Five things that make free apps profitable
These days – it takes no time to master software development realm. All you need is already lying within a click or two and a couple of search queries and there is literally no point in inventing another bicycle with your brilliant mind. You just need to do the thing that works well enough and in the same time looks attractive. And so the spice will flow.
But ever since the internet became a thing - the very perception of consuming had changed. Users have the choice to pay or not to pay and more often than not they are choosing the latter option. Obviously, because it is free.
And there is not much that developer can do about it - just accept it as a fact. You can’t go against the mighty currents of market. All users care of is an effective solution for their cause and if they can’t use your app for that they will find another.
How to deal with? The answer my friend is the same as the title of Frank Zappa’s second album – AKA absolutely free. Exactly – if you want to profit from your app you must make it absolutely free. That is called being flexible and capable of adapting to situation in order to turn into beneficial.
Here is ultra-condensed version of how free apps make money – they make users pay for their service. “How?” is another story and I’m about to tell you about it.
Here are five things that make free apps profitable.
Knowledge of the Market
Software development industry is extremely competitive game of death. You either act smart or you get busted and ripped apart. The first and foremost thing you to do with your application is to study your potential market. You don’t even need an app to do that – just a little bit of caution, curiosity and lots and lots of tenacity. Remember – knowledge of the market is the half of the battle won.
Basically you need to find answers for the following questions:
What your app can bring to table?
what your competitors can offer? How you can counter it?
Is there is space for maneuvers and contingencies?
who might be your potential users? This one includes demographics, language, location;
what are their needs and demands?
what attracts and motivates them?
Precise targeting to the audience is the gateway to success. If you gain trust and respect of your target audience – you can expect they are ready for more. But before that you need to lay the foundation and it lies in the initial presentation of your product at app store. You need to grab the attention of the consumer from the very start .
Your App Store page must be a stellar introduction to the product. It must accurate and in the same intriguing. And it is quite easy to pull off. There is rather simple formula to it: the name, description and visual supplements. Here’s how it goes:
Catchy, snappy name that easily sticks;
Engaging description of the product with easy-to-follow benefits and advantages over the others products. May be laced with verbose twists and turns that gives imagination a ride;
Fulfilling screenshot or video demonstation of the products operation and breakdown of its set of features.
In-app adverts / Sponsorship
You may ask – “but what about money?” Here’s what. The easiest way of getting revenue from your free app is to put some adverts on it. How to do it? First you need to build some reputation for the users - you need their trust and respect. Then you can sell your ad space.
In-app adverts are closely tied with sponsorship deals. But there is a trap. Ads need to be smooth and almost continuation of user experience. They must come natural. It can be a banner in the corner or a pop-up ad or push notification that splashes all over the screen. It should be noted that this must not be overbearing if otherwise it can scare off the audience.
This way monetization comes through:
installations of the advertised products.
With your audience engaged and your product being used – you can start teasing that there is more. How to pull this off? You need to make slight limitations to your product – just the basic set of functions and the rest under the paywall. Usually it is either innuendo of functional expansion or full-on showcase of new features.
In-app purchases are tricky business. You need to build solid and trusty relationship with the user in order to pull this off. It is always something beneficial and expanding for the user experience. For example, you can allow buying new set of filters or customized interface or just turn off advertisements.
Freemium modelPurchases can be expanded into more elaborate freemium model. Generally speaking – it makes your free app something of a fully-functional sample of the “real thing” that is “real deal”. In this case you need to think through ways for improvement and expansion that will motivate user to switch to a bigger version.