Learn How Free Apps Make Money!!!

How Do Free Apps Make Money

Mobile apps are now one of the major sources of income and communication for every type of businesses. If you don’t have a mobile app till now, then you must be baffling with how to make it and how to monetize it.

Do you worry fellas, we’ve got you covered.

By the means of this post, we will provide you every single detail about how you can monetize a free app and generate crucial revenue for your business.

However, before we dwell any deeper, you should know how businesses made money in the past with free mobile apps without ads or with just an app idea.

You might be wondering what you will get from this post. Kindly have a look in this section and you will have an idea what you will learn here from this post.

Create an app for free and make money

There are some strategies which other enterprises follow to earn money from their free mobile app. Let’s have a brief look at them.

  • Advertising
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Subscription methodology
  • Sponsored content
  • In-app purchases
  • Upselling freemium content
  • Amazon Underground
  • Collecting and Selling data
  • Affiliate income

Tools you can use to monetize free apps:

  • In-app advertising tools
  • In-app advertising for mobile game
  • The Freemium model of app monetization
  • In-app video advertising

See, there are ample of tools which can be used to monetize your free mobile app. So, without any further ado, let’s get you started…

The App Market Overview

The App Market Overview

The market as you can see is hot!!! Very hot indeed, currently the market is flooded with apps whether it is in the Android app market or in the iOS app market. The experts believe that by 2020 the amount will be doubled. So by now if you don’t have a mobile app, you better start looking for one before your business is left behind.

Paid Apps VS Free Apps

Paid Apps VS Free Apps

You can clearly see here in these graphs that over 90% of mobile apps in the market are free of cost. In the coming years, the figure is expected to increase even more. Here is another stat that shows how free apps and paid apps are collecting revenue in recent years.

free-paid

As you can see the market for paid apps is still below the revenue generated by the free apps in the market. It is quite clear that how you can make money even from a free mobile app. There is a report of Gartner which suggested that customers spend 24% more when it comes to in-app purchases rather than purchasing an entire app.

So, these stats clearly show that free mobile apps have the potential to generate more revenue than that of paid apps. Let’s discuss some of the ways through which you can generate revenue for your business by the means of free mobile apps.

How do Free Apps Make Money?

In this section, we will discuss which revenue models you should use to make money with free mobile apps. Let’s get started,

·  The Advertising Model

The mobile advertising revenue model was always a successful and fruitful endeavor for the businesses. Till now 7 out of 10 businesses choose this model to generate revenue with their free apps. According to the Sweet pricing stats, over 32% of people use only in-app ads for revenue generation. There are many methods through which you can get paid such as,

  • Get paid per impression.
  • Get paid on per click (relatively high than impression costs)
  • Get paid on per install of the advertised app.

Now, let’s have a look at how many types of formats are there in mobile app advertising.

  1. Interstitial Ads
  2. Banners or display ads
  3. In-app video ads
  4. Native Ads

native-ads

Using a mix of ad formats and placement can generate maximum revenue to developers and engagement to users.

playable ads

With these stats, you can see how the business can generate the desired revenue from free mobile apps. You can choose at your convenience how you want to generate revenue. You can make money with an app idea, or by per downloads. Just make sure that you made a clear strategy for that and then comply accordingly.

·   Sponsorship

Sponsorship is another revenue model which turned out to be successful in recent years. However, there is a catch in this revenue model. Finding the right funder is quite challenging but once you find one, the flow of cash will be even. In the sponsorship model of revenue, there are a few types you should know about.

  • Agreed revenue split generated by the app.
  • Monthly sponsorship fee paid by funder for app maintenance or use.

·  In-app Purchases

In-App-Purchased

In-app purchases provide an ability to sell a variety of virtual items directly from your app — including extra bonuses, premium content, game currency, and goods or unlock game levels.

The strategy falls into categories:

  • Consumable – a product that can be purchased and used once within the app. Example: virtual currencies.
  • Non-consumable – a featuring product bought for permanent usage, that does not expire. Example: new game levels or maps.
  • Subscriptions are used to unlock features and content for a limited period. Example: annual news subscription.

50% of the leading apps use in-app purchases a stream of earnings and the model is expected to dominate in the next years. It is commonly preferred among game developers, mostly due to digital money, used by users to purchase in-app content or to unlock new levels. That is more, half of the games provide more than one virtual currency- ‘coins’, ‘gems’ or ‘gold’.

·  Collecting and Selling Data

Well, this is probably not the most widespread and ethical way of app monetization (and that’s great), but collecting and selling personal data still remains one of the effective approaches to turn a profit.

Some companies that offer free mobile apps sell their databases to third parties. The information may contain user’s email address, social media accounts, and personal preferences.

Apps generate a lot of data in terms of user behavior, which is highly desired by those who are in different research fields.

So app developers can sell this kind of information to the researchers and make quite a good return of money. Actually, there are two ways to earn on selling data: track what users do and sell data to outside companies or use the raw data itself for your own purposes.

From a marketing point of view, companies want to pay to display ads to the most relevant audience possible; while on the flip side, far not each service can gather the same data as Facebook or Google does. Nevertheless, if your app is able to gather relevant data, then you may have a way to profit from it.

Concluding Remarks

There are a lot of effective ways to monetize free apps, but it will take some planning and well-rounded marketing strategy. Advertising is still holding the leading position as app monetization method, with 65% of all apps on the market. Still, developers use app monetization mix: in-app purchases and ads.

App publishers should do a market research, define target users, and check other app developer’s success stories. The main challenge is to get awareness, acquire loyal users and choose the right revenue model. Developers should plan more targeted ad campaigns to promote the app and its releases, constantly provide updates on features, use more blended and unique revenue models to deliver value to users. This will lead to greater profits and help keep your customers satisfied.

How Mobile App Development is More Than Mere Coding?

How Mobile App Development is More Than Mere Coding

At Seasia, development of a mobile application does not just mean designing and coding, but is a much more involved process, encompassing different approaches, development, quality assurance, delivery and maintenance.

We take this extensive approach as it’s impossible to make a successful product without these aspects. A product can be technically sound, but will fail if it does not offer value to its users or is not needed in the market. Likewise, the inimitable value of the product can be clear, but the product might fail if the user experience is poor and has imperfections.

This is why we thought of sharing an overview of how we approach product development, demonstrating the considerations for a more holistic process can greatly benefit the quality of your product and its ability to succeed in the market.

1. Product Definition

Product definition focuses on determining the goals of the product, mapping business objectives, market and competitor research, and creating a mobile strategy. At Seasia, product definition is completed in an intensive 2-3 day of boarding and project kickoff process, with a clear set of goals together with:

• Identifying the business and technical challenges to be elucidated from a feature standpoint
• Identifying the KPIs and success metrics
• Creating an ordered product roadmap
• Discussing key questions or problems to success

Towards the end of this process, we provide a set of deliverables that include the user personas, journey personas, wireframes/sketches, storyboard, and a visual app pattern.

Our onboarding process works to set the quality and priority of the delivery schedule for the project; ensures that we have a solid foundation to build a successful, in demand product; and allows our squads to make the essential decisions to deliver a great product.

2. Design

Our design process focuses just on the end user. All the decisions are made by keeping in mind the user, which is why mapping out user personas during product definition is so grave. Understanding the user and their needs helps inform design that makes the experience with the app easy and pleasurable.

While designing a product, we focus on building a usable yet aesthetically pleasing mobile application that offers a smooth experience. It does not matter how good the product looks if it has a poor user experience.

From product definition itself, we are able to take insights and innovations we make and apply them visually through a process of ideation, formation, prototyping, and styling.

3. Development

Our development process combines elements of various agile philosophies that allow us to create great apps, reduce risk, minimize downtime, and maintain project velocity. The central doctrines of our development process are described below.

4. Flexible, Squad-Based Development

Flexibility is an essential aspect of agile methodology in theory, but not in practice. Flexibility is important because it lets you shift and adapt to the changing circumstances and project needs without affecting the velocity of the project. The reason why teams struggle with it is for the reason that it needs to be infused straight into the development process, which is not an easy feat.

At Seasia, the arrangement of our development team and the methods we follow are aimed to provide flexibility. For mobile application development, we use squadrons- small cross functional teams that share knowledge, plan together, complete the code reviews, and have an identified capacity that allows us to scale (up or down) within that capacity based on the project needs. There are numerous advantages to use this approach: faster development cycles, seamless knowledge transfer, reduced downtime, and an overall saving in the project risk.

We also make the most of rolling wave planning, which involves adjourning the product decisions until you are in the best place to make them. This allows the flexibility to adapt instead of having to stand by or re-plan a large document with the requirements that was conscripted earlier.

5. Sprints

Sprints are common agile development concepts that involve short development iterations. The purpose of these iterations is to accelerate the development and divide projects into smaller, attainable goals that can be achieved indefinite time frames. This allows the teams to be more productive, more accurate with the time estimations and you don’t waste resources in the event that produces a shift in the objectives of the business.

6. Story Points & Predictable Project Velocity

We plan and evaluate the capacity based on the story points. Stories are small units that define features from a user viewpoint. We allocate values to each story using a points system that measures its intricacy; the more complex the story, the more story points it would be awarded.

The capacity of the Squad is also defined in the story points. Expressively, a squad has a maximum of 25 story points per sprint. This verdict is based on our past projects that have allowed us to determine an unswerving number of story points we have been able to get through in the sprints from our former projects. This system allows us to estimate the time the project will take in the complete the work and maintain the project velocity.

7. Quality Assurance

The quality assurance serves the simple function of keeping the bugs away from the final builds. The QA team at Seasia is integrated with the development throughout the SDLC which helps in reducing delays and bottlenecks and ensures that the defects are corrected as and when discovered.

We use a combination of the testing practices and have a dedicated product team. Furthermore, we use an integrated system that gathers projects, checks for errors, and allocates the application to the product team for test analysis.

8. Delivery

Once the application is ready to be published, we also handle submission processes for the app stores.

For iOS, there is a vital yet overlooked phase that many don’t really consider in project timelines, but certainly should. If done inaccurately, the acceptance into the App Store can take up to a week, though stretched if the submission is overruled.

At Seasia, we also have a product release management system that assembles all the assets, enhances the app listing, and concludes the submission process as per the guidelines of the app store being submitted to.

Finally, looking at your mobile application project afar the scope of development is important to create a successful product. While from a design and technical perspective, the project needs to be sound, you also need a mobile strategy, a clear value, intention, an understanding of your customers, and a process for the testing and delivery. This holistic approach is what differentiates between the failure and success of the highly competing app ecosystem.

What’s Hot: Mobile App Trends for 2017

What’s Hot: Mobile App Trends for 2017

Today, an individual without a smartphone is unknown, and so is the reach of it, that it has ultimately turned it into a new era. In 2016, we observed a fierce clash between Android and iOS raising the admiration of Hybrid applications, and valued endeavors took place to rectify the uncertainties relating to mobile apps. There are zillions of applications out in the market, which can do everything from nursing your health to mapping the stars.

The mobile applications market is flourishing, and is just not for consumers anymore. According to a research, 81% of administrators believe that mobile applications are essential for their businesses and organizations, while 85% believe that mobile applications will be the most dominant interface in future.

Rolling back to history, all we had were a few Java games, a monthly calendar and a calculator as mobile applications. Every e-business store had its incredible spenders in 2013- 2014 with the United Kingdom, China and Japan took the leads for iOS while the United States and Germany took two top positions for Android.

2017 contemplated as a year of Mobile Applications

Grounded in the trending smartphone era, Gartner recently published a new data that foretells that by the 2017 year end, the total of mobile apps downloads would be over 268 billion times, which would generate a revenue of about $77 billion, hence making mobile applications one of the most accepted computing tools in the world.

Without further uproar, let’s have a look at the mobile application trends we predict for 2017.

The Constantly Growing App Market

The mobile application market is expected to grow even bigger in 2017. The number of mobile applications in the major app markets has reached a round figure of around 2 billion. As per stats, 46% of the mobile application users use paid services for their applications. Hence, in 2017, billions of downloads are expected to generate a revenue of a minimum of $77 billion.

The Cloud Is To Stay

In 2015- 2016, an interesting relationship emerged between the cloud and mobile applications. Using the cloud technology, the centrally coordinated applications were delivered to the devices. This trend is going to stay in 2017 too, all because of the various benefits offered by the technology.

The cloud support allows the developers to deal with the bandwidth management and memory issues, thus helping in retaining the small size of the mobile applications. This has also become important with the advent of the wearable gadgets like Samsung Gear and Apple Watch.

Mobile applications and wearables can now easily sync their apps and app extensions, all thanks to the cloud.

This is why many of the forthcoming mobile applications are alleged to be driven by the cloud.

Attention to App Security

We know that the mobile app development industry is on a rise, and so is the number of security threats related to it. During the World Wide Developers Conference, Apple made an announcement for the incorporation of robust App Transport Security (ATS) for all iOS applications. Not only this, the emphasis on enforcing stronger data encryption on new applications has been illuminated by the Apple developers. While Google is anticipating to keep things snagged by using a much more coarse application permissions model along with automated security updates.

Tempting the crowds isn’t the last step to have your business mobile app flourishing in the market. You have got to find the right people at the right place. Humbly figure them out, employ them, fulfill their needs and finally comfort them. Customers wish to know more to choose precisely. They want to practice unusual feelings.

Rise in Hybrid Technology

Angular JS, Ionic, Cordova, PhoneGap are the names of only a few technologies that can help augmenting the hybrid app development in 2017. With the growing popularity of hybrid application development platforms, Google’s Material Design is also evolving to support application development platforms, like Windows phones. Because of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture adopted by most of the companies, Cross-platform applications will be more in demand in the coming year.

IOT applications – Smart Homes and Smart Cities

Our homes are already occupied with smart televisions, smart washing machines, and refrigerators that exchange information with our smartphones. The same theory is emerging for a complete city, giving a rise to the term ‘Smart Cities’. With developing smart cities, India is advancing with the smart technologies. All the futuristic appliances are being engineered with the smart integrations. Thus, IOT applications are going to be an important part of the business strategy for most of the mobile application development companies in India and abroad.

Mobile messaging apps will be rising

Giant messaging applications like WhatsApp and Facebook are in huge demands and already have more than 500 million users. In 2017, the trend of these messaging applications is going to grow even more popular and many more messaging applications are expected to strike the app stores.

The Importance of mobile app UX designs

Mobile application designs and UX are nevertheless the key factor responsible for the success or failure of the mobile application. Visually pleasing app designs and user-friendly UX attract visitors and engage users. For the best and intuitive user experience, the mobile app should be designed keeping the latest app design trends in mind. The new design trends in 2017 will surely be things like grid-based interface designing, visuals, split-screens, parallax graphics, splash, micro interaction and more.

Location based services and GPS based mobile apps

All through 2016, the location- based services have been largely defined the GPS based mobile applications. Apps like transport booking apps, restaurant booking apps, apps for on-demand services like carpenters, electricians, plumbers (and more) emanated and dominated the market. Hereafter, in 2017, each and every efficacy service is believed to use GPS based mobile applications to target the latent customers.

 

Seasia’s User Centered Approach for Mobile App Designs

Seasia’s User Centered Approach for Mobile App Designs

An effective mobile application design covers many areas: it should be aesthetically consistent with your brand, should follow the best design practices depending on the platform and the devices being designed for and from the UX viewpoint, it needs to provide your users an intuitive, seamless experience.

At Seasia, one of the best mobile app development companies in India, the end user is the focus of the design decisions. We have a cohesive design process, interconnected with the product definition and discovery, which lets us gather important information about the users, their journey, the pain points addressed by the application, and how to approach the UI-UX in a way that is driven by all these considerations. This allows us not only to consider the utility of the app, but also the usability, even before the development starts.

Start with the User:

One of the biggest challenges that companies face while launching an app is User Abandonment. This happens for a myriad of reasons, but the poor user experience is often caught as the culprit. This is commonly the result of not putting the user at the center of the design decisions.

In a user-centered design, you need to focus on creating a product that addresses the needs and pain points of the users. This means knowing who they are, and what steps need to be taken for them to achieve certain goals or solve their pain.

We, at Seasia, address these concerns during the product discovery itself through the creation of user personas and user journey maps, which is why designers are intensely involved in this process.

Creating User Personas

User personas answer the basic questions about the user: Who, What, When and Where.

Who is the user?

What are the goals of the user for using your product?

Where does the user use the product?

When does the user use the product?

User personas help you in understanding the demography of the end user and gather important behavioral information and insights that will guide the product decisions, including the UI-UX decisions. The designers at Seasia conduct additional investigation after the creation of user personas to fetch more details related to design considerations, which we will discuss in detail below.

Customer Journey Mapping

User journey mapping builds user personas. For each user persona, we map the story ending and all the actions that are needed for the user to get to that point.

From the design perspective, the user journey mapping provides the foundation of the UX in terms of the structure and the user flow. By understanding the actions necessary to get the user from point A to B, we begin to think about optimizing this journey.

Brand Research & Additional User Research

By building the product discovery session, journey mapping and user personas, our designers conduct supplementary user and brand research. We gaze into the existing brand properties to gain an understanding of the right personality, look, tone and feel of the application. We also take a profounder dive into the end users to fetch more information about them and make realistic design decisions. This sets the tone and permits us to comprehend which design elements to place first.

For instance: if we find that a majority of the user demography is 50 years and more, we will avoid certain design elements like thin lines, smaller text and the like.

Prototyping & Conceptualization

We then start with the prototyping and the conceptualization, which centers on the UX of the application. It concludes how the design will flow from one screen to another, how the users will navigate forward and back and more. Usually, the series of the actions that the users need to take is complex, predominantly in large apps with many features. The purpose is to streamline and simplify the user journey from one point to another, so that the user can get exactly where they want, with the least amount of effort.

Research & UI (User Interface)

The User Interface focuses on the style, polish and refinement of the app: things like fonts, color palettes, spacing of the elements, icons, choosing between flat designs and skeuomorphism and more. During this stage, we again carry out some brand research to determine what fits the most for the brand personality and tone.

Uninterrupted Testing & Refinement

This isn’t a step within the process, as we incessantly test, iterate and refine throughout. During the designing process, we test on different devices and different platforms, and have a variety of people conducting user testing. This lets us discover if our assumptions about elements and design decisions need to be reconsidered.

Development & Refinement

Designers work with developers to break the UI into pieces that can then be developed. Again, the iteration and refinement is a large part of this process, so we can create the best user experience and the most technically sound product. The purpose of this cohesive process is to permit us to maintain this flexibility and be adaptable to the changes without disturbing the velocity.

Taking an integrated, user-centric design approach helps ensure that

a) The product is being built especially for your users.

b) We remain adaptable to the changes in the objectives or the project goals.

Eventually, this approach promotes the development of usable, useful products that add value to the users and make their lives a lot easier.