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Mobile apps are an increasingly significant source of revenue. In 2020 alone, the total ad revenue was $581.9 billion, and the mobile app market is expected to grow to around $935 billion by 2023. These and other app revenue statistics show how profitable this market is with the right app monetization strategies.
While mobile apps can generate plenty of profits for app developers and businesses, you may be unsure about how to increase your average mobile app revenue. So, exactly how do apps generate revenue? The following are some of the many potential methods to make your app more profitable.
1. Incorporate In-App Stories
2. Practice Good App Store Optimization
3. Carefully Implement Push Notifications
4. Use In-App Ads
5. Build Email Lists
6. Implement In-App Purchases
7. Create User-Friendly App Design
8. Offer Subscriptions
9. Gather and Analyze User Data
10. Increase Engagement With Deep Linking
One of the best ways to increase revenue from your app is to use in-app stories. These are fun and interactive ways to engage users and get them to perform certain desired actions. Through in-app stories, you can essentially include the familiar Instagram Stories feature in your own app.
In-app stories use personalized messaging and other content to connect with users by speaking more directly to them. Stories can include everything from in-app onboarding processes that efficiently introduce users to your app to unique and well-timed push notifications that bring people back to the app.
In-app stories can increase revenue in a couple of different ways.
First, apps can get more in-app purchases through a streamlined sales funnel using product stories. For example, you could display products through app stories by using CTA buttons, swipe-ups, or product tags, all of which could take users directly to the purchase page. This would make it easier than ever for users to move along the buyer’s journey. Having personalized stories that use the right content to connect with audiences will further drive engagement, as users feel more inclined to take action when you’re appealing to their individual wants and needs.
Apps can also use stories for ads in much the same way Instagram Stories does. At Storyly, we have integrations with Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager, which enables advertisers to publish programmatic or premium ads. With this monetization feature, you can generate revenue for your app.
App store optimization (ASO) is a great way to generate more app store revenue, specifically by encouraging more downloads. ASO entails optimizing your app store page with high-quality content that helps you rank high in app stores and entices people to download your app.
The app store is critical for getting people to discover and download your app. In the second quarter of 2021 alone, the total combined number of app downloads from Apple App Store and Google Play was around 35.9 billion. If you want people to find and download or purchase your app, you must implement good ASO.
Think of ASO like you would with search engine optimization (SEO), as both are trying to increase visibility among audiences. By writing high-quality descriptions of your apps, featuring multiple helpful screenshots, and reviews, you can achieve better rankings in app store searches and drive traffic to your page.
Push notifications can be a nuisance to users when used incorrectly, but when implemented properly, they can be a huge source of app revenue. Hopper CEO Frederic Lalonde determined that an astounding 90% of the company’s revenue came from push notifications, sending more than a billion of them every day.
The key is to use push notifications strategically, encouraging engagement without annoying users. Make sure each push notification provides value to users. You can also integrate stories with personalized messages that encourage users to return to your app, whether to continue their progress toward a goal or to complete a purchase or another task.
App ad revenue remains one of the best ways for app owners to monetize their apps. A big reason why app advertising revenue is often so high is that people would often rather watch ads in an app than pay for a premium version of an app. Users are willing to sacrifice a small amount of convenience in exchange for a more affordable experience.
While you may prefer to have people pay to download and install your app, the in-app advertising revenue generated can make it worth it to offer a free or freemium version. There are many types of ads you can display in your app, including full-screen ads, notification ads, capture forms, and the aforementioned in-app story ads, among others.
If you’re curious to know how to calculate ad revenue of an app, simply multiply the number of impressions by the cost per impression and divide the total by 1,000.
Email marketing for your app can further keep users engaged, which translates to increased mobile app revenue, including app ad revenue. Sending regular emails to recipients on your email lists will remind users to return, whether it’s for a new update or product or simply a reminder to come back.
You can build your email lists by using an in-app subscription form that requests users to enter their email addresses in exchange for something of value. Email marketing can then keep these users engaged in multiple ways. For instance, you could share new blog posts or weekly newsletters that keep your app and brand top of mind. In the process, you’ll drive more traffic to your app and, subsequently, revenue.
Although a majority of apps are free to download initially, you can generate more mobile app revenue from free apps by offering in-app purchases. Oftentimes, freemium apps such as mobile games enable users to download the app for free while closing them off from certain features. By paying a certain amount, users can access these gated features, or they can purchase certain in-app items.
In-app purchases could also entail purchasing physical products from eCommerce apps, along with services with in-app billing capabilities. However, you must determine the right balance of free and paid features. Keeping too many features free could prevent people from completing purchases, while gating too much content might cause people to uninstall and avoid your app altogether.
Another great way to increase mobile app ad revenue and other types of revenue is to develop a good user experience. If your app isn’t intuitive and easy to navigate or efficient, people are likely to leave the app and stay away from it.
To keep users consistently engaged and build a base of loyal users, make sure your app is easy to use and assists with onboarding new users. Stories are a great way to do this, guiding new users through the process while displaying their progress at the start. Your app should also make everything easy to find, enabling users to locate various items and complete purchases without issue.
Also, ensure users have sufficient tapping space. Users can quickly become frustrated if your buttons are too small or too cluttered to enable users to tap on them.
If possible, offer subscription options to users. Whether for a single app or a service such as a magazine subscription that goes beyond your app, subscriptions can give users multiple options that encourage them to subscribe. For example, you might have three different plans that users can choose from, with a lower tier, middle tier, and upper tier, with each succeeding tier offering additional services. Users can then select the tier that’s right for them based on the services they want and their budget.
Depending on the user experience and individual budgets, you may be able to upsell subscriptions as users upgrade to the next tier over time. If users decide to cancel a subscription, you can also give users the ability to pause subscriptions for a certain period of time instead of outright deleting their account. This could get them to return at a later point when the pause period expires.
By looking at app revenue analytics and other data from your users, you can better optimize your app to generate more revenue. Collecting data such as app revenue by country, app ad revenue per user, and user behavior can help you measure the success of your app and plan for the future. You can identify what’s working and what isn’t, and use that information to create an even better experience that boosts revenue.
For instance, you might find that users are abandoning your app at a certain point. With the right app revenue data and other analytics, you can figure out what’s causing these users to drop the app and make any necessary changes to keep them returning.
One final way to further increase mobile app revenue is to implement deep linking. Deep links make returning to your app quick and simple with links that take people directly to the desired page to complete a specific task.
This is particularly invaluable for bringing people back to an abandoned cart. You might want to remind users to complete their purchase, in which case you could use a push notification with a deep link that takes the user straight to the checkout page. All the user would need to do at this point is provide payment details, making the process easy and painless for them.
Now that you know more about how revenue is generated from mobile apps, you can begin implementing these and other strategies to get the most from your app. Through the use of stories, in-app ads, in-app purchases, email marketing, and other efforts, you’ll be able to drive not only downloads and installs but also increased revenue that keeps your app profitable.