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An App That Engages Customers Is Not Automatically an App That Makes Money Deep analytics combined with good intuition for customer behavior are required if the app is to actually result in more sales.

By Brett Relander Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Mobile now leads the world of marketing and apps are quickly becoming one of the most popular methods for reaching customers on the go. According to eMarketer, app downloads will double over the course of the next four years. Based on these numbers, it is little wonder that so many businesses are rushing to develop and offer their own app. The problem is that while businesses are quick to recognize the value in offering an app, they frequently have little idea about how to make the move from merely engaging customers to monetizing their apps.

Related: The Right Way to Monetize Your Free App

The challenge of monetizing apps.

Analytics are vital to understanding performance and improving engagement. When it comes to apps, analytics are even more vital in terms of understanding the speed at which the user makes his or her way through the app, and which features users tend to use. All of these factors affect user experience. They ultimately effect how much your customer uses the app and potential profitability.

To understand as much as possible about what your customers are doing with your app, you need a good analytics tool. Google Analytics is a good free tool that will track and report mobile app traffic, as well as various behaviors. To drill down a little deeper, need something more advanced, such as MixPanel, which gives you the ability to analyze every action that users take while in your app, such as playing videos, uploading pictures, etc. When it comes to moving from simple engagement to monetizing your apps, Flurry is rapidly developing a reputation as an excellent tool.

Related: 4 Marketing Analytics Tools That Are Shaping the Industry

Which option for monetization Is best?

Once you have leveraged the power of analytics to learn as much as possible about user behavior, you will have a much better opportunity to determine the best and most strategic methods for driving monetization. While some marketers assume that the only way to monetize an app is to sell it, that is hardly the case. In fact, free apps routinely make more money than paid apps. Options for monetizing your app are many and varied. They include in-app purchases and in-app advertising.

Keep in mind, however, that regardless of how you choose to monetize your app, it is a delicate balancing act. You never want to run the risk of interfering with the in-app user experience, otherwise you risk losing your customer. The key is to ensure that your advertising does not become intrusive and interrupt the immediate experience of the user.

Real-time engagement is typically considered the most powerful reason for developing an app, but even so, monetization is vital to a company's future success. Monetization can be associated either directly or indirectly with engagement via in-app purchases or through location visit rates, but either way, it remains crucial to the financial health of your brand.

Related: How Your App Can Turn a Profit

Brett Relander

Managing Director at X1 Sports Nutrition

Brett Relander is founder and managing director of X1 Sports Nutrition ( He has a degree in exercise science, is certified as a Master Fitness Specialist and in the biomechanics of resistance training, and is an advocate of all-natural nutrition and advanced performance training.

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