November 9 2016

Developing a game is a huge task by itself. You need to first think of an idea that will instantly grab eyeballs and then draft out a plan to monetize it over time. We discussed how creating user communities can help you in effective in-app monetization. In this post, we’re back with some more in-app monetization tactics to inspire you and stimulate your creativity.

Most apps get lost in the vast volumes of the iOS and Android stores. There are practically thousands of apps that enter the market, targeting the same audience as yours. This is where it becomes difficult for apps to actually monetize their users, because they always have a cheaper or free alternative available to them – regardless of the small compromises they may have to make.

But there are apps that have been able to monetize in-app purchases successfully. Apps like Clash of Clans, Game of War, Candy Crush and more, have been making millions for a while now. The key for their effective monetization – a robust user driven strategy.

10 in-app monetization tactics you need to try 

Let’s look at 10 tips and tactics that successful apps make use of for effective in-app monetization:

1. Keep your users engaged

As we mentioned in our previous posts – if you want to really grow your app in the competitive market, you need to keep your users engaged. Continue to optimize your app and create strategies that are targeted at keeping the users hooked on to it and coming back for more. You could also encourage more app sessions and in-app activity by offering novelty like small rewards to users. The more they stay motivated to use your app, the longer they remain loyal and the more likely they become to convert on in-app purchases.

Also read: How to boost your app retention rates by becoming a part of the user’s break time

2. Work on a ‘lite’ freemium model

While the idea is to monetize on some of your app’s features, it is important to understand that your users might not see any value in converting on a purchase. This is why you need to give them a little trailer of the big picture you can show. Create ‘lite’ freemium models that charge users as they want to gain access to more features. Let them first see the value behind it, before asking them to convert.

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3. Personalize your in-app purchase recommendations

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Personalization is the need of the hour and developers and app marketers need to understand its importance. If you bombard a user with in-app purchase suggestions at a point where he sees no value in them, he isn’t going to convert. On the other hand, if you analyse his in-app activity and behaviour closely, you could recommend these purchases at the right time with the right message. The more contextual it is, the higher are the conversion rates.

Also read: Why your app needs to target users with personalized campaigns

4. Use the power of social to drive conversions

Online consumers tend to follow what they see others like them doing. The same holds true while making purchases in an app. They want to see what others have gained out of making a purchase and how it would add the same or similar value to them. Creating a community of your users, you can socially drive your in-app conversions. Just remember to encourage your converted users to share their purchases and experiences frequently!

5. Offer discounts to loyal users

Who doesn’t like getting discounts? There are definitely going to be users who might not be comfortable purchasing your in-app offerings – no matter how contextual their placement is. But these are users who could be driven to conversion by offering special discounts. You can club these discounts with referral campaigns or actions that they need to complete for availing them. When planned strategically, this tactic can help you grow your user base as well.

6. Create a dynamic pricing model

Like we just mentioned, not every user is the same. They don’t interact with your app in the same way and certainly don’t have the same amount of resources available to them. This is where dynamic pricing comes in. Analyse and understand your user’s behaviour – how they interact regularly, where they drop off and what their previous purchase triggers have been. Create a dynamic pricing model that suits your users. It’s the most efficient way to convert them.

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7. Include in-app purchase tutorials

The top 50 apps that have been monetizing effectively from users, are doing so through tutorials. They show their users how to make in-app purchases and where they can use them to get more value. Apps using this tactic have 2.5 times greater conversion rates than those who don’t.

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8. Cross promote your in-app purchases

If you have another app or a friend who could promote your in-app purchases in his app, make sure you tap into the power of networking! Cross promoting your in-app purchases will not just attract your existing users who are active on the other app, but also new users from the app’s database. More users, higher conversions and greater monetization.

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9. Incorporate a subscription model

Similar to a freemium model, subscriptions focus on gating access to in-app content rather than its features. Users are able to download the app for free and are able to access all the features for a limited period of time, after which, they are prompted to subscribe to a paid plan. This tactic is similar to offering a free trial of your product before asking a user to pay for the same. Show value and convert them into paying users.

10. Implement native video ads

Videos are interesting, but ads can be intrusive and might hamper your user’s experience. But when implemented natively – that is, as a part of the app – video ads can increase monetization. Tools like Vungle help you create the perfect video ads that can blend into your user experience and perform better than the usual banner ads.

Over to you

In-app monetization can be a challenging task for developers and marketers. Gaining a user’s commitment on this level requires you to establish a rapport of being able to add value to him or getting him hooked to what you have to offer. It is important for apps to first focus on engaging and retaining its users before trying to monetize from them.

What other in-app monetization strategies have you made use of?