App Design vs Functionality – Which Is More Important – App UX and UI

Finding the right balance between design and functionality when creating your mobile app can be a challenge.

The last thing you want is a dull and boring design; you want an app with stunning aesthetics that dazzles users and makes you stand out from your competition.

On the other hand, you don’t want your app design to come at the expense of the user experience.

In this article, we’ll discuss how design and functionality go hand in hand and which one you should invest in when building a mobile app.

Functional mobile app design – enhancing the experience

Ideally, design and functionality should work together. You should design your app in such a way as to enhance the user experience.

For example, you should design the menu in such a way as to make it easy for your users to navigate the app and access the most important features, without distracting them with too many options.

Minimalism and functional design

When creating an app design with functionality in mind, you have to find the right balance between minimalism and enough features.

Some people will try to spice up with their app with all kinds of shiny features. Too much choice can be a source of distraction for visitors and prevent them from finding the essential information.

On the other hand, some will aim for a minimalist design, opting for a sleek design with plenty of white space. However, getting too caught up with creating a minimalist design can sometimes cause you to leave out relevant information.

Let’s look at some popular sites to make this point. Google’s homepage is an excellent example of how minimalism can work. The site was designed for a single purpose – inputting a query into the search engine – and that’s precisely what their homepage is designed to do.

But if we look at something like Amazon, it is far from a minimalist website. But, all of their features all work together towards a single goal.

Think about Amazon’s features. You can read reviews, find recommended and related products, look at product information and details, add products to your wish lists or shopping carts, and much more.

However, these features are all designed with one goal in mind – nurturing you towards to purchasing a product.

Functionality over design

There may be times when you only have the resources to invest in either the app’s functionality or its design. At that point, you’ll have to decide what is more important for your users.

Think about it this way: A poorly designed app may not entice new users the same way an app with a stylish design would. On the other hand, an app that is stylish but is difficult to use and figure out will probably have a low retention rate.

When comparing the two, functionality should generally be your main priority. If your app isn’t good at fulfilling any purpose, it won’t matter if it is aesthetically pleasing.

Taking inspiration from the web

Many successful websites don’t have much when it comes to design, but they are successful because they are so great at fulfilling their purpose and function. They know how to optimise their site, introduce a PWA or go for a mobile app.

Take Google, for example. Their main website is still mostly a search box in the middle of an almost-empty page.

Craigslist is one of the most popular free advertising sites (it’s number one in the Shopping > Classified category according to SimilarWeb), and its design hasn’t changed much for a long time. It’s outdated and it is as a bit of an eye-sore, but it serves its purpose.

Reddit is another example. Both their website and their mobile app feature a simplistic design, without many bells and whistles. However, Reddit is one of the most popular social media sites – according to Alexa, it’s the fifth most popular site in the United States across all categories.

Reddit doesn’t need to be aesthetic. It’s designed for reading, and their simple design is best for that purpose.

Reddit’s recent redesign cleans up the site, gives it a modern look and makes it more aesthetically pleasing without interfering with its simplicity, functionality and ease of use.

The same main essential functions are still in place – threads from SubReddits you are subscribed to appear on the left side of the page, the button for creating a new post is on the right side, your profile and inbox are in the upper-right corner, and homepage search filters are in the upper-right area.

Even the old site, which looks quite outdated, is still preferred by many users and can be accessed at

This shows you that you can update your design without changing the way users navigate and use the site.

Of course, if you are focusing on functionality over design, your app has to be useful and fulfil a real need.

That way, even though users may not be dazzled at first glance, they will still stay around once they see the benefits of using your simple app.

Design over functionality

If you focus on design and neglect functionality, it will be a lot harder to bring in functionality in later on.

Good design won’t help you if the user experience is terrible. Users may be impressed initially, but they’ll get frustrated and delete the app if there are too many distractions or it is hard to figure out how to get things done.

While the design can always be updated, it will be hard to fit functionality into an app design that wasn’t built for it. At that point, you’ll have to make fundamental changes, which may end up ruining the work that you have already done. Make sure you check multiple UX designer portfolios before you focus on design. 

The case for design

For app developers design is still essential. Google, Craigslist, and Reddit were all unique innovations when they came out.

They didn’t have to set themselves aside from the rest because their function already distinguished themselves. 

However, you need to stand out from your competitors and build up a brand image, and a great way to do that is through your design.

If the function were the only thing that mattered, all e-commerce websites would look exactly the same, and all blogs would look like one another. There would be nothing to differentiate from one to the next.

That’s not to say that design should be your top priority. As mentioned above, functionality should generally be given priority.

However, if you do have the resources available, it’s worth setting aside at least some of your budget and effort into creating a unique design. It doesn’t have to be fancy; it just has to be something that reflects your brand image. You can also try gamification in business as a strategy to improve your design.

What to consider when redesigning your app

As mentioned, if you have limited resources, it’s best to focus on functionality first.

Some organisations will redesign their app in an attempt to bring back users when download and usage rates are going down.

At that point, you have to take into consideration the effects of creating an entirely new experience. This could make it difficult for existing users. These users may be used to the old design and might not welcome new changes.

Let’s go back to Reddit as an example. The new design is more aesthetically pleasing, but it doesn’t affect the primary functions of the app.

The app displays topics on the left-hand side. Clicking on a title will take you to the threat, where you can browse through comments and leave your own.

To create a new post, click on the button on the right side. You can find your inbox in the top-right corner.

You can still upvote or downvote threads on the left side of the home page. And so on.

Not only that, but Reddit gave users who prefer the old version the ability to continue using it. This way, everyone is happy. New users see an aesthetically pleasing design and old users can stick to what works for them.

What to avoid

Snapchat, on the other hand, changed the functionality of their app with their latest redesign.

The redesign moved stories together with messages. The order of the stories also got changed, making it harder for many users to find stories of the people who interested them most.

There was also the introduction of the Discover feature, where users could discover news updates about pop culture and stories from celebrities.

This led to many users complaining about how they prefer the old version. According to TechCrunch, 83 per cent of user reviews bashed the new design.

Unfortunately, there was no option for sticking with the old version; the redesign update affected all users.

According to the Verge, the redesign cost Snapchat millions of users in just a single quarter.

Conclusions and key takeaways

So, what can you take away from this article? Here are some points to consider:

● If you can only afford to focus on one, focus on functionality first.

● Where possible, create a simplistic design at the beginning that sets you apart from your competitors without allocating the majority of your resources to it.

● The design can always be updated once your app is functional.

● When upgrading your app, be wary of entirely redesigning its look. Instead, try to retain its core features, functions, and navigational settings.

Function and design go hand in hand. The need for one doesn’t negate the need for the other. It’s all about setting priorities and allocating your resources accordingly.

Apps News Privacy

Android Developers Can Use Google AdMob And Comply With GDPR

Google is asking app developers who publish apps on its play store to obtain consent for data use and for ad personalisation through its AdMob platform. 

Due to the coming GDPR legislation which comes into effect on the 25th of May. Any business based in the EU will need to gain opt-in consent to collect or use any of their user’s personal data. 

This news places the responsibility of obtaining consent for Google’s services that are running in the background (such as AdMob targeting) on the shoulders of the publishers. Android developers are expecting to see some kind of software kit to help them obtain and manage this consent. As of now, and up until the new legislation kicks in, Google has not announced any SDK or toolkit that could solve this headache for Android developers. 

Many developers lacking the time or manpower to create such a kit are weighing up their options ahead of the legislation. Some have even hinted at switching of these third-party services for users int eh EU. 


The problem

Breaches of the legislation carry with it the threat of huge fines. User consent has always been an issue for app publishers. Creating a solution for obtaining consent and then managing this consent is no easy feat. Integrating this consent with third-party integrations (such as advertising solutions) adds another layer of complexity. 

For Android developers, the problem is a little more pressing as AdMob revenue is what keeps them afloat. Developers may find themselves stuck between a rock and hard place – turning off AdMob would instantly create a big hole in their revenue. However, keeping it on and exposing themselves to potentially destructive fines doesn’t seem like a viable option either. 


So what’s the solution?

With the right toolkit developers wouldn’t have to change their business model too much. Letting users opt out of ads might lose some revenue but it’s a necessary step to take to comply with the changing mood around privacy and transparency. 

Controlling user data in a responsible way makes sense because it builds trust and in the long term it will be beneficial for developers. 

Luckily for developers, there’s a toolkit that is addressing this problem. Via a dedicated SDK app, publishers can continue to use third-party ad integrations, such as AdMob. The toolkit obtains and manages user consent to help developers comply with regulations such as GDPR.

As well as this the toolkit will sync user consent across devices. All consent preferences are stored in a secure audit trail so that developers can call on consent history of their users. The audit trail also contains information on consent preferences that have been replayed to third parties. In the AdMob example when a user opts out of personalised ads in their app the consent SDK will relay this to Google. The audit will register this along with a timestamp and other relevant details.

The SDK provides this functionality for first-party app features as well as third-party integrations. It’s a comprehensive toolkit to take control of your user consent. 

This toolkit doesn’t need to only apply for Admb or even android. A wider conversation about the role of consent in mobile applications needs to be had. Developers should look at how consent is obtained, managed and communicated to third parties. 

Complying with GDPR is a shortsighted approach. Developers need to put their users first and think about how they can put these users back in control of their data.

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App GDPR Toolkit – How Developers Can Prepare Apps for GDPR

When GDPR is concerned, developers can’t afford to overlook app user privacy, consent and opt-in preferences. Here’s five tips that will get you compliant.

It’s a huge problem for app publishers. How can you comply with intimidating privacy legislation and maximise the number of users that are opted into your app services?

By some estimates over 50% of current apps are not compliant with the new GDPR legislation.

That’s because apps have multiple third parties and SDKs integrated. Many of these are asking for data on users.

It’s difficult for publishers to keep track of this. But it’s now the law to be in control of this data.

It shouldn’t have to be this difficult to comply with privacy regulation. And it shouldn’t be hard for your users to opt-in and out of individual preferences.

Lucky we think we’ve found a solution for developers to manage, sync and audit consent in their suite of mobile apps. 


Asking for consent and getting your users to opt-in

Complying with privacy legislation isn’t the most straightforward process.

And how do you make sure that you don’t spook your users into opting out of all services? User opt-in is important to obtain as it can be a great tool in which to drive engagement and retention, not to mention monetization.

You need to ask user to opt-in at the right time. And you need to be clear that they are in control. We tried to solve this problem by designing our consent toolkit to help developers obtain and manage user consent.

Many apps get opt-in timing wrong. Don’t ask for all permissions the first time that the user opens the app. Explaining the value that users will get in return for opting in for certain permission will mean that the user is better educated about what their data is being used for.

Make sure that your opt-in process is clear and be upfront with your users.


Manage user opt-out requests respectfully

Under new legislation is just as important to ensure that users can opt out as it is to obtain consent properly in the first place. To do this publishers must have a system in place that can allow their users to opt out of some or all of the permissions that they have previously opted in for.

This was one of the fundamentals that shaped the way our consent module works. We wanted our toolkit to make it as easy for users to opt-out and it is to opt-in. This needs to be done in a way that doesn’t just put the user in control of their data but allows them to choose which kinds of data is used by publishers.


Make sure you can manage consent across devices

Consent and user opt-in management are difficult enough to get right as it is. But this can be made nigh on impossible when you consider the fact that app users are constantly deleting apps and changing devices. 

Syncing user settings are important because if a user has revoked a permission on one device then to continue to use this could be a breach of privacy regulation. Also, if a user requests that all their data be deleted, this is difficult to do unless you can identify everywhere that the user has given access to data.

That’s one of the problems that the consent toolkit was built to solve. By using a series of unique identifiers it’s possible for developers using the toolkit to sync consent preferences. In this way, the consent toolkit manages a users consent and opt-in/opt-out preferences whenever they interact with an app or service.

This is especially useful when a user requests their data be deleted (or in GDPR terms – right to be forgotten). Having a toolkit that syncs across devices allows publishers to remove this data and stop collecting it wherever the user is seen in the future.

Sometimes it’s a messy infrastructure. What happens if a user updates consent preferences in one app, but uses other apps from you? Make sure you can sync this preference across your real-estate.


Integrate user consent with third parties

Apps rarely run in isolation. You might have third party services, or other SDKs that have access to our user’s data.

These need to be kept in sync with the user’s opt-in preferences. If your user says no to communication, this needs to be updated with third-party advertisers for example.

At Tamoco, our consent module allows apps to instantly update third parties with new user preferences. If a user asks for all of their historical data to be deleted this information needs to be relayed to third parties.

The consent SDK communicates this to third parties automatically when a user’s preferences are updated.

Information of this is then secured in a secure audit trail. The consent module will automatically ask third parties to confirm that they have received these requests for changes in a users preferences. When this is (or is not) received this is saved in the audit trail, along with timestamps and relevant information.

This means that developers can ensure that their users’ opt-in preferences are respected in third-party integrations. It’s important to be able to follow an audit trail to prove that this information was relayed to third-party partners and integrations such as SDKs.


Make sure you have a secure audit trail

With the correct procedure in place, developers don’t need to worry about manually managing consent. But what happens if you ever need to prove that your app has protected user data.

App developers need a way of storing the history of user consent. It should be easy for developers to prove that historical consent has been obtained.

In our consent toolkit we provide developers with an audit trail to do just this. Everytime a user changes their consent preferences then the SDK automatically records this with time stamp.

This ensures that app publishers are always covered. This information is easily viewed and provided for reference. Third-party consent is also stored in the audit trail. All requests for opt-out are sent to third parties and the record of this is then stored in the audit.

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GDPR & CCPA For Apps – Tips For Privacy Compliant Apps

Let’s look at GDPR, the CCPA and how you can make sure that your app is ready for the coming changes.

What’s the most important currency around? It’s data. It’s used to fuel everything from your personal virtual assistant to your social media feed. But let me tell you one thing about this data. It’s private, it needs to be safeguarded and soon, fellow app developers, it will be the law for you to ensure this.

Data is so omnipotent in our digital lives. Privacy regulation is set to make data handlers liable for how they collect, protect, store and remove this data. Some have predicted that up to 55% of apps aren’t ready for this change.

But you thought GDPR is only for email marketers. Wrong. Complying with privacy regulations is integral to running a successful mobile app business. As a mobile developer, under the new legislation, you will be responsible for all the personal data from your app.

That’s right – as of the 1st Jan 2020 responsibility will rest with you to ensure that you are in control of user data. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. The GDPR and CCPA are an opportunity for developers to create effective relationships with their users. It also means that you can offer up a great app experience at the same time.


But what is GDPR and CCPA?

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation and it came into effect on the 25th of May 2018. It is designed to protect data as it is collected and stored. It is also in place to ensure that the user is in control of their data. It seeks to allows the user to easily opt-out and remove their data when they so desire.

The CCPA is similar and will come into play on the 1st of Jan 2020 – the California Consumer Privacy Act is a bill meant to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California, United States.

For apps, this means that a proper system for opt-in, data collection and data storage will need to be in place. As well as this the infrastructure to opt-out and be forgotten are essential to comply with the legislation.

There are some key principles to define when looking at the legislation from a developer’s perspective. We will help to explain these next and look at exactly what these principles mean for developers, as well as practical advice for app owners.

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Explicit consent

This is a key requirement for mobile apps. The legislation says that businesses must request and receive consent to collect use and move personal data. Further, this request must be made and given in clear intelligible and easily accessible way. It cannot be confusing. As well as this the user must be able to withdraw consent as quickly as they can give it.

This means that apps will need to communicate better with their users. They must clearly define the type of personal data they collect around users. Developers will need to explain why this data is collected and obtain clear consent to collect this information.

Practically this means that you may wish to ask for certain types of personal data at different points of the user experience. For example, it’s generally a better idea to ask users for data consent at a point where it is relevant to the action that the user is performing.

So don’t ask for every permission under the sun the first time your app is opened. It might be better to wait for the right moment to communicate these to the user.

This also gives you a better opportunity to communicate the value that the user will receive by opting-in for this type of data collection. It also means that you can clearly explain opt-out procedures as well (but more on that later).

For example, we help our partner apps to obtain consent for location permissions by providing a dialogue with the user at the right moment. This could be when the user is looking for nearby venues or searching for local deals.

By clearly explaining to the user at this moment it allows the user to come to an informed decision on how they want to share their personal data with the app. This complies with the ‘explicit consent’ as defined in the GDPR legislation.

Find out more about asking for consent by speaking to our app team.


The right to be forgotten

One of the keys focuses of the legislation is the right to be forgotten. This means that app developers will need to create a system of opting-out that allows users to be in control of the data collected through the app.

As previously mentioned this should be as simple for the user as opting-in. Your app users should be able to request that their entire data history is deleted and removed from all records. This includes third parties (yes that means every SDK that you have used in your app that uses personal data).

For developers, this means designing user control into the app so that the user can perform these actions when desired. Apps must be able to process and act upon these user requests and then ensure that all personal data is removed.

This might be in the form of an option to contact you with questions about your data.

Or you can add a data section to your app settings page that allows your users to opt out of different types of data collection. You can also add the option to revoke all data collection.

The aim of GDPR in this area is the put the user in control of their data. If you can design your app to facilitate this control then your app will be compliant and your users will have a better experience when using your app.


Privacy by design

This section is all about the proper encryption and data handling procedures.

You might think that this is an obvious approach to take when designing a mobile app. Perhaps you have considered privacy at multiple points in the planning of your app. That’s great – the key points to remember is that GDPR makes this a legal requirement.

So from a project’s inception to every point in the lifecycle privacy and data protection will need to be front and centre. It’s about anticipating, managing and preventing privacy issues. And doing this before a single line of code has been written.

There are fundamentals that app developers will do well to follow once the legislation comes into force:

Privacy must be proactive, not reactive, it must also be preventative not remedial. This means that developers should be thinking about privacy from stage one of the design process all the way through to after the user’s app engagement has ended.

Define the kinds of data that your app will use in the design phase. Assess potential issues that may arise when using this data. Make sure that your app is designed to secure this data by default and has the correct opt-in processes before you do anything with this data.

When processing user data ensure that your systems are designed to secure the data. This might mean pseudonymization of data or even creating a completely secure way of processing personal data.

The basic idea here is that privacy and data control to become a key part of designing any new app feature. By taking this approach you create an app experience that is secure. It provides users with the controls to input personal information in the knowledge that it is secured and that they can have it removed at any time.


Consent module and Tamoco’s secure SDK

As mentioned one area where developers need to ensure compliance with GDPR is through the use of third-party SDKs. Many of this access and use user data, and often there is not explicit consent for this from the end user.

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll realise that this is a direct breach of GDPR. As a developer, you’ll need to balance the use of third-party SDKs with user privacy and consent. Partnering with SDKs that place user opt-in front and centre will be a sensible approach once GDPR comes into effect.

At Tamoco we help apps to comply with the new regulation whilst providing a powerful toolkit to boost app engagement and monetization. Our product allows apps to get valuable insights and analytics into their app audiences whilst ensuring GDPR compliance.

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Five Key Mobile App Statistics App Developers Should Know

Sure there’s yearly reports on everything from app usage to revenue. We welcome these and they can provide developers with vital information about the app economy. But often it can be difficult to understand how these trends will affect your app.

So we’ve tried to help. We’re going to look at five interesting stats based on data from the last year. Then we’re going to attempt to understand what these trends show, how it will affect monetizationengagement and other app metrics. We’ll also look at how developers can adopt their app strategy to suit these trends.


Last year app mobile device app downloads reached over 175 billion

This represents a 60% growth on 2015. Now that’s healthy, and there are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, more apps are free to use or try and more developers are finding this model attractive. For the consumer this means that apps are free to download. With the rise in subscription models and other post-download monetization options, this is greta news for publishers too.

The number of smart phones in circulation has increased, especially in emerging markets. Rapid mobile adoption shows that there is still huge potential for app growth.

Mobile devices now have much better storage options. Users previously had to manage device storage carefully. The lowest storage bracket on newer devices has increased and cheaper cloud options leave a lot more space on devices for apps that would have previously taken up too much space.

Finally, people are prioritising mobile to complete tasks that would have usually been difficult on a mobile device. Apps are now much more secure and user-friendly. This makes tasks like shopping or managing finances much easier.


What can developers learn from this?

You should think about making your app free to download and monetizing after the app experience. Users increasingly expect apps to be free.

Whilst it’s still important to keep the size of your app as low as possible, this isn’t as much of an obstacle as before. Instead users are looking for apps that help them to achieve tasks on their mobile. Positive user experience is important for users. They want to be able to do powerful things in a great app experience, without having to open their laptop.


Consumer spend exceeded $86 billion

When we look at the total spend by users the figures make for positive reading. This growth remains strong thanks to the increase in smartphone adoption in the developing world. The ability for publishers to capture more revenue from their users should not be overlooked.

In terms of the app store, app revenue is still higher in iOS than Google play. Worldwide gross app revenue reached $38.5bn from the app store in 2017 compared to $20.1bn from the Google play store.

This shows that Apple products do continue to attract, on average a user that is is more likely to part with cash via apps. However, both stores showed similar revenue growth levels of around 35%.

The consistent growth suggests that publishers are successful implementing monetization strategies. This is allowing them to generate more revenue per user. This may include subscriptions and freemium etc.

Developers will be happy to see that monetization in top markets maintained a steep growth – 70% in the US and 35% in the UK. But the real story of the last year in terms of app development is the scale of growth in developing markets.

The short story is this – the app economy is in a great place right now. Consumer spend has doubled in 2017. Publishers will need to look at their monetization strategy in developed markets. Here they will need to balance experience with monetization. As well as this they should be looking at new ways to monetize without choosing an advertising solution.


App store consumer spend in China grew by 270% in one year

App store spend is growing at a much faster rate in emerging economies.

China and emerging markets are fantastic examples of where developers should be looking in terms of app monetization. In the last year apps are becoming widely used in citizens’ daily lives. Much in the same way that apps have revolutionised other lifestyles, the same is happening in emerging markets. This is because more people are using mobile devices to perform daily tasks.

Rapid growth in downloads across other developing nations will provide even more opportunity for growth.

There now exists a lag between the number of downloads in these emerging markets and the equivalent revenue for app developers. The potential for monetization is huge. Publishers need to move to make sure they can tap into one of the biggest monetization opportunities out there.

Add to this that India and Brazil are areas where app usage is also increasing at at an alarming rate. India is now in second place globally in terms of number of app downloads. In these economies Android devices are more popular. This means that ensuring you can support both platforms could be the key to sustained growth.


What does this all mean for developers?

Firstly, we can still conclude that the average iOS user is worth more than an Android user in terms of monetization potential. But growth is steady across both OS.

The success of publishers monetizing after the point of purchase continues to drive revenue in developed markets. Subscription models and other models allow time for the publisher to educate and engage users on their apps value. This encourages better monetization. Ads are still a strong source of revenue for apps. But apps as a service are increasing in number and developers are getting good results from this monetization model.

In developed markets app discovery is becoming more difficult. But, the potential for revenue through monetization after the point of download is increasing.

Mobile apps are dramatically increasing in the developing world. The rapid number of new device adoption means a huge amount of new users. The value of these users is still low compared to developed markets. But, this still represents a huge opportunity for revenue growth.


Each mobile user spent 1.5 months in apps

It’s safe to say that users are spending more of their time in apps. And it’s also pretty certain that users are using more apps, on average. Last year users spent on average over 3 hours a day in mobile apps.

This presents far more opportunities for developers to create effective engagement strategies. Users want to complete more tasks on a mobile device and they love to be able to do this in apps.

Improving lifetime value and customer satisfaction is a crucial part of creating a successful app. Being able to engage apps leads to better monetization and more chance of increasing your user base quickly.

There are two things going on here. In developed markets, users are doing much more on their phones. But in emerging markets users have skipped the use of a desktop and see mobile as an effective way to complete certain tasks for the first time.

The time is now for developers to put experience centre of their app strategy. Their app solution should take advantage of the increased amount of tasks that users are doing on mobile. In some ways engagement is more important than downloads – if you can’t keep users in your app then you’ll churn users and very quickly have a worthless app. These figures show that users want positive experiences and the ability to complete their goals inside apps – developers should focus on delivering this.


The average smartphone user accessed around 40 apps per month

More tasks than ever are being completed on mobile.

You might think that all that time is being spent on the bigger apps. This is simply not the case. Users are looking to apps to perform a variety of tasks that can only be achieved by a single app. Users are looking for powerful apps in each category and they are choosing the ones with the best experience and best tools for the job in question.

Engagement is of course important for monetization. Keeping users engaged and happy is key to generating high revenue. That’s why these stats are promising for developers. If you can successfully implement a great engagement strategy you will be able to monetize effectively.

As app attention grows publishers will need to understand what this means for their app. This could mean focusing on UX and understanding how improving this will mean more engaged users. Or it could mean focusing on how push notifications can improve app retention.


What does this mean for developers?

As users spend more time in apps and use apps to solve problems and complete tasks developers will need to seize the opportunity and ensure that their app offers a seamless user experience.

Experience is key to successful monetization. Publishers that are looking to increase revenue, especially in emerging economies will need to focus on retaining their users.

The stats say that users are spending more time in apps, but they won’t just choose any old app to reach their goals. Apps still need to be powerful and they still need to have a great experience to attract and retain users.

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App Monetization Is About The App Experience – Here’s How

Is there a point where too much monetization can have a negative effect on the app experience? It’s more important than ever that mobile app developers understand the effect of app monetization.

Across app monetization strategies there are some mistakes that can have a negative effect on user experience. In these cases, it will cause you to lose valuable users. 

Are in-app ads damaging the app experience?

It’s amazing that so many developers fail to see this. Poorly implemented in-app advertising is one of the worst forms of mobile app monetization. It might be an obvious thing to say – but users don’t like ads. An app monetization strategy should be carefully managed and well devised. A mobile app monetization strategy that consists of ads can be successful. But when the ads are poorly implemented, they start to have a negative effect on user experience.

Protecting the user experience means taking care and understanding the effect of in-app ads. Too many intrusive and you’ll begin to lose those users that you’ve spent valuable time and money acquiring.

Typically the best ad formats for in-app monetization are native, interstitial and incentivized advertising. It’s important that the ad feels like it was designed to be in the app, not forced in at every opportunity. It’s also important that you think through where your ads appear. Do you have a clear idea of the best user experience? Ensure that your ads don’t affect this flow. Failure to understand this will lead to a negative user experience, and cause you to lose users.

App monetization is about striking the right balance between revenue generating strategies and improving the user experience. In terms of ads, content is often overlooked. Your ad content should be relevant to the user. There are many tools to ensure this, but one way to do this is to engage with affiliate sponsors. Striking a more bespoke advertisement agreement will allow you to choose the ad content. Affiliate ads on mobile generally take the form of another app. This ensures that the content is relevant. You can even offer affiliate advertisers an ad spot for one in return.


This app monetization strategy has become very popular withe the decrease in paid apps. With freemium, in-app monetization is about building a large base of users. Make sit clear up front that your users will only be able to access certain features without paying. Failure to do so will lead to some unpleasant app experiences.

Be transparent – it will be helpful in the long run. With this app business model, you’ll see that a small number of users will contribute a huge amount of revenue. In games, this type of user is generally someone who wants to advance throughout the game faster. Or unlock features that usually would take a regular user a significant amount of time. It is therefore important that you continue to generate and maintain the users that don’t pay anything. These free users are important as without they there would be no reason for paid users to continue paying for extras.

You must strike the right balance – between free features and paid features. If you get it wrong you’ll lose users. But of course, you also need to entice users to upgrade

In terms of experience, you can try educating the user better. Helpful, intuitive, experience first monetization is the solution. Also, don’t let your app become the next news story about a child spending millions on added content. We don’t need to tell you that’s not a positive app experience.


Subscription model

Another model that relies on experience first app monetization is the subscription model. By placing the experience first, app owners will produce better user retention and engagement. It’s simple math to understand that the more users on your app, the more that will enter into a paid subscription.

But placing experience first will also allow you to increase the percentage of users that enter into a subscription. Focus on creating improved UI and increasing user satisfaction. This will increase the number of users that subscribe to your service.

Don’t over confuse your options – users will become tired and move on. With more app subscriptions resembling SaaS services, make sure that your strategy cuts through the noise. Focus on an attractive user experience to maximize upgrades. Focus on simplicity when explaining the benefits of subscribing.

Rather than only focusing on converting new users into subscribers, remember to listen to your current subscribers. What are their complaints? What are the features they want? Many developers think (incorrectly) that once they have a paid subscriber they have one for life. In truth app experience is just as important after the moment of subscription as it is before.

Data monetization

Most mobile app monetization strategies will have some kind of negative effect on the app experience. The exception to this is data monetization. By running in the background, app developers can generate large CPMs from their audience without having a negative effect on the user experience.

This opens up a wider debate on the nature of app monetization. It’s important that users realise the tradeoff between experience and revenue model. When using this app monetization strategy developers must recognise user privacy. They must also be able to communicate why apps are free. It’s important that developers and users engage in debate around the benefits of free apps. Users must also understand the reasons for this.

Other in-app monetization advice

To protect the user experience and maximise app monetization make sure that you don’t make any of the following mistakes.

Make sure that your app monetization strategy works across platforms. If your app exists on multiple mobile platforms then make sure that your strategy is adapted to each. This could be as simple as optimizing ad formats on different screen sizes. It could mean that you’ll need to utilize a completely different app monetization model. The main rule is to understand the audience across platforms. Then adapt your app monetization strategy accordingly.

Use analytics. One of the most important things that developers can incorporate into app monetization is data. Use data generated from monetization to understand your progress. There are plenty of tools to help developers understand app engagement and app retention. Combine this with an app monetization platform that can give you accurate insights on how app engagement can affect revenue. Connecting the two is key to succeeding at in-app monetization.

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App Monetization Strategies – Which Is Best For My App?

The complete guide to mobile app monetization strategies. And, how to turn your app into a viable business.

Mobile app monetization in 2017

App monetization is pivotal to your mobile app business strategy. The revenue generated from your mobile app must outperform the cost of your user acquisition. If it doesn’t, then you’ll start to run into some serious problems.

That’s why it’s crucial to stay informed and to understand different app revenue models. One of the biggest challenges of creating a successful mobile app is figuring out which app monetization strategy best suits your app.

There are many different ways to monetize mobile apps. Ultimately, you need to figure out two things to form an effective app monetization strategy:

  • What value does your app provide to your app users and what is the price?

  • Which types of revenue will you pursue?

Understand your app monetization strategy in the context of your wider business model. We’ll talk more about this late on. For now, let’s look at some of the most common monetization strategies out there, as well as some that you might not have heard of.


No monetization strategy is the same

Your mobile monetization strategy is a constant balance between app revenue and user experience. In this balance lies the opportunity to propel your app to success. There are many theories on how to monetize an app effectively. But no particular method is inherently better than another. 

What’s the difference between android app monetization strategies and iOS app monetization solutions? Some app monetization models do provide different results on different platforms. It seems that iOS apps find it easier to monetize their audiences, but it isn’t exactly clear why this is.

As you might have realized by now, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t adopt different monetization strategies for your app. Make sure you’re aware of the effectiveness of each model on each platform. And always remember to put yourself in your user’s shoes when considering app monetization trends.

Anyway, let’s get onto the different app monetization strategies for your app.

It’s a topic that generates much debate amongst developers, users, and brands. But, for now, it’s here to stay. Mobile advertising has grown at an incredible rate in recent years. It’s a common response when people ask how to monetize free apps.

Mobile ad spend is set to reach $50 billion by the end of 2017. Mobile advertising as a percentage of digital advertising spend is also increasing year on year. This trend is predicted to continue.

Many apps head along the in-app advertising strategy. There are some app monetization challenges along the way. But, it can be one of the easiest and quickest way to monetize your audience.


In-app advertising

This is by far the most popular way for apps to generate extra revenue. Without advertising revenue, many apps wouldn’t exist.

There are a few ways that you can monetize apps with ads. There’s a huge variety in CPM and there are not that many guarantees on exact income until you get stuck-in. In-app ads are developing and aren’t as intrusive as they once were.

  • Third party ads within your app experience. These include everything from banner ads to third-party push notification advertising. Income can vary depending on your audience and your partner.

  • Build your own network of advertising space. This app monetization strategy requires a decent sized budget. Of course, once you manage to get to this stage you’ll reap the benefits of 100% of that ad revenue.

There is a lot of noise in the mobile ad space and it can be difficult to understand which solution is the best for your app. For a app network to advertise with, you’ll struggle to find a better list.


App push notification advertising.

You could be receiving significant income from your mobile app by allowing third-party brands to reach your users with third-party push notifications.

This monetization strategy is a two birds one stone solution to the monetization problem. If you ensure that the content delivered to the user is valuable, then you can also engage your users whilst monetizing your app.

With mobile monetization there will always be challenges. In-app advertisers often come across a pretty big one. 

Users hate ads.

There’s no getting around it. If you go for this kind of app monetization you are more or less signing up to decrease your UX.

Now if you have a mobile game app then this can be fine. But for other apps, it can become problematic. You need to think long and hard about your app’s function. Think how important experience is to the success of your app before implementing this monetization strategy.

You can always set limits to the amount of in-app advertising – many successful apps find a nice balance between the two.

  • Pros: quick and simple – pretty much any app can implement.
  • Cons: User experience is almost certainly lessened.


Monetize app data

One of the best ways to incorporate a free app monetization strategy is to leverage the huge amount of data generated from your mobile audience. It’s also another great way to monetize free apps without passing on the cost of the app directly to your users.

If you have built up a large mobile audience then big data around these user’s habits are extremely valuable for other companies. Their interests lie in understanding customers, and apps can help with this.

There’s huge potential for revenue here. This is a mobile app monetization trend that’s improving in popularity amongst developers.

CPMs are much higher than in-app advertising. There’s also the added benefit of not compromising your app experience. Data monetization takes place entirely in the background, ensuring that you can focus on improving the app experience. Rather than pestering users with in-app ads.

This method works well as a social app monetization strategy. But, it’s also effective revenue generator across most of the categories in the app store.

It’s important that you find yourself a valuable partner when embarking on this monetization strategy. You should ensure that your users are clearly opting into data monetization services. The key is explaining the process to your users. As with any mobile app monetization strategy, there’s always a trade-off for the user.

Ensuring an opt-out is important for any strategy. If done properly, this method can be one of the most lucrative app monetization templates.

  • Pros: best app monetization strategy for revenue and user experience
  • Cons: Requires reliable partner to implement.

Affiliate marketing and lead generation

Affiliate marketing is a method of app monetization that involves earning a healthy commission when your audience downloads, buys or engages with another product or service. If they do this through your app, then you’ll get generate revenue every time this happens.

This isn’t too dissimilar to mobile ads, and in some cases, it can appear just as blunt.


An affiliate in-app ad in cut the rope


But many other apps do this well and in these cases, it rarely affects the app experience negatively.

There are networks that help with affiliate marketing. The reward is much higher if you have the capacity to negotiate these partnerships yourself.

  • Pros: less negative effect on the user experience.
  • Cons: requires potentially lengthy relationship building with partners.


Transaction fees

Your app might include a marketplace or include many audience transactions. If this is the case then a transaction fee monetization will most likely be part of your app’s business plan already.

This app monetization strategy scales really nicely. Unlike listing fees, this encourages users to use your app service. The more transactions that go through your app, the more income you receive. That kind of information is helpful when forecasting app revenue and setting clear app growth KPIs.



Etsy charges app users a fee

  • Pros: Scalable and easy to predict monetization income
  • cons: Requires an engaged audience using your marketplace/service



The freemium app monetization model is one that has gained a lot of popularity in recent times.

The model is simple. You offer users a free, basic and useful version of your service. Simultaneously, you educate and entice your users to upgrade to the paid version with advanced features and capabilities.

The most common example of this app monetization is SaaS-based apps. 


Headspace makes certain features available to premium subscribers.


There are a few different freemium models:

  • Time-based – the users get the entire version of your app including all of its features. But, this lasts for a set period of time. This is similar to the free trial model that many non-app based SaaS providers offer.

  • Feature-based – in this app monetization model the user has access to only a select few features. To unlock the full range they must subscribe or upgrade their membership.

  • Limits – the user has access to all of the app features but they are given a usage limit. When they hit this limit they must upgrade their membership to keep using the app.

Some apps adopt just one of these methods but some have been known to mix two or even all these methods. Again, it really depends on which aspects of your app will entice your users to pay for the whole shebang.

  • Pros: Can be applied to the majority of mobile applications.

  • Cons: you must really focus on creating a useful and well-liked product.


Virtual currency

Generally one for those games apps out there but increasingly seen in other app categories. Many successful app monetization strategies involve offering a virtual currency to users. This can then be earned by playing/engaging with the app.

The users can use this currency to get ahead in the game or unlock certain app features and services. The user can then purchase this currency using real money.

You can really get into app economics here and there are many companies that offer expert advice on how to get the balance right. There’s actually a surprising amount of psychology involved.

Ultimately, you must understand your user’s motivations. As well as give audiences sufficient opportunity to earn the virtual currency themselves. Either way, there are a huge number of people that are willing to get their credit card out if what they are getting in return is good enough.

  • Pros: can provide large amounts of income and scales nicely.
  • Cons: Some of the app stores take a huge cut for in-purchases.


Which is the best app monetization platform?

Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could access these strategies all from within a single platform?

There are a few solutions for this – especially the mobile ad monetization platforms.

But some of the data platforms are quick to integrate, simple to use and provide you with a great overview of your mobile monetization strategy in real-time.

You can see exactly how your monetization strategy is performing. This allows you to forecast potential income streams. It also helps to predict how much of your mobile app budget you can allocate to other parts of your mobile business.


In conclusion

So that’s it, the main ways the world’s apps are generating money from their mobile app audience. There might not be a single best way to monetize your Android or iOS app. But there are many app monetization ideas out there to ensure that you get the best shot at generating app revenue for your business.

  • You must understand your audience to be able to monetize your app effectively.

  • No single monetization strategy will work on its own. The majority of apps looking to succeed as a viable business will consider all the options and implement more than one to their strategy.

  • Put your user first = if your app relies on a beautiful and seamless user experience then don’t overdo the ads.

  • Don’t expect overnight result – use feedback and data to understand and learn about your app and its users.

  • Every app is different – what works for your app might not work for others and vice-versa.

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5 App Monetization Trends To Watch Out For In 2018

Which trends will shape app monetization in 2018? As the world becomes better adapted for mobile, developers will benefit from greater revenue than ever before. However to do this they must balance the needs of the user with app monetization practices.

We’ll look at five trends that will influence the way that app moentization will work in 2018.

App experience will become more important for developers relying on ads to generate revenue.

In-app ads remain a popular method of app monetization for developers. Despite them having obvious drawbacks when applied poorly.

In 2018 app advertising will be all about the user experience. developers must strike a balance between the number of ads, where they appear and how the user interacts with them. This will be pivotal to app monetization success. App owners will also have to consider how these changes will affect their users in 2018. Too many ads will negatively affect the user experience. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to provide value whilst delivering in-app ads.

Mobile app advertising is maturing quickly. Make sure you look for a network that uses safe brands, smart ad targeting, and provides support for interactive ads.

When integrating an app advertising strategy you may find a trade-off between ease of integration and spamminess of ads. In 2018 it might be worth taking the time to focus on putting user experience first.

Don’t expect revenue from app ads to jump to new heights anytime soon. If anything expect app ad revenue to decrease as more apps adopt in-app advertising. Perhaps 2018 could be the year to supplement your app revenue with another method.



More apps will adopt a freemium model as more users are becoming used to an app being free at the point of use.

Freemium is allowing app owners to increase session length and generate engaged users. This is a great place from which to convert users into healthy revenue. After a positive app experience app users are more likely to opt-in for premium features. Having the chance to nurture and educate your users before this has a positive effect on your app monetization strategy.

Try not to appear like you are cheating your users. Make it clear that your app is a freemium app from the very beginning. They won’t want to invest a lot of time in a game or app to realise that they have to pay to use some features.

It seems that freemium is here to stay. With users finding it standard practice to not pay for an app at the point of purchase. Because of this, developers are finding it harder to justify an upfront fee. The freemium app monetization model is a great opportunity to engage and nurture audiences for app monetization.


Users will become dissatisfied if they have to commit huge amounts of time or money to unlock all app features.

In-app purchases as a method of app monetization is still experiencing healthy growth. This may be slightly overstated due to the inclusion of ‘services’ as purchases (think Uber etc).

One of the main trends well see in 2018 is that app developers will need to focus more on engagement rather than only increasing app monetization.

Once a user has purchased in-app content then they are more likely come back and spend more time in the app. This translates to better engagement and retention and in turn better monetization.

No category has benefited from in-app purchases more than the gaming category. Here, developers are benefiting by placing engagement first. The user now has the option to pay to advance through the game quicker or access powerups and features.

Developers need to make sure they are getting this balance right. In-app purchases are effective because a few users spend a lot. There will always be users who only want to play your game for free. True these users don’t generate revenue, but they are still important for your app to exist.

Whilst not being a mobile app, developers can still learn a lot from the EA debacle in the new Battlefront game. Users quickly noticed that to unlock some of the features they would have to play the game for 1000 hours. Alternatively, they could pay to unlock them. This seemed rather unfair, especially when they had purchased the game upfront.

To keep users happy, developers will need to strike the right balance between monetization and experience.

In 2018 more and more users will become aware of how apps monetize their users. That’s why app monetization methods must be clear and fair, in the long term it will benefit you.


A conversation will need to be had with users about monetization of data and opt-out methods.

Users are more aware than ever of the need for developers to monetize their app audience. The conversation around app monetization is shifting to help users understand why apps are free.

In 2018 consumer personalization will be a high priority for brands. They will achieve this by using consumer data to help provide an improved user experience.

Mobile app owners are sitting on a lot of behavioural data around their users. This is of value to those who wish to improve personlization for their customers.

Data monetization is secure, private and becoming more popular amongst developers. Users are more likely to understand that this data will help to generate improved personlization. By communicating the benefits and education users about opt-in developers can monetize their app in this way.

A benefit of app data monetization is that the user experience remains intact. There are no intrusive adverts or the need for the user to pay anything upfront. This means that the user will spend more time in the app and engage with the app’s features. The app monetization strategy can be adopted alongside other methods of monetization.

Data monetization allows developers to monetize a much higher percentage of users. The users don’t need to be engaged for it to work. The revenue that you generate from each user will also be higher. This means you don’t have to worry about monetization in relation to platform. It’s the same regardless of the device.

Expect revenue from data monetization to increase from a high starting point with better technology. 2018 will see the consumer become more aware of the power of big data and better educated on how it affects them.


App subscription models will more closely resemble SAAS subscriptions.

The subscription model is one that looks to remain popular in 2018. Again, users are used to trialling an app and its features before parting with any cash

Subscription models are becoming more complex than a simple buy or don’t buy. In fact, many pricing structures now more closely resemble a SAAS model. It’s common to see several pricing tiers with many different features.

This allows app developers to persuade users who would previously not part with any cash to subscribe to a lower tier of membership. This method of app monetization is still the best fit for service apps.

A side effect of this is that developers will need to clearly help users understand the benefits of upgrading. More tiers and features mean a better explanation is needed.


Closing thoughts for 2018

Developers will continue to benefit from the app economy with revenue from app monetization set to grow throughout 2018. Free apps will become the new normal, compared to previously where single pay purchases were the most popular. This will allow developers to generate more revenue over a longer period of time.

Developers will need to place more emphasis on the monetization experience. This means that the developers are more likely to miss out on revenue from app monetization if the app experience is not up to scratch. Due to the free to download culture, more emphasis on experience and education is needed. This will help to persuade users to enter into premium models and subscriptions or to engage with in-app purchases.

More and more developers will need to adopt hybrid monetization strategies. Developers should not rely on a single method of app monetization. Instead, spreading monetization across multiple strategies will provide stability. Especially in a market that can change quickly. The preference of app users is volatile. The changing platform rules around app monetization may also affect developers in 2018. It’s important to stay one step ahead!

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How Do Free Apps Make Money?

Everything you wanted to ask around app monetization, app revenue and how to monetize apps.

If you’re a developer or an app owner then you might feel slightly confused with all the content around app monetization.

The monetization of apps is something that doesn’t always have a simple solution. App monetization changes based on many different factors. It’s something that’s not simple to explain in a single way.

So we’ve taken some of the more common question that app owners ask around monetization. We’ve tried to provide some simple clear answers to these.

We update these questions regularly. If you would like to have your question answered then please send your question via the comment box below.

What does app monetization mean?

In its most basic form, app monetization simply means making money or revenue from your app. It’s not necessary to sell a specific product in order to monetize an app. It could mean that you generate background revenue without offering anything to your users.

App monetization is the act of converting app users into app revenue. You’ll be making the link between app usage metrics such as number of active users and time in apps and linking this to app revenue.


How do apps make money?

There are multiple app monetization methods that app publishers can use to generate revenue. These include:

  • In-app advertising – delivering adverts to users whilst they are using an app
  • In-app purchases – offering a paid service or product (both physical and digital) to users
  • Data monetization – tapping in-app activity to generate insights and revenue
  • Subscription and freemium models – providing users with access to the app for a recurring fee.

To explore all of these ideas in much more detail then check out this guide:

How to monetize your app

App Monetization Guide


How do free apps make money?

If your mobile app doesn’t generate revenue at the point of install then there are a number of methods to monetize app users.

Free apps have grown in popularity in recent times. Users are used to not paying money upfront for the app. They are increasingly aware that they will be monetized via another method.

This describes the majority of app monetization strategies that app owners employ today.


How do free apps make money without ads?

There are many effective ways for an app to generate revenue without delivering ads to their users. This is beneficial to the user because ads generally decrease the user experience. Lower user experience means that an app may lose users, which in turn will decrease monetization. That’s why app ad networks might not be the best option for your app.

The most popular ways that app publishers are monetizing apps without heading along the advert route are as follows:


How much money can you make from a free app?

The best way to look at this is by looking at your users. There are many different methods of app monetization and these will provide different results. However, you need active, engaged users in order to test monetization strategies.

Statistics around monetization can be difficult to predict. Use the following form to see how much you could make from data monetization.


How many app monetization methods should I use to monetize an app?

The short answer is it depends. Many developers use a combination of different app monetization methods. This means that they can generate more app revenue per user.

However, it would probably be a bad idea to go all in for every app monetization strategy under the sun. You must consider the cost of app monetization. That is, will it negatively affect the user experience, will it cause users to uninstall the app?


What’s the difference between these methods?

Some app monetization strategies generate guaranteed income, such as advertising. The cost of these is potentially quite high.

Some generate more income but mean that you will probably monetize a smaller percentage of your users.

App monetization is all about getting the right balance between the two.


How long should I wait to monetize my audience

As we’ve already mentioned, app monetization does come with a cost. If you are looking at ad app monetization then it might be worth waiting to monetize. Once you begin, you may find it more difficult to acquire and retain users.

Another point to consider is that revenue from app monetization usually increases with the number of users. It might be worth waiting to monetize your audience until you have carefully nurtured an engaged set of users.

Each app is different but in short, these are the main things to consider before monetizing:

  • How many users do you have?
  • How much revenue will be generated from each user?
  • Is this revenue worth the potential cost of app monetization?


What’s the link between app monetization and app engagement?

App monetization is affected by the number of app users that are using your app. As well as the amount of time that they spend using your app. This holds true for many methods of app monetization.

The better your app engagement metrics then the more revenue you will generate from your audience. That’s why it’s difficult to avoid engagement when strategizing for app monetization.


What makes up a successful monetization strategy?

The main things that app developers should consider in the monetization of apps:

  • User experience – how will this be affected by monetization
  • CPM – how much will I be generating per user
  • Acquisition costs compared to monetizaiton costs – is revenue outperforming user acquisition costs?
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How Your Push Notification Strategy Boosts App Monetization

Push notifications are an important part of any mobile app business. An effective push notification strategy helps to drive app engagement and app retention. It can also have a direct effect on your mobile app revenue or app monetization strategy.

Many developers understand the value of push notifications in relation to communication. Whilst this is one of the main benefits of adopting a push notification strategy, there are other rewards that developers can tap into.

These rewards are slightly different depending on the kind of app that you have. There is evidence that effective push notification strategies have a strong impact on in app monetization. We’ll look at what you can gain, other than engagement, from developing and nurturing your mobile app push notification strategy.

Abandoned carts, lost revenue

Users abandon 90% of mobile shopping carts. That’s a high number that app owners can combat with an effective push notification strategy. This is especially true if you create the right strategy. One in which your push notifications follow the golden rules of push.


Push notification best practices

  • Relevant – always ensure that you send push notifications to users at the best possible moment. Don’t send notification at times which aren’t relevant. This will decrease app engagement and ultimately app monetization.
  • Helpful – Your push notification service must be able to provide value to the user. A successful push notification strategy will communicate helpfully to the app users at the point of delivery.
  • Analyse data – always use data to inform your push notification strategy. Measure everything, hypothesize, test and repeat.


Now, this presents developers with a huge opportunity. With such a high number of mobile users abandoning baskets, app owners must address the issue. One way to reduce the number of abandoned baskets, and increase app revenue, is through the use of relevant push notifications.

Now we’re talking about something different to sending generic push notifications. Also, let’s remember – relevance doesn’t only mean addressing a user by name. Push notifications are much more effective when you consider relevancy. So let’s look at how you can adapt this into your push notification strategy to boost revenue.

The traditional abandoned basket push notification journey goes like this:

This push notification strategy may work in some cases. But the effectiveness of the push notification can be improved if it’s delivered at the right time. 

You need a push notification service that allows you to understand and engage with your users at the right moment. Remember the push notification best practices – how can we apply them to this situation?

One way you can apply these to your push notification strategy is by using location.

Back to our abandoned cart push notification. Layering this push notification with location can achieve a much better result.


What is a location-based push notification?

push notification strategy that uses location delivers push notifications based on the users’ location. This is helpful for many reasons. One is that it allows communicating specific messages to users in helpful and relevant moments. This translates to better engagement, and in turn, better in app monetization.


So in the case of an abandoned basket, we can hypothesize a few locations in which it would be helpful to remind a user.

One might be when they are in a consumer shopping location. The user will already have shopping on the mind and in most cases where they have forgotten about the items in their basket. Communicating with the user in this moment is much more likely to produce engagement.

Of course, this can be fine-tuned depending on what your app offers to its users. If you have more niche items then you can increase the specificity. For example – sports goods, communicate when they leave a gym.

Using push notification as reminders in relevant locations rather than sending generic cart abandonment messages will dramatically improve your app revenue.


User purchases

Now here’s another look at how mobile push notifications can have a positive effect on your mobile app revenue. If your app offers users the option to purchase goods, be it physical or digital, then push notifications can be useful.

Again, look at when it could be beneficial to deliver these notifications. If you can find a way to deliver value to your users then you’ll boost engagement over time. This will translate into better app revenue and improved monetization of apps.

Try informing and promoting user purchases at the right moment. In times of value, you will dramatically improve your revenue from in-app purchases.

It’s not as simple as picking a single time or day. Push notification strategies should be based on more than that. Namely, the location and situation of the user. That’s where location comes into your push notification strategy.

Try sending promotions or communicate in-app purchases at a moment of locational relevance to the user. Again, this will vary depending on the type of app or the type of purchase, but let’s look at a few examples.

Let’s say you have a language learning app with a subscription model. You could offer a promotion for the subscription to entice users into subscribing. But you can go one step further with location. Try sending notifications to the users when your users return from a trip through an airport.

These are just one example. You can get ultra-specific with your location based push targeting. The more precise you get, the more engaging your push notification strategy will be. More engaged users mean better app monetization.

Get in touch to see how location can specifically improve your app and help you generate more app revenue.


Time in app – monetization

If you have considered your app monetization strategy you’ll know that the monetization of apps is affected by the number of time that users spend in your app. That’s app engagement, and it’s something that push notifications can directly improve.

Therefore, by crafting an effective push notification strategy, you can allow your users to spend more time in your app. This will lead directly to improved app revenue.

Consider the push notification best practices when trying to boost app engagement and retention. The effectiveness of a push notification strategy is improved with location.

So in terms of engagement – we can look at ways that location-based push notifications can improve app engagement metrics. This is to do more with communicating with the users at the right time to encourage them to spend more time in your app.

Always have your in app monetization strategy in mind when considering your push notification strategy. push notifications can be useful beyond engagement. Stick to the push notification best practices and you’ll be on your way to more app revenue.


  • App push notifications can boost app revenue and the monetization of apps, as well as engagement.
  • Push notifications best practices include being relevant, helpful and data-driven.
  • Adding location to your push notification strategy is an effective way to improve engagement and revenue.
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