How to Upsell Using Your Free Android App?

Upsell Free Android App

In the past week, we have spoken about creating your Android app and learning how to monetize it in three simple ways. We have spoken about banners, and we have also discussed how to create a business network. Today, we are going to have a little look at how you can use your free Android app to increase your income by upselling.

What is Upselling?

Upselling is sales talk means that the seller provides opportunities to their client to purchase an upgrade or additional related items that will increase the size of the original sale. Let me give you a simple example; Mr. Smith went to McDonald’s to buy a Big Mac. The person behind the counter asked him if he would like fries with his Big Mac or a drink. The person behind the counter is upselling. Mr. Smith said yes, please, and that person again asked, “would you like me to make them extra large?” Again they are upselling.

What is Android Upsell?

The goal of Android upsell is to convert users of the Android app into clients and make them pay more for the delivered value. Any free Android app can be considered as a gateway to the more expensive offer like paid subscriptions, premium features, upgraded plans, in-app purchases. 

What are Ways to Upsell an Android app?

There are four ways to upsell your app and persuade your users to pay. But the right way to upsell and achieve the intended outcome will depend upon the approach you follow.

1. Free trial 

Free trials allow new users to access unlimited content for a limited period with the aim to get them hooked and encourage them to pay if they want to continue after the end of the trial. To achieve these results, make sure your app runs smoothly and delivers value quickly. A free trial will be your opportunity to turn your free trial users into lifetime users.

2. Freemium

The most common way to upsell an app is to direct your app user to the upgraded version that has more features and functionalities than the free version. Once people see the quality of your app and how it can add value to their lives, upselling your upgraded version is the next natural step. Simple links within the app itself can promote the upgraded version, along with banners prompting users to upgrade their plan in order to get a more valuable experience.

3. In-app Products

Online retailers already know that people are looking for quick, convenient ways to make purchases, and this is becoming a more and more specialized field for tablets and mobile phones. Apps that are loaded into Amazon do best with upsell products because the customer already has their credit card details stored for purchases. This is a growing field and one to watch for in the future. Get on board now.

4. Premium Subscription

Subscription-based applications prompt users to purchase their subscriptions to access all the features and content. Their apps gate all of their features and give you the opportunity to have a stable revenue stream, helping you make better investments down the road. However, getting enough subscribers is quite challenging these days because of the cutting-edge competition. Thus, you have to go the extra mile to boost your subscription rate.

To make the most of these approaches, you can strategically combine them. For instance, Viki, a video streaming service provider, offers a freemium product along with a free trial of their premium plan.

How to Upsell Like a Pro?

Prior to exploring the examples of mobile app upselling, it is important to know that the success of this technique lies in how and when you bring this offer in front of your users. You must take two things into consideration while creating your upsell strategy.

Target Audience

To get a higher upsell conversion rate, make sure to target your users who frequently use your application. So, you should meticulously categorize your users before creating an upselling plan and target them strategically.


Encourage your users to upgrade or purchase your subscription when they actively use your application. With in-depth app analytics, you will be able to monitor their in-app behavior that actually correlates with their intent of purchase or upgrade. So, all you need is to hit the nail right on the head. The better your timing, the more will be the conversions.

The concept of upselling revolves around the target audience, timing, and analytics. Let’s have a look at some brands that have intelligently employed the upselling strategy and boosted their conversions.

How Brands Have Leverage Upselling


The upsell strategy of Slack, a chatroom for organizations, is quite simple yet effective. Instead of forcing users to purchase their paid plan, Slack has set multiple usage limits that are reached by users after a high level of consumption. These limits are:

  • Chat history in a workspace that stops after 10,000 messages
  • App integrations that are limited to 10 applications
  • File storage that can’t exceed 5GB

When users attempt to exceed these limits, Slack strategically sends in-app notifications to let freemium users know that they have reached the set limit and prompt them to turn into paid users. The timeliness of these messages or notifications encourages users to upgrade to a paid plan because they couldn’t find what they need at that moment due to the limitations.


Likewise, Dropbox also limits their features in the free plan.  However, their approach to persuading users to upgrade is quite proactive. Instead of waiting for existing users to reach their storage limit, Dropbox leverages persistent upsell messages to remind users of the limitations that come with the free plan and prompt them to upgrade to the business plan. 

These in-app messages pop up in the form of a fun illustration combined with a persuading copy informing users that they can overcome their storage issue with an upgraded plan. Besides, a “Try it free” CTA button makes upgrading a risk-free option for the users, which we think is really a smart move.


iHeartRadio sends intelligently crafted in-app messages to encourage the existing users to get a premium plan, which will enable them to control their music streaming experience. Moreover, the compelling CTA prompts them to try the premium plan with a free trial, making upgrading feel like a low-stakes choice.

Final Words

Upselling is not only beneficial for the app owner but also gives users access to unlimited content and features. And in order to deliver the best experience to uses, apps require to generate more revenue.

Generally, users find the premium plan advantageous once they get the opportunity to try it and find out if it is really valuable or not. That’s why you should always wait for the best time to send the upsell prompts to users. Asking them too early to upgrade can turn them off and push them away.

Additionally, being transparent by sending messages or emails is equally important. Nobody would like to pay and upgrade without knowing what your premium plan can bring to the table. So, always make your users understand how the new features and capabilities of the premium plan will benefit them. 

If you explain the real value the upgraded plan can deliver, the right users will purchase it and stick around long enough to contribute to the success of your application.