Having a vision of a mobile app and then turning it into a mobile app is still a business half finished. You might have turned the idea into a mobile app, but you haven’t yet thought about adding monetization  tools to your free app.

Let’s face it and be realistic, you haven’t really invested loads of money just to impress users with unique features. You also need to make profit by figuring out what ways can help you generate constant revenue.

Monetization thus is an essential part of conception, planning and development. Your newly launched app can also support monetization if you wish and plan to do so.

Since the post-launch monetization process might get a little complicated, you need skilled players to suggest what sorts of monetization work and how to implement them.

The following guide presents top methods to help you monetize your free app the right way.

Third-Party Advertising

In the service-oriented mobile apps, it is difficult to notice users who will fall for in-app purchases or subscription services added by developers. Most users expect free service – which is why there is a need to inject ad mechanism.

Users will be persuaded that they will enjoy high-quality content in exchange of seeing relevant ads on the screen now and then. But be careful about the how frequently ads are displayed and what types.

The best approach would be adding diversified ad content units of different sizes. This is viable for industries like ecommerce, travel, photo editing, gaming and entertainment.

You can easily couple these ads with supporting analytics to gain access to customer data such as behavior, location and preferences. This is a magnetic idea for users who seek free apps. Your app makes money by flashing relevant user-friendly ad products.

E-mails and Lead Generation

This might strike as simplistic, but having a newsletter in your app to send customers back to your website is a surefire way to monetize your efforts.

This may not be as easy as it sounds, and there are certain challenges to measure and track the transition. But in the end it works efficaciously.

Apps of this kind are meant to act as an essential part of the overall brand marketing, lead generation and customer acquisition strategy and focus on collecting as many emails and footprints as you can from customer interactions.

They are standalone solution but still seem to add value to the conversion funnel.

Engaging Content Dynamics

Having great content is something many app developers forget to consider. It is admissible that developing a mobile demands a lot of efforts and dedication, but you should be as much worried about whether or not it will create momentum for your business.

You are not done yet just after releasing the app. A good app populated with engaging content and features becomes great. Tale Calm for instance.

The meditation app is booming in the mind health domain, inspiring lots of people to subscribe to its meditation services and expert content. This app is the best example of how systematically you can encourage the users to opt for your premium services at a small fee.

Profitable Partnerships

A bunch of successful CEOs and market analysts also emphasize the idea of partnering with companies whose products or customers match with yours. The partnership works by integrating their offerings into your app as a third-party service in exchange for a fixed referral fee.

The company you have partnered with can eventually benefit your customers who will enjoy a smooth, integrated experience without switching between two apps. By successfully building a profitable partnership, this can turn out to be a massive revenue generator.

Freemium Levels

While content could take a little longer to interest the audience, what would save time is having different levels and versions of your app. Many entrepreneurs and app developers prefer to launch both free version and paid/premium version.

Either free versions will have customers exploring the app content with ads or it will give them a brief taste of what it is going to be. You can think of it as giving a trial period until users are all thorough with your app’s capabilities and potential.

By doing this, your customers will initially test-drive and integrate apps in their lives, eventually realizing they can’t resist using it. Thus, you can encourage them to upgrade to premium version to add more value.

Paid Downloads

Most iOS apps run on this monetization mechanism. Each time users download an app, they will pay an upfront fee as a monthly/yearly subscription or one-time charge.

Here, what you charge becomes the key to how much you can monetize and gain revenue. However, paid downloads should better be regulated by a poised, thoughtfully selected price structure.

Attach a price tag based on what your app promises to deliver and you are all set to earn from your app. Here the biggest pro is that there is no wait time, if your app is good you start generating profits the moment they download the app.

Expect more loyalty since they will interact with an app with clutter-free, ad-free UI.

Multiple Pricing and Subscription Options

Even your monetization methods don’t need to be workaday and boring. Treat your customers with multiple subscription and in-app purchases options, each including different benefits altogether.

Include at least one of many that is highly viable and more appealing to users. The combo subscription offer here seems to work, the one that seemingly adds value to customers.

You may divide them based on web and mobile experience with mobile app version bringing obviously more merits in terms of discount and savings. You can customize your own pricing strategy for this monetization to work.

Blend of Multiple Approaches

In-app purchases and advertising may appear to be the best options of monetizing your free app. However, a holistic approach would be more effective and attractive for today’s evolved app users.

If you want to appeal to the enormous audience out there, make sure you build several solutions that entice diverse set of users to make purchase.

Read also : Most Downloaded Apps in 2018

Some appreciate subscriptions packages while others are smitten by fancy in-app purchases. Therefore, instead of focusing on merely in-app purchases options or advertising won’t do much good.

Create a perfect blend of multiple monetization approaches to match the taste of various users including a few ad units, purchasable merchandizes or upgrades, priced features and more. This will set in place something-for-everyone attitude.

Data-Driven user Engagement

Mobile app owners and marketers are often so occupied with user acquisition they neglect how important it is to retain and reengage existing user base.

The best way to keep up with monetization drive which comes from that small percentage of loyal users. For instance, only a small percentage of total mobile gamers are generous, enthusiastic spenders who love to buy expensive features for more thrilling experience.

These users give you a major portion of total app’s revenue. Make sure you monitor the minute behavior of the loyal users and use the data to engage and retain them better. Leverage right messages for such data-driven monetization.

License Your App Code

Have you thought about patenting the app code after observing some success after the launch? It is great to think about licensing your code after building an awesome free model of your app and seeing satisfying traction.

Create a licensed code ownership system for other developers who will pay some fixed charge if they want to imitate the app design.

Read also : How To Create an App and Make Money

This will not disrupt the experience of your existing users because they won’t see any obtrusive ads or clutter features. You can think of Uber for this example.

Make your app powerful and usable enough to attract massive number of users and entice other developers who wish to save heap of time and efforts in writing code.


Building an app seems like a relatively easier job compared to what comes after that. The number of mobile apps in online stores is high and competition is intense.

You must stand out if you want to earn from your newly launched app. Your potential users naturally gravitate to free app services.

However, with mobile app market opening countless opportunities, you will find many diverse ways to engage users and monetize your app content. Depicted above are a few effective ways to introduce monetization in your free apps.

In the mobile-dominated world, it is hard to survive without an app. This is the reason app development companies and businesses shake their hands to develop mobile apps for Android and iOS platforms. They build apps in order to engage, retain and attract customers, ultimately creating monetization opportunities.

Developers can boost engagement with:

  • Providing feature-rich content
  • Social media integration
  • Gamification
  • Incentivized giveaways
  • Mobile advertising

Among all other means, the one that retains majority of traffic is incentivized temptations and mobile ads.

Though many top grossing apps in app stores are free to download, certain in-app monetization models turn apps into revenue-generating machine. So how can you do well in mobile app monetization space? Here are all the tools and guidance you need to be successful:

Mobile Monetization Models:

Many companies strive hard to overcome app monetization challenges. They dream about making money from the day their app is published in Android, iOS or Windows market. Only a countable number of them succeed in persuading the visitors.

Hence, in order to hit the mobile app market with confidence, you must first strategize impeccable in-app monetization model. Depending on the profit goals, preferences and type of business, you can choose one or the combination of:

  • In-app s
  • Advertising
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Display banners
  • Freemium structure
  • Subscriptions
  • Incentivized model

Dropbox is a good example of successful freemium model while Angry Birds significantly monetize on display banner ads.

It is important to know that no matter what model you choose, your sole motto should be to make it work for you.

The idea of integrating powerful in-app monetization tools can not only automate your revenue generation but also help improve user experience and acquisition.

Here is the list of a few popular benchmark tools in mobile monetization space for you:

1) Google’s AdMob:

Google’s AdMob offers its in-app advertising services to nearly 50,000 businesses that have their own mobile presence.


  • Provides wide variety with thousands of app advertisers
  • Developers can pick the ads and formats closely relevant to their product
  • App owners can earn each time the ad banner gets clicked
  • Allows publishers to advertise their products in other apps

In addition to these, AdMob comes with a mediation feature that lets you handle multiple ad networks, allowing you to manage the in-app advertisement on the basis of location, traffic density and ad revenue.

2) InMobi:

InMobi is an easy-to-integrate ad network that uses both SDK and server side API to help developers and publishers to monetize mobile apps.

InMobi’s performance-based ads can maximize app revenue as well as help engage and acquire new customers.


  • Increased engagement and connections with target audience
  • Great flexibility of the platform
  • Chance to tap into global market
  • Freedom to choose where to show ads based on categories
  • Supports assorted ad formats
  • Offers conversion tracking system

With InMobi’s ad platform, you can implement the competitive CPM model to engage more traffic. You will be able to enter the market of millions consumers in more than 150 countries.

It supports ad formats such as HD banners, rich media, video content, interstitial ads, etc.

InMobi also leverages its conversion tracking system to ensure users get right ads displayed on their screen.

3) Millennial Media:

Millennial media is believed to be the second largest mobile ad networks platform in the world after perhaps Google’s AdMob. This is a widespread company with offices and staff that extends from Los Angeles to Singapore. Highly popular in US markets,

Founded in 2006, Millennial media offers reliable mobile advertising solutions to publishers and developers. Highly popular in US markets, it provides the following benefits:

  • Easy management of ads for developers inside their apps
  • Use of different formats of ads (videos, banners, rich media)
  • Full range of ad solutions across all OS platforms and devices
  • Self-service solutions for small enterprises
  • Facility of running house ads, third-party and premium ads
  • Used by more than 30,000 apps globally

Developers can choose multiple formats of ads such as video, display banners, rich media, and can run their own house ads as well as Millennial ads, premium ads, third-party ads and client ads.

Millennial media, which is heavily popular in US market, offers mature range of advertising solutions across various devices running on different OS systems.

It is the frequent winner of Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year awards, and the platform is chosen by more than 30,000 apps worldwide.

4) StartApp:

StartApp offers developers an SDK that allows integration of mobile search engine add-on into their apps. Developers can integrate search engine in merely 3 to 5 minutes and start making revenues using StartApp’s unique monetization model.


  • Developers can earn revenue from user searches.
  • It keeps the users’ app experience intact
  • Doesn’t bother users with annoying ads
  • Users get paid for each download with the add-on

StartApp is quite popular worldwide among Android developers as it has been downloaded 250 million times for the purpose of Android apps monetization.

Its search engine is commonly found on Android devices and is widely used mobile search engine in West.

5) Linkury:

This unique monetization tool offers developers and publishers good number of choices for selecting channels for monetization. Linkury is widely known for its powerful set of monetization tools that enhance engagement and users management.

Linkury offers:

  • Variety of user engagement tools
  • Better ad management approach
  • High level of monetization
  • Better exposure of ads to users’ screens
  • Personalized interactions and enhanced connections

A unique advantage offered by Linkury is that it makes apps reach a user’s home or lock screen for increased exposure.

It allows you to strengthen your monetization strategy with contextual advertising in which interactions are personalized based on user interests and their search behaviour.

6) Chartboost

This mobile only ad platform targets gamers and helps game app publisher monetize their apps. Since it is dedicated to game-loving audience, Chartboost is an attention-worthy in-app monetization tool for game developers.

Chartboost can perform the following jobs:

  • It is good at cross promotion of apps
  • Prompts users to install new game apps
  • Increases user retention and acquires new user base
  • Supports promotion of new apps in existing game apps
  • Provides analytics to gain user data and improve campaigns success
  • Gives excellent control on in-app ads and their performance

With Chartboost, everybody involved wins: Publishers retain their users, can promote their newly developed games to increase downloads while maintaining interest for their existing ones, and attain user engagement.

On the other hand, users gain unusual experience and novel alternatives. Chartboost simultaneously gets small revenue out of these activities.

What is more:

Tool’s analytics help developers get insight into users’ behaviour to improve campaign’s performance.

Chartboost offers a window into on who advertises in your app and where, so that you can control the ads users view inside your app.

7) AdColony:

AdColony is a video advertising platform that helps you generate revenue and increase user engagement with the help of video ads.

The app monetization tool is illustrious worldwide because:

  • AdColony collaborates with brands that appear in Fortune 500 list.
  • It is associated with more than 85% of the world’s topmost app publishers.
  • It is considered to be the most suitable tool for in-app video ads.
  • It serves HD mobile videos run by Instant-Play HD technology.
  • It works across all device types on varied internet speed.
  • It drives appreciable engagement with quality ad content.
  • Offers buffer-free video playback for engaging advertising.
  • It can be neatly managed, slotted and targeted for the right audience

Because of its clean ad management and ability to touch audience across various geographies and demographics, AdColony has earned global reputation and reach in mobile advertising arena.

Conclusive note:

These are a few remarkable in-app monetization tools among the pool of many used by developers and publishers worldwide. The key to success is discovering the one that incorporates all your requirements and business expectations. You can pick the one that you are confident will work for you. If you are struggling to choose the right one, you can do your research and dig deeper into market trends.