When a mobile app gets out into the world, it is the result of a long and painstaking effort involved in its design, creation, and publication. However, the process doesn’t end there – you want to see all that hard work pay off. This can be done through monetization, an umbrella term for all the strategies employed into earning a steady income from your product, or in our case, an app.
App monetization involves a wide range of strategies, including putting a price tag on your app, introducing in-app purchases, subscriptions, sponsorships, and the most popular one – ad-based app monetization. However, today we won’t be going into much detail about any of those monetization methods. Instead, we’re going to talk about some common mistakes you should avoid if you wish to have success with your app.
1. Creating a monetization strategy late into the app development
Monetization is something you need to start thinking about as early as possible. This usually means before even starting with the app development. Having a planned out monetization strategy at this point allows you to build a mobile app according to a clearly defined plan.
If you don’t do this, you risk limiting yourself to specific options to choose from. This means you’ll possibly lose time and money on changing your app in the last stage after you finally decide on a specific monetization scheme
2. Not using any monetization measurement tools
This is probably the biggest monetization blunder a publisher can commit. Measurement strategies are worthless if you have no idea what’s working and what isn’t. You need a team that can help you understand the performance of your monetization strategies, the demographics of your users and their behavior, the limitations of your technology, as well as predict your future revenue and LTV.
A good measurement platform can help you track and fine-tune a winning monetization strategy that works for your particular app. There are a plethora of excellent tools on the market that do exactly this, and one of them is SOOMLA, which offers in-app ad analytics, control tools, and attribution, all encompassed in one sleek dashboard.
3. Using the same strategy for all platforms
We have already discussed the differences between the two major mobile platforms – Android and iOS in terms of app monetization. The observed differences between the respective platforms’ user behavior can sometimes mean entirely different expectations and preferences, and consequently, different monetization strategies.
For instance, on average, iOS users make more money than their Android peers ($53,251 vs. $37,040) which affects their online spending behavior as well. In fact, an average iPhone user will spend more than $30 per online transaction in comparison to around $10 an average Android user will spend and is more likely to purchase commodity items. This means you’ll have more success with a paid app model and in-app purchases in your iOS version than in your Android app.
On the other hand, Android users are faster and twice as likely to open push notifications on their devices than their iOS counterparts. The Android audience is also quite larger, which has its own advantages as well.
Every platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, which means that you need to create different monetization strategies if you plan to publish your app on different platforms.
4. Overdoing ads
There are plenty of ad types you can serve to your audience, from banners and interstitials to rewarded videos and playable ads. However, be careful not to overdo it. Most people don’t respond well to being constantly bombarded by ads anyway, so you should consider adding other monetization strategies into your app.
For instance, including in-app purchases can work alongside the ads, like buying in-game items or power-ups, allowing users to interact directly with your product? You can combine multiple methods to get a winning combination. This is especially useful in free apps.
There are more than enough options to choose from. You can even create partnerships with other developers and advertisers to increase your audience and draw more attention to your app.
5. Treating all users as one and the same
We all know that people differ in many ways, so why are some publishers treating them as a faceless, amorphous mass? Information such as gender, age, income, as well as in-app behavior can vary significantly. It is important to keep track of this metadata so you would know which monetization strategies to use for which users.
There is a special type of a very lucrative user called an ad whale, responsible for as much as 90% of your app’s advertising revenue. It is extremely important to be able to identify these whales as they allow you to spend your advertising budget in a smarter way.
This knowledge allows you to optimize your strategies for keeping the ad whales around for longer and bringing in more of their kind. This is something SOOMLA can help you with, as we are the only monetization measurement platform with an ad traceback system that traces ad revenue back to the user level and helps you identify these elusive ad whales.
It’s easy with a little help from your friends
Although avoiding all these mistakes might seem like navigating a minefield, in reality, nothing is difficult if you have the right monetization partner at your side. Not only can such a partner help you circumvent these common industry mistakes but it can give you so much more. SOOMLA provides accurate and validated monetization analytics and benchmarking data, calculates LTV per user, segment, and cohort, as well as ad revenue on the impression level, allowing you to optimize your strategies to get the most out of your app.
Our technology seamlessly integrates with almost every media source, ad network, CRM, and marketing and attribution platform. To make sure you get the best results, we constantly put our tools to the test and are one of the rare platforms that aren’t affiliated with any ad provider and can remain unbiased. But don’t just trust us on this, why don’t you check out some of our success stories or even request a demo and see for yourself?