App Monetization Checklist – What You Must Do to Succeed

App Monetization Checklist - What You Must Do to Succeed

Creating and publishing an awesome and unique mobile app might be your ultimate goal, but if you want to use it as a source of steady income, you have to look beyond that. Advertising is the proven strategy that a lot of app publishers turn to these days to help them maximize their app’s revenue potential. However, this is easier said than done as there are a lot of things you need to get right for it to work well. Therefore we bring you a checklist of things to cross out in order to achieve this.

1. Identify hooks for ad integration

The first thing you need to do is decide on the ideal hooks for ads in the app. For instance, a rewarded video requires having two to three virtual goods that your user might need so you can exchange them for views. In a match-3 game, these virtual goods could be extra lives and power-ups. You will also need to identify the best moment when the user will be prompted to let them know about this option. Interstitial ads (the ads that cover the entire app interface), whether they are statics or videos, only require figuring out where to insert the pause or in which transition point to place the ad. If you’re using banners, make sure they don’t confuse the users into false clicks. This might annoy them and you could end up losing more than you bargained for.

2. Use multiple ad networks

Mobile ad networks are companies connecting the advertiser to the publisher that wants to host ads. Leveraging ad networks, especially more than one, is a wise decision ensuring that if a situation arises in which one network doesn’t have an ad to place, the other ad-network can step in and place one instead. This is called “the waterfall.” Each ad network has its own strengths and flaws depending on countries and ad types so diversifying will allow you to have the best one at hand for each situation.


3. Use a mediation platform

Building a basic waterfall system is a good strategy, but if you are serious about monetizing via ads, maybe a mediation platform is a better choice as it is a significant upgrade from the basic waterfall in three ways:

  • A mediation platform dynamically configures the waterfall in accordance with the ad networks’ historic results
  • It allows to plug in in real-time bids that might result in higher eCPMs (effective cost per thousand)
  • It makes managing providers a much more plug-and-play process.

Not sure what a mediation platform is? Be sure to check out our glossary of terms that will help breakdown anything you’re unclear about.

4. A/B test the effects on other KPIs

Analyzing the influence that integrated ads exert on KPIs like retention and conversion should be an essential part of managing your app monetization. Check the numbers, change one thing and then monitor the results. The purpose is to manage the KPIs and minimize the negative effects on them. Each impact should be monitored separately for every network, ad format, and campaign type you are using. A specialized analytics platform like Soomla can assist you in this.

5. Set up analytics for advertising revenues

Soomla can help you easily extract data from ad networks. This information includes:

  • Aggregated revenue numbers per country and segment, and ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) and ARPU (Average Revenue Per User)
  • Effects on other KPIs at various exposure levels and by different ad networks
  • Revenue comparisons in different waterfall configurations
  • Ad LTV of specific cohorts and user segments

6. Keep an eye on reviews, forums and social media

Poorly positioned and designed ads can negatively affect public opinion. Checking the reviews, social media channels and forum communities is a good strategy for monitoring users’ opinions and impact of your choice of ads and their positioning, as well as for acting accordingly.

7. Periodically re-negotiate terms with ad networks

The original deal you made with the ad networks is not always ideal as conditions on the ground tend to change so renegotiating terms with your ad networks should be a regular practice. Getting 10% or 20% more may not be out of reach if you just ask. Once you’ve started to get a decent amount of impressions, you can also use leverage, for instance telling your ad network rep that you are switching them to the bottom of the waterfall or adding another ad network that offered better terms.

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