App Promo tip #2: Getting app pricing right


In our second weekly app promotion tip together with our friends at App Promo, we’re looking at app pricing. Now that you’ve successfully created your app, your next step is to figure out how much you should charge users for it. Or maybe you’re thinking of not charging anything at all, but plan to earn revenue in other ways, such as through in-app sales. Read more about how to get your app pricing right in this article.

Determining the price of your app can be as complex as coding it, especially with the growing options available. Should your app be free, paid or even freemium? Price it too high, and you may risk limiting sales. Price it too low, and you may miss out on valuable revenue if your app proves to be a hit. Should you sell items, extra levels, upgrades or other premium content as in-app purchases? Want to give your app users an option to buy a subscription? The right price ultimately comes down to several factors, including considering what your revenue expectations are, what your competitors are charging, and having a plan to modify your price if it’s required.

Whatever you decide, remember that pricing is not just a mandatory step in the submission process but is also an important part of marketing your app. Users will factor in price when making the decision to download and use your app, so choose wisely.

Determine your revenue expectations

Start with understanding your revenue expectations. Are you trying to recoup the cost of developing the app?  Or are you looking to turn a profit? Do you see this app as your primary business? Or will this app drive sales for a business already established? Once your expectations are clear, it’s time to ask yourself how your app will meet these needs and what monetary goals will you set to gauge its success.

Do your research

To help with your pricing decisions, look to your competition to understand what pricing models and figures they are using. Position yourself against these apps and make sure that your app is able to hold its own if not stand out from the crowd. For example, if you’re expecting to make your app premium when other apps with the same offering exist as free, you will need to either rethink your pricing model or modify your offering to ensure the value is there to increase your chance of success.

Price to sell

Don’t forget the user when you make your pricing decision. Will your user pay for your app? Would they be annoyed with ads? This is also a good time to leverage your networks, existing database of contacts, social networks and forums, if you have them. Getting some feedback directly from your potential users will help guide you and your app selling price in the right direction.

Test, test, test

Once you make a choice, give your pricing decision some time before making any changes. Price changes should be planned and should be rooted either in marketing or as a reaction to your market. If you do decide to modify your price, keep in mind that changes in price will have an immediate impact on volume (increase or decrease) so let things cool down before you make the call as to whether your decision was a successful one.

It’s easier to take away than to add

When setting your price, it’s better to err on the side of more than less.  Users are more apt to accept a price reduction than they are an increase so if you are teetering between two numbers it’s better to select the higher amount. Starting high will also give more room for promotions.

Use pricing as a marketing tool

Planning changes to your price in the form of sales, discounts, coupons and giveaways are great promotional opportunities for your app. Sales and discounts work well to stimulate known lulls in purchase behaviour as well as to spike growth related to calendar events and holidays that fit well with your product. Coupons and giveaways act as great prizes for contests and rewards to your community and social networks.

We also got some further app pricing insight from developer Chiu-Ki Chan who runs her own company, Square Island. She advises that although finding the ideal amount to charge for an app may be tricky, through trial and error, you can find the right pricing strategy, as she’s successfully done for one of her most popular Square Island apps, Monkey Write.

-          I think the best advice is to submit your app to multiple app stores and experiment with different strategies. For instance, Monkey Write employs the freemium model in one store, with a free base app and paid modules. On another store, it is try-before-you-buy, where users can download a trial version with limited content before paying for the full version.

Chiu-Ki Chan

Chiu-Ki Chan, Android developer

So, developers, what has your experience been working with pricing your apps? Have you ever found the need to change the price of your apps? Leave us a comment or question for us below.


App Promo is a leading app marketing and strategy firm whose goal is to assist developers and app owners in succeeding in the business of applications. App Promo provides services geared towards increasing discovery, optimising revenue and ensuring better positioning of applications to set them up for success. 

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