It’s fairly obvious the app developers are not in this industry just for the fun of it. We’re trying to make money, either by selling the app or by placing ads in it. Putting a price tag on your app is a huge topic and we won’t be touching it in this article. We’ll be focusing in offering an app for free and making money out of ads placements in it.
When is a good time to Start with ads?
There’s no exact answer for when you should start placing ads in your app, but one thing is sure – don’t do it upon launch. When an app doesn’t app installs, ratings and reviews and it has ads in it, people will be much less inclined to download and install it. My personal thumb rule is waiting till I’ve reached a reasonable uninstall rate – no more than 20%, wait till I have at least a full page of good reviews and make sure my rating is no less than 4.
Once I have all that I start implementing ads SDKs in my app. I also check page views through different analytics tools (my personal favorite is Flurry.com). After all there’s no point in adding ads if users are not browsing through the app. You also want to make sure the users are satisfied from your app and that new potential users can be aware of that if they look on your rating and reviews sections.
Be honest about it
There’s nothing worse for a user than feeling like they’re being conned. If you’ve placed ads in your app, let the users know about it in your app description on Google play. This way when they install the app, they already know what to expect and they’re already fine with it. You can even turn to their ‘fair’ side by writing something like: ‘This app is completely free and you’re welcome to enjoy it. We do place the occasional ads in order to support us and let us continue offering you this app for free’.
Try to avoid popups. They’re annoying on the web pages and they are just as annoying on mobile apps. In any case, from my personal experience popups are not very effective when it comes to CTR. People tend to close them after less than a second rather than reading the offer on them and clicking it.
MY personal favorite is a bottom or top stripe that contains the rotating ads. Most app ads network will give you a ready SDK for such a format, so you don’t even have to configure it on your own. I like to add a small personal note in this strip saying something like – ‘Please support ‘LOLCats – free app’ by visiting our sponsors’. It was actually surprising how helpful adding this line one for raising the CTR.
If you have other applications, there’s no reason why you can’t use your already installed app to let the users know about it. However, make sure you distinguish your self-ads from outgoing ads. Do that with visual and location tools. For example – if you use the stripe to publish your other apps, change the color and headline of the stripe.
You can also use a different location – bottom stripe for outside ads and a top stripe the occasionally appears, for your self-ads. You can also make use of the ‘screen menu’ options. This section will be visible only if the user clicks on that button, but the CTR will be incredible since it will seem like an inner navigation that makes sense to the user.
Fir self-ads you could also use popups. Don’t overuse it and make sure you pop them app only after the users had time to appreciate your app that he’s already installed and using. Also, make sure to offer the user an option not to see these popups again. Generally I tend to place self-ads on 2 or more of the above mentioned locations. As long as I’m not nagging the user about it, it will remain effective and won’t cause the user to uninstall the app.