1. Never asking your monetization platform for help
Here’s a really quick and easy one. Try asking your monetization platform for some help and ideas on better ways to make more app revenue. Perhaps they have access to data that you don’t or maybe they’ll be able to offer you advice on making better use of their platform’s tools.
2. Failing to analyze data
This is another obvious one but I found many developers still fail with the basics of mobile app monetization. Installing multiple SDKs is a pain and uses up valuable engineering resources, yet I find most app developers still give up on a platform before attempting optimization. When you monetize your apps, choose a platform that provides a decent level of data transparency and enough tools and controls to optimize ad placements, try different ad formats and redistribute traffic.
3. Maintaining identical iOS and Android monetization strategies
Just because your app monetizes well on one OS platform, it doesn’t mean that same strategy is best suited for another. Technology limitations, demographics and behavior of respective userbases should all be considered to ensure the most effective android and iOS monetization. In terms of technology, some ad formats are simply not available on iOS but are on Android. On AppFlood for example, Icon and Notification Push ads are on Android but not iOS.
4. Being afraid of interstitial ads
Interstitials are one of the most effective mobile game monetization ad formats, consistently delivering high eCPMs, yet I find developers still apprehensive to use them. To be fair it’s a legitimate concern considering how universally hated web based popup ads are. The key with monetizing mobile interstitials is ensuring gameplay is never interrupted. I have yet to see an app’s retention rate dropping when interstitials are shown just before a user exits their game. This makes sense if you think about it. If a game gets boring, who wouldn’t mind a suggestion for another?
5. No attempts to creatively integrate ad formats
In CPC advertising, the onus is on the advertiser to improve the efficiency of their ads to improve their effectiveness, but in a CPI model publishers can monetize app ads by being a little creative and optimizing ad placements. On AppFlood, publishers are free to create their own banners, buttons and menu items in the style of the app’s UI and lead users to familiar and friendly monetizable app environments such as app lists and more games menus, which can be customized to match an app’s own UI too. The benefit is a higher click through rate and conversion rate, which ultimately means a higher eCPM for publishers. A simple example could be offering an additional option on a Game Over screen – “Play Something Else”, which launches an app list.
6. Misunderstanding eCPM
eCPM helps you gauge how effectively you monetize app users, but it shouldn’t be the only metric in your ad monetizing arsenal. I often find developers ditch an ad format or even network altogether just because it has a lower eCPM than another. Consider the overall impressions with the eCPM to understand if particular mobile ads monetize well to generate revenue. For example, interstitials may have a higher eCPM than a banner, but if the impressions of a banner are significantly higher than those of an interstitial, it might still earn more revenue overall. Also consider the fill rate. It’s no use switching off the ads giving you low eCPM if it ends up lowering your fill rate. Also try combining different ad formats, even if some have low eCPM – as long as your retention rate remains largely unaffected, you’ll make more revenue overall.
7. No clear growth strategy
If you simply “Took a chance” when it came to marketing their apps, don’t be surprised if your revenue sucks. It doesn’t matter how good your eCPM is, you’ll need users to properly market your apps. Consider saving up a budget for a burst campaign by promoting other apps in your successful ones and then using the budget for burst campaigns. It’s still possible to reach the top of the app stores with targeted buying of quality users, so long as daily retention rates are over 40%. I’ve seen a number of games recently hit the top 10 of their category with small targeted acquisition budgets of less than $100 per day.