The ultimate goal of every company is to make a profit. It profoundly shapes business models and strategies, including app monetization. Still, this objective cannot be rushed while you lose sight of other priorities.

It is high time to recognize that monetization cannot be achieved isolated from user experience (UX). In fact, it is about preserving the sanctity of it as much as it is about smart revenue-producing tactics.

This may seem like a rather indirect route to financial rewards, but as you are about to find out, it is the most surefire one. Here is why you should align the two trajectories and put the user back in the center of attention.

Keeping the friction in check

The crux of the matter is this: aggressive monetization impedes smooth UX. One of the most obvious examples is poorly executed in-app advertising. Simply put, users have grown leery of ads, especially those that are not well-targeted and timed.

They perceive these as annoying distractions and interruptions and you cannot really blame them. This is not to say you have to forgo all types of advertising activities. Just take your time to develop a strategy and implement it carefully.

You need to be aware of how ads affect UX and how to minimize the negative influence on the product flow and user satisfaction.

Respecting the order of relevance

This effort entails striking a fine balance between revenue-generating priorities and the task of improving UX. To be more precise, you need to understand the causal relationship between relevance, engagement, experience, and revenue.

You can follow this line step-by-step in order to grasp the big picture. Make sure this chain has no weak links that could cause users to churn and drop out. For example, it is a good idea to limit monetization to expected instances during use right away.

What is more, pay close attention to how much screen size ads occupy and whether they add anything to user’s life.

Restraint and control

In a way, ads should feel like it belongs to the in-app environment, not some alien entity disrupting it. Therefore, do not force them every chance you get. Likewise, as we have indicated, it is crucial for ads to be relevant to the user.

Feel free to work with affiliate sponsors, but assume control over the content of the ads. Furthermore, conduct a thorough research yourself: harness the power of analytics to uncover the wants, interests, and needs of your audience.

Develop a deeper understanding of real-life context and timeline that drives user behavior. Let elements that shape retention and engagement work to your advantage.

Face value and beyond

Your mobile app monetization needs to prioritize value provided to users with each interaction. For instance, you can come up with personalized recommendations based on acquired consumer data.

Only once you have delighted your base, explore native, interstitial, and incentivized advertising options. It is also possible to utilize platforms like Appnext and employ location-based retargeting and user acquisition (UA) campaigns.

Find complementary companies that might want to implement ads and target your users. To maximize chances of success, scope out what your competition is doing and learn from their experience.

No need to pay in order to play

The meteoric rise of freemium apps is the best testament to the vital role UX plays. When it comes to these free-to-download products, app monetization revolves around building a strong and wide user base. The only way to do that is to foster a swell UX.

At the same time, developers need to be transparent about the limited number of features that those who do not want to pay anything can access.

Experience of popular mobile games has shown that there is no shortage of players willing to accelerate their in-game progress or unlock special items with money. Again, it is utterly necessary to have a balanced mix of paid and free features.

Subscription-based monetization

A subscription model is another staple monetization tactic that puts UX in focus. The equation is simple: the more people use the app, the more subscriptions you are likely to have.

What some businesses fail to realize is that both ends are dependent on UX and user interface (UI) as driving force. Therefore, be vocal about the benefits of subscribing and deliver on your promises.

Soak in the feedback from those who subscribe and commit to constantly fine-tuning your model. Are there some features users miss or complaints regarding UI? Do your due diligence and you should be able to accomplish better retention and engagement rates.

Data matters

Finally, data monetization poses a highly popular strategy that does not interfere with UX in any way. It plays out in the background without users even noticing it. Hence, it is a must-consider course of action for app developers and publishers. A key takeaway is that users must not stay in the dark regarding this monetization process.

Privacy and data security are burning issues that make headlines and raise many eyebrows. Failing to protect the integrity of private data can tarnish the reputation and decimate user base.

Thus, explain why your app is free and how data monetization works. Bolster cybersecurity credentials to steer away from devastating consequences.

Gravitating around the user axis

Experience-first monetization is modern app monetization at its finest and most effective. The benefits do not kick in right away, but when they do, they impact the bottom line significantly.

So, never let your monetization efforts take anything from the pristine UX. Get to know your audience and keep track of shifting preferences. Gain deeper insights into factors that breed engagement and user satisfaction.

Be open about the tradeoff between revenue models and UX. Instead of chasing instant profits, play the game for the long-term. Treat users as real human beings instead of click-machines and dollar signs.

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Prince Pal

UI UX Consultant Helping Digital Startups & Stakeholders Grow Their Business at Think 360 Studio
For 15+ years I have designed, developed and marketed websites/apps startups in New York, California, Florida and in India. Always focused on great User Interface is key.