App Monetization Ideas and Strategies for Developers in 2022

Once you are finally finished making an app, you would have to start looking for ways to start making money from it. Although this sounds simple and straightforward, you would have to do extensive research and then A/B test on your findings to be completely sure that it is going to bring in more earnings in your bank account. You would have to realize the bitter fact that with each passing day, thousands of apps get lost in the crowd, despite targeting the same audience as yours and offering high-end products and services. The only solution to stop yourself from falling in this competitive industry is by formulating ways and strategies to monetize your app. App monetization implies a range of ways such as in-app purchases, advertising and offering freemium models to ensure that publishers can make money after developing apps. There are numerous effective app monetization ideas, and you have to try out at least a couple of these, to double your ROI in the shortest time possible.

The Need for Various App Monetization Strategies

Most of the apps that you would come across are free to download, and that is where the problem arises from, as the publishers are left with very limited choices to make money. One of the limited choices and certainly the most effective choice is by adopting app monetization strategies and implementing it successfully, which with time will bring in more revenue for the publishers.

Diversify your Monetization Sources

All businesses are different, and there is no one app monetization source which fits all. Therefore you will have to keep a few options ready with you to implement so then you can assess the performance of all these app monetization sources to choose the successful ones.

Start with a Freemium Model

Freemium is nothing but offering a free trial version of your app to the users. After enjoying the free version, if they like your app, they would not hesitate to purchase the premium version of your app content, which would ultimately increase your earnings. Freemium is by far one of the best app monetization models than you can go for because it gives the taste of your services to your customers before you urge them to pay for the premium version. Because if you ask your users to pay before they even get a chance to download your app, most will run away because they don’t have an idea about how your app is going to turn out.

App Monetization Ideas and Strategies for Developers

Instead of blindly following the moves of your competitors and not getting enough cues from them, take a look at the following app monetization ideas for developers recommended by the market leaders:

1. Email-Lists

Although you might frown, thinking it to be not effective enough for your first step, but in the real world, having an email-tie-up with your app is a great way to begin. As people rarely change their email-ids, you get a higher chance of making them see your content via your email marketing campaigns. Also, if you manage to send regular emails, you would likely reside in your customers’ minds which might result in them making purchases from you. While the total lifespan of a Facebook post is no more than 1 hour to remain in your feed, emails have a lifespan of about 12 days. The wisest way to get in your customers’ email addresses is by convincing them to fill in the in-app subscription form in which they would have to fill in their basic details, including their email address. Email lists are pure gold, and if you cannot find a way to get enough email-ids to send in the newsletters, all you have to do is to announce deals or offers for which the customers can apply with their email ids, and your job will be done before you even know!

2. Banner Advertising

Many talks are going around about banner designing and advertising for a while, and if you are considering to host ads in your app and make money from it, you would have to understand it fully. Banner advertising focuses on capturing our attention by showing us visual content, especially in the form of images and not texts. Like any other format of advertising, banner advertising is also conducted to promote a particular business or brand. Upon clicking on the banner ad, the user will be taken from your app to the landing page of the particular app or website so that the audience can check it out and install it without having to go anywhere or search for it elsewhere. The main motive of a banner advertisement is to generate traffic into a website or to encourage users to install an app. Banner ads can notify about the launch of a new product, enhance brand awareness or retarget the audience who didn’t purchase anything after visiting a website and checking the offerings.

3. Video Advertising

You must have heard that video is king, but how can you make the most of it by implementing it in your monetization strategy? Video advertising is one of the effective ways to reach an audience and to help them stay engaged. Also, experts suggest that video advertising will be prevalent in the next decade as well, so if you are looking for app monetization tips, you may consider hosting promotional video ads of other businesses. But only hosting video ads on your app would not guarantee your earnings, because you will have to focus on ad placements as well. According to a study conducted by Ireland, about 60 % of the audience felt that the video ads are all about promotion only, and 35% said that they got irritated from the ads because it prevented them from viewing their desired content. A video ad although promotional should be minimally disruptive and only then the users would be interested in tuning in.

4. Audio Advertising

Although audio ads are not as common as video ads, you should not have any doubts about its effectiveness. With every passing year, audio ad formats have emerged as the new golden child of advertising, and you can make the most of it for monetizing your app. Digital audio is experiencing a rise in consumption these days. The streaming audio networks for podcasts and audio ads have succeeded in engrossing audiences all over the world. The best part about hosting audio ads on your app is that you would not have to face any ad blockers over here, regardless of the app monetization ad network you choose to register to.

Contrary to popular belief, you would find plenty of audio advertisers in this area. If the advertisers manage to target the right audience group for showing this audio content, you would be able to reach your goal effectively. Audio ads are best fitted for businesses related to music, news media because conveying promotional content via audio ads would be fruitful only if you can contextual engage with the users.

5. Native advertising

If you want to host ads which do not look like ads and instead intelligently mixes with the layout of your app, then go for native advertising. The best thing about native ads is that it seamlessly integrates with your app and it moreover attains the look of a post you would find on the feed of your social media. Native ads have found to garner a high user engagement mainly because it does not interfere with the user experience. As native ads completely blend in with the app functionalities, users would not ignore this thinking this is just another ad.

6. Partnerships and Sponsorships

Do you know that if you manage to partner with another brand/business/app, you would be able to sharpen your monetization moves? But only approaching any other business and entering into an agreement to host their ads in your app to earn revenue from it, would not be enough. For this, developers would have to hunt for businesses who target the same customer base as yours. It is only then that you would be able to offer value to the experience of your audience, and otherwise, your audience will simply not be able to relate to the content you will put in for them. This way, they might decide to stop being your customers in the worst cases. You can add in a partner or a network of partners with whom you can create an integrated customer with the sole motive of benefiting your customers in more ways than you were previously doing alone. Take the example of two businesses named Optimizely and Localytics, who entered into a formal partnership to offer mobile analytics services to their customers. To make this more catchy, you can host ad content of another brand with whom you are partnering and displaying their logo along with the distinguishing feature the other brand or the app offers. If this manages to captivate your users, they will not hesitate to visit the site or the app of the brand and check out what is in the offer for them.

7. In-app Purchases

Have you ever felt stuck at a gaming app where you don’t have any lives left, but you desperately want to finish the level without wanting to wait for your lives to replenish? This usually involves asking the user to purchase some lives back with a small price, and this is one of the in-app purchases which we would be able to relate to. The offer is simple; you can provide your users with some additional and highly attractive features if they consider going forward with the transaction.

If you have a gaming app, you can think about ways like:

  • Gaming upgrades- to reach a higher level without having to beat all the levels underneath it, you can urge your players to go for an in-app purchase. When you lure them with levelling up, only few can resist not to enjoy the upgrade.
  • Game consumables- there are all sorts of consumables which characters in games require to sustain their life and replenish their energy, and it can range from food, trendy attires and also weapons to beat their components. Die-hard gamers will not hesitate to say yes to it.

8. Selling Audience Data

In this scenario, you would not have to take initiatives to sell your inventory because your task here would be to sell your audience data to external DMPs and earn revenues from it. Here you don’t have to be involved in direct sales. You would collect data from either an advertiser or from your customers, and then you can do app data monetization on your own by making or by most of your external ad inventory. Alternatively, you can make your data public and sell it on a global data exchange platform and earn revenues from it.

9. Conducting Surveys and Marketing Research

So you have finally launched your app, and have your first hundred or maybe a thousand downloads, well congrats! But you cannot just sit idle and expect to earn revenue because the majority of your users might not come back to your app the 2nd time! Researchsuggests that only 3 % of the users who have installed your app would actually come and check your app afterwards. Then what will be your next step to retain your customers so that they come back later? You need to analyze user behaviour not only to retain the existing users but to gain new users. By studying their behaviour, you would have an idea about the needs of your customers and the areas they are facing problems with. Then you can make improvements and grow your user base. So to get data for analysis, you will have to conduct research and surveys and interview your population sample. Then you can either hire marketing research analysts or do the job yourself to find hidden clues in the ways customers answer the questions.

10. Paid Listings

Paid listings, also known as Pay Per Click ( PPC) is a way of search engine marketing to garner clicks on your app, rather than getting it organically. You must have seen those sponsored ads in the search results of your search engine; paid listings are exactly that. Whenever a user clicks on your ad, you will send the search engine a small fee in lieu of that. Paid listings are great for app monetization because researchers found that users click on paid listings more than other types of digital marketing techniques. Users don’t mind clicking on the ads if this is what they came looking for in the search engine.


So, these were the 10 ways to monetize your mobile effectively, and your next step would be to decide which of the monetizing ways would fit into your business model so that you can conduct tests on it to implement it effectively.