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Three Ways You Can Make Money With a Free Mobile App
Date: 11/28/2018

A large number of mobile apps available on the market today are free – free to download and free to use.

It does not, however, mean that they do not make money at all. There are many methods that app developers and companies use to make money even with free apps.

In this article, we take a look at three such methods that can help you make money with free mobile apps.

Advertising

This is the most common and perhaps the easiest way to make money with a mobile app. You can promote different kinds of products and services on your app and get paid based on the number of views, clicks, impressions, and leads generated.

At the same time, you should make sure that the ads are not intrusive. Otherwise, it could affect the user experience, as a result of which people might no longer want to use your app.

Affiliate Marketing

This is similar to advertising in the sense that you get paid for promoting a product or service. The only difference is that you do not get paid based on the total number of clicks or impressions, but instead get a commission for every successful lead or sale.

Just like advertising, affiliate marketing too needs to be done in a restrained, nonintrusive manner. Whatever promotional strategies you use – be it pop-ups, banner ads, or text links – make sure they do not ruin the user experience in any way.

There are some websites were the ads and videos are so prolific you cannot even read the material because of all these distractions. On top of this, all the ads even make it hard to open up the page because it is consuming so much computer bandwidth – the page freezes in fact. This is a major turnoff.

Sponsorships

Many companies these days are looking to sponsor mobile apps, as it is considered a much better way to promote a product, service, or brand compared to in-app ads. Established brands like Subway and Marriott have already set an example by sponsoring mobile apps and the trend is catching on with more and more companies.

The sponsor can display their logo and brand information on the splash screen, which is the very first thing a customer sees when they open an app. It can also be done via banner ads and push notifications.

Is a Subscription Based Method a Good Idea?

Some companies offer subscription based mobile apps, which are free to download, but contain features that can only be unlocked after paying a fee. These apps have basic features that everyone can use, but only paid subscribers are given access to other, more important features.

This type of subscription based method can be profitable only if the app is highly targeted. It should address a particular need or resolve a particular problem of your target customer base. If the customer base finds it useful, they will continue to pay for it and use it.

Such a subscription based model is not likely to be profitable with a generic app, as it does not serve any specific purpose and it makes little sense for customers to pay for it.

Making Money with Mobile Apps

The methods discussed above can be employed to make money with free mobile apps. The important aspect, as always, is to make sure the app serves a specific purpose and addresses a specific need of your target customers. Customers pay for a product or service only if they can benefit from it!