Annecy Media | How to Monetize Non-Paying Users

Non-paying users or NPUS bring little to the table for app developers except for, perhaps, leaving your program a good review which might incentivize others to download it in future. If your app has been designed with one primary aim in mind – to make money – then non-payers can frequently be seen as a necessary evil which you just have to put up with. That is not the case, however. Non-payer monetization is possible if you know the right digital techniques. Free apps may be much more popular than paid-for ones, but there are a number of ways you can monetize non-paying customers. Let’s look at some of the main methods in use by app developers today.

Use Your App to Show Ads

Most users of free software will put up with ads so long as they are not too frequent and don’t interrupt the flow of the content too greatly. Ads should be as targeted and relevant to the app’s content as possible so they seem like they have some context. This form of non-payer monetization is among the most common and few users will be put off by the occasional ad so long as they can resume using your app soon after it is shown. Be careful not to overdo ads, however, since this leads to poor user engagement and low scoring user reviews.

Harness the Power of Offerwalls

To monetize non-paying users in a more structured way, try your hand with offerwalls. Instead of a simple ad that either pops up at the bottom of the screen, or that shows a video over the full screen, an offerwall can be more integrated into the design of the app itself. Essentially, they’ll increase the earnings per click (EPC) rate of your app because users select which ‘offer’ they will go for. Typically, an offerwall will provide users with the chance to upgrade or see additional features in return for something, for example being exposed to some sponsored content. You can monetize non-paying users with an offerwall that gets them to invest in your ‘in-game’ currency, too. In-game currency can be harnessed in a number of ways, such as for purchasing upgrades or boosts in games.

Monetize Non-Paying Users

Introduce Your Other Apps

Most web developers have more than one app on the go at any one time. A good way of getting the best value from your free users is to show them what they could be getting from your other products and to ask them whether they would like to consider downloading something else you have brought to the market. In other words, your free app can be a key marketing tool in bringing your other software to the attention of the wider public. After all, people who have been using your current app will be more likely to trust other programs that you have developed. Non-paying users might even be tempted to download another app from their respective marketplace with a fee attached to it if they have been using your free app successfully. This approach can be particularly effective for creators of utility or lifestyle apps where users have already bought into the concept of how it works and now want the premium content.

Make Special Offers Available

Just like a bricks and mortar store, if you want to get people to open their wallets and actually pay for what is on offer – not just continue to browse – then you have to make them feel as though they are getting a deal. One of the best ways of doing this is to promote a special offer or a discount to users who have already downloaded the freeware version of your app. A typical way in which you can monetize users who have yet to fork out on anything within your app is to offer a service pack or additional features that come in a bundle. If you point out the individual costs of each of these features and what they would cost if they were purchased one at a time, then this can look unattractive to potential customers. Take the time to contrast this individual pricing from your menu of options with a bundled pack so that users feel they are getting exceptional value for money. Bear in mind that constantly repeating ‘one time only’ deals soon has a negative effect, so special deals – even though they might be repeated in the future – are made available for genuinely limited periods only.

Monitor the Usage of Non-Paying Users

By monitoring the way in which non-paying users interact with your app, you may not be able to monetize them, but you can learn how to make a better app. For example, ask yourself how long a non-payer use your app before they uninstall it? At what point do they appear to be come frustrated with it? Game developers should ask themselves whether a particular level they have designed is just a little too fiendish and puts users off. If you learn from your non-paying users in this way, you might not earn anything today, but a subsequent app redesign could mean that your program is better set to earn money from fresh users down the line. For example, if your user engagement rates go up as a result of an improved experience from what you have learned from monitoring your current users, then future advertising revenue is likely to be better targeted and more attractive to online advertisers looking for market niches than you would have otherwise achieved.