Make the most from your iPhone apps

Make sure you fully monetize your apps

A few simple tricks can make sure your apps make you the most money.

There are a lot of apps out there but the problem is that far too many leave far too much money on the table simply because they don’t take advantage of all of the places where money can be made.  This post is going to focus on helping you make the most from your apps by giving you a list of things that should be included in every app that you develop.

Nag Screen

Now you might be thinking that some apps, especially those that are paid shouldn’t have nag screens.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  By including code for a screen in your app when it’s developed that means you can turn this screen on and off.  Now, you can offer your app for free for a limited time, turning the nag screen on for those folks.  By including this in the code when it’s initially submitted, you can do this without having to resubmit the app for approval.

Important App Development Tip

Make your nag screens dynamic so that you can change them from your own database on your web server (client-server integration).  This makes pushing updated nag screens out to every one of your apps nearly instantaneous.

App Development Pro Scret

Not many people talk about this, but if you use the simple nag screens that look like text messages, consider having them OFF most of the time.  This way when there is something specific you want to promote, you can turn them on and now your nag screen gets noticed and is more likely to be reacted to than will be the case if someone sees your nag screen every single time and gets in the habit of simply closing it out without looking.

All Together

Personally, I use nag screens on every app, paid or free and I keep the screen turned off most of the time.  My hang screens are used only to promote my own apps.  When a new app comes out, or I’ve included some additional new cool functionality, I’ll turn the nag screen on for every app and promote what just came out.  That means that my nag screens are used only to promote my own apps.  Absolutely never will I promote anything other than my own stuff on a nag screen.  This means that these are turned on perhaps only once a week which means they are noticed.  Further, because they are turned on so infrequently, even the paid/upgraded folks get them but aren’t bothered by it because it doesn’t happen often.

More/Promo Screen

Your app should have a “more” screen.  And “more” to the point, the button for that screen should be large, prominent, and difficult to miss.  This is even true of paid apps.  From this screen you can now also promote your other apps as well as throw in some affiliate links to the app store.

Important App Development Tip

Make your More/Promo screens dynamic also.  This makes pushing updated more screens out to every one of your apps nearly instantaneous.  This screen should be on every app that you create and it should always be turned on.  Every app, every time, even your paid apps.

App Development Pro Scret

This screen should be a “list” of apps.  The app’s graphic to the far right, next to that an initial description that is a teaser, and to the right a little “>” character that indicates there’s more info.  When someone clicks that, it should go instantly to the listing for that app in the iTunes app store.

All Together

When I first started, my “more” screens (also sometimes called a “promo” screen by other developers but the button still says “more” it should never say “promo”) showed a listing of other apps in the iTunes App store.  Remember, that if someone goes to the store from something you click, all purchases for the next 72 hours that they make is revenue for you.  Now, my apps show mostly my own apps.  However, and this is important, even if you have a lot of apps don’t be stupid.

For starters, lets say you created your first fitness app and all your previous apps are games.  It might not be a bad idea to have ONE of the apps listed be one of your games.  The other apps you show for this screen should be something related.

Secondly, in every more screen that I put out there is always at least one affiliate link to the iTunes App Store.  Remember to link to the App Store so that you get paid a commission you need to sign up to linkshare.

100% Fill Rate For Your Banner Ads

Possibly this is mistake #1 that I see being made.  I’ve even seen this mistake being made for a while on hugely popular games like ninjump when they first came out.  Lots of free games have banner ads, far too many don’t have a banner ad every single time.

For this, use Adwhirl.  It lets you sign up to multiple ad networks.  Now your game only has to interface with Adwhirl and you’ll have 100% banner ad placement without having to go through the hassle of writing separate interfaces to each network.

Once I started doing this my income literally tripled from one month to the next.

Important Tip

The great thing about Adwhirl is that it lets you put your own banners into the rotation for your apps.  Remember to do this for each of your apps.  Every app that you have should have its own ad banner that you place into rotation.  More downloads = more money and this helps you increase your downloads.

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4 comments on “Make the most from your iPhone apps

  1. Pingback: How to Outsource: The REAL trick to making major cash with apps | iPhone App Developer Matt Goffrey

  2. Pingback: Weekly Strategy Tip – Get More Downloads | iPhone App Developer Matt Goffrey

  3. I am trying to explain to my developers how to integrate the nag screen but not quite sure how. I thought they would know but it seems like they don’t. Is there a service I can send them to that offers code or an sdk for them to integrate?

    Also, is using Chartboost for the “more” screen a good idea or do you use something else?

    Please advise and I took action to build an app and we are “waiting for upload” right now in the istore. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • First, an iOS developer that doesn’t know how to do this should probably be replaced. You may want to consider telling your developer NOT to do it and you’ll find someone else who can.

      However, if they’ve done a decent job up till now, you can tell them to pull the more screen content from a table on your server. Each row pulled will be a different line on the screen. The table will have a URL to a graphic, text, and a URL that the user should be taken to when the row is clicked.

      This way you have control over what shows up on the screen.

      Personally I don’t like chartboost or anything else like that for my more screen. I want control over that because most of the time I’m promoting my own apps on that space (or the apps of a JV partner).

      Hope this helps.

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