How to Monetize a Web Application? [Different Monetization Strategies]

Published On: June 29, 2021
Last Updated: May 9, 2024
How to Monetize a Web Application? [Different Monetization Strategies]

In today’s fast-paced digital world, web applications have become an essential component of businesses of all sizes. Entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers, and investors always look for innovative and effective ways to monetize their web apps & generate revenue.

However, finding the right method to monetizing a web app can be difficult. Whether you want to build a web app or implement a monetization strategy into the existing one, choosing the strategy that suits your app and target audience is important.

We have worked on many web applications and integrated individual and hybrid monetization in our client’s web apps and helped them to generate revenue. Being an experienced web app development company, we have listed the best web app monetization strategies.

So in this blog, we will explore the different ways to generate revenue from your web application and turn it into a profitable venture.

Before discussing strategies in-depth, it’s important to understand who your target audience is and what they are looking for.

Knowing what your audience wants and needs will help you choose the right monetization strategy and ensure the success of your web app.

Who can take benefit of these monetization methods?

  • Entrepreneurs who are considering creating new web apps. They want to generate revenue from their app to cover the cost of development & continue growing their business.
  • Business owners with a web app generating revenue but want to optimize their revenue streams. They want to increase their user base and explore new monetization strategies that help generate more revenue.
  • Marketers who want a thorough understanding of how web apps generate revenue can better advise their clients or company on creating a successful web app and generating a healthy revenue stream.
  • Investors want to know how web apps can generate revenue and potential return on investment. By understanding the various monetization strategies, investors can identify promising startups and make informed decisions about where to invest their money.

Now, let’s move on to understanding web app monetization.

What is Web App Monetization?

A web app is a software program that runs on a web server and can be accessed through a web browser. Unlike native applications that need to be installed on a device, web apps are platform-independent and can be accessed from any device.

A few popular examples of web apps are Facebook, Google Docs, and Amazon. Check out more PWA examples to gain a better understanding of this technology.

Monetizing a web app means converting a user base into a sustainable and profitable source of income. However, choosing the right strategy depends on several factors, including types of web application, target audience & market trends.

There are various ways to monetize a web app, such as advertising, subscriptions, freemium models, in-app purchases, and more, which we will explore in detail in the following sections.

Before that, let’s get brief information on why monetizing web apps is important.

Why should you Monetize the Web App?

Here are some key reasons/benefits why monetization is important for web apps:

  • Monetization allows web apps to generate revenue, which can help cover the costs of development, hosting, and maintenance and provide a source of income for the business.
  • Monetization strategies, such as subscriptions or in-app purchases, can encourage users to continue using the web app, as they have invested time and money.
  • Monetization provides a stable and predictable revenue stream, which makes a web app a more attractive investment opportunity. So, investors are more likely to invest in those with a clear monetization strategy.
  • Monetization can also lead to the development of new features and improvements to the web app, which can enhance the user experience and keep users engaged. Use the best web app design principles to implement interactive and unique features to your web app.
  • Monetized web apps have a competitive advantage over free web apps, as they can offer additional features and services that free apps cannot afford to provide.

Want to Monetize Your Web App?

Discuss your goals with the top web app development company and learn how our
experts can help you implement or optimize your monetization strategy.

7 Best Web App Monetization Methods

Before you decide which monetization strategy will work best, you need to know the cost of developing, designing, and maintaining your web app to ensure that you generate a healthy return on investment.

Once you have a clear understanding of web app development costs, you can explore these best monetization methods for your target audience & achieve your business goals.

Here are 7 proven ways to monetize your web app in 2024.

1. Advertising

Advertising is a popular monetization method for web apps, which involves displaying ads on the app, typically in the form of banners or pop-ups, and generating revenue through clicks or impressions.

Types of Advertising

There are several different types of advertising, including:

  • Display ads are typically visual ads that appear on a web page or within an app, often as banners or pop-ups.
  • Native ads, on the other hand, are designed to blend in with the content of the app, making them less disruptive and more engaging for users.
  • Video ads are becoming increasingly popular and can be shown before, during, or after content or even as sponsored content.

One of the most notable examples of a web app that successfully uses the advertising model for monetization is BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed, a popular digital media company, uses different types of ads on its website and app to make money. They strategically place display ads, seamlessly integrate native ads into content, and create sponsored content to monetize their platform without compromising user experience.

However, BuzzFeed frequently showcases sponsored content made in partnership with brands, giving advertisers the opportunity to connect with BuzzFeed’s large audience in a subtle way. Moreover, BuzzFeed uses display ads and native ads in its content areas to generate more revenue.

Pros of Advertising

There are several advantages to using advertising as a monetization strategy for web apps, including:

  • High revenue potential
  • Ease of implementation
  • Ability to offer a free app to users

Cons of Advertising

  • The potential for ad fatigue or annoyance among users
  • The need to balance ad placement with user experience

Let explore the real world example that will help you to understand the advertising model more accurately.

Top Platform to Use Advertising

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords)

Google Ads is a robust advertising platform that enables businesses to showcase ads on Google’s search engine results pages. It also provides access to a wide range of partner websites and apps through the Google Display Network. Using Google Ads, you can reach your desired audience by targeting specific keywords, demographics, interests, and more.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads allows businesses to create customized advertisements that are displayed in users’ Facebook feeds, Instagram feeds, Messenger, and other areas within the Facebook ecosystem. (However, Facebook cover all its service under the Meta franchise name) You can target users according to their specific location, interests and many more metrics.

Monetization Strategies for Advertising Model

When integrating ads into a web apps, it’s crucial to keep several key principles in mind to ensure a positive user experience and maximize monetization potential.

Placement of Ads

Ad placement is an important aspect that helps to maximize revenue while also keeping users engaged and happy. Here are a few tips to optimize ad placement:

  • Choose ad placement based on the user interface and experience of your app.
  • Place ads in a way that doesn’t interrupt user flow or navigation.
  • Avoid placing too many ads on a single page.
  • Consider using responsive ad units that adjust to fit the size of the user’s screen.
  • Try different ad placements to see which works best for your app.

Ad Targeting

Ad targeting is another important aspect of advertising on web apps. With this, you can increase user relevance and improve click-through rates. Here are a few tips for effective ad targeting:

  • Use data analytics to understand your user base and identify patterns in user behavior.
  • Create different ad campaigns for different target audiences based on interests, behavior, and demographics.
  • Utilize contextual targeting to match ads to the content on your app’s specific page or section.
  • Use retargeting to show ads to users who have previously interacted with your app or website.

However, In last Make sure the user experience is the top priority. Ads should load fast, not disrupt navigation or site functions, and be easily recognizable to avoid accidental clicks.

Need More Information on Advertising?

2. Freemium

The freemium monetization method involves offering your app a basic version for free. It will charge users for additional features or functionality. This model allows users to try out your app before committing to a purchase while providing a revenue stream for your business.

Pros of Freemium Model

  • Attract more users as they are more likely to try out a free app
  • Higher engagement & retention rates as users can try out the app before paying
  • Premium features help to generate a sustainable revenue stream for your app

Cons of Freemium Model

  • If the free version of your app is too strong & premium features are quite expensive, revenue will be limited.
  • Increased development cost & customer support cost

Implementation Tips for Freemium Monetization Model

  • Offer a limited free version of your app and pay to unlock premium features
  • Offer a trial period for premium features free. After that, to continue using, users should pay.
  • Offer a combination of the above two approaches.

Need More Information on The Freemium Model?

3. Subscription-Based Model

In a Subscription-based model, the company charges its users a recurring fee at regular intervals for accessing the product or service of a web app. It is mostly used for web apps that offer ongoing value or content, such as news sites, productivity tools & entertainment platforms.

Know how to enhance the user experience by incorporating latest web development trends into your web app offering ongoing value or content.

Different Types of Subscription Plans

  • Monthly Subscription: Users pay a fixed fee each month
  • Annual Subscription: Users pay a fixed fee for yearly access
  • Tiered Subscription: Users can choose different levels of subscription that offer different benefits
  • Usage-based Subscription: Users pay based on their usage of a product or service

Payment gateways allow businesses to process payments from customers & manage recurring billing cycles seamlessly. The most popular payment gateways are PayPal, Authorize.Net, Stripe & more.

While choosing a payment gateway for subscription payments, businesses should consider various factors such as ease of integration, security & support. Also check web application vulnerabilities before to ensure user data remains secure.

Todoist is an example of the subscription-based monetization model. It is a well-known app for managing tasks and boosting productivity. Users can make to-do lists, set reminders, and categorize tasks. The app offers a premium subscription that provides more advanced options.

It operates on a subscription-based model, where users pay a monthly or annual fee to access premium features and benefits.

Pros of Subscription-based Model

  • It provides a predictable revenue stream for businesses to plan their finances and allocate resources more effectively.
  • Provide a steady customer base by reducing churn rates.
  • Subscribers have higher lifetime value than one-time customers.
  • More engaged with business products or services. They are likely to buy additional products/services from businesses over time.

Cons of Subscription-based Model

  • Businesses need to invest in marketing to attract new subscribers, which can be expensive.
  • Retaining subscribers is a challenge for a subscription-based model’s success.
  • Setting the right price for a subscription-based model can be challenging.

Strategies to Implement the Subscription-based Model

When implementing a subscription-based model, here is the some of the tips you should consider.

Prioritize Value Propostition

One of the key elements of successfully implementing a subscription-based model is to ensure that your users understand the value they’ll receive in exchange for their subscription.

Communicate the benefits and features of your subscription plan on your website. Highlight what sets your subscription apart from free alternatives or one-time purchase options. Whether it’s exclusive content, access to premium features, or enhanced convenience, make sure your users see the value in subscribing.

Provide Flexible Pricing Options

Not all users have the same needs or budget constraints, so offering a variety of subscription tiers or pricing plans can help attract a wider range of customers. Consider offering different levels of access or features at varying price points to cater to different segments of your audience.

Additionally, providing flexible billing options such as monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions can make it easier for users to choose a plan that fits their budget and usage patterns. Just make sure to clearly outline the differences between each plan so users can make an informed decision.

Pro Tip

You can also create hybrid monetization models by combining one or more methods. You can talk with our experts if you want to know more about it.

4. In-App Purchases

In-App purchases mean users can make purchases within a web application. This monetization method has become increasingly popular among app developers and publishers, allowing them to generate revenue directly from their users. In-App purchases, such as virtual goods, premium content, or subscription services, can take different forms.

Types of In-App Purchases

  • Consumable: Items or services purchased multiple times, such as virtual currency or extra lives in a game.
  • Non-consumable: Only purchase once and then permanently available to users, such as ad-free versions of an app.
  • Subscription: These are recurring purchases that give users access to premium content or service for a specific time, such as a monthly subscription to a music streaming service.
  • Unlockable content: These items or services are initially locked or hidden in an app but can be unlocked through purchase, such as additional levels in a game.
  • Pay-to-win: In-App purchases that enable user benefits in a game, such as strong weapons.

An excellent example of a web application that effectively utilizes the in-app purchase monetization model is Canva. Canva is a graphic design platform that offers a wide range of tools and templates for creating professional-quality designs, including social media graphics, presentations, posters, and more.

Canva offers a premium subscription known as Canva Pro. It provides users with access to additional features and resources. It also allow users have access to a larger library of premium templates, stock photos, illustrations, and icons, allowing them to create more diverse and polished designs.

Pros of In-App Purchases

  • Offer a direct way to generate revenue from users
  • Easy to use, as users can use the app for free & pay only for features they need
  • Provides various pricing options such as one-time purchases, subscriptions, or bundles.

Cons of In-App Purchases

  • If users feel tricked into making in-app purchases, it leads to negative reviews.
  • In-App purchase revenue can be unpredictable, depending on user behavior and preferences.
  • It is unsuitable for all web apps and has a limited target audience.

Tip for In-App Purchase Model

Identify Valuable Virtual Goods or Features

To implement this model successfully, it’s crucial to identify what virtual goods or features are valuable to your users and enhance their experience. Conduct thorough market research and user feedback analysis to understand what users are willing to pay for.

Whether it’s unlocking premium content, accessing exclusive features, or purchasing virtual currency or items, focus on offering items that provide tangible value to your users.

Don’t forget to check out best practices to follow for web application security.

Need Help to Decide In-App Purchase Plans?

5. Pay-per-use

Pay-per-use is a monetization method where users pay every time they use a specific feature or service within a web app. It’s a transaction-based model where users must pay for the usage, time, or specific actions they require.

One of the best examples of the pay-per-use monetization method is the video-on-demand services like Amazon Prime Video and Google Play Movies. It allows users to rent or purchase individual movies or TV show episodes on a pay-per-view basics.

Users can stream the content for a set time by paying a single fee, usually lasting between 24 to 48 hours. This approach provides users with flexibility and options, enabling them to enjoy specific content without the need for a subscription.

Pros of Pay-per-use monetization method

  • Offer users flexibility & it’s appealing to those who need occasional access
  • Provide more predictable revenue streams
  • Users get motivated to use an app or service when paying for each use.

Cons of Pay-per-use monetization method

  • Risk of overcharging
  • Pricing can be complicated for users to understand
  • High technical complexity

Let’s discuss some of the implementation tips for your web application project that surely help to decide to go for.

Implementation Tips for In-App Purchase Model

Clearly Define Usage Parameters: Transparency is key in the pay-per-use model. Clearly define the usage parameters to help users understand what they’re paying for and avoid confusion. Whether it’s the number of actions, data usage, or time spent using a feature, make sure users have a clear understanding of how their usage is measured and billed.

To be transparent will surely help to build trust with your users. Communicate the pricing structure, including any applicable fees or taxes, upfront to avoid surprises.

Set Value-based Pricing: When implementing pay-per-use pricing, it’s essential to set pricing that reflects the value of the feature or service being provided. Avoid overcharging by conducting market research to understand what users are willing to pay for the specific service or feature

Offer Flexible Billing Options: To accommodate different usage patterns and budgets, offer users flexible billing options. Allow users to choose from various payment frequencies, such as per hour, per action, or per usage threshold.

Want to Know, When Should You Use Pay-per-use?

6. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a strategy where a web app earns a commission by promoting a product or service from another company. The web app promotes its users, and if a user purchases through its referral link, it earns a commission.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

  • Cost per sale (CPS): Earns a commission based on the number of sales generated through its referral link.
  • Cost per click (CPC): Earns a commission based on the number of clicks generated through its referral link, regardless of whether the user makes a purchase.
  • Cost per lead (CPL): The web app earns a commission based on the number of leads generated through its referral links, such as sign-ups or form submissions.

CouponUSA is a platform designed specifically for the USA market, offering a comprehensive database of digital coupons, deals, and discounts for online and offline retailers across the United States. Simply, this web app promotes the other products to their website.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing

  • Attract a broad audience & increase its user base
  • Enhancing the user experience
  • Provide additional revenue stream without investment

Cons of Affiliate Marketing

  • Uncertainty in revenue
  • Some restrictions on the type of content promoted
  • Conflicts of interest of users
  • Over-use of promotion lead to user distrust

Monetization Strategy of Affiliate Marketing

Identify Relevant Affiliate Programs: Start by identifying affiliate programs that are relevant to your web application and align with your target audience’s interests and needs. Example: if your web app is related to the technical niche then find the affiliate networks and individual programs within technical products.

Look for reputable merchants with attractive commission rates, high-quality products, and strong brand reputations to maximize your earning potential as an affiliate marketer.

Integrate Affiliate Links Seamlessly: Integrate affiliate links seamlessly into your web application’s content to enhance the user experience and improve conversion rates. Make sure to avoid using overly promotional language or intrusive ads that could discourage users.

Instead, naturally incorporate affiliate links into relevant content like product reviews, recommendations, or tutorials.

Disclose Affiliate Relationships: It is important to be open and honest with your audience regarding your affiliate partnerships. Make sure to disclose any financial benefits or commissions you receive from promoting affiliate products or services.

Always prioritize honesty and integrity in your recommendations, and only endorse products or services that you truly believe will be beneficial for your audience.

7. Sponsorship

Sponsorship is a monetization method where a web app receives financial support from a sponsor in exchange for promoting the sponsor’s brand, product, or service to its users. It leads to increased brand visibility and exposure to the web app’s user base.

Types of Sponsorship

  • Direct sponsorship: Directly negotiates with a sponsor to receive financial support in exchange for promoting the sponsor’s brand or product.
  • Indirect sponsorship: Indirectly receives financial support from a sponsor through an advertising agency or a third-party sponsorship platform.

However, the Coursicle web application work as the Sponsorship monetization method. It is a web application that helps users discover online courses based on their interests and goals.

Targeted users of coursicle is to take online courses for professional development, personal enrichment, or academic pursuits. They sponsors the online course providers, educational institutions, and companies offering professional certifications.

Pros of Sponsorship Method

  • Reliable revenue as it involves guaranteed financial support.
  • The sponsor’s brand, product, or service can enhance the user experience & engagement.
  • Attract broad audience
  • Potential for long-term partnerships

Cons of Sponsorship Method

  • Limited control
  • Risk of sponsorship termination
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Might lead to user distrust

Sponsorship App Monetization Strategy

Identify Potential Sponsors: Start by identifying potential sponsors that align with your web application’s niche, target audience, and brand values. Look for companies or brands that share similar interests, demographics, or goals with your audience.

Create Compelling Sponsorship Packages: Create attractive sponsorship packages that provide real advantages and worth to potential sponsors. Tailor sponsorship packages to match sponsors’ marketing goals and financial limitations.

Offer Targeted Brand Integration: Offer sponsors opportunities for branded content, product placements, sponsored features, or co-branded campaigns that resonate with your audience and align with sponsors’ marketing objectives.

Provide Data-driven Insights: Demonstrate the effectiveness of sponsorship opportunities by providing data-driven insights and analytics to sponsors. Provide sponsors with regular reports and performance updates to demonstrate the value they’re receiving from their investment and identify areas for optimization and improvement.

Want to Create a Unique Strategy to Monetize Your Web App?

Get in touch with us. We will create a custom & unique strategy to
monetize your web app.

Which Monetization Method is Best Suits Your Web Application?

The monetization model that’s best for you depends on your web app’s niche and what kind of value you offer users. Each option has its own benefits:

  • Advertising: Great for established apps with a large user base, letting you earn revenue from displaying ads.
  • Freemium: Perfect for apps with clear value propositions, allowing you to offer a free basic version while users can upgrade for more features.
  • Subscription-Based: Ideal for apps that deliver ongoing content updates, like news or productivity tools, providing a predictable revenue stream from loyal subscribers.
  • In-App Purchases: Works well for apps with valuable virtual goods or features users crave, letting them directly pay for what they want.
  • Pay-per-Use: A good option for apps with clear usage parameters and valuable features, allowing users to pay only for what they use.
  • Affiliate Marketing: A way to earn commission by promoting relevant products or services within your app, beneficial for apps that can seamlessly integrate recommendations.
  • Sponsorship: Provides a reliable revenue stream for established apps with a well-defined target audience attractive to sponsors, potentially even enhancing the value for your users.

Conclusion

We hope you understand a brief idea about monetizing a web app. To monetize a web application successfully, choosing the right strategy that aligns with the application’s objectives and user experience is essential. However, this can be challenging, and expert guidance is often necessary.

With our expertise in web app development & years of experience working in this field, we have recommended these best monetization methods available for web apps. However, the choice of method depends on the web app’s goals, target audience, and content. To evaluate it efficiently, you can Contact Us. We will guide you toward the strategic approach to maximize revenue and user satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

The amount you can earn varies based on your niche, traffic, and how you choose to make money. By using advertising, you could make $1,500 - $4,000 per month with 500,000 monthly page views.

To quickly start earning money, I suggest monetizing your web app through advertising and in-app purchases. This will help you generate income promptly. However, Focus on user engagement and consistently deliver value to drive revenue growth swiftly.

It depends on your app's nature and target audience. Google AdMob, Stripe, and Shopify's app store all provide different ways to make money. Look at what each platform offers, how much they charge, and if they work well with your app. Make sure to choose the option that can grow with your app and adapt to changes.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.