The Mammoth Guide to profiting from In app purchases – 41 ways to stay on top of your game

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Ever wondered if you could be earning more from in-app purchases? If you’re like most developers, the question has probably crossed your mind at least a few (hundred) times. It certainly has mine! 

Well I’m going to make a bold claim. I’m going to say that the answer is almost certainly…yes!

Despite the fact that there are more apps on the market than ever before, things are pretty good for appreneurs at the moment. You could even be forgiven for saying that things are too good.

Everywhere you look, there’s growth. Mobile and tablet use is on the rise, foreign markets are opening up like you wouldn’t believe, localization is easier than ever, and, if that’s not enough, consumer behaviour is showing a definite trend towards increased spending on in-app purchases.

The graph below, for instance, projects a huge surge in worldwide in-app revenues over the next two years. You’d be perfectly justified in wanting a piece of the pie.160303_inapppurchases_info1

(Data source : Statista

In an industry where it can be difficult to compete with big players, small companies and indie game developers are killing it with IAPs.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that paid-app models are redundant. Quite to the contrary, the recent success of The Room 3 shows that paid games (and apps generally) still have a huge role to play. But for most developers, the free option is the more attractive. 

“Freemium” is Leading the Way

For all but a few categories, free apps with in-app purchases are hands-down the biggest money makers. As you can see from the graph below, which presents data from January to November 2015, they win in nearly all categories. Their success in “Games” and “News” is particularly striking. 

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(Data source: Statista)

Now, you might look at the data above and say, “Well that’s all good, but how much of that revenue comes from in-app advertising rather than purchases?” It’s actually less than you might think. The graph below gives us a picture of how the two different monetization methods compare.

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(Data source: Venturbeat)

Advertising takes the lion’s share, but there’s still a significant portion  of revenue that’s coming from IAPSs. And remember, the market is expanding! As most developers take a hybrid approach, integrating both ads and purchases, the importance of properly optimizing your strategy in regards to the latter can’t be underestimated. 

Another interesting point for developers is the trend towards a more “open” market, one that’s less dominated by a handful of big players. In their 2015 retrospective report, AppAnnie said that, “Even as the biggest names in mobile gaming draw attention with multi-million-dollar ad campaigns and high-profile releases, the concentration of revenue in the mobile gaming market has been trending toward less concentration at the top.”

So why is “freemium” so successful?

There are two reasons that the freemium model is so successful. 

One is the initial investment in free games required on the part of users. As Ilya Pozin of Forbes writes, “Users are more likely to initially download the app because it’s free, which means that you’ll have a greater opportunity to increase your conversion rate by offering up enticing additional content for your desired price.“

The second is the ease with which users are generally able to make purchases. All they need to do is click a button, pop their password in and enjoy their chosen boost or upgrade. 

Anyhow, enough of the data! Onto some actionable tips to boost your revenues…

41 Ways to Make Money With In-App Purchases

So, onto the tips and tactics themselves. We’ve reviewed a wide range of apps, across an equally wide range of industries, and picked out our favourite forty three examples. 

01

Focus on Lifetime Purchases

Lifetime purchases are the biggest revenue generators for mobile games by a sizeable margin. The mobile analytics company Soomla published one of the industry’s most in-depth reports on in-app purchases earlier this year. You can see from the data below how the different monetization strategies stack up.

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(Data source : Soomla)

A “market purchase” refers to a transaction made using real currency whereas a “soft purchase” is one that utilizes virtual currency like gold coins. It’s clear that sales made with virtual currency outrank direct market purchases but the reason behind this phenomenon isn’t certain. Many developers will likely choose to offer currency packs that are larger than what’s needed for a single purchase, thus prompting users to buy more. 

Whilst consumables, which we’ll take a more in-depth look at in the point below, account for more in-app purchases, it’s the lifetime goods that are the money-makers. You want to incorporate these into your monetization plan in as big a way as possible.

We can look to Temple Run 2 for a great example of how to effectively utilize lifetime purchases. In their abilities section, they offer numerous long-term upgrades, all of which improve the quality of the gameplay. They also offer secondary purchases within the primary ones. You can increase the value of coins, for instance, by five different increments.

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Though Temple Run offers other items like characters and one-off boosts, this is the most prominent section (alongside Currency) of their store. There are two takeaways: first, your long-term purchases should feature in a big way. Second, offer variations on those initial buys – could you offer three or four of the same upgrades, for instance?

The other example shown here is a smaller game Doggie Collector, which makes use of quirky collectibles that the player can use to decorate their virtual home. Upgrades on the one hand, virtual objects on the other. 

02

Single Use Goods (or Consumables) are the Next Best

Whilst lifetime purchases account for a bigger share of total in-app revenue, single use goods (purchases that will eventually be depleted) or consumables are responsible for most in-app sales. There’s a little misinformation floating about on the web about the comparative standing of each. Some sources cite consumables as the most profitable, others cite lifetime virtual goods.

We’re using the most up-to-date statistics to reach our conclusions, and in 2016 the data points to lifetime goods. That said, the power of consumables shouldn’t be underestimated! There’s still lots of money to be made by integrating them into your app. Take a look at the graph below to see how purchases compare in terms of quantity.

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(Data source : Soomla)

Both Subway Surf, iSlash Heroes and Lightning Fighter 2 are great examples of recent games that offer various single-use consumables such as weapons upgrades, shields and reward boosters. Lightning Fighter 2 also allows you to equip up to three of each boost for one game, thus encouraging bulk buying in a single session.

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03

Offer Two Types of Virtual Currency

I thought this was a great little tactic when I came across it and it seems that more and more developers are picking up on its benefits. Rather than offering one type of virtual currency, you can give buyers the option of buying two (or more) different types. You can then list unique in-app goods with different currency requirements. This strategy encourages buyers to spend more and also means that you can frame certain products as being particularly valuable.  

Need for Drift offers both virtual currency and stars for the purchase of in-app goods and many of their products require a mix of both to buy. They aren’t overly zealous in pursuing sales and you don’t feel as though you’re hard-pressed to buy as you play, which is, I think, an important point. As long as a player doesn’t feel that in-app purchases are taking center stage, eclipsing the game itself, there’s little problem with offering multiple currencies  like this. 

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Note how, in the image below, to buy a car you need both stars and coins. In targeting the hardcore players, this two-pronged approach is a touch of genius.

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04

Offer Multiple Virtual Goods

This may sound obvious but it’s vital to mention. To really ramp up your in-app purchase revenues, make sure you’re offering multiple purchase options. The most successful apps, alongside offering various currency options as detailed in point three, offer a wide range of choices for buyers.

It’s amazing the amount of apps whose sole IAP is an ad removal button when there’s such huge potential scope to monetize in other ways. You could, for instance, alongside offering an option to remove ads, also include upgrades, characters, wallpapers, consumable goods, paid-levels…and a link through to your physical products!

Now of course that might seem like overkill, but the general point stands. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, you want to diversify! You can then track which in-app products are working best for you, and which might be worth pushing a little harder.

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An app that has lots of purchase options is Space Jet. You can buy camouflage, upgrades, ships and can even subscribe to a VIP section. The sheer range of what’s on offer is almost mind-boggling. 

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05

Account for Everybody (Whales, Dolphins and Minnows)

This really boils down to having a variety of goods at a range of price points. 

There are three main categories of app spenders: minnows, dolphins and whales. The minnows, which account for up to 65% of in-app purchases (measured as a monthly average), prefer a price point in the $0.99 – $4.99 range. Dolphins are responsible for up to 40% percent of purchases and tend to stay within the $9.99 – $29.99 price range. Finally, there’s the whales. They’re the users with deep pockets, who, like dolphins, account for up to 40% of revenue but are happy to spend, on average between $5 and $100 on a single purchase.

You can see from the graph below that 40% of developers estimate that all of their purchases come from 2% – 5% of their users. This figure highlights how important it is to create a range of virtual products across price points to cater for the different segments of your already (comparatively) small user base that are willing to buy. 

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(Data source : AppAnnie)

06

Let People Try Your Boosts

One of the first games that I ever truly got hooked on was Temple Run. At one point I was playing it so much, and I was that good, I was seriously considering going for a Guinness World Record…true story. 

Anyhow, I can still remember the relief when, as I was about to reach a particularly high score, I would tap on a boost – saving me for a few moments from the snares of gorges and overhanging trees. Now imagine re-creating that feeling for your users without having to purchase  anything first. They’re going to be much more inclined to buy, especially if you can get them hooked on the game.

Gummy Drop, one of the fastest-growing match three games uses this tactic to great effect. You can try all the boosts before you’re asked to buy any. 

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07

Recommend Purchases as Difficulty Increases

By making sure that increases in difficulty coincide with relevant in-app purchases, you’ll be clearing a lot of the confusion that comes from having big stores with lots of purchase options. It also allows you to strategically make offers when a player’s investment and their satisfaction (just at the moment when they’ve completed a level) are both particularly high.

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One game that does this exceptionally well is a recently published title called Lone Wolf. As the difficulty of the game increases, certain weapons which improve the quality of the gameplay are recommended. Notices appear prompting the player to upgrade at the appropriate times. The important point is that the upgrade is offered (the player doesn’t have to buy to progress) and it fits within the continuity of the game. 

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08

Offer a Time-Limited “Sale”

This is a tactic that really ties in with people’s desire not to miss out. It’s something that you can offer both continuously and at various stages in the cycle of the game. Many apps have a permanent “Sale” button on their main page that is frequently updated with new offers whilst other apps showcase a time-limited welcome pack. The latter is a particularly interesting way of netting new users that might not be invested enough in the game to make a standard purchase.

Note the time limit in the screenshot below – a new user only has two hours in which to make a decision. This constraint acts as both an incentive for them to spend more time playing (so that they can decide whether or not to buy) and for them to get their wallet out and (hopefully) establish a game-long habit.

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By including a “Sales” area (bottom left) like the one below, you’re not only providing a continuous supply of lifetime goods for the whales, but you can also add new products to try and cater for a unique array of tastes. People are going to be constantly checking back so those that don’t normally value your virtual goods enough to buy them might occasionally find something that they like.

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09

Include a Doubler!

Ok, no prizes for originality for suggesting this one. Every developer under the sun – maybe even the non-developers – know what a doubler is. Just in case you’ve been under a rock for the last decade, it’s a lifetime purchase that (surprise, surprise) doubles the value of any in-game currency, such as coins, that players can collect.

The reason that they’re so successful is because they intrinsically provide a lot of value. For any player that’s going to spend a lot of time on your app, let alone part with their hard-earned money, it’s one of the most logical purchases going. They’re also very easy to add to a store without much hassle on the developer’s part. 

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One particularly wonderful indie app called Alto’s Adventure offers a doubler as the only in-app purchase in the game. I have a sense that the motivation behind having a lone virtual item for sale may be to firmly lodge it in the player’s memory…not a bad idea, if that is indeed what they’re doing. 

10

Offer to Remove the Ads

Winner of the most-utilized IAP offer? Again, it’s so obvious you may be wondering why I’ve bothered to include it at all. Well, it’s not so much the specific offer that’s important as it is the implementation. The way you promote your ad removal button can have a significant impact on the amount of people that decide to opt for a banner or video-free experience.

You need to make sure that your player sees it regularly. Ideally after every single level/session and then both before and after the third-party ads, when their frustration is at its peak. Though there are a lot of games that adopt this strategy, one that stands out in my mind is the beautifully-designed Troll Life 2.

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The “Remove Ads” button is prominent without being obtrusive and it appears on the screen after every level, in such a way that it’s present both before and after the overlay third-party ad plays out. Like I say, it might seem an obvious thing to say but you would be amazed at the number of app developers that tuck away this very high-converting purchase option in some hidden corner of their interface.

11

Provide a HD Version

I first came across this idea through the game The Silent Age. Since then, I’ve seen a number of other developers – in particular the small studio Glitch Games with their modern cult classic Forever Lost – offer a HD option for a small fee. 

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It works particularly well with longer games because, once the player is invested, it lodges a nagging voice in the back of their mind, constantly reminding them that they’re not having the best experience that they could be. HD also has quite a high perceived value. I’ve included screenshots from the purchase page of Forever Lost in the app store to illustrate this point.

12

Include a Sequel

Badland, a midcore scrolling game, offers the entire first level, which is made up of dozens of unique games, for free. By the time you’ve finished playing them, you’re absolutely hooked. Rather than sell in-app virtual goods, they allow you to buy two more in-depth levels, packaged in a snazzy frame,  that act as sequels. The “adverts” of the games are themselves very enticing, but offering them within the context of the app, rather than as a separate game entirely, feeds the sense of continuity that the player feels.

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At the heart of this tactic is an age-old marketing dictum: entice your customers by offering them incredible value before trying to sell them anything. And it’s helped make Badland one of the biggest successes in recent memory. The Silent Age (mentioned above) also takes this approach, offering a starter game for free and then charging for the sequel as an in-app purchase. 

13

Offer Optional Unlockable Levels

This is the next most common variation on the tactic above. Smaller games often don’t justify the creation of an in-depth sequel and are, in contrast, made up of lots of smaller individual levels that a player progressively unlocks. One very easy way of adding an extra layer of monetization to this structure is to allow the player to pay to unlock a later level, if they wish to, for a fee. 

Roll the Ball, an example of a casual game, allows players to unlock inaccessible levels or “packs”, for which they would otherwise have to complete the previous levels, for a small charge. This might appeal to those players who like the game but want to increase the difficulty, or those that can’t wait to see future content…whoever said that patience was a virtue?

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14

Bundle “Mini” Games

We’ve already looked at the options to buy either sequels or separate “level packs”. In a similar vein to these two tactics, there’s a third option to offer a series of “mini games”, each a separate entity in its own right, either individually or as a bundle. They’re not completely unique games or sequels because they’re not big enough and they shouldn’t be classed as levels because they don’t fall directly within the continuity of the game.

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The Smurfs Games use this strategy as their primary monetization model to great effect. They offer four unique small games with the option to buy all of them in a single bundle. Indie app developers can effectively provide their fans with premium options without having to develop a whole new game, whilst also bundling them attractively. 

15

Offer a Premium Version

If you don’t have a sequel or package of levels to offer but rather a range of virtual goods, then consider offering a premium version. This is a good way of offering a lot of value. You can bundle all you virtual goods, upgrades and levels into one tasty offering.

This is exactly what Turbo Dismount who have lots of unique IAPS have done. 

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16

Offer Physical Goods

There’s a definite trend for more and more big games to offer physical goods. I must confess that it wasn’t something I fully understood at first – who on earth would want to buy a Doodle Jump teddy bear?

That kind of thinking, of course, fails to account for the huge audience of children that have fallen in love with the game’s characters. It’s incredibly easy to cheaply manufacture a toy or t-shirt and offer them to your app’s users, so it might be something worth considering.

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Technically it doesn’t count as an in-app purchase, it’s just a button that directs somebody to a website. But the fact that it’s so easy to pop a link up on the app’s main page and then outsource the product-creation (especially with mugs and t-shirts) means that it almost demands consideration if you’ve got anywhere near the user-base to justify it.

17

Offer the Option of an Instant Retry

Let’s try and ease our way into a mobile game-player’s mind for a few seconds. They’ve just spent the last ten minutes trying to get to the next checkpoint or leaderboard score. They were nearly there. But, just at the vital moment – boom! They lose it. What’s the one thing that, right now, they’re going to be willing to buy? 

You got it. An instant retry.

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It’s another easy purchase option that you’ve really got no excuse not to include. Ideally, it should allow a player to move closer to some desired objective (we talk a little bit more about this point later on) such as a high-score achievement or new level. There’s lots of popular apps that have this feature but one that particularly stands out in my mind is the fun puzzle game What’s My IQ? The offer is big, bold and inexpensive.

18

Cater to Everybody’s Taste for Unique Characters

New characters are popular lifetime purchases and lots of big games, like Temple Run, offer them. One recent newcomer, the quirkily-titled Crossy Road, has taken this tactic to a completely new level. I haven’t counted how many unique characters players can buy, but the number must be in the hundreds. 

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What they’ve essentially done is weave character collection into the fabric of the game. They give you the chance to sample, for example, the “greedy pig” or the “Dark Lord of the Sith”, before suggesting that you purchase them. Each new character also changes the game’s world slightly so there’s an element of curiosity too.

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Obviously it might not be appropriate for you to incorporate ten thousand new personalities into your game, but there are definitely things that game developers could learn from Crossy Road’s example. People just like to collect things.

19

Provide In-Person Services

This isn’t going to be a tactic that everybody will be able to implement but, for the right app, it can present a very lucrative opportunity.

FlowerChecker has this functionality built right into its core offering. It allows the user to take a photograph of a plant and then send it directly to an expert for identification. The first time is free and any further requests after that cost $0.50. 

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The amazing thing? This simple app has had over 100,000 downloads. 

20

Offer a “First Charge Bonus”

In order to encourage new users to make that first plunge and buy some credits, after which more purchases become more likely, you can offer a bonus for new players or users. This is something that Piano Tiles 2 do to a great effect. You can see that their “first charge bonus” means that first-time buyers can get double credits.

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21

Offer a Free App

Not an in-app purchase as such but a tactic that I thought was worthy of a mention. It was used by Glitch Games with their free app Alice’s Cabin, and it essentially allowed them to launch their hugely successful paid-app Forever Lost.

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Rather than selling an upgrade or a sequel within your app, create a separate prequel and use it as an advertisement for the main paid version of the game. It gives you the opportunity to  introduce players to your game, get them hooked, and then sell them something bigger and better.

22

Take Advantage of the “Need to Know”

If you can create circumstances in a game that foster a particularly strong desire in players to know how to solve a puzzle, then you have a great opportunity to offer the answer at a premium. Lots of difficult puzzle games take advantage of this in-app tactic, such as What’s My IQ? which has already been mentioned above. 

But perhaps one of the standout examples is the game Brain it On. Rather than charge for each individual clue, they offer the player the opportunity to watch a video. Because there are over a hundred levels and they’re all mind-bogglingly difficult, after a dozen or so games in the user is more than ready to sign up to the ad-free premium version. 

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23

Offer a Surprise

It stands to reason that people will want to know what they’re buying doesn’t it? Well, not exactly.

The offer of an unknown purchase can often be just as tempting as a known one. One recent app that understands this perfectly is Daddy Long Legs. Rather than sell currency, they offer gifts that will become new characters. But there’s a catch…you don’t know what’s in the box.

 

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The reason that I’ve put this point under the one about taking advantage of the “need to know” feeling we all experience is because it takes advantage of a similar motivation. The assumption is that there’s something fantastic lurking behind that shiny gold foil.

Remember the advice earlier about offering two virtual currencies? Well, these gifts could quite happily be offered as a second option. 

24

Offer Three Pricing Options

There’s an old sales trick that comes into play here and fortunately it’s one that’s backed up by some very strong research. When you offer three unique pricing packages, you encourage a greater distribution of spending across the higher options. Take a look at the example below. 

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(Data Source : Helpscout)

Now look at what happens when you add a third option. The 20% distribution of spending that occurred on the left has now switched over to the right.

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(Data Source : Helpscout

See how Winter Fugitives have structured their price options very effectively according to this template. 

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25

Offer a Subscription

Blinkist has to stand out as one of the best apps in recent memory. The idea behind it – to summarise popular business and personal development books into bite-size fifteen-page summaries for busy execs and managers – is an absolutely brilliant one. It’s fast picking up a huge base of loyal followers too. 

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It provides a good example of how apps can effectively sell a comparatively high-priced subscription without alienating people. They offer several books for free every month, aren’t pushy or over-zealous with ads, and give the option of an upgrade when it suits the user. 

26

Offer a VERY Rare Item

There was a great article published by Mac World that detailed some of the most expensive apps in the world. Now you’ll probably struggle to justify charging millions for a boost, but there’s no reason not to add a one-off, ridiculously overpriced purchase for those giant whales. One word of caution: avoid doing this in children’s games as you can quite easily pick up bad press. 

Consider Contract Killer’s Nanotech Sniper at $100.image51

(Source : MacWorld)

Or the Apathy Bear from Gun bros…that’ll set you back a sweet $560.

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(Source : MacWorld)

27

Put the Pressure On!

Just returning to Piano Tiles 2 again – this is the second time I’ve mentioned it but it is a great app – you can see that, as part of their “save me” option, they’ve also included a timer. When it runs out so does the ability to purchase, effectively pressuring players into making a split second choice. This strategy is similar to offering a time-limited sale period but works on a much more instantaneous basis.

 

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Note how they also mention how near the player is to unlocking the next achievement, further incentivising the player to part with their precious gold coins. 

28

Don’t Make Everything Available Right Away

You can increase the perceived value of an in-app purchase by not making it immediately available. Rather, keep it locked (but viewable) until the player has progressed to a certain point. Not only does this encourage them to keep on playing to uncover what’s on offer, but when they do reach that point they’ll likely be much more eager to buy. 

Futurama is a new match four game that does this very well.

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29

Include “Advice Tabs”

Rather than  offering a complete solution, as in the example with Brain It On, why not offer some helpful advice. This is what One Clue Crossword do to great effect. They include two tabs on the main game interface that allows players to quickly purchase clues or, if they want to, full solutions (the choice is theirs).

This is a feature that can quite easily be integrated into any game that’s suitable. 

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30

Let Your Players Get to Know You

Fish the Line 2 is an indie game that was released earlier this year. Despite being great to play, it does have a bit of a “homemade” feel to it. Yet rather than try to hide this, the developer, on his store page, tells the app’s user exactly who he is and how he would be grateful for any support. The result is a genuine desire to buy and help out. 

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31

Offer Rewards for Buying

Boku to Wanko: Doggie Collector is an app entirely focused around purchasing things. Sound unbelievable? Well it’s not, and it’s not a bad app either.

The central premise is that you buy toys for your outdoor space, where you can then leave them to attract dogs. Basic gameplay involves making a purchase, leaving it in your “garden” and then waiting to see if any dogs come to play. It’s a charming little game that rests on the idea of providing rewards (new dogs) for your purchases, as well as allowing you to decorate your own area. 

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32

Offer a Multiplayer Game

Eat the Line 2 offers a unique purchase option in the form of a single-screen two player game. Similar functionality can be included as a purchase option for small games that have the potential to be played competitively. You might just ask, “Why not play in turn and see who gets the higher score?” And though that would be a fair point, playing at the same time does add a certain degree of excitement.

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33

Include Character Customisation

In the same way that we enjoy collecting and playing with characters, we also love to modify them once we’ve bought or unlocked them. Offering character customizations and add-ons is an easy way of adding a new layer of virtual products to you typical range. You can also use it as an opportunity to add some novel or playful items too.

The game Toon Tanks does this excellently. Notice the badges that you can add to your tank for the rest of the world (it’s an international game) to see.  

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34

Make Consumables Necessary

Making paid purchases necessary in a free game is a practice that’s generally frowned upon and doing so can have a detrimental effect on your reviews. But, done in the right context, it is possible to get away with it. iSlash Heroes offers a generous starting package of “energy” but requires you to top up once you use it all.

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35

Give Your Players Something to Collect

There have been a few examples of IAPS on this list, like Crossy Road, that take advantage of the fact that people like to collect things. You would be surprised at how many people are willing to pay for special items if it means they can add them to a virtual trophy cabinet. 

Monster Sisters Fashion party includes a scrapbook for the player to add stickers to as they progress through levels and either collect or buy coins.

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36

Create a VIP Daily Prize

Alongside having a daily giveaway – which, by the way, is another great IAP tip – you can include a special daily or weekly giveaway for VIP or premium members. 

Juggernaut Wars offer three chests, each of which allow you to collect a gift. By far the biggest and best-looking of them, however, is the VIP one on the right. A single lifetime purchase enables the player to collect gifts for the lifetime of the game. Not a bad deal by any means. 

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37

Point out the Store in the Tutorial

An obvious but often ignored piece of advice. Make sure that you locate your store button intuitively and that you point out where it is during the tutorial. You want to make it as effortless as possible for your app’s users to hand over their dosh. 

Cow Evolution’s tutorial consists primarily of informing players where the shop is and how to use it. 

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38

Include Some Form of Ranking

In order to effectively implement many of the IAPs that have been included in this list, it’s vital to provide players with incentives to keep playing. If you take examples of a few of the top games – Doodle jump, Temple Run and Gummy Drop, for instance – they all have an internal ranking system. By providing players with benchmarks you increase the likelihood that they’re going to buy things like “lifesavers” and boosts to try and get to them.

The leaderboard below shows the achievements from 1000 Ways to Die in a Circle. It’s simple and to the point but it gives a player a strong reason to consider those in app purchases. 

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39

Use (Toilet) Humour 

An old tactic that never fails! If people genuinely like your game because of its charm then they’re going to be much more open to spending money. Unique characters, humorous pop outs and quirky settings have their place.

Who wouldn’t, for instance, want to buy some plungers from Toilet Treasures?image72

40

Build Trust by Being Be Up Front

At the end of the day it’s all about trust. If you can build up trust with your users then they’ll be much more likely to buy from you. One way that Follow the Line does this is by including a privacy policy (something that you rarely see in apps) on the front page

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41

Use Analytics to Track What Works

I’ve purposefully saved this point until last because it’s the most important. If you’ve made your way through this list then you’re now in a possession of a toolkit to turn any free app into a veritable goldmine. But the only way that you’re going to effectively develop your own monetization mix, that works best for you, is through testing.

Applicasa, Apple App Analytics, Mixpanel….they all allow you to track various in-app metrics. You can track spending habits, run A/B tests, tailor your store to certain demographics, experiment with different price points (and many more besides).

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Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far then congratulations! You’ve just finished the web’s most comprehensive guide to in-app purchases! To briefly summarise some of the main points:

● The money’s in lifetime purchases.
● Diversification is key. Offer as many IAPs as it’s feasible to, across a variety of price points, to cater to all segments of the market. Only 2% – 5% of users spend money on free games so it’s vital that you do your best to capture all of them.
● Package your offerings in a bundle or as part of a premium version.
● Cover the bases in terms of ad-removal buttons and doublers – there’s a reason these are used by everybody and their mother!
● Don’t forget to test, track and then test again!

So with all that said, now’s the time to go out and start selling! May the app gods be forever in your favour…
 

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