How to Make Money by Selling Free Apps

how to make money by selling free apps

Apple and Google App Stores are filled to the brim with both free apps and paid apps. With the sharp rise in smartphone users over the years, there’s also an increase in the demand for mobile apps for different mobile systems such as Windows, Blackberry. Mobile app developers, marketers, and publishers alike have seen the immense potential of earning by way of these apps. While it is easy to develop and make money by selling it for $$$, how can a mobile app developer earn by way of selling them for free?

How a mobile app developer can make money from Free Apps

  1. Use mobile ad networks like InMobi or AdMob.
    It is probably one of the best ways to monetize your app. These ad networks offer easy integration with apps, thereby helping you start earning your revenue almost instantly. For more information click here.
    The only drawback here is that CPM rates are kind of low. This may put a lot of strain, especially if you are just starting out. However, this still can be improved, as your app’s popularity catches on with users.
  1. Employ rich media ad networks like Greystripe.
    It will help your app catch and sustain the interest of your users, sometimes even make them return to use your app more often. Because these ads are eye-candy, they automatically attract more viewership and promote higher CPMs.
    The only disadvantage here is that they also can put a strain on your app’s resources, both in terms of server space as well as finances.
  1. Sgn-up for ad exchanges.
    This can be of immense help to you as it will allow you integrate with several ad networks at one and at the same time. Meaning, you’ll get much higher fill rates as compared to a single ad network.
    The drawback I am seeing here is that you, as the developer, would have to spend more time, effort, and resources to optimize your app for several ad networks.  And in the long run,  may lower your net returns.
  1. Get sponsorship for your Android mobile app.
    It is the best way to ensure high returns from your app. Also, creating an app for an advertiser assures smoother and better integration of your app with your sponsoring brand.
    The disadvantage I am seeing here is that your app has to be a perfect fit for the brand. For sure, this would mean an expensive affair, and only the biggest publishers can hope to sustain a long-lasting relationship with the sponsoring brand. Hence, this is definitely not for newbies or amateur developers.

Additional Tips:

  1. Offering both free and paid versions of your app can help you maintain the free version without having to worry about ROI. Running a single ad network on the freemium version would mean easy integration without draining a lot of your resources.
  2. You would do better id you offer your potential customer a usable app. Take advantage of smartphone-specific features, such as an accelerometer or its voice calling feature, while creating a high-quality content. This will definitely create a buzz on social media and will hook users on to your app.
  3. Let’s say you are receiving sponsorship for your app, you could try both rich contents as well as mobile device-specific features, so as to offer the good user or customer experience.
  4. It would pay to list all your options and understand the benefits as well as the disadvantages of each one of them before actually putting one of them into practice. This would save you a lot of extra effort and also bring in higher ROI in the near future
Last Updated on December 15th, 2023