11 Ways to Completely Sabotage Your Ad Revenue

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Ad-based app monetization is not always easy. Incorporating valuable ads in your app can be a daunting task, especially considering that not many people are fond of advertisements, to begin with. This is why you need to tread carefully when using this monetization strategy as the smallest mistake could cost you dearly.

Here at SOOMLA, we want to help you get the most out of your app, which is why we compiled a list of 11 most common errors that may sabotage your ad revenue.

1. There is no ad diversity

Constantly displaying the same ads will bore your users and increase churn rates. Put yourself in their shoes: would you like seeing the same ad 10 times a day?

Furthermore, some users respond better to one kind of ads (i.e. rewarded videos), while others will generate more revenue from other types of ads. Try tailoring the ad experience to different categories of users. This can be done by analyzing and segmenting your users into groups.

2. You have no ad monetization measurement tools

One of the key methods to improve and optimize your monetization strategies is through measurement. It is therefore obvious that not measuring your ad monetization is costing you lots of potential income.

There are plenty of tools to choose from to help you discover what (and if) you’ve been doing wrong in your ad monetization. A good measurement tool will provide you with granular, accurate and unbiased information about your users’ behaviour in the app.

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3. You’re not showing ads to paying users

In recent years, in-app adds have taken over in-app purchases (IAP) in terms of profit, while IAPs have plummeted. This is why it is not a good idea to restrict ads to non-paying customers only.

Have no fear, there are advertising strategies that will not scare away your paying users. You can even combine IAP and ads by, for instance, offering a player who just bought some coins more coins if they watch a video.

4. You’re not introducing rewarded videos early

Rewarded videos are ads that reward users for watching them. These rewards could be some premium app features, discounts, coupons, bonuses, and so on. Many businesses are guilty of introducing these ads late.

Unfortunately, around 80% of users will churn in the first week after downloading, so bringing in rewarded videos before this happens gives you a chance to take advantage of those users. This might have a positive effect on your revenue.

5. Your incentives are not enticing

Speaking of rewarded videos, sometimes these rewards are of very little value and users don’t feel like they’re missing out by not watching the ads.

Measuring opt-in ratio on a cohort basis is a good idea for checking if your users are losing interest in the rewards over time. Then you can start working on improving your incentives.

6. You’re not taking advantage of cross-promotion

Although it might not seem so at first, affiliate marketing is actually good for your business. Signing a partnership or a sponsorship deal with another company means they will also promote you and even share the profit from redeemed awards.

You’re not only promoting another app, but you’re also increasing the user base for both your competitor and yourself. Not taking advantage of this business strategy could hurt your potential ad revenue.

7. Ads take too long to load

Not only does this directly impact your ad revenue as only full loading counts as an impression, but it also negatively affects the entire user experience of your app. By avoiding to address this issue, you’re risking losing your users altogether.

We understand tracking these problems can be hard. This is why we suggest investing in the right monetization measurement tool to help you deal with these problems.

8. You’re sticking to the same old SDK policy

The mobile app market is a dynamic sphere that demands constant innovation and keeping up with technology developments. This applies to SDKs (Software Development Kits) as well.

Whatsmore, many SDK companies tend to not deliver on their promises, so it’s important to stay on top of things and change them if necessary. Sticking stubbornly to the same SDK policies and not introducing any new ones is a mistake and can hurt your revenue.

9. You’re not managing your ad networks

Ad networks are an important part of your app as they’re the ones serving ads on your platform. However, their interests might not always be in line with yours. Not many app publishers are aware that an ad network will earn $1 for each $1 you’re earning.

This means there is plenty of room for publishers to observe and negotiate the prices up. Tracking ad revenue per impression sequence allows you to manage the waterfall (the ad networks prioritization in order of performance) and monitor the campaigns delivered by ad networks.

This will give you an advantage in the negotiation process as you can control the share in the impressions the ad networks are getting and their position in the waterfall. In return, the ad networks will have to provide eCPM and fill rates guarantees.

10. Your user acquisition targets payers only

Acquiring ad whales is equally important as bringing in paying users. In fact, ad whales can generate $30, $50, or even $100 in your app, which is more than what some of your paying customers generate.

This is why it is a huge mistake to direct your user acquisition (UA) strategies at payers only.

11. You’re making deals through third-parties/middlemen only

The number of ad-tech third-parties and middlemen standing between you and the advertiser can hinder your ad revenue. Without knowing how many of them there are, you cannot know for sure how much of that revenue is lost to you.

The best way to know this number is to simply skip them entirely and go for direct deals instead. We advise that you first learn who is advertising in your app and make a priority list of those you should contact.

Things are easier with the right partner

If you have been reading this and thought “OMG, I’ve been unknowingly killing my ad revenue,” don’t worry. You don’t have to face these problems alone. Although we have tried to address some of these issues in this post, much and more can be solved with the right monetization measurement tool. SOOMLA has a range of solutions to help you track all the problems hindering your ad revenue and optimize your strategies for success.

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