In this five part series of posts we will be investigating the reasons to use the freemium app model, how to earn money from your free apps and the obstacles you might face if you go free.
Part 1 – Monetize Your App – Free
Part 2 – Monetize Your App: Ad Supported
Part 3 – Monetize Your App: Sponsorships
Part 4 – Monetize Your App: Affiliate Sales
Part 5 – Monetize Your App – In-App Purchases
Another great approach to making money in your app is an affiliate sales relationship where a third party pays the developer each time they bring a user to the third party product or service. The most popular affiliate for iOS is leveraging LinkShare. Rakuten LinkShare is a leading provider of full-service online marketing solutions specializing in the areas of Affiliate Marketing, Search Marketing, and Lead Generation.
LinkShare manages affiliate programs for just about all of the major brands, but the one that we want to focus on is the “Apple US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store” program. This affiliate program offers a 72-hour window and a 5 percent commission on the largest catalog of digital products in the world. Songs, albums, TV shows and episodes, movies, music videos, ebooks, iOS apps, and Mac apps from the U.S. stores are all commission-able. The affiliate program works with both desktop and laptop computers as well as iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and from websites, mobile websites, and from within apps.
Here’s what you need to do to get started:
1. Signup as a Publisher for LinkShare.
2. Create an HTML redirect that includes your affiliate link and host it on your web server.
<title>App Name – App Store Redirect</title>
<meta http-equiv=”REFRESH” content=”0;url=YOUR LINKSHARE LINK GOES HERE”>
You are being redirected to the App Store…
var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“YOUR GOOGLE ANALYTICS ACCOUNT #”);
3. Create a bit.ly link for your redirect page above. You don’t want users to see the link that you’re sending them too.
4. Every time you link your app to the App Store (i.e. banners, twitter & facebook posts, emails, etc..) include your new bit.ly link.
This redirect link will tell LinkShare that you are sending this user to the App Store. It will leave a cookie on the users iOS device for the next 3 days. Every purchase that the user makes in the App Store or iTunes you will receive a 5% commission for referring them. This is a good idea because you are directing users to the App Store anyway to buy your app so why not get an additional 5% back and for any other apps they buy!
This is a surefire way to make some easy money. This is a proven tactic that worked for Temple Run. Imagine the number of links they have back to the App Store, each one is making them even more money. If you want poof, check out their bit.ly link here: http://bit.ly/TempleRunGame