You’ve developed a great app, one that has real money-making potential. So, you upload it to the various app stores and slap a 99 cent price tag on it. A small enough amount that people won’t think twice about buying it, but enough that you’ll earn 70 cents every time someone downloads it. You might want to reconsider, because that 99 cent price tag could actually cost you money in the long run. Here are some ways you can earn more by providing free apps.
Premium Versions of Free Apps
Give a simplified version of the app at no charge. It should perform the main tasks your users will need, but leave them wanting more. You can include the option to upgrade at a price in the app itself so the process is seamless.
A good example of an app that does this is MyFitnessPal. This food logging app includes a huge database of foods and offers insight into macronutrient profiles and recommended goals. And that’s all the majority of these users need or want. But the premium version gives more nutritional insight and lets power users set their own goals.
You know the drill. You search through countless free apps before deciding to which one to download. And as you progress through your phone’s new addition, you have the option to buy things that enhance the functionality or make using it more fun. The purchases vary in price and size, and you typically have the option to spend a little more to get a better deal on each item or rid your screen of advertisements.
Games do this a lot. For example, Candy Crush gives you a set amount of ‘lives’ that take time to recharge. But, you can buy gold bars that let you keep going even after you’ve exhausted all your lives. A true lifesaver when you’re trying to kill time in the doctor’s office, right?
Another good way to make extra money is to embed advertising in your ‘freemium’ app. You can use an established ad network to serve updated pay-per-click or pay-per-impression ads to users as they go through your app. The payouts are small, but they can give you consistent income over the long term. Free utility apps, such as flashlights, in-phone measuring tools and to-do list apps use this model to earn revenue they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
So, when you’re ready to release your solution into the world of free apps, consider the ways you can earn more revenue over the long term. This shift in thinking can increase revenue per user well past that 99 cents you were thinking of charging.
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Adam cultivated the creation of an industry leading $300M affiliate program and also worked as a marketing consultant on the start-up team of a now publicly traded commercial energy brokerage firm. He was one of the first media buyers on Facebook, and also among the first to work in the SAG-AFTRA New Media (WebTV) industry, serving the online commercial and content needs of major Hollywood studios.
Adam holds a BA from Southern Methodist University and a MS in International Marketing Management from Boston University.
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