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Strategies To Help Monetize Your Free Mobile App

July 13, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Much like smartphones, applications have become integral parts of our lives. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re using a number of apps on your smartphones, some OEM ones, some third-party ones. The beauty of owning a smartphone is having so many options to choose from, especially on Android. You can make your device look completely different in terms of interface, and you have access to an unbelievable amount of applications which will make the usage of your smartphones easier in many ways, not to mention more productive.

That being said, there’s still plenty of room for new apps out in the market, and there always will be. Even if an app is available in the market you can create something that will have a similar purpose but have an extra feature and work a lot better. Now, once you create the app, you’ll probably want your hard work to pay off and earn some cash, right? In comes android app monetization. There are a number of ways to monetize your app, and we’ve talked about that plenty of times before. So, let’s focus on something in particular, how to monetize your free-to-download-and-use app.

Application market looked fairly different in the past, a lot more paid apps were available out there, and it was somewhat difficult to find free apps to download and use. Well, that’s not the case anymore, you have a ton of free to use apps available out there, but the developers have a way to monetize their hard work. First and foremost, you should identify your intended market. Once you’ve done that, you should choose the strategy you’d like to use, considering there are a number of ways you can monetize your app. You can choose whether you’d like to include in-app advertisements, an in-app product or perhaps you’d like to release a trial version of the app.

These three choices are kind of self-explanatory, but let’s go over them either way. The in-app advertisement is quite simple, you can choose to include in-app ads to show to users, though be careful, users get tired of obtrusive ads very quickly. You might opt to include a small banner in the lower part of the screen or something to that effect, but avoid using pop-up banners on smartphones if at all possible, they’re incredibly irritating on desktops, let alone smartphones. In order to get third-party companies to advertise via your app, you need to provide certain data to them, and have enough users to meet their requirements. There are, of course, services which you can include no matter what your metrics are, so keep that in mind.

The in-app product model will let users use the app, like play a game for example, but they have the option to pay in order to unlock certain items or in-app features. This can be a really great option for you if you want to avoid dealing with third-party advertisers and stuff like that. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have quite a few users in order to earn from such advertising because the vast minority of people are ready to spend cash on such features / items.

And last, but not least, the trial version variant. You can opt to give people a certain amount of time to use your app before you basically make them buy the app, or stop using it. You can offer them full access to apps features and what not, or you can offer them a trial version and a limited access, that part is up to you. This model is also quite tricky, some people might enjoy your app, but are not willing to spend money to purchase it. Once again, a vast minority of people will pounce and actually purchase the app after the trial period is over, though there are a number of variables included here, of course.

We’ve listed only some free app advertising strategies here, there are a lot more that are available out there, and there are quite a few variables in every single one we’ve listed. You should study app monetization models through and through before you start your advertising campaign in order to try and avoid any critical mistakes.

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