Complete Guide to Mobile App Monetisation (2023)



Cameron Barrie


May 30, 2023

Complete Guide to Mobile App Monetisation (2023)

The Road to Mobile App Monetisation

Users. Engagement. Purse-bursting revenues. For most developers and publishers, nothing is more important than these three things when it comes to mobile apps and sadly, nothing is more frustrating than not having any of them. It is time to dive into the world of mobile app monetisation and find a way to make the mobile app you have work for you.

A lot of people are turning to mobile apps for convenience, and they’re getting super popular by the day – as of 2020 mobile apps have been downloaded globally 230 billion times. Hence, the success of mobile applications in the industry is no secret, so naturally, everyone wants a piece of that sweet pie.

However, the global mobile app market is getting bigger! Digital analytics firm SensorTower reported that global consumer spending on mobile apps reached 133 billion USD in 2021, 20% more than the previous year, and forecasts by Allied Market Research predict that the mobile app economy market size worldwide will be worth 407.31 billion USD by 2026, a growth rate of 18.4% from 2019.

With a booming potential for growth, the global mobile app market is poised to become a major force in years to come. It is easy to see why, with millions of apps already available for everything from storing recipes to finding a date it is hard to imagine life without them.

On the other hand, despite the potential revenues that mobile applications can generate, only a few application creators can profitably monetise their platforms. Most of the apps you see in the app store won’t garner a thousand downloads and those that do have a slim chance of earning any significant revenue for their creators.

Then there is the costly price tag of developing and launching a mobile to consider – with the average mobile app requiring up to $200,000.

No matter what your app is for, seeing that so much is on the line even if you’re not bringing the next PUBG Mobile (top-grossing mobile game of 2021) to market, winging it is not the right approach to your app’s success in 2023.

This guide will teach you every detail you need to know about mobile app monetisation, so you can make as much money off your app as possible.

Three things you need to know before you start

So, you have created an app that has taken the world by storm. People are downloading it in droves and talking about it on social media. You are convinced that your app is the next big thing and that you’re going to become a millionaire.

There are three things that you should know from the outset:

Let’s get started by clearing this up

What is App Monetisation?

Anyone who has ever put a single foot in the world of mobile apps has likely heard some variation of it over and over again. That is because app monetisation is one of the biggest talking points in the entire industry.

But in truth, there is not much to talk about. App monetisation is nothing more than a fancy way of saying “earning profit from an app.”

App monetisation is a strategy that enables you to create revenue from your mobile app – it means finding ways to earn money from it.

For those of us who have spent years working in the mobile industry, app monetisation might seem very clear-cut and obvious. But for a lot of people who are new to the game (there are plenty), it can be murky and confusing.

In any case, the monetisation of mobile apps is a complex and intertwined process which in turn has a deep impact on your app’s success – so (again) know what you are doing or get help from those who have cracked it! It can seem complicated, but it does not have to be. Once you understand the basics, it is not hard to create a plan for your app.

Why should you monetise your app?

The quick and dirty answer: because it helps you make money!

If you want to stay afloat in this competitive marketplace, you need a way to make money from your mobile app – it’s as simple as that. Unfortunately, developing a monetisation strategy is not so simple.

The trend of free apps means there is a new imperative among app owners to find ideal ways to generate revenue after apps are downloaded. And you are not going to be able to reach your goals without putting a strategy together.

Stay in the money by making sure your app brings in a steady cash stream and that it does so without alienating its users by preserving its user experience.

It might be tempting to focus exclusively on how increased mobile monetisation can drive more revenue. However, it is also important to consider how certain strategies can diminish your audience’s experience. At Bilue, our team of specialists will help you optimise your apps so that you are making the most money possible without sacrificing usability or engagement. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Mobile app monetisation is not straightforward

The road to mobile app monetisation is riddled with potholes – some of them big enough to swallow your app whole. You will be spending a large portion of

your time trying to avoid them. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. The market for apps is too crowded for even a clever idea to have immediate success without some serious thought as to how you are going to achieve mobile app monetisation.

There are several strategies for making money from an app, but each one has its pros and cons. Some are more suited to several types of apps than others, so it’s important to carefully consider which strategy will work best for your needs.

What do the numbers say?

Apps take up 90% of time spent on mobile devices (Smart Insights)

Apps are where it’s at, and they represent an enormous opportunity for savvy business owners who develop their apps or work with developers to create one.

And if you guessed that those apps are mostly games, you’d be right but the number two category is lifestyle and entertainment.

If you’re a business owner looking to get into the game and make your mark in the world of mobile apps, this stat should interest you.

However, understanding your options, and the best time to adopt them, is key. Developing a perfect app that attracts users is essential to your success, but you should be aware that the number of downloads may have little to do with earning money!

Before you drop all of your cash on your app idea, get a second opinion and make sure it’s worthwhile. Let our experienced team of app developers  tell you if you should stop and think a little harder. We won’t steer you wrong.

Most Apps are Free (Statista)

At the end of December 2021, a whopping 97% of apps in the Google Play app store and 93.7% of all iOS applications were free to download. Nevertheless, the good news is that there are various monetisation strategies you can employ to still make money with free apps – you just have to get your strategies right.

There is no room for second-best in the cutthroat world of the app development business

So many apps! Of course, today’s phone users have a lot of apps to choose from: it is estimated that there are more than 4.5 million active apps available in the Apple App Store and more than 2.6 million apps in the Google Play Store as of December 2021. And, on top of that, did we mention that the average user has more than 80 apps already installed on their phone? It means your work is cut out for you and would require you to have the brightest talents and cutting-edge tools in your corner if you want to stack the odds in your favour.

Gaming apps dominate in terms of the amount of revenue generated

Seems the majority of app users love games and apps, which is why Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store earn a major chunk of their revenue from games in 2022 – 71% to be exact, even though they have much else to offer. That is why gamification is potentially a game-changer for your business; it’s all using games/game-like features to help you improve revenue.

The Apple App Store makes far more money than the Google Play Store (Business of Apps)

Revenue generated from apps in the Apple App Store as of Q4 2021 was USD85.1 billion compared to Google Play’s USD USD47.9 billion for the same period. The implication of this is that if you’ve got your heart set on getting a ton of revenue from a mobile app, you might want to target Apple’s App Store. That

said, keep in mind that there is more than two times the number of apps in the App Store than in the Google Play Store, and that’s not ignoring the fact that one-fifth of those apps are games – that’s a rather significant reason for this statistic. And of course, there’s this too: the iPhone is popular in wealthy regions like North America, Australia, the UK, most parts of Europe, and Japan.

When it comes to mobile apps, Gen Z uses them most!

According to TechJury, 66% of the time the typical 18 to 24-year-olds spend with digital media is on smartphone apps. ComScore came to a similar conclusion.

Consumers’ spend on non-gaming apps is driven largely by subscription-based apps

In 2021, consumers spent USD18.3 billion on subscription apps, Sensor Tower reported in its subscription apps revenue report. Breaking it down, according to the same report consumers spent more on subscriptions via the App Store than they did on Google Play. The top one hundred non-gaming subscription apps on the App Store generated more than 13.5 billion USD in revenue in 2021, a 31% increase over the 10.3 billion USD app makers collected in 2020, as consumers spent nearly 4.8 billion USD on leading subscription apps in Google Play.

How to Make Money with Your App: Pulling Back The Curtain on 8 Monetisation Strategies

Well, now the rubber meets the road: let’s get down to brass tacks here and answer the question, “How do I make money with my app?”

The good news is that there are many ways to monetise mobile apps. Below, we will give you a quick overview of the most popular app monetisation strategies

and their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision regarding which one is best suited for your app.

Let’s get down to business.

Paid Downloads (Paid Apps)

The paid download business model may be the most straightforward of all app monetisation strategies. In this model, users pay a fee to download your app (from an app store or marketplace).

This model is not without limitations, as it requires you to convince users to pay for your app in advance of them using it. This can be difficult, but if you have a strong brand and presence in the market, this might be a good option.

You’ll also want to consider that the average price of mobile apps has been declining rapidly over the last few years, so your strategy here will need to take into account if your app falls into a premium category or not.

In general, you should set the price of your premium app to be in the same range as apps that users are accustomed to paying for similar apps. To get an idea: according to Statista, there were 33,254 budget apps in the Google Play store as of March 2022 costing less than a dollar. Also, 26,390 apps cost between 1-2 US dollars and of the apps analysed, 2,174 were priced at 9 – 10 U.S. dollars. On the other hand, the average price of an app in the Apple App Store is US$4.9, as reported by Business of Apps.


  • You will earn money upfront.
  • User is less likely to abandon the app after downloading
  • They are not overly reliant on ads and do not interrupt the user experience with pop-up ads.


  • You have to convince potential customers that your app is worth their money.
  • You might get fewer downloads because many people will look for free apps before they consider paid ones.
  • You must share revenue with Apple and/or Google Play.

The freemium and subscription model

Silicon Valley bigwig Fred Wilson created the term “freemium”, which is a combination of “free” and “premium.” The freemium model remains one of the most popular ways to monetise apps – It works by offering a free app version with in-app purchases and paid upgrades for those who want access to additional features.

The freemium model can be particularly effective for apps that provide long-term value and encourage repeat use. Users who download a free app may be more likely to invest in paid upgrades after they see first-hand how useful an app is.

The free version may allow users to try the app out before making a purchase, or you can include basic features that are enough to satisfy most users. You can also use the free version to create a following for your brand and introduce new products as they become available.

For example, Tinder lets users create a profile, Swipe Right™ (to like someone), or Swipe Left™ to pass. Users who want more features (like unlimited ability to undo your last swipe, ability to change your location, swipe ad-free, control over visibility, etc.), however, must upgrade to Tinder Plus starting at $9.99 a month.

From a user perspective, the freemium/subscription model is probably the most frustrating of all revenue streams. It works like this: You download a free app, play it for a while and then realise that you have to pay to access certain features.

When you take a step back and think about it, the subscription model is a solution where everyone benefits both customers and companies. The customer gets access to content or a service that they use regularly, like Netflix or Spotify, and the company gets a steady stream of recurring revenue.

It’s a simple concept, but one that has become increasingly popular over the past few years.

And both Google and Apple seem to love it too, demonstrated by their willingness to offer developers a better revenue share of the income from the subscription apps.

For example, until now, the standard split was 70/30 in the Apple app store. However, Apple changed this rule for subscription apps; app developers will take home 85% of revenues earned from those apps, while Apple takes 15%.

Driven by changes like these, developers will likely opt for a subscription model in the future.


  • It attracts more users: If users aren’t required to pay anything upfront, they’ll be more willing to download and try out your app. And if users like your free version, they will be more likely to purchase the premium version that offers additional features.
  • It is easier for you: You don’t have to worry about pricing your app just right or convincing people that it’s worth paying for upfront. You also don’t have to worry about the hassle of refunds or customer service when someone doesn’t like what they got.
  • The user experience doesn’t suffer.


The downside of this model is the potential for fraud and abuse.

  • You have to figure out how much functionality you want to give away for free (which can be difficult).
  • Expect to share your revenue with the app stores.
  • Some people are naturally reluctant to pay subscription fees for software. The experience can be compared to cable TV, which is expensive but not always worth it for every user. Still, if your product delivers value beyond what’s available elsewhere, then subscriptions can be effective.
In-app advertising

In-app advertising is a form of monetisation where brands pay money to have their ads placed within an app. These ads are typically displayed as banners or videos, but they can also take a variety of forms such as keyword search ads or video overlays.

For example, if you have a game app, you could run banner ads from other app developers who want you to download their games. Or if you’re an eCommerce merchant looking for a way to monetise your fashion app, then you could place banner ads from clothing retailers.

This approach can be tricky, though. Too many ads and users will become annoyed and leave; too few, and you won’t make enough money. As with all user-facing features, it’s important to test different ad configurations with real users before launching your app. Types of mobile in-app ads:

Native Ads:

Native ads are the best in-app advertising strategy to monetise your app. This is because they don’t interrupt the user experience, but instead, these ads blend into the design and format of the user experience they’re placed in, so they typically have higher click-through rates than other forms of in-app ads.

Interstitial Ads:

These ads take over the entire screen until dismissed by the user.

They can be static or video and appear during natural transition points like between two activities or when a user launches or exits an app. Choosing these moments will aid your users’ experience and make your ads less intrusive than displaying them mid-game for example.

Interstitials tend to perform better than banners because they do demand the user’s full attention and provide more screen real estate for advertisers. When an app shows an interstitial ad, the user has the choice to either tap on the ad and continue to its destination or close it and return to the app.

Banner Ads:

Banner ads were originally the most common type of in-app ad, and they’re often seen at the top or bottom of a mobile app. Banner ads can be static or dynamic, but they do tend to be less interactive than other ad types. The main issue is that they are also the most hated by users. If you’re lucky, they’ll annoy your users enough to make them pay to get rid of them. The problem with banners is that they don’t fit in with the design of most apps, so they look ugly. They are also quite obtrusive; they distort the experience of your app and make it feel like a cheap cash grab. For these negative reasons, their popularity is waning.

Cons and Pros of mobile in-app ads


  • In-app advertising is a great way to monetise your app without passing along any costs to the consumer.
  • In-app ads allow you to earn money from free apps. This approach works well for apps that wouldn’t be able to attract many users if they were paid.
  • Easy to set up and implement into any app.


  • Users find ads annoying and intrusive – which can ultimately push them away from your app altogether.
  • Ads can slow down your app and reduce battery life on phones.
  • In most cases, a large user base is required to see significant returns.
In-app purchases

In-app purchases (IAPs) refer to when users purchase items or features within your mobile app.

There are two popular types of in-app purchases: consumable and non- consumable. Consumable purchases include virtual currency and other items that users can spend within an app; non-consumable purchases include features like premium content or additional functionality (e.g., adding more layers to a drawing tool).

In-app purchases can also include selling physical goods or services through your app. For instance, if you’re an online clothing retailer, your app might allow users to shop directly from their phone or a travel app could sell hotel reservations or airline tickets. Users will appreciate being able to do everything within your app, rather than switching between different apps, and this could also help your conversion rates.

Affiliate Commissions

Another way to monetise your mobile app is by including affiliate links. Essentially, you earn a commission when users purchase from one of the brands you recommend within your app. This can be done through in-app advertising or simply by promoting products/services/brands you use and love. Even if your app is free, you can make money by directing your users to other services. For example, a price review app could refer users to product merchants’ online marketplace.


  • Low entry barrier: You don’t have to worry about creating anything or dealing with customer service.
  • Easy to scale: You can quickly increase your earnings by adding more affiliate products and services


  • Low-profit margins: Affiliate marketing comes with low-profit margins because you’re only earning a small percentage of sales and not the full price. This can make it difficult to earn enough money on sales to make a living off of your app. You may need high-ticket items or many items just to make ends meet, and that’s not always practical in all niches.
Data monetisation

One of the central challenges facing mobile app publishers is caused by the fact that users have become accustomed to free apps. It has created a trend where developers are required to provide free apps to attract more downloads. There are several ways an app can make money, but with user experience being such a huge priority for many, less intrusive methods like data monetisation are growing in popularity.

Data monetisation is a really broad term that includes any revenue associated with data. It includes taking advantage of the data generated by apps and using it for different purposes, such as gaining insights into user behaviour or selling it to third parties like advertisers or brokers.

A good way to think about data monetisation is to break it down into two categories: Direct monetisation (selling/licensing data) and indirect monetisation (using data to improve decision-making).

By harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence, app publishers can provide targeted ads and real-time recommendations to users that help increase engagement and drive sales.

Data monetisation offers a way for app publishers to generate revenue while providing value to users by giving them what they want – which could be free content and services.


  • Users can still use your app for free, meaning you do not have to sacrifice the retention rate to make money.
  • It provides publishers with a lucrative way to make money from their mobile apps as it helps businesses to understand their users in a better way. This can help provide better services to them.
  • This strategy does not ruin the user experience.


  • The businesses that rely on data monetisation may have to face legal challenges from the users if any. Other challenges include getting the consent of the users, who agree to share their personal information for money.
  • Requires a high level of data integration and structuring.
  • Your data may not be valuable enough to generate revenue.
Transactional apps

Transactional apps are apps that make money by charging for user actions. Transactional apps are an emerging trend in the FinTech space. Think trading and investment apps for example – the app makes money with each transaction whether it be a conversion of crypto assets to fiat or vice versa or trading shares. Binance and Robinhood apps are good examples.


The sponsorship model is becoming more common as it allows the developer to retain full control of their app while also gaining a steady income. It involves partnering up with a sponsor brand and including their products or services in your app.

Implementing this strategy can be through various methods. It could be via:

  • In-app mentions.
  • Creating a branded version of your app.
  • Displaying the sponsor’s logo prominently in the app.
  • Offering a special deal for the sponsor’s customers who use your app;
  • Providing an interactive feature that gives users access to the sponsor’s products or services, etc.

You might think that sponsorship is only for sports teams or public radio shows, but an app sponsorship works just like any other sponsorship. To find sponsors, think about who would benefit from being associated with your app. If you already have a huge following, this should be easy – just approach companies whose products or services might appeal to your audience and ask about rates and advertising opportunities. If your audience is smaller, you may need to look for local businesses or even local offices of larger companies — they tend to have more leeway than national offices when it comes to these kinds of decisions.


  • Sponsorships are also easy to implement, as there is no need to integrate an ad network or payment gateway into your app, and you don’t have to worry about handling purchases and inventory. All you need is an agreement with the sponsor, and you’re good to go.
  • Another big pro of having a sponsor is that it will likely result in some publicity for your app, which could lead to more downloads and possibly even reviews.
  • Sponsorship tends to relatively last long-term. While a developer may not have a constant flow of income, they will receive sponsor payments regularly. This can help with financial planning and stability.


  • One of the biggest cons of using sponsorship as your primary source of revenue is that it can limit your users’ experience with your app. For example, if you sell your app as a sponsorship opportunity, then you could lose control over what kind of content is shown within your app. Your sponsor may be promoting something unrelated to your app or isn’t exactly user-friendly.
  • You will not have to spend a lot of time finding sponsors as there may not be many companies that sponsor apps like yours.
  • Sponsors may not be available all the time and if you want to change them, you may have to add another update to your application which may not be convenient at times.
  • You may have trouble negotiating a fair price for your app. Sponsors may not value your app as highly as you do, so they may try to get away with paying less than what it’s worth.

Deciding the right mobile app monetisation model for your app

App monetisation models are the result of a lot of work. Your app is launched, you have users and you’re ready to start making money. But remember, there is no one-size-fits-all monetization model for your app.

You have to consider a lot of things when deciding on your monetisation strategy

– including your industry and the amount of competition, users, location, etc. And before you get all huffy, let us explain.

The problem with apps is that not every app can earn from the same monetisation channel. Certain apps will do better with a Freemium model, while others will perform better when they have in-app ads or use a subscription model. It depends on the type of app you’ve built and what your users want from it.

So what should you do?

First, determine what your app’s value is. Look at the features it offers and think about the kinds of people who will use it. Also, consider its utility. Will people use it once and never open it again? Or is it something they’ll need every day?

Apps that are used frequently or provide a service are often good candidates for subscription-based monetisation models. Apps that have less utility but offer useful services on occasion work better with in-app purchase models.

Developers are increasingly realising that some apps do well with a combination of two or more monetisation strategies. The key is to find the right balance so as not to alienate your users.

On the other hand, it is easier to determine the right monetisation strategy for some types of apps. For example, gaming apps tend to use in-app purchases or a “freemium” model with in-app ads, in-app purchases are the obvious option for eCommerce apps, while productivity apps might use subscription pricing or in-app advertising (depending on whether they’re free).

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve come up with these tried-and-true tips to keep in mind:
  • Start with the end in mind – research the pros and cons of each strategy and consider how well each aligns with your goals.
  • Nail down that market research to hone in on your users’ needs
  • If you want people to stick around, give them a reason to – provide value!
  • Once you have decided on your monetisation model, you should test and verify it in the early stages of development to make sure it isn’t going to bomb your launch.
  • Be flexible with your revenue model; stay in your users’ good graces by making sure you never charge them more than a reasonable amount.
  • Keep an eye on the latest market trends.
  • Be careful that your strategy doesn’t throw off the UX of the app.
  • Find an experienced development company like Bilue who can help you implement it with ease.

Tick all of these boxes and you’ve likely got yourself a winner.

Turbo-charge your app’s cash flow with these best practices and tactics

With so many apps competing for attention, you’ll have to use every weapon in your arsenal to stand out from the crowd and get users clicking that download button. And because there are so many factors that affect app monetisation, we’ve outlined some best practices that will help you find success and earn more revenue.

The user experience should be front and center

As a developer, it can be easy to get caught up in features and functionality. But apps that don’t put the user first aren’t likely to become profitable, regardless of how cool their features might be.

Why does UI/UX matter for cash flow?

If you have a great product that solves a real problem for your customers, you should be able to charge them money for it. But if your app is ugly or hard to use, or if users get lost or feel confused while using it, they won’t pay you any money.

A product’s UI/UX can be a key differentiator for your business in today’s competitive marketplace. That’s because people are increasingly demanding when it comes to mobile apps. They want a fast, seamless experience – one that eliminates friction. So unless an app serves up something truly unique, users won’t hesitate to dump it for a competitor that does. Not only that, but even small improvements in your app’s usability can result in huge boosts to engagement and retention.

A note about App accessibility:

Part of monetizing an app is making sure that it can be used by as many people as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure your app is accessible to people with disabilities. An accessible app has been built in such a way that its features can be used by people with disabilities. For example, some vision-impaired people use screen readers to navigate applications on their devices. Other examples of accessibility are when a developer provides auditory feedback when an action occurs in the app, the use of subtitles and video elements.

Accessibility helps everyone, not just those with disabilities. When your application is designed to be accessible to as many users as possible, you’re creating an inclusive interface that works well for everyone. By doing so you’re positioning your product well to take as much money others are failing to grab off the table.

Keep your finger on your app’s performance pulse

Review your app’s performance metrics, identify your most engaged users, and find out which features they use the most. You can use this information to create a monetisation strategy that meets their needs and generates revenue for your organisation.

Analytics to monitor include:

  • Daily downloads
  • number of reviews and average rating
  • Number of active users
  • Retention rate (the percentage of users who continue to use an app after downloading)
  • Session length (how long someone uses an app at a time).
A/B test your pricing strategy

There’s a fine line between what users will pay for and what they won’t. Will your app sink or swim based on the price point you set?

It’s important to AB test your pricing strategy. You can do this with a few different variants of the same product, each at a different price point, and see which one performs better.

A/B testing gives you an objective way to determine a sweet spot for your pricing strategy. It helps you understand whether a specific revenue model is right for your business and whether the cost of your app is too high or too low.

Are you charging too much for premium features? Would a lower price drive more sign-ups? What about trial periods? Do people like to pay in monthly or yearly increments, or would they rather pay a one-time fee? You won’t know unless you test. To do this testing quickly, our developers can use a split-testing tool to find that perfect sweet spot where you’re maximising revenue while keeping churn rates low.

Diversify your app’s income streams

You’ve heard the saying: “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It’s even more important in the world of app monetisation.

If you’re depending on a single revenue stream, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to any changes in user behaviour or market trends. A shift like that can be costly.

Instead, look at the different ways you can monetise your app and try to take advantage of as many of them as possible – that works best for your app and users. This will help ensure you have multiple revenue streams that aren’t susceptible to the same forces, making your business a lot more stable.

For example: freemium app (free with optional in-app purchases) or hybrid model (paid with optional in-app purchases) is the best way to maximise the number of people downloading and using your app.

Find ways to always onboard new users

You can’t fill a bucket with no water in it. You need to be constantly marketing your app because when you do get those new users, they’ll be worth more money. Plus, you want to make provisions for user churns.

Here’s what to do:

Get the word out about your app in every way possible

Test out different channels until you find the perfect combination. Try using ads on Google and Bing, Facebook, YouTube (usually very cost-effective), a blog, a podcast, guest posts on relevant blogs, Twitter, Instagram, and more!

Ask existing customers for reviews in the app store and referrals via email

If customers love your product, they’ll be more than happy to give you a review or two! Do not underestimate the influence of social proof – many would-be users are just waiting to read a positive review to hit that download button.

Make sure you’re using App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO is similar to SEO but for mobile apps – it refers to optimising your app store listings to rank higher in the search results.

Link out to your app download page from your website (or other digital assets)

Make sure your mobile website, social media profiles, and other digital assets have a link that takes visitors directly to your app store page. Also make sure all of this information is easy to access on any page of your site (i.e., add an icon that takes users directly to the app store).

Use social login to increase app sign-ups

Users hate creating new accounts, especially if your app requires them to fill out lengthy forms. So instead of requiring users to type in their information, let them sign up with Facebook or another social network.

Use push notifications to onboard new users

Push notifications can be used for more than just reminders about events or updates about friends’ activity on the app. They can also be used for onboarding new users. One way to do this is by sending new users a welcome message as soon as they’ve downloaded your app. Another way is by sending an immediate notification that encourages them to take action within the app (e.g., invite friends or make their first purchase).

Make it easy for new users

You could implement onboarding features like short tutorials or quick tips to help users get started and become familiar with your app’s features. This can significantly improve the user experience and set them up for future success within your app, thus increasing the likelihood of becoming a regular user.

Create a referral program

Referrals are one of the most effective ways to acquire new users at a low cost because they leverage the pre-existing relationship between existing customers and their friends or family members. You can create a referral program by offering incentives to referrers such as discounts on future purchases, cash bonuses, or gift cards in exchange for bringing in new users.

Build relationships early and often with influencers

Getting coverage from journalists at major publications is one of the best ways to get exposure for mobile apps, and that exposure often translates into downloads. To get journalists’ attention, you have to pitch them story ideas consistently over time – not just once but several times a month. Another advantage of pitching often is that it


If it makes sense for your app, create a “lite” version with limited functionality that users can upgrade once they’re hooked. Or consider a freemium model that allows users access to basic functionality for free but requires them to subscribe or purchase additional features as needed.

The goal is to create a user base who understands how valuable your app can be and is willing to pay for advanced functionality once they’ve learned how it works.

Make your app’s value obvious

There are several reasons why apps fail to generate revenue, but one reason is that they don’t make their value obvious enough to users.

While your offering may be incredible and worth every penny, if users don’t understand why they should pay for it, they won’t pay for it.

Focus on what you can do for the user and not just focus on the features of your app. Listing product features doesn’t explain what those features can do for the user, who doesn’t care about features; they’re only interested in how your app benefits them.

In general, people are more likely to download or pay for an app if they are desperate or convinced that the benefits of your product exceed its cost.

Make it easy to make payment

The basic principle of any business is that it should receive cash in exchange for goods or services. But the cost of what you’re selling shouldn’t include a lot of hassle, stress, or confusion for the customer.

Nothing will lose a customer quicker than an error-prone or slow payment process. You can avoid this by making payments straightforward. If possible, allow users to complete transactions without having to register for an account, so they aren’t required to enter personal information that may make them uncomfortable.

Accept as many forms of payment as possible

Credit cards are by far the most popular form of online payment, but offering alternative methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay will increase the likelihood of a sale. The more options you offer, the better chance you have of making a sale/payment.

Free content should be just a taste of what paid users get

Everyone wants something for nothing.

This is especially true for mobile apps, where users are accustomed to browsing an app store and downloading whatever they like without paying a cent.

Freemium apps have to give away some value for free to get people to download and use the app. But if you give away too much content, people will never convert from free to paid.

To encourage people to upgrade, you’ll need to ensure that the basic content is easy for anyone to understand but only tantalising enough that people want more. If users think they can live without the extra features (or if it’s too difficult for them to figure out why they need them), then they won’t pay up.

The goal is to create an irresistible hook that makes people want to pay for more. This doesn’t mean making your free content worthless and unusable on its own. It means giving users just enough content that they’ll want more.

Updates should be regular and relevant

If your app is pretty stagnant, you may have a problem. Users need fresh content to keep them engaged, and if the app remains unchanged for too long, it’s time for that user to move on. The best way to make sure users stay engaged is to keep the updates coming.

The market is constantly changing, so if you’re not updating your app as trends develop and change, you’ll quickly fall behind. We all know that loyal customers are the backbone of any successful business, but they can only remain loyal if they continue to see value in their purchases. If there’s no new information or interesting twists on content or features, they won’t feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.

Whether you’re adding new features or not, it’s important to make sure your app is bug-free.

Updates can also be used as a marketing tool, not only letting users know that you’re still active and interested in the app but also building anticipation for the next release.

Keep an eye on the market and always have a finger on the pulse of your customers. What are they looking for? What do they want to know? Answer those questions, and you’ll be able to increase your downloads and upgrade rates.

Know and abide by user privacy laws (and other relevant legislation)

There are privacy regulations that could affect your business, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was enacted by the European Union (EU) in 2018. GDPR requires companies to give users control over their data and stipulates fines for noncompliance. There are similar rules for the California Consumer Privacy Act in the United States. The U.S. also has COPPA, which regulates how businesses may collect personal information from children online.

A “privacy policy” is a legal statement that discloses some or all of the ways a party gathers, uses, discloses, and manages a customer or client’s data. You

should create one if you collect personal information from users online – and most apps do.

It’s not enough to post a privacy policy in your app’s description and call it a day. You have to abide by the policy you’ve created. Not complying with user privacy laws is a bad idea. Not only can it lead to fines, but potentially to lawsuits as well (and if you’ve been following the news on that front, you know they can be costly).

When it comes to privacy regulations, we suggest doing a deep dive into the terms of service and privacy policies of the platforms you use such as Google or Apple’s App Store in addition to relevant territorial legislations.

Offer great customer support

When an eCommerce site has a problem, it’s bad for the brand and bad for business, but it’s especially problematic when you’re selling an app. App Store reviews are accessible by everyone, and they can’t be deleted or hidden. One negative review can have a major impact on future sales, not only of that app but also on the overall brand. If customers have problems with your apps, they will vent their frustrations on social media or in-app store reviews, regardless of whether their complaints had anything to do with the app itself. So it pays to invest in customer service and work hard to resolve any issues quickly and professionally.

Conclusion – Mobile app monetisation and what next

Mobile app monetisation is one of the first, biggest, and most important decisions you’ll make in your development process. Choosing the right strategy and working with the right partners can make or break your app. Hopefully, this guide will give you an idea of how different app monetisation strategies work, what might work for you and your users, and what strategies are more suitable for certain types of apps. Most importantly, get in touch with us today: our professional app developers are experienced in building and monetizing interactive mobile apps including Android and iOS apps for brands across various industries. With our guidance, you’re sure to optimise your business with our mobile app monetisation strategy so you can reach more users and earn more revenue. Schedule a FREE strategy session here.

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If you would like to meet us to talk through a project or find out more, we'd love to hear from you.

Cameron Barrie

Founder and CEO of Bilue

Cameron Barrie

I help companies uncover opportunities and solve problems using Web, Mobile, APIs, and Emerging Technologies.

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