How to Monetize Free Apps – Part 2

We’ve already discussed some ways that free apps can be successfully monetized, including ads that pay by impression, in-app purchases, and “freemium” apps with free installs and paid usage or upgrades at a later date. You can also ask directly for donations to support your work.

(Read all about them in our previous post about monetizing free apps, here).

One challenge is to design the app, from the beginning, to drive user behavior toward your monetization goals. For example, if you’re relying on ad impressions, you might want users to stay on your app long enough to encounter a certain number of ads per engagement. You might also want to design your app in such a way that your ads are very unobtrusive to its features and functions, so that users won’t complain about them or try to avoid them.

Testing can help you make the most from your apps by sharpening the aspects that you’re using to monetize it. Find out how real users engage with your app and if they respond to the incentives that are intended to drive profit, either directly or passively, by testing your app with Eyece. Eyece is a crowd-sourcing platform that connects developers with real people around the world who own all kinds of smart devices and come from a wide range of backgrounds. By learning what they think of your app and how they use it, before you launch the product to the public at large, you’ll set yourself up for future success—and maximum profit.

Here are a few more ways you can monetize your free app, and drive user behavior:

1. Subscriptions. You can allow people to download and use your product for free, but then encourage users to subscribe to memberships or levels that unlock new benefits. They might subscribe and be willing to pay a small fee to enjoy custom e-newsletters, text message announcements, or advanced notice of new features. Or they can use certain features on the app that are locked to other users, but otherwise don’t interfere with the standard features. If you’re going to choose this method, it’s important to plan for it in advance so that you can construct the app with the complete scaling model of benefits in mind. Then processes can be created to drive behavior toward subscriptions.

2. Sponsorships. With a free app, you can quickly get a lot of users—whether they’re trying it out (because what’s the harm, it’s free) or choosing it over a similar app that costs more money. But with a large user base, you can attract sponsorships from companies that want their logo displayed to all of those eyes. Sponsored partnerships can also open the door for cross-promotions and boost your attractiveness to investors.

3. Conversions. Sometimes users don’t want to spend money on an app—whether it’s paying to install the app or buying in-app purchases, on principle. But they might invest money in the app that converts into other types of credit or value. For example, casino apps let users buy tokens to spend on games, rather than paying for games directly. Obviously, it’s important to have a solid system set up for these payment types that’s both secure and seamlessly integrated. It needs to seem like an enticing and sensible aspect of your app, rather than an afterthought or add-on, and users should clearly understand how the system is supposed to work.

Release free apps for the world to enjoy, while also enjoying high ROI, with Eyece.

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