How to Turn Your App Into A Profitable Business

July 27, 2013 - 3 minutes read

app monetizationDeveloping apps for the consumer market can be a great business if you know what you’re doing. Mitchell Weisman, CEO at global marketing and digital advertising company LifeStreet Media, shows you how to turn your app making business into dollars. The most important things to remember when jumping into the app game are:

  1. Your app won’t make a profit without a decent user base. In order to gain popularity and drive downloads, you have to promote your app constantly. That often means spending big dollars to get public exposure and get users to download your app. Useful strategies are cross-promotion across multiple apps and extending your reach through viral distribution on Facebook and Twitter. Other options are PR or paid in-app advertising. Choosing the approach that matches  your growth strategy and marketing budget.
  2. Not all users are equal. Loyal users often cost considerably more to pick-up but are also worth much more to app publishers. Figuring out your Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is necessary to determine whether or not pursuing certain users will be profitable or not. Don’t average the acquisition costs: paying $2 for customers worth ‘an average of $4’ will attract users that leave you with no profit. Always customize your campaigns according to the different groups you’re targeting.
  3. A free app may not always be the best option. If your users engage with your product on a regular basis, an ad-supported model may work well. But if users only infrequently access your app, it might be a good idea to charge a small fee for downloads. Free trials and ‘freemium’ options (charges for advanced options) have become the most popular monetization model leveraged by top grossing app publishers.

It’s easy to implement advertising in your app although not always advisable. The risk is low, so you can try it out and see if it works. Think about where to place your advertisements and where your users are most willing to engage.

Invest in analytics. As an iPhone app developer it is important to understand what users value most, customer attribution models, and monetization payouts. External tools help you make smart decisions about which markets to pursue, or which platforms to prioritize.

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