21 App Monetization Strategies That App Developers Should Know

12 min read

People frequently ask me about monetizing mobile apps and whether it is a sound investment for them. Should they go for free or paid mobile apps? I think, it depends on what you are offering to customers and if it is worth paying or if people need what you are providing. Although the development of apps is a good way to generate revenue, many businesses are building their mobile apps to reach out to the maximum number of customers. In this article, I am going to share with you some of the most effective app monetization strategies. In monetization, most of the time, you are not directly paid by your customers but your promotional and marketing activities to keep people engaged with you and it can be your good source of income. The competition for mobile app monetizing is becoming very high, but if you have a good understanding of monetizing techniques, you can stand out from the competition and make your mobile a machine that generates revenue for you.

Here are some of the most amazing ways to make money through your mobile app.



The mobile advertising monetization is the best way to monetize an app. While making any ad content, make sure to design it in the context and theme of your mobile app. You can also run ads for products, services, and brands that are complementary to your business. Many developers, put irrelevant ads that are not good for marketing and it can also annoy your customers.

Admob is a mobile advertising company that helps to maximize revenue. It provides businesses with effective advertisement tools so they can easily make ads for their mobile app. If you want to make an ad for your app then you should consider Admob as it offers high-performance ad formats to its clients. 

In-Game Advertising

In 2020, the overall revenue of in-game ads is expected to be 40.5 billion US dollars. There is a lot of potential for game ads for your mobile app. If you want to make a game ad for your mobile games then Unity Ads is the best option for you.

 The Unity Ads can be used for the monetization of ads on both Android and iOS app monetization platforms. With Unity Ads, you can easily monetize your app as it provides you with an effective framework for game monetization.

Sponsors and Partnerships

Sponsors and Partnerships

Most of the developers go for sponsorship and partnership with the business with some kind of brand. It allows them to do promotions and marketing for their products on different platforms. As far as mobile app monetization is concerned, it is a win-win situation for both partners. The partners can also share with you the email list of their customers.

By having a partner or sponsor, you can get a lot of benefits, for example, if you don’t have an email list right now, you can offer gifts to the audience of your partners and put this offer with your brand on your partner’s app. Doing this would help you to drag the audiences of your partner to your mobile app. From my experience, I must say that, when it comes to making good mobile app monetization strategies sponsorship and partnership always benefit you in many ways.

Through the partnership, you can attract the existing customers of your partner to your brand. You can also put a logo of your brand on the mobile app of your partner and when their users see your brand, they might visit you. While going for the partnership, make sure that your brands are not competitive with each other, instead, they must complement each other, so the growth of one brand also benefits the other partner. 

You might be familiar with the term click-through rate which indicates that if your partner is featuring some advertisement, there are more chances for the user to click on that ad. So, you can say that the partnership is a good way to make a solid image of your brand and reach more customers.

Creating Strong Code

Creating a strong code for your apps can help you in the long term because any time in the future you can revise this code for some brand or even for your own needs. If your code is strong, you can also provide a license of this code to other developers and get paid, it will not have any effect on your user experience. It is a good way of making some extra money from your mobile application code.

The main purpose here is to get maximum profit out of your mobile app without harming your business.  The other way to use the code of your mobile app is to sell it to another developer and he can use your framework to make his new app. Your app will not be affected and your code will be reused by someone, who is ready to pay you for this.

SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is very much like email marketing. Using SMS marketing can be an effective way of monetizing your mobile application.  The best thing about SMS marketing is that people don’t change their phone numbers frequently, and most of the time they forget to unsubscribe. SMS marketing is a personalized way of approaching your customers, just like email marketing, it also has the potential to urge users to make a purchase. 

By using the SMS marketing tools in your mobile app, you can send updates notices, promotions, reminders, and contests to the users in their phone messages. It is a good way to build a strong brand image. Blue Lion is one of the leading app monetization platforms for mobile social discovery that uses SMS marketing. With the help of SMS marketing, you can reactivate your users, who have not activated for weeks. I must recommend you give it a try to SMS marketing because it has a lot of potential to increase your profit.

Premium Versions

The first mobile app of the developers is normally free of cost. Once you engage users with Free downloads, the next step for generating income is to make another version with some additional features that would enhance the experience of the users.  You can launch a premium version when you realize that now the users have developed a high demand for your app.

The premium version would be paid but once your customers realized that your app can serve them, they would have no issue paying you for this. For this model, you should focus on customers’ engagement with your free downloads and installations and improve user experience in the premium app.

Rewarded Ads

When it comes to mobile games the rewarded ads are the best monetization for apps. The rewarded ads business model was started by Unity, in these ads the user has to watch a 30-second ad to unlock some special thing, such as you can get advanced gaming features and most probably the extra coins for the game. The Rewarded ads are beneficial for both developers and the user.

You can get money and the user gets the extra points or some other reward, just by watching a few seconds ad. I think it is a good way to keep your customers engaged with you, and you can enhance profit from your mobile game.

Strong Content Strategies

Strong Content Strategies

Try to do effective content marketing by uploading new content on your mobile app, as it is an effective method that you can use to convert your new customers to long-term purchasers. If your business does not have a blog then you can also use your mobile app to post new stories, which would keep your customers up to date and also give them a reason to come back.

Sometimes after making one or two purchases, users don’t feel like coming back to your mobile app because they think that there is nothing more interesting for them. When you keep posting some good content on your mobile app, the users are more likely to get back to you and stay engaged. Not just the customers who are paying, but most of the time your free users also become your customers because of effective content strategies.

Keep in mind that it is not just educational content but you have to attract and engage most of the audiences through this content. Try to make this content more appealing and irresistible for your audiences.

Subscription Services

To make a recurring profit and stable income from your mobile app, you must have a good business model for recurring revenue. The continuity of your profit depends on the efficiency of your business model. You cannot improve your business if your profit is not recurring. The subscription business model is quite stable and it also makes your income quite predictable. In this case, your users have to provide the bank details for one time and then they billed every month until they cancel the subscription. With the subscription-based model, you can generate more predictable and recurring income for your business. 

White Labelling Code

For individuals, who are not very familiar with the marketing and promotion of the mobile app, the white labeling solution is a good option to consider. In this process, you don’t have to do any marketing or branding, instead, you can create apps and after that sell them to some other company that would do the marketing and branding stuff. When you white-label a mobile app, it is no more yours, after selling it to another company, this company has all of the ownership of the product.

A white label is a good option for developers because there is a lot of demand in the market for mobile frameworks and templates.

In-App Purchases

In-App Purchases

Most of the apps you can download free from the app store. At the initial level, you should keep your downloads free of cost and once your customers get familiar with your services or product, you can add new features and purchasing options to improve their experience.

Google and Apple provide their customers with a billing service to make the in-app purchase easier. These billing services cannot be used in all countries in the world because they don’t use scratch cards and credit cards. Most of the developers use this method to increase the overall profits. To monetize your mobile app through the in-app purchase method, you have to make your services very engaging for the users, so he has no issue paying, to improve their experience of your app.

Upgrade to Remove Ads

As we all know people don’t like ads and they are often so annoying. When one ad comes after others and you have to wait for some seconds to remove the ad, it can irritate your users. To get your user out of this problem, you can make a paid version of your app, where the users can have an ad-free experience. In doing so, the ads will not be accessible to all of your customers but still, you can make a good amount of money out of it. 

In the mobile app ads, you must know that you are likely to get more revenue from the paid versions of apps than ads and marketing. Try to make more advanced and updated paid versions of your free mobile app.


The fact you should not ignore is, no one likes interrupting ads, it also affects the user experience on your mobile app. When it comes to mobile app ads, don’t overdo it because it can frustrate the user and he might uninstall your app. You must hear about the donations that can be PayPal donations or crowdfunding donations. In this case, you don’t have to put a lot of ads on your mobile ads, instead, you ask your users for donations. You can make a PayPal account with a link to PayPal.me. It will allow your customer to donate any amount of money to your account.

I used the donation strategies for my mobile app, but you have to give a solid purpose, for why the user should donate. The easiest way to donate is PayPal.

Build Up Your Email List

Build Up Your Email List

Most of the developers ignore the fact that the email of the customers can be very helpful in keeping them engaged with your business. The customers’ emails help you to directly communicate with your users and do personalized marketing. Unlike social media marketing, email marketing is proven to have more potential to keep your customers engaged. Marketers use different techniques like a free offer or a discount on a product when the customer provides their email address.

Just like mobile phone numbers, people hardly change their email addresses, so you can also use the email addresses of the customers for long-term marketing purposes. 

Reactivate User’s Push Notifications

Non-recurring users can be a big problem for your mobile app. At the end of the day, you are going to benefit from the users who are active and make frequent purchases. If your users are inactive for a long time then you should remind them about you. Just send a gentle reminder through email once a week, don’t send it every day, it will make your users irritated. In your email, you can give your users some free offer or discount on your service that can interest them. Free offers are a good way to get the instant attention of the users and get them back on your mobile app.

Push notifications are another option to remind your inactive users about you and there are chances that they will get back soon.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is one of my favorite ways to monetize the mobile app. Many of the developers complain that their users are not willing to pay them enough money to take their business to the next level. Most of the time the problem is not in your marketing or promotions, you should know that not all things can work for you. In this situation, the best thing to generate the maximum profit is to find some brands, who can pay you to keep their sponsor content on your user base. In the sponsorship, you just have to give some brand space on your mobile app and get paid. The income from the sponsored content is also recurring and stable.

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate Programs

In my opinion, it is good to have one free and one paid version of your mobile app. The free app is like a trial to the customers, so they can have an idea about what you are providing them and why they need it. Most of the developers provide the first version free of cost and afterward earn money by making more paid versions like updating for additional features, ad removal, and premium versions.

 Once you are successful in creating the need for your service, it is easier for you to get more paid customers for your premium versions of the mobile app. 

You can also start affiliate programs, as many of the big companies in the world are doing.  Make your affiliate program open to the developers. The affiliate programs are not very high on commission like the partnership but here you have more options to promote your mobile app. Under affiliate programs, you can put ads on other developers and earn a commission from them. For this, I would recommend you choose the developers with more ratings, so it is easier for you to get more clicks on the ad through your app. Affiliate programs are a good way to monetize your mobile app. You can choose the affiliate programs of the businesses, that are offering a paid membership, it will allow you to increase your commissions. 


Most of the apps are free to download, and some of them are in-app purchase that generates money for you. It is an effective method to maximize your profit and engage the maximum number of customers in your business. Normally the first version of the mobile is freemium because it is hard for the customer to buy an app that they have not used before.

Most of the mobile developers, go for freemium when they launch their first app. Once their customers start getting familiar with the app and you have an idea that they cannot resist this anymore then you can launch the paid version of the mobile app with advanced features. The paid version of the app is the best way to generate maximum profit out of your mobile app.

App Analytics

You should keep track of your mobile analytics, so you can have a better idea of the customer’s engagement on your app. Doing this would help you to understand the interests of your customers and how can you improve your mobile app ads strategies to attract more customers. Try to monitor the analytics more often, so you can have a better understanding of what better works for you when it comes to making effective mobile app monetization strategies.

Video ads

Mobile App Video ads

Video ads can generate more revenue as compared with normal text ads. The advertisers are likely to pay you more for the video advertisement. The user is also more likely to watch a video advertisement than simple text ads. Don’t make the video very long, try to be minimalistic when it comes to advertisement.

AdColony is a famous platform for mobile video advertising that draws high engagement of customers with ads and therefore high CPCV and CPM.

Check Ratings and Reviews

Once you have launched your new mobile app, it is very important to analyze the performance of your mobile app daily. The ratings and reviews of your mobile ad can be checked on the analytics of the app. Tracking the ratings and reviews would not only allow you to analyze the performance of your mobile app but it also lets you have a better idea of the interests and demands of your customers. 

To make a long-term content and advertisement strategy for your mobile app, it is very important to first analyze, how your user responds to a particular ad and content, and by knowing their needs you can make a better marketing and promotional strategy for your app that would allow you to generate more revenue.


There are a lot of effective ways that you can use to maximize your revenue. It is important to make a solid promotional and marketing plan for your mobile app, by understanding your users and their interests. In this article, I have discussed, some of the best ways to monetize web apps that would help you to increase your profit.

If you are new and do not have any idea about which method will work for you then I recommend you to be experimental because knowing your users’ interest is very important to make better decisions about mobile monetization strategy.

One of the basic things that you should keep in mind is to start with the free version of the ad because if your users don’t know what you are offering then no matter what you are selling, they will never pay for your app. Once you create the need for your initial app, you can make premium versions with advanced features. Now, there are more chances for users to pay for the advanced versions because they are more confident about what they will get. Hope you like this article! Do share your thoughts with us, in the comments section.

One thought on

21 App Monetization Strategies That App Developers Should Know

  • Hammad Mohsin

    You developed an amazing app that meets the need of its audience engages with them. The next step you take into consideration is making your app a source of income. Mobile app monetization is the ability of a particular mobile app to produce revenue. Because of harsh competition, its become and harder to make an app profitable

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