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31 Jan 2014

Top App Monetization Tips to Maximize Your Earnings

Developing a mobile game isn’t an easy feat. Once you come up with a stellar idea, you have to develop the game in a way that it will stand above the rest, and in addition to all of this? Find a way to monetize your game and actually make money selling it on Google Play, App Store, etc. For many, monetizing one’s game properly is the hardest step in the indie mobile game (game). Luckily, I have a few app monetization tips that will help you to maximize your earnings, thus providing you with enough income to develop your next game and so on and so on so you can live the dream of being a full-time indie developer. Follow these tips below, and start making a living!

First thing’s first: have a plan from the beginning

This cannot be stressed enough. Do some research and explore various monetization strategies among different platforms (i.e. iOS, Android, etc.), and discover what types of strategies work best with the niche your game belongs to. Whatever your findings may be, make certain that you have a plan before development begins so you can sell your game using the model that is best for your game’s genre right from the start.

Send in-app notifications often

Did your game recently release some new DLC? Did your studio release a new game? Do you have some upcoming news about future in-app purchases that you want your players to be aware of? Then let your players know about these events and more by sending in-app notifications to them often.

Think about it: if you want as many players as possible to purchase your new content/games every time you release something, how are they going to know what to purchase if you don’t tell them yourself? You can’t expect everyone to follow you on Twitter or Facebook (although you can entice them to follow you on Twitter/Facebook within your game with a reward such as free in-game currency), nor can you expect them to visit your website often to learn new details about what’s happening at your studio. Besides, these players have a lot of other games to play anyway – what makes you think they’re going to pay attention solely to your game?

Therefore, in-app notifications are vital to not only inform players about what’s coming up, but to also build excitement as well. This is exciting stuff guys, because if you have players that are playing and enjoying your game, you don’t need the media to reach these people. You can tell them about what’s coming up, and if you have three, four, five, six, and even more games under your belt with a decent following? You can use every one of these games to spread the word about your other games, your upcoming DLC among said others games, and so on.


You will be amazed how much of a difference in-app notifications will make, as you will assuredly see your profits maximize.

Offer a ‘lite’ version of your game

But don’t cripple the ‘lite’ version. Nothing angers players more than spending the time to download a game, sitting down to play it, getting deep into the game, and finding that they can’t save, can only play said game for a few minutes, etc. That’s enough to make players exit out of the game and uninstall it seconds after this happens to them.

There is certainly a fine line between providing a lite version of your premium-priced game that contains just enough features that players will have a great time playing it and a lite version designed to force players into paying full price. You need to find out what this balance is as it pertains to your game. The balance you find should tell players, “you can continue playing the lite version of this game and have a great time, but if you want the maximum experience, you need to purchase the full game.”

In short, make the player feel as if they are missing out on something if they don’t purchase the game without insulting them.

Analytics = understanding customer behavior

You will have access to analytics data after your game launches. The moment it launches, start analyzing these analytics immediately and do so a few times a week (if not every day). This will help you to understand your customer’s behavior and will allow you to offer exactly what the players want and need from your game. For example, you can discover what players think of each level of your game, and by using this data, you can find which levels need to be fixed and update them accordingly.

Analytics are literally the roadmap to improving your game and future games, and if your audience knows you are listening to them? They are much more likely to support your future content and games alike down the road.

I have only scratched the surface when it comes to quality monetization tips. I will definitely be covering more monetization tips in the future, but until then, which monetization tips have you guys found to work for you? We would love to hear what you have to say, so let us know in the comments below!

1 Response

  1. Dusty, great article and completely agree with the use of in-app notifications to build app excitement!

    One tip that we found that works quite well in mobile games that use in-app advertising, is to customize the look and feel of the ads and blend them seamlessly in the user experience. It requires some extra upfront effort, but it’s definitely worth it – read more about this here

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