How to make more money with In-app Purchases

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Everyone knows you can turn a profit selling your app, but you can make a lot more money with in-app purchases. (scroll to bottom to watch video!)
We’re talking all about the ways to make money with in-app purchases. This is not a new concept; in fact, the topic that comes up all the time. But I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t know how to translate the idea into action when it comes to their own apps.
The main idea behind profitable in-app purchases is a time-honored concept known as the decoy effect.
Think of concessions at the movie theater. They’ve got small, medium, and large sized sodas. Prices might be $3 for a small and $6 for a large, but the medium sits at $5. For just a dollar more, you can get twice as much beverage, so of course everyone gets the large!
The important takeaway is the fact that the large soda brings with it a much higher profit margin than the small. People are driven to the higher priced item by the idea that it’s more product for the price, especially compared to that close medium price.
The same is completely true for in-app purchases.
If you group the in-app item pricing closely like this, users will almost always go for the top option. Simply put, this means a much higher profit margin for you as the app seller.
This strategy works because of basic psychology principles. Whether you’re selling sodas or digital widgets, people feel the psychological pull toward the pricier option.
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Let’s talk about a few things you can do to implement this idea in your own apps:

1. Add more in-app purchases

This step is nearly self-explanatory. You simply need to add things to buy in your app. Whether your app was paid or free, there’s the opportunity for in-app purchases for users who enjoy it.
So go ahead, add more things to buy. Create new things within your app, whether it’s a game, photo app, fitness app, or whatever. The point is to create opportunities for a purchase to be made.
Once you’ve got 4 or 5 available purchases, you can implement this strategy.

2. Change the price

Now that you’ve got some purchasing options in your app, you can go ahead and start testing out different prices.
Go into iTunes Connect or Google Play’s developer console and try making the price of your second-tier purchase very close to the top purchase. You’ll soon see a big swing up toward the top option as the main one that people purchase.
Remember, this is a proven strategy not only in the app world, but in the wider business world itself.

3. Drive people to in-app purchases

This is where you really focus on actually getting users to make those in-app purchases.
If you have an ad network – Admop, Chartboost, etc – you can put your own apps in the ads that users will see. Sometimes people even cross promote their other apps from within their own apps.
You can also advertise your own in-app purchases in the ads that users see in your app. It sounds a bit Inception-like but it works! People see the ads and become aware of the available options, leading to more purchases.

4. Test the price

Now that you’ve got your in-app purchases out there in the world and people are buying, you can really play with the price levels to see just how much profit you can make.
The stakes are lower for in-app purchases, so get a little experimental. You never know – you could jack the price up to $50 and maybe people won’t buy, but maybe they will. A higher price than you think is safe just might work.
So test out your low, middle, and high price ranges and see what combination ends up getting the best response. It’s your app, your playground. Try it out!
(p.s. these aren’t my ads, the song owner gets paid so I can use this jam)

So now that you’ve learned a little bit about optimizing the prices of your in-app purchases, I hope you go out there and do something with it. The risks are low and the rewards are high. With just a little finessing, you could turn your existing app into a goldmine!
Rock & roll,
Carter

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