge user base without the complexities of managing traditional sales and marketing campaigns. Additionally, the model allows app users to trust the product/service before switching to paid subscriptions.
Transit to paid apps
App developers sometimes do not provide a free version of an app because their app is precious to encourage users to pay. These paid apps generate high revenue from apps compared to a free or freemium model-based app. A paid app requires users to choose a pricing plan from the available options during signup. However, paid apps are not viable options if an app intends to build the brand and generate awareness across targeted audience demographics.
Advantages of paid apps
Revenue on paid apps is directly proportional to the number of downloads. Hence, brainstorming strategies to calculate app revenue or its sources is no conflict. Also, paid apps are a high revenue generator compared to free apps.
Earn with licensing
While licensing is a proven means to monetize a mobile app, it is imperative to take users' consent on the data type you collect and for licensing terms. With the licensing model, apps do not charge any price from the users, but they generate money through licensing. Let's take the example of an app that records high traffic. This app can license its community-driven data for businesses looking to leverage the data for advertising or promotion purposes.
Advantages of licensing
Licensing generates consistent revenue without charging a penny from the app users. It further helps apps ensure that data are utilized as per the company's brand and value compliance.
Setup crowdfunding campaigns
Crowdfunding is an effective way to raise funds and grow your venture during the early stages of free app development. Popular crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Patreon, Fundly, and Crowdcube have been helping millions to raise funds through crowdfunding and donation.
These platforms allow raising funds by highlighting the value-driven benefits of their apps before the fund donors. Fundera's statistics show that Indiegogo projects have raised an average of $41,634 each. Such breathtaking data signifies that app developers must give crowdfunding a try.
Advantages of crowdfunding
Crowdfunding provides app developers with a quick infusion of capital, lending them help to accomplish their projects as expected. Furthermore, crowdfunding campaigns are the best spot for developers to tap into a pool of potential app users. Reaching such a larger quantity of prospectus can be challenging without crowdfunding campaigns.
Grow with native ads
Native ads fall under the category of "highest CTR generating" ad format that drives success to the app monetization model. What makes native ads the best form of advertising is their ability to seamlessly integrate into any host app and appear as the next feed post. Implementation done is suitable, native ads drive around 8.8 times higher engagement than regular ads, sending more visitors and traffic to your mobile app for monetization.
Advantages of native ads
Native ads are proven to drive conversions and boost brand value compared to other ad formats. While pop-ups and intrusive ads may appear annoying to audiences, native ads sound informative with content that provides value to the viewers.
Implement interstitial Ads
The success of an app monetization model comes from experimenting with new ad layouts and strategies. App developers can generate revenue by running various ads on their mobile app ecosystem, but interstitial ads are getting higher traction nowadays. While ads are designed according to user behavior analytics, app developers often struggle to combat banner blindness and users' disinterest in standard forms of ads.
Interstitial ads are capable of ending these prevailing challenges that are roadblocks to effective advertising. Unlike banner ads bound by size restrictions and persistence, Interstitial ads appear for a specific duration and cover the whole mobile screen, ultimately grabbing the viewers' attention. However, the pop-up for Interstitial must vanish instantly, within a few seconds, or it will interrupt the user navigation experience.
Advantages of interstitial ads
Interstitial ads enhance viewability, driving higher user engagement and traffic to any app. Also, viewers barely ignore full-screen ads unless the audience is not relevant to the app.
Put video first
Video content is becoming increasingly popular over time. Looking at the facts from Hubspot's research, over 50% of customers prefer watching videos of brands rather than engaging with other types of content. The most popular forms of video ads are product explainer videos, case study videos, video client testimonials, webinars, and master classes. All this video content will increase brand awareness and attract more prospects to engage with your videos
Advantages of video content
Videos are easy to watch and require less concentration from viewers. Introducing your app and its benefits in video allows people to easily watch those videos and understand the intended message while doing other tasks.
Use SMS marketing
While SMS is considered a far-lost advertising approach, we all know that well-written and humorous text messages impact the readers. Use SMS to tell users about recent and upcoming offers on discounts, new additions on in-app purchases, and premium subscriptions.
Ensure that your SMS reaches the receiver during the peak time when users are free to read the whole message. This peak time can be when your target audience travels to the workplace and again while they are on their way home. Nobody bothers to read SMS while preparing important reports or at their dinner table.
Advantages of SMS
Writing an SMS and sending it is quick. App publishers do not need to spend hours creating a content strategy for SMS or conducting a brainstorming session to plan it. A person with good humor and sarcasm but professionalism can write effective messages and make your SMS campaign successful.
Use email marketing
Email marketing is partially effective in mobile app monetization. Emails are not a logical fit for acquiring new app downloaders, but you can efficiently engage with the existing app users and motivate them to become paid app users. Also, email is a great way to send your case study and client success stories to potential clients and make them your customers.
Advantages of SMS emails
App publishers benefit from users' habit of checking emails from time to time, reading the messages, and trusting emails more than other written forms of communication. With a creative subject line, your mail stands out and significantly impacts the receivers.
Not everyone who opens your app and explores it becomes a registered user. Hence, retargeting is vital for an effective user acquisition strategy. Retargeting refers to an app marketing and monetization technique in which previous app visitors' specific behavior has been studied and noted. You can promote your app's discount offers, feature roll-out, or any other benefits before these audiences, as they are more likely to convert and add to your existing user base.
Advantages of retargeting
Retargeting saves an app publisher's time in searching for potential customers from zero. Organizing a data list of prospectus and reaching them is all you need to get leads that easily convert.
Strengthen your content strategy
Excellent and relevant content is directly proportional to higher app traffic. The content you share on your app or outside the app (for third-party promotion and influencer marketing) must be explicitly curated to trigger your targeted audience to sign up for your app. The more traffic you get on your app, the higher RPM you will receive from the advertisers.
Advantages of content strategy
Content is important because it answers your audience's questions regarding your brand. You can build and strengthen customer relationships and improve retention and conversions with impactful content. App publishers must think from the customers' perspective, not as a brand to produce good content.
How to optimize your mobile app revenue?
The mobile app industry has witnessed tremendous success in the last decade. With success, the competition also skyrocketed. Mobile app businesses can't afford to miss strategies that help them stay competitive.
Setup a flexible revenue model
Flexibility in your mobile app revenue model is essential as it allows you to alter the existing strategies and integrate the new and improved strategy corresponding to the changing industry trends and user interest shifts. A flexible revenue model further saves the time, effort, and resources required to create a revenue model from scratch to implement changes.
Keep testing new techniques.
Numerous mobile app monetization techniques are widespread across the industry besides the top-5 methods mentioned in this post. Monetization techniques like affiliating marketing, paywalls, and long-form video ads are worth implementing to accelerate your mobile app revenue. Therefore, testing new monetization strategies is integral instead of replying to the same technique.
Employ app monetization solutions
Find a trusted company that specializes in building tailor-made mobile app monetization and user acquisition solutions to help your app revenue. GreedyGame, a programmatic advertising technology company, offers consultation on app growth and provides app monetization solutions to app experts on designing personalized revenue acceleration strategies. This way, you can focus on other essential aspects of your business while keeping the growth. Fundera's statistics show that Indiegogo projects have greatly raised an average of $41,634 each. Such breathtaking data signifies that app developers must give crowdfunding a try.
Mobile app monetization opportunities at GreedyGame
GreedyGame offers app publishers a compact mobile app monetization solution, that publishers can use to access Google AdX without juggling policy conflicts. Additionally, the app publishers leverage AdX's unique attributes for effective mobile app monetization. Following is a brief overview of those features:-
Access to premium demand partners
Get a chance to present your ad inventory across premium demand partners and direct advertisers from the GreedyGame network. Ensure the highest bid on your placements for maximized yield.
Maintain app policy compliance
Dedicated programmatic advertising experts and QA analysts at GreedyGame help you discover and resolve policy conflicts related to AdX registration and access seamlessly on time.
Granular insights and actionable analytics
Access GreedyGame AdX's comprehensive dashboard to see granular insights and deeper analytics related to your ad performance, from information about demand partners to high-performing ad formats. Higher fill rates & eCPMs Get 24/7 operational support from AdX experts and QA analysts to earn maximum revenue on every impression.
App monetization- FAQs
How do I make money from my mobile app?
There are various means to make money from your mobile app; app monetization is the most prevalent. As the best app monetization techniques, you can choose in-app purchases and data monetization, which are highly popular app monetization methods at the current time.
How much revenue can I generate from my app?
The amount of revenue depends on various factors, such as the selection of app monetization strategy, ad networks, and the amount of user base on your app. Generally, a successful app can generate more than $1000 in monthly revenue.
Which mobile app monetization strategy is the most effective one?
There's no specific parameter that determines the effectiveness of app monetization strategies. You can choose a strategy based on the type and niche of your mobile app. For example, the in-app purchase model is more impactful for gaming apps. In comparison, banner and native ads are a good fit for websites that offer news and informational content.
Should I use mobile app monetization solutions to grow existing app revenue?
You can use app monetization, growth, and ad revenue optimization solutions. These solutions allow your app to accelerate the existing revenue with benefits such as unlocking premium demand partners, suggestions on improving ads and implementing a more relevant revenue model.
Mobile app monetization is a revenue source for publishers that won't dry up in the coming decades. However, mobile app monetization strategies will continue to evolve and become more complex over time. App companies with a core focus on transformation and an attitude to take up challenges can surpass the expected revenue growth graph.