How do pay-per-install apps fare among monetization strategies? After all, there are quite a few monetization strategies out there. Some involve advertising, some involve in-app purchases, and some involve charging for the end product. Some approaches are better than others, and some approaches are better suited to certain apps.

Pay-Per-Install Apps

Pay-per-install apps are growing in popularity. They’re easy to use and easy to integrate with your code. In the case of industry leading platforms such as CodeFuel’s pay-per-install programs, you can integrate the code and begin monetizing within hours.

These pay-per-install apps aren’t really apps, however. They’re less than apps but more than scripts: they’re toolboxes.

  • Tool #1: Advertising – These toolboxes include installer advertising. You advertise during the installation process and even after the download in order to make money from your software. This way, you can make money even if you aren’t charging for your app.

You choose which third-party products to advertise, when to advertise them, and where to place them in the installation funnel. Of course, this advertising opportunity works both ways. You can advertise other products to earn money, and advertise your own products to gain exposure.

  • Tool #2: Custom Installer – A custom installer is white label. You use your logo, your colors, and your layout. The end user doesn’t even know that you’re using a pay-per-install app. On your end, of course, you’re customizing the installer to increase conversions and downloads.
  • Tool #3: Analytics – Analytics allow you to design for conversion. You can track all vital metrics regarding your installation funnel, such as completed downloads and conversion rates. Pay-per-install apps track your revenue for you and show you exactly what you can work on to improve that revenue.
  • Tool #4: Networks– Pay-per-install apps generally come with networks of advertisers and users, ready and waiting. When you’re ready to promote your own products through the pay-per-install network, advertisers are ready to help you grow your business.

Pay-Per-Install Apps-Analytics

This pre-existing user pool gives you access to an instant distribution solution in addition to the monetization tools. Reach and revenue go hand in hand.

The Rest

There are other monetization methods to choose from, including in-app advertising, in-app purchases, paid apps and software, affiliate marketing, and so forth.

How do they stack up against pay-per-install apps?

  • In-app advertising. In-app ads, from interstitial ads to contextual ads, can be a useful way to earn money. The more users your app has, the more money you’ll make.

The pro of in-app advertising is that you can sit back and watch it roll. One of the best types of in-app advertising is recommendation engines, which automatically offer optimized, valuable recommendations to users.

In-app advertising continues to work after the installation is complete, so the more effective your ads, the more money you’ll make.

  • In-app purchases. The freemium model is the most popular method of monetization, and earns a great deal of income when used properly. However, only a minority of users ever make purchases or buy upgrades, so it can be a bit tricky to engage users properly.

Unlike pay-per-install apps, you don’t get the distribution benefits – such as an advertising outlet with a network of partners – that an installer brings.

  • Affiliate marketing. Finding a way to make money with affiliate marketing is like finding a hidden pot of gold. If you hit on something and make it work, you can generate lots of income. But the competition is fierce, and you have to be pretty creative to come up with something that hasn’t been done yet.

Affiliate marketing is very do-it-yourself, which is great if you’re a resourceful marketer. But this means that using affiliate marketing to monetize your app doesn’t offer the same tools that other solutions might.

  • Paid apps. Charging for your app is one of the most difficult propositions these days. But it can be done, with the right background.

You’ll first want a company with a reputation, or at least some marketing power to push your app into the spotlight. And you’ll want to have an app that outdoes the competition, or at least does something that no one else does.

  • Pay-per-download. Pay-per-download networks are networks that lock digital content behind a hyperlink. In order to access and unlock the content, users need to complete an action, such as filling out a survey or completing a questionnaire. When users complete the action, you’ll earn money.

Like affiliate marketing, you’ll have to do a lot of the dirty work. It’s not the same as pay-per-install apps, where the tools do much of the analytics and advertising work for you. Pay-per-download networks require lots of manual marketing work in order to earn any income. 

The pay is slightly more than advertising in-apps or installers, but the amount of work you have to put in to marketing may outweigh the benefits.