Publishers implement various monetization models to make money from their apps. There is nothing wrong with such approach. They establish fees for subscriptions and downloads as well as offer some paid features. On the other hand, users can opt for a selection of free applications available on all major app stores.

Those who are new to the niche of mobile app development may wonder how it is possible to get revenues from such applications. How do free apps work? Are there any monetization models? How much can a free app developer make? These are the most common questions for app development beginners. This article will prove you that even a free application may appear to be profitable. We hope that you will find this information handy.

Got to premium

As a rule, the majority of free apps consider premium version. In other words, you are supposed to purchase a better version of the app after you use it free. The idea is to charge a one-time fee letting users upgrade their current free version and benefit from additional features and options. The same thing is with HD app versions.

Whenever a publisher introduces his free application, it usually contains a link making it possible for the user to download a premium version anytime. You do not have to look up the update at the app store. The link will take you directly to the purchasing page.

Summing up, you will be absolutely right to say that 90% of all free applications actually come as demo versions. Users have a chance to proceed with a free test drive and decide whether an app meets their requirements. If everything is fine, he or she purchase a better version featuring all necessary options. It works as a hook to attract the attention of the potential customer. It usually works featuring great revenues.

In case you decide to follow the same strategy and offer a free demo version in addition to a paid premium app, you need to provide a selection of great features to make customers satisfied with tools they pay for. There is no sense in charging fees for the same range of features provided in a free version. As always, the functionality is a key to success. However, you need to introduce all the benefits gradually keeping the user interested in buying a premium app.

Ad campaigns come as another great source for revenues. You are not prohibited using ad support for your free app. On the other hand, as soon as the user opts for a paid version and pays for the download, you will no longer need an ad support. This can turn into another beneficiary feature promising customers no commercials.

Providing a demo version of the app may appear to be an efficient marketing strategy. You will observe the level of your customers’ impression and their interest in the product. Freebies are always the most demanding users. They will point out your every possible bug and mistake. Such users’ feedback will let you avoid possible errors and deliver an award-winning and flawless product to the targeted audience. On the other hand, the market of free mobile apps features extremely tough competition. You still need to grab your position in the market.

Low price and in-app purchases

Low price strategies are not always a success. For example, you have built a great app and do not want to publish its free version. You decide to establish a low price for the application that can be less than $1. We have numerous examples of million’s revenues of the apps that cost less than a buck. On the other hand, the latest statistics shows that low pricing results in much lower revenues if compared with the paring of free and premium versions. Customers do not like it when someone makes them buying a product or service. Demo versions let them decide whether they like an application or not. The best bet is to provide a buying alternative but not an obligation.

You can combine a free version with a paid features offering users pay for some updates and modifications inside a free app. For example, many mobile games are available free. However, whenever you need to pimp your ride or buy new gear for your character, you will have to pay. A common practice brings good revenues.

In-app purchasing comes with several advantages. On the one hand, you do not make your customers buy something. They can decide whether they want a particular update or not. On the other hand, such feature lets publishers benefit from both a one-time and ongoing in-app purchases. The last one is certainly the most beneficiary for developers when it comes to making a profit. Ad networks like AdMobi or iMobi can also appear to be efficient additional revenue sources.

Mobile application ad support

Ad support has always been a good source of income for free applications. While you try to figure out how to make users go to your premium app version, you still have a chance to earn a couple of bucks. A free lite alternative can also appear to be beneficiary with ad banners.

In case you want to make money with ad support, you need to define the best traffic sources. It is a key to success. The only way to generate high-quality constant traffic is to build a really cool app as well as proceed with an aggressive marketing and promotion strategies. CPM and CPC models can result in good payouts.

Moreover, you can opt for some of the leading ad networks like iAds or AdMob. Google also has its own advertising network. Choose the one that meets your preferences and requirements to benefit from high traffic and numerous downloads. According to the latest statistics, the ad support has proved to be a more efficient monetization tool if compared with in-app purchasing.

CPI ad networks

Although introduced not so long ago, Cost per Install advertising model has appeared to be rather efficient. The idea I about third parties that boost the promotion of your app resulting in a higher download count while you pay a company for every download.

The fee may vary from a company. Some well-established networks charge up to $3 per every download. On the other hand, you can opt for cheaper ones and pay less than a buck.

Attracting sponsors

Bringing prestigious sponsors to your application will also be a good idea whenever you want to make additional profits. At the same time, recognizable and reputable sponsors will make a good reputation for your product among users and competitors. The main difficulty here is to make sponsors believe that your app will eventually hit the headlines and bring high revenues in future.

Figures and data are the best way to persuade your potential investors. Try to impress them with thousands of downloads, chow them charts and graphics that reflect a positive progress of the product. At the same time, some sponsors come as professional marketers. They can promote your product for you making money for themselves as well. It is a perfect solution for both sides.

Additional ways to earn from a free app

Here are some other options that you may use to make money when launching a free app.

    • Freemium Whenever you are not eager to deal with any type of ad support, you can provide a free app version with some paid external features. Users are eager to pay, letting them unlock some additional tools and options.
    • Cooperation You can analyze the market and search for companies and IOS app developers with actually the same product. Establishing a partnership will be the best bet for both sides. Referrals can also be a good source for revenues.
    • Subscriptions This strategy is similar to freemium. The only difference is that users additionally pay for content, not for tools and features.

Summing up, building a free app may also bring you good revenues. All you need is to choose the most efficient and suitable strategy. Publishers traditionally combine several models at the same time. However, aggressive promotion and marketing combined with great features of your app will eventually lead you to success.

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Content Marketing Manager