How To Make Money By Selling Mobile Apps To Small Businesses

selling mobile apps

Sustainability takes work, but when you work hard to grow a company, it just makes sense to exhaust your options for generating income so that your business becomes a healthy strong force in your niche. By utilizing these strategies, you will put yourself on the right path to growing your app company. Not only will benefit from your efforts selling mobile apps, but you will also be helping SMBs like you develop the strong and competitive mobile presences that are necessary for them to compete.

A Solid Sales Process

A solid sales process in any industry, but especially in the app industry, helps to establish longevity in your company and viability in your product. Keep in mind that since most businesses are in the process of building their mobile presence, the customer pool is rather larger. So you need a solid sales process so that small businesses pick your app company over your competition’s.

A simple yet well-defined sales process is the lifeline of your sales pipeline, and your pipeline is full of profit potential. So, when you take the time to clearly define your sales process to your team, you are more likely to close more sales. Simply put, anytime something is mapped out, it’s easier to reach a destination. In the case of your mobile app business, it’s selling mobile apps to SMBs.

If you can put together a sales process that embraces the following, you are setting your app company up to success.

  • Recognize your prospective consumers’ buying method
  • Define each step in your process with customer action not salesperson perception
  • Keep your process simple
  • Modify and adjust as needed

Studies show that when a company adopts and practices 3 or more forms of pipeline management, it boasts 28% more revenue growth than the competitors. So, some simple planning accompanied with accountability and tangible actions can grossly increase the revenue in your app business.

Drive Real Revenue For Customers

sell mobile apps

The pools of digital tools that drive real revenue are endless—there’s no shortage of options. The trick is learning what tools work best for you.

Social Shares—93% of customers expect you to have a presence on social media. Of that 93%, 78% rely on social media to help them choose where to purchase products.

So social media is a must for any app company that wants to sell mobile apps to small businesses.  When your business is shared on social media, you are literally landing your brand in peoples’ living rooms. The more valuable your messages are, the more highly regarded you become. People prefer to buy from highly regarded companies. It’s really that simple.

Online Reviews—Reviews are a crucial part in all phases of the buying process. People look at a company’s reviews when shopping, and people post reviews after buying. So, how you handle your reviews can go a long way in how you reach customers and grow your bottom line. Just look at the data:

  • Positive online shares are responsible for 10% increase in revenue.
  • Negative online shares can be correlated with 11% decrease in revenue.

It’s important that you respond to negative reviews and try to rectify any circumstances in a public forum as well. It gives your business credibility and offers customers a sense of trust. It leads them to believe that you care enough about your customers and your product to make sure that it’s delivering what you promise.

Loyalty Programs—A common statistic that every business owner should know is that it costs five times more money to earn a new customer than it does to retain a current customer. So, as your app business grows, you need to keep your clients coming back. The best way to do this is with loyalty programs—especially loyalty programs that keep customers engaged.

When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see that loyalty programs can grow your bottom line. Starbucks is known as the godfather of loyalty programs, and the coffee giant reported that its loyalty programs have grown its bottom line by as much as 26%. The reason is really simple; 84% of consumers admit that they are more likely to purchase from businesses with loyalty programs.

Market Properly

make money with apps

You could have the best white label mobile app company in the entire world, but if you don’t market it properly, you don’t have a shot at reaching your potential clients.

First of all, you need a robust landing page to develop a professional web presence. Make sure that it is mobile responsive so that it can transfer from device to device—you are in the mobile business, so you better adapt to mobile devices.

Next, get involved with your community. Go to events and share what you are doing. Let your local base know you are in town, and you waTo most people, the idea of making money off their mobile apps conjures up thoughts of in app purchases, ads, and paid downloads. Those are three great ways to generate revenue with an app. But, the problem with these ideas is sustainability.

When your app is no longer the flavor of the week, your ad revenue decreases, your in app purchases become nonexistent, and no one is paying to download your app—you are no longer generating income.

So, how can you actually generate sustainable income in the app business? When you have taken a step beyond owning an app to developing white label apps, you can grossly increase your bottom line. Take a look at these three ways to make worthwhile income from your mobile app business.

Facebook ads and pay per click advertisements are another great way to help grow your bottom line. Of course this type of advertising costs money, but studies show that PPC advertising has a wealth of benefits for helping a business yield greater profits.  The primary benefit is that you reach your target customers at the right time. Your ad goes to the people who are looking for what you have. So, any PPC advertisements you set up will be targeted at SMBs looking for mobile app development.

In addition, PPC advertisements can gather a wealth of information for your other marketing channels—particularly when it comes to keyword research. Using the data from your PPC advertisements, your SEO team can easily develop keyword strategies to help you get discovered in more organic ways.

Now what do you do once you’ve started making money off of mobile app sales? How can you ensure they’re successful or driving more revenue for your clients?

In the print industry, the price of an ad means the difference between a full-page color spread and a 2-inch blur on F20, which turns into packing material or a cool paper hat more often than revenue. Print advertising is irreplaceable in some respects, but when you’re on a tight budget or just don’t want your ad getting tossed in with the firewood, digital is the only way to go. Beyond being faster, cheaper, and infinitely more adaptable, digital advertising allows you to target the right audience and track your ad’s success rather than guess at it.

We live in the age of Facebook sidebar ads that know you better than you know yourself, so there’s no need to argue the benefits here. But the average business owner doesn’t realize how incredibly easy it is to generate new revenue when you mobilize your own business. And we’re not just talking mobile-friendly sites. To name a few stats:

  • In January 2014, mobile internet usage surpassed that of the PC for the first time in history.
  • 21% of Millenials have ditched the computer and devoted themselves to their smartphones for online access.
  • Mobile apps account for 89% of time spent on mobile media, while only 11% is through the mobile web.
  • This year, the costs spent on mobile marketing are rivaling that of desktop advertising, and by 2019, 72% of digital ad spending will go toward mobile.

In short: it’s all about mobile advertising, and mobile is all about apps. When you have an app for your business AND you’re using it to generate ad revenue, you’re killing two very profitable birds with one stone. But for those of us that don’t have a marketing degree or the time to build out an extensive campaign, where do you start?

Custom Ads

Selling mobile apps can also all you to to starting selling in-app ad space comes with minimal overhead and maximum profits. When done right, you’re even likely to cover the costs of the app itself. Businesses are already scrambling to get their names in apps, so much so that eMarketer predicts $28.72 billion going toward mobile ad spending this year alone. Even as a first-timer to the ad game, you can take a share of the billion-dollar pie by reaching out to local businesses and offering more ad space for lower rates. What the big fish in mobile can offer in exposure, you can counter in quality. Remember, small has its advantages, like not drowning an ad out among 20 competitors.

Put a logo on your app’s home screen or add a sponsors page that links out to their front-end sites. This can help when selling mobile apps. When they supply you with the images, launching the ads are simple, and you’ll attract more advertisers once you’ve taken the leap.

Automated Ads

If you’d rather make some extra cash without the legwork of selling, mobile ad giants like AdMob, Doubleclick, and iAds allow you to integrate automated ads into your app. You get a kickback from clickthroughs, and all you do is set up the integration. It’s a simple way to pad your wallet without worrying about selling mobile apps.

Self Promotion

If you’ve created multiple apps, promote them within each other rather than paying someone else to do it. A banner ad for a related app will guarantee more traffic, plus you’ll have full control. Just link your banner to the app store listing so users can click through to download.

If you just have one app for your own business, promote it with your existing clients and reward word-of-mouth efforts like social media sharing. The more downloads you get, the more you can bank on the traditional ROI features in your app to do their part. Boost up the exclusive in-app deals and accept payments for products and services. These are the features that keep people around, but they need to get there first.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in [July, 2015] and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Comments (10)

  • Ken George Jul 03, 2015 at 15:07 PM

    Good info Jana! Just picked up a check for $2000 and $450 for two businesses that want to “sponsor” a group of our school apps! I think we are officially over the $30K threshold in the first 6 months of sponsorship/revenue generation of a group of Apps that we gave for FREE!

    • Jana Barrett Jul 06, 2015 at 15:07 PM

      Awesome stuff Ken!

    • Samuel Eleyinte Jan 25, 2017 at 03:01 AM

      Hi Ken, I thrilled. Can you help me with bagging clients like you do, if don’t mind. My skype id is biz4cash and my email is Thanks

  • sallai deco Mar 03, 2016 at 14:03 PM

    I use a company called mobite media group to handle my apps’ monetization. they use different methods but I think I earn most from in-app ads.

    • Andrew Gazdecki Oct 02, 2016 at 08:10 AM

      Hey Sallai, it really depends on your strategy to make money with apps. If you create apps for small businesses, you have a much higher revenue opportunity than say in-app ads. However, there are many ways to make money off mobile apps — whether you’re selling the development of them or you’re selling in-app ads.

  • Matt Hogan Jan 10, 2017 at 05:01 AM

    Thank you for sharing useful information. This will be mostly helpful for starters who are planning to start or develop a mobile application.

  • Paul mcvicker Mar 02, 2017 at 08:03 AM

    Hi could you contact me sometime I’m looking to start app reseller business in Northern Ireland regards

  • jack luter Oct 13, 2017 at 01:10 AM

    great information ,By using smartphones and mobile apps, customers feel easier to avail business services. By using mobile apps, many organizations are increasing brand awareness and having a long-term relationship with the customers.

  • Thiranya Ravi Jun 20, 2018 at 04:06 AM

    Hi Andrew Gazdecki, Thanks for sharing this interesting info with us. Really great to hear from you. Keep sharing.

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