14 Ways to Monetize your App (courtesy of yourAppreport.com)
1. Paid Downloads aka Pay Per Download – Paid downloads work as users pay up-front to download your app once it’s available in one of the app markets. Paid download apps work well for apps in the gaming, entertainment, productivity, navigation and news categories. However, the more users pay up-front, the less tolerant they may be of advertising or in-app purchases. You might try considering to offer a free version plus a paid version of your mobile app with additional content that contains fewer or maybe even no advertisements.
2. In-App Advertising aka Mobile Ads – One of the most popular among mobile app developers. In-App Advertising works by allowing ads run on space sold within your app and revenue is based on number of user impressions and/or clicks. These really work well on the gaming, news, chat and entertainment category apps. However, the small drawback with in-app ads is that your app will have to bring back users regularly, and basically be designed for heavy use.
3. In-App Purchases or Subscriptions – In-App Purchases work by allowing users additional purchasing privileges, badges or subscriptions inside the app once they’ve downloaded it. These work pretty good for apps in the gaming, lifestyle and news categories. However, this type of app really requires a very loyal following of users that are willing to pay for virtual or ongoing benefits. You will need to regularly add fresh content as well.
4. Sponsorships – Sponsorships can work by individuals or businesses basically under-writing your app in exchange for recognition type benefits. An example of this would be maybe an ad or logo within your app. These work best for Local + Event focused apps and narrow focused audiences. The drawback here is that these are typically a one-shot source of revenue. They usually aren’t ongoing or scalable. However, it’s a pretty good way to get a first app off the ground.
5. Push Ads: Ads are displayed in the notification tray of an opted-in user’s device. CTR’s and conversion rates are sky high with this format, since there are no accidental clicks like with in-app ads. Advertisers pay on a CPC basis. Unlike traditional mobile ads, these ads are not placed inside apps. Each ad is also tagged with a permanent opt-out link, as well as the name of the app which delivered the ad. However, on iOS systems, you can get really crafty with Apple’s push notifications availability. (Be careful with that).
6. Icon Ads: Similar to the pre-installed apps which come with a new smartphone, Icon Ads are sponsored shortcuts (icons) placed on the home screen of an opted-in user’s device. Advertisers pay on a CPI basis for each icon installed on a device.
7. Dialog Ads: Ads are displayed as a dialog box inside an app, presenting the user with a 1 sentence call-to-action along with an OK and Cancel button. For example, the ad can ask the user “Check out a free new 3-d game” with an OK and Cancel button underneath. Advertisers pay on a CPC basis.
8. OfferWall Ads: Ads for individual promotional offers are placed in a single in-app interstitial and can be selected by a user for participation. Advertisers pay on a CPC or CPA basis.
9. Video Ads: High-quality Video Ads are shown in-app. Our proprietary ad server only displays Video Ads to users on a wi-fi or 4g connection, ensuring a positive viewing experience. Advertisers pay on a CPM basis.
10. Rich Media Ads: A full landing page is embedded inside an app, with a fixed close button at the top. Advertisers can build rich experiences which are directly embedded in another app.
12. Full-Page Banner Ads: Ad is displayed as an in-app interstitial to users, with a fixed close button at the top. Advertisers pay on a CPC basis.
13. AppWall Ads: AppWall a new interstitial mobile ad format that Advertisers can use to generate huge CTRs and higher engagement than virtually any other in-app ad type. Displayed within an app session, AppWall displays a variety of different offers and actively optimizes their placement in order to drive results that were never before possible in the mobile marketing space.
14. Affiliate Offers: A great way to monetize your app is to leverage affiliate offers. There are 1000’s of affiliate offers available for almost any topic. When you hear “affiliate” you may be thinking someone has to pull out their credit card and purchase something from an online store and you will get a percentage… this is true, but there are also PPA affiliate offers (Pay Per Acquisition)- where you can get paid if one of your app users simply registers for a newsletter or website. I have found these offers work great in apps. Most people prefer to make affiliate purchases, with a credit card on their desktop computer, most people don’t want to pull our a credit card and type all those digits into their little smartphone screen. With PPC offers- you can show the user a relevant ad, the user can signup for a newsletter and you can get paid $1,2$ or more each time
Here are some affiliate sites to check out for PPA offers you could add to your app: