App Monetization – How do apps make money?

After the big app idea is hatched, usually one of the main questions entrepreneurs have is how they can monetize and profit from building this app. There is not one full proof way of making money as every app is different, it really depends on how it engages with the users. It is up to the entrepreneur to find the right balance of providing a useful service to the users and not scaring them away with payments.

Some of the most common monetization techniques include freemium services, recurring subscriptions, paid app, advertisements or a combination of any of those options. One very important thing to keep in mind while reading further about each of these models, is that Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) need to make money as well. To do this, they actually keep 30% of each transaction which occurs via an app in their app store.

What is freemium?

Freemium is a monetization model where the service is initially free but may have limited functionality. In order to ‘unlock’ premium features the user will have to pay a fee.

For example, consider LinkedIn. Although LinkedIn is free to use, you have the ability of paying a fee which gives you the ability to message users who are not in your connections. This is considered a premium feature, which must be paid for. Hence the term freemium.

At Alias Apps, we are big fans of this model (again, this depends on the app you’re trying to build). However, the reason we like is because you can show your users what your app can provide for them without any risk to them. This in turn makes them more willing to try it out, and hopefully if they deem your service worthy, the will make a payment to get even more functionality.

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Entrepreneurs – Creating Your First Mobile App

So you came up with a great app idea and have been thinking about it for a while now but aren’t sure where to start. I am writing this article from my personal experiences of being involved in the field, in hopes to guide you in the right direction.

Determine platform to support

After the idea stage, you will need to start planning what your target market is, and what will be the best avenue to reach that target market. In other words: Is your target market mainly an Android crowd, Apple crowd, Blackberry or a combination of them?

Mockups/Wireframe

The next step is to begin planning out your app on paper or using a mockup tool. This will help you visualize your app and it will help you when approaching developers to explain your idea. These mockups do not have to be very detailed, just some basic screen layouts will suffice. Below is an example of a wireframe in its beginning stages; a good group of developers can take these and provide suggestions based on their experience in the field.

wireframe example
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Project Management Tools Used @ Alias Apps

At Alias Apps, we take great pride in offering a very personal approach to each client and project, taking the time to listen, ask the right questions and provide the correct advice. When we first started the company, this wasn’t a very hard task as we only had a small number of clients; but as we grew over the next year we realized that it is not so easy to keep track of every project, every client and every email anymore and we needed to setup systems to help us manage our growth. As most small businesses would, we researched heavily to find the best free solutions. Below are some of our project management tools which we use on a daily basis to make sure that each project is completed on time and all of our clients are kept up to date with the progress on their projects.

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Intro to Mobile Apps for Businesses

How can your business benefit from having an app?

Mobile apps are among the fastest growing markets in the world. In Canada, more than 55% of the population now owns a smartphone and have an average of 25 apps installed. Having a mobile app gives your business a new presence and allows your potential customers to find your information, products & services as easily as finding tomorrow’s weather forecast.

By having a mobile app for your business you will be able to build a community around your products and services by allowing users to interact with the business and between each other. As soon as somebody installs your app you know they are a potential client. An app will allow you to make money, save time and get new leads by selling or communicating directly through the app. Your business will be able to reach app users 24/7 through push notifications & promotional offers.

Lastly, your business can increase brand awareness and showcase products or services in a fast and intuitive manner. Think of it like another form of marketing.

This all sounds great, but how much will it cost?

The cost of app development is greatly affected by the development process that the contracting app development company chooses to persue. Generally speaking, Hybrid apps will usually cost about half the price and will take less time to develop over Native apps, however you may be sacrificing some user experience.

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