Mobile App Monetization Strategies – Top Methods to Earn from App


The increasing number of smartphone users is said to contribute to the growth of the mobile app market significantly.



As per Statista, the number of smartphone users has surpassed 3 billion and in the coming years, this number is expected to grow steadily..

It has been said that the revenue from mobile apps is projected to reach $935 billion by 2023. – Statista


This means when done right, it can prove to be an effective channel for you to make a living out of it. Now, this is a great sum and so when done right can prove to be a way of making a steady income.

What is Mobile App Monetization?

Mobile app monetization is all about the strategy which is used to make money out of the app.

The amount of time that people spend on mobile apps is quite good today.


On average, people spend around two and a half hours every day engaging with the apps.


Now, this is one of the main reasons why many businesses and new publishers go ahead and are investing in creating mobile apps and making money through it.

In short, there is a huge opportunity in this field to reach a large number of users and make money. Now, this is something that you can’t miss out!

So if you are still to invest in mobile app development or you have not channelized your app in terms of making money, then it is high time you do to capture the attention of the people who spend a decent amount of time every day on apps.

If you are worried that charging your app will decrease the number of app downloads, and then let us tell you that it is possible to boost downloads even when your app is free just by using some smart tricks and techniques.

How to Monetize your App?

To make sense of all your effort, you need to think about your users and the kind of user journey they will have with you. Based on your knowledge, you can try to know how the users will use your app and thereby monetize your app in the area where it makes the most sense. Currently, the number of free apps is comparatively high than the paid apps in the market.

Different Tricks and Tips for Effective Mobile App Monetization

Ad revenue

In-app ad revenue is considered as one of the best sources of income for the app developers. Majority of the free apps available in the market stick to this monetization strategy to remain alive in the market.

The ad revenue types are in three categories:

  • Cost per Action (CPA)
  • Cost per Click (CPC)
  • Cost per Thousand Impression (CPM)

Most of the developers prefer to go for CPM for their free apps as such apps have ads that do not need the user to click on it to let the developer make some money. No doubt, there is no much money in it, but then it does not affect the user experience much either.

When you are up to choosing the ad platform, you should first think about looking into the advertiser base. This means you need to know how many advertisers will be ready to spend some money on the platform. This is very important to understand as these advertisers will be paying for the ad in there, and it is from that you will get your cut.

So here are some of the best app monetization network which you can consider for your app and which comes with a larger advertiser base.

Mobile App Monetization Platform

Unity Ads:

For mobile games, Unity Ads are quite effective. You may have come across the game where you will get an extra life when you watch a video. Such ads come from Unity Ads. When it comes to the gaming world, Unity is a leading company developing gaming apps and it comes with Unity Engine, which is software that is used to develop games for mobile. This app monetization platform consists of 1 billion gamer on board and so when advertising, this network will never be an issue.


Admob comes from Google and it is the most popular mobile ad network out there, which offers support for cross-platform. When it comes to CPM, it provides high, and also by using this network, you will be able to benefit being associated with other 40 third-party ad networks.

Facebook Audience Network:

In the digital marketing arena Facebook ads have been popular for quite a sometime now and the majority of the digital marketing gurus consider it the best place for their advertising. The network of Facebook has now been extended to mobile devices and so it is possible to have the ad campaigns carried out here as well.

Millennial Media:

After the Admob from Google, this is the second-largest popular network for mobile advertising. It offers a range of different advertising options to digital marketers.


This network works quite uniquely. It makes use of Appographic targeting for their ads instead of going with demography focused ads. InMobi studies the user interactions that take place over the app and then, based on that, they come up with ads. This makes their ads more interactive as well as results in better actions in the form of better CPC. If you are planning to get to more users, then this one is good enough as it is one of the largest mobile ad networks out there. The network currently has more than 1.5 billion users and the number is growing rapidly.

Affiliate programs

Major players in the market like Google, Apple and Microsoft run affiliate programs that are completely open to the developers. No doubt no big commission comes with such affiliate programs but offers an option and lets you choose from a good number of apps to promote. You can choose the best app from them and promote it in your app and easily gain commission.

You can also take a look at the businesses which are having affiliate programs. It is possible for you to easily earn recurring commissions from the businesses which are offering paid memberships as they have strong affiliate programs.

Effective content strategies

One of the best ways to convert the seldom visiting users to customers who pay regular visits is through the addition of new content to the app. In case your business has a blog, then you can make use of the app to let the users have the newest post available. In case you have news published regularly regarding your industry, then you need to keep them updated for your users through the app. This will ensure that the users will keep coming back to the app to get new news more.

For any app, you need to ensure they keep coming back to your app. Most of the users will carry out one or two in-app purchases from the app and will never return back to it as they will feel that there is no meaning in coming back here again. However, if the users are able to find a continuous flow of new content on their site, then even the customers who are not buying right now will visit the app frequently and buy in the future.

Apart from these occasional buyers, such steps will help you attract those buyers who tend to buy more regularly. You need to look for such app users who have the habit of going for in-app purchases consistently. They will be ready to spend more and as needed to stay on top of everything. This kind of users are called as whales and the developers always have to work towards coming up with features which specifically target them. The developers develop the app monetization strategies in a manner that the whales will keep coming back to the app continuously to enjoy the new content.

There is no loss in such kind of marketing investments as these whales end up spending many times within a year.

Updating your content is very important and while you do so, you need to be sure that you come up with something which is very irresistible for the users and they will keep coming back for more.

In-app purchases

In the app industry, in-app purchases are considered as the prime source of revenue. This means if you are planning to develop a free app, you should also plan an in-app version to do good to your business.

Especially in the case of gaming apps, the users are more interested in purchasing the in-app version of the app to continue playing with all the items that can be gained with the updated version.

As per Statista, when it comes to revenue generated from the apps worldwide, in-app purchases will constitute around 71.7 percent by 2020.



Selling your older unused App

If you take up the task of developing your code from scratch, then it can prove to be successful for you. Such a step will encourage other brands to approach you and work on your app and revamp it for their gain or for yours. When you will offer your code to other developers after licensing, you will be able to make money out of it, all while ensuring the user experience on your app is not sacrificed.

Say, for example, the quite popular game in the market –Temple Run was reskinned and turned into Temple Run Oz. 

Another thing that you can achieve through code-sharing is the future of your app. Suppose you have used your app to the fullest potential for your business and want to move to the next level, then it would be better that you get to sell the app as a whole to some other business. Such a business will be happy to use your existing framework to build a solution of their own.

It is now easy for the business to sell out their app and make money. Businesses can now make use of marketplace like Apptopia, which helps with selling and buying apps.

It is also possible to sell out your code without having actually to sell your IP and it is called white labelling. The only issue that comes with such an arrangement is that you will find a number of similar source codes with slight variations in the marketplace.

Whatever be the option you choose from above, you can be sure that you will be able to save the developers from not going through the pain of making the code from scratch again as well as make money out of the process. So the only thing you need to do here is to come up with a strong code.

Mobile Marketing Automation

If your app is focused on paid conversions, then you should make use of multi-channel messaging to attract the users and convince them to move ahead in the sales funnel.

For example, such messages can be to encourage the user to book flight tickets or buy from an eCommerce store or subscribe to a music channel.

Use mobile marketing automation to convince the users to spend the money within the app. So as to reach the users who are outside the app, you can go ahead with the integration of push notification into in-app messages, emails and App Inbox. You can even try to know the preferred time for engaging with the users based on when they usually interact with the app.


Most of the app developers have the idea and so they are in search of the investors who can offer them the fund, which can be used to develop their app idea and turn it into a successful business. It is not easy to get the funds and one of the best ways to do it is by offering free marketing of the business along with your product.

Collaborating with a business or another developer is the safest way to get additional funding for your app project. In case you go for a well-established business to build your app, then chances are more that the business will promote your app to their clients and this will increase the number of app downloads.

In the current scenario, more number of businesses have understood the importance of having apps and the power of app marketing. This has made them look for better opportunities in this area. This means if your app is good enough, then it can pose as a perfect marketing opportunity for such business.


You can boost your monetization strategy by securing a partnership with another brand. So the first thing that you will need to do is to find a partner business that has the same kind of customer base as yours that can seem to add in something useful for your users.

Just think about a situation where the users using another app are seeing your brand logo in there or just finding an interactive element of your app in there. Such a step will make them build trust in your app and may even start using it after downloading it.


Now in the case your partner is advertising your app on their app, then chances are more that users may click on it and land on your app directly. This is called CTR or click-through rate, and this can be very good in case of some apps.

So you should definitely plan to form strong partnerships with similar businesses to make your outreach strong.

Combine different monetization techniques

You should combine different monetization techniques to get maximum profit out of your app. One of the strategies which you can use in there is to offer some items within the game when the user watches a video advertisement. The user will be able to earn more as the length of the video increases. You can get custom video advertisements by going for specific ad networks.

Compared to plain-text ads, video advertisements tend to have increased conversion rates. For the same reason, the business will get paid more from the advertisers on a per viewer basis.

Subscription services with different payment options

We have seen that updating the content on the app is very important and in a similar manner, you need to consider having subscription service in your app to keep the customers coming back to you again and again. In such kind of arrangement, the users will be asked to sign up for the subscription on a monthly or quarterly basis. Once done that, the users will receive new content regularly without having to go through the process of buying again and again.

App Monetization

When you plan to go for a subscription service option for your app, you can differentiate the access to the content for the users. You can keep the options open like print-only, web-only, or both. Each of the options can be charged differently and the users will be able to choose the one which is convenient for them.

Many of the users found the third option to be of more value for their money as it offered them both web and print subscriptions. So when you are planning to monetize your app, you can apply the same logic and come up with a premium package that offers all the services together in one. This can seriously increase the effectiveness of your app and help you gain more profits.

Offer Premium Ad Free App

Many of the app users are not happy to have ads seen in the app and they would like to have an ad-free experience. When developing the app, the app developers come up with two app versions. One is the free version with ads and another one is the paid version with no ads. In the paid version, the revenue for the app comes from downloads and sales rather than the app ads.

Data-driven strategies

Today more focus is on studying analytics, which you will have collected from the user behaviors. You can use these analytics to optimize your app and put the insights to good use so as to generate more revenue.

Such analytics will help you know which visitors are spending more time on the app and are ready to spend more money. Once you know them, you can put in all your focus towards those users rather than spending more effort towards new user acquisition.

It has been seen that a large bunch of visitors who were acquired by the app never turned back after they made the initial download. This means when you can know why the people left your app after making the initial step and use it to compare it with the behavior of loyal customers, you will be able to know what you can do to offer enhanced user experience in the future.

If your focus is on getting the highest ROI for your app, then you need to know what efforts made by you clicked with your audience. When you keep working in the same direction, your app will be able to offer the same standard of benefits to the customers in the next time.

Always keep in mind that any data you collect is of value, even outside of your business. For digital marketers, behavioral information is of utmost importance. So by chance, if your app becomes quite popular in the market, then even the leading analytics company out there will be interested in buying those data from you.

Data Acquisition

You may not feel this to be the first step you should be taking in the area of app monetization. However, when you include an effective email strategy with your app, you will be able to boost user engagement on the app and this will, in turn, reward you with an increased number of leads.

Now, why this happens?

The sole reason for it is that the people don’t change their email address or mobile number frequently. This means it becomes easy to carry out this strategy effectively and ensure it reaches the end-user. He or she will definitely see the content in the email and engage with it. Moreover, by sending up regular emails to the customers, you will be able to keep your brand in their minds for a long time. This will encourage them to buy from you.

Data Acquisition

According to RetailWire, e-mails have an average lifespan is 17 days.

When it comes to getting the email addresses of your customers or leads, you can depend on an email subscription form on your app. When you come up with an in-app subscription form, you will be able to encourage your users to submit their email addresses and for the same, you can even plan to come up with some added benefits.

You can choose to have different email marketing strategies or SMS campaigns for your app. In case you are working on the regular newsletter or you have a new blog on your website, then you can use your email strategy to promote it and then let the users know that they can use the app to read all your content. You can also use the email and SMS campaign strategy for promotions or deals. In such campaigns, you can offer an access code to the users, which they can then enter in the app when buying from you.

This means whether you are planning to bring in the attention of the users after they have been away from you for a long time or, to attract in new leads, such sms and email marketing strategy works well.

Mobile app development
Wrapping it up

Over the years, we have seen the rising importance of mobile apps in the market. For a business, the mobile app serves the purpose of branding and an excellent tool to expand the business. Such an app can help you reach users who were not possible for you before. Above all, when done well, by following the different app monetization strategies explained above, you can turn your business app into a fantastic source of revenue. So make use of them and monetize your app in the best possible manner.

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    Ronak Patel

    Ronak Patel, the CEO of Aglowid IT Solutions, is a NASSCOM member and a published writer in top tech publications like DZone and Hacker Noon. With a background as a full-stack developer, he brings a wealth of technical expertise. Ronak's marketing acumen complements his technical skills, ensuring the delivery of innovative IT solutions that excel in the market.

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