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5 Upselling Secrets To Increase Mobile App Revenue

| September 22, 2020

To get the most revenue out of your app, you’ll need to do more than simply build a stellar product – there are tactics you should consider employing to maximize the app revenue from your users. Upselling to your users is much the same as other businesses, in principle, though it requires a bit different approach due to the nature of mobile applications.

We’ve seen several strategies employed over the years where some work and others fall short. As such, we’ve compiled a list of useful campaigns we’ve seen succeed in this piece.

Generating mobile app revenue

To get started, you need to have a baseline for collecting mobile app revenue in the first place. In case you missed it, please refer to this blog to gain an understanding of the most commonly used methods businesses use to generate mobile app revenue.

One of the most common ways businesses generate app revenue is through in-app purchases or IAP and in-app subscriptions or IAS. While both are subject to a 30% fee from either Apple or Google, offering purchase options within an application is the most common way businesses generate income, whether or not your app comes with an initial price tag.

Almost everything else stacks on this idea – for example, in-app currencies that are used to redeem rewards for an eCommerce app or, in other cases, used to make progress like in a game, link with actual expenditures of real currency. In either case, users tend to spend money when they feel they’ll gain some sort of bonus, whether it’s a real-life item or some kind of digital asset used in the app. The same logic can be applied to IAS as well.

5 upselling tips to increase mobile app revenue

If you have a good money-making strategy currently in place, that’s great. However, it pays to be mindful of other opportunities as these can translate to additional income.

1.) Carefully offer subscriptions to services outside of the app. 

This is one way that businesses choose to circumvent platform fees but you need to be careful in how this process is implemented. Companies like Epic games have come under fire for how they chose to proceed in one headline-making scenario. Currently, both Apple and Google have removed Epic’s insanely popular game, Fortnite, from their platforms because Epic decided to request that customers pay them directly for the in-game currency, V-Bucks.

Companies need to be careful when deciding what is paid for in-app and what can be collected outside of the application. So long as your strategy to collect extra money doesn’t infringe on what’s offered in-app, you can leverage a direct exchange with customers. Typically, items or services need to exist outside the app which works for certain business models. Just don’t try and pull the same stunt as Epic and you should be fine.

2.) Present IAPs specific to user needs. 

Because we live in an age where analyzing granular usage details is possible, so is tailoring offerings to your customers. By observing the specifics of how an individual user is engaging with an application you should also be able to “package” certain items and services together that appeal to that specific user.

One way we see this work is in games such as in the screenshot seen above – the rocket fuel digital currency was something required to progress in the mobile game adaptation of the Trailer Park Boys sitcom. In games, where grinding to collect in-game items and currency can span great lengths of time (at least, from a serious player’s perspective) paying small amounts of money can translate to a better gaming experience. If your product is a game, this kind of selling is a must.

3.) Temporarily drop the price of an app. 

Like any item, offering a discount is a sure-fire way to generate interest in an item or service. A plethora of studies have been done over the years on spending psychology and it turns out that consumers tend to make purchases when they feel they’re getting a deal. Small reductions in price alleviate what one consumer psychologist refers to as the “guilt factor” ultimately diminishing the mental dilemma that stems from paying full price.

We actually used this strategy in 2015 to get our app Word Hack to the top of the app store!

4.) Promote your app in the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

Advertising an application in app stores is a great way to ensure that people at least know your app exists. The process for both Google Play and the Apple App Store feature tools that enable businesses to easily fund an advertising campaign.

Though each platform is a little different, the results produced for either ad campaign tool is the same. You can set certain keywords, aside from the name of your app, that help users to more easily discover your app during a search. With the right keyword combinations and indexing, apps may even appear organically in a user’s suggestion area when opening up either app store.

The key here is to target the same keywords as more popular apps in the same space. Leveraging ad campaign tools will help your app populate higher in search results and on suggested spaces making it more likely that users will find it and thus more likely that you’ll earn app revenue as a result.

5.) Make your app an exclusive.

Some brands are considered incredibly successful simply because of the demand for their product. For example, the Gucci brand is highly sought after by everyone from average people to celebrities because of the combination of it being glorified by celebrities and the fact you can’t simply buy a Gucci item anywhere. This is what allows them to be somewhat competitive with much more widely available brands like Nike.

Brands that make their items at least seem scarce can utilize a niche method to entice users and it works for mobile apps as well. It’s possible to create a compelling campaign around an app then intentionally withhold the app from regular distribution. This can be easily accomplished via Apple ad hoc distribution and private app distribution through Google – in conjunction with the right kind of marketing, giving only vetted users the option to use your app creates exclusive quality that allows businesses to offer products and services at higher price points.

Blue Label Labs helps drive mobile app revenue

User acquisition and engagement enables us to reimagine product offerings to suit the markets’ evolving needs. Whether it’s a new product we’re developing or we’re taking the reins of an existing digital product, we understand how to maximize mobile app revenue. If you’re interested in making more money from an existing app or in the market for new development, reach out to us to learn more.

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