What is the best way to increase your game app revenue? To answer the question, you should start by choosing the appropriate strategy for your monetization model this is what this blog post will help you with. Meanwhile, a little spoiler: in either model, efficient and engaging mobile messaging can help you improve the bottom line — and we’ll explain how.

Keep reading to uncover how you can leverage automated marketing communications to stimulate customer spending in your game app and grow its income. You’ll learn to achieve your business goals with efficient, well-coordinated messaging.

What Is the Best Way to Increase Your Game App Revenue?
Game Monetization Strategies
Increase Traffic to Your Game App and Monetize It
Gain Higher Revenue from In-App Purchases
Up Your Game with Pushwoosh

What Is the Best Way to Increase Your Mobile Game Revenue?

First off, let’s take a few steps back and remember the classical mobile game monetization models:

  • Subscription-based model
  • Selling in-game items and perks
  • Monetization through in-game ads

Studies show that the subscription-based model is the most profitable for non-gaming apps — but when it regards the average game app revenue, 73% of it comes from in-app purchases.

However, following the latest privacy restrictions, the ways how publishers monetize their game apps may undergo dramatic changes:

  • In-app purchase revenue for mobile games dropped by 35% globally since Apple's App Tracking Transparency update in June 2021, AppsFlyer reported earlier this year
  • At the same time, in the US market, in-app advertising (IAA) revenue is stated to jump by 55%

It looks like putting all eggs in one basket, especially when it means sticking to in-app purchases as the only income stream, is no more effective. On the contrary, making a bet on both in-game purchases and ad monetization seems to be a smarter strategy for boosting your game app revenue. Keep reading to figure out how you can combine the two models, as thoughtfully-integrated ads may (surprisingly!) boost your in-app purchases as well.

Mobile Game Monetization Strategies: Build the Best One for Your App

Tip #1: base your strategy on the game genre. Adding a monetization tool that is relevant to the app context has a positive impact on internal metrics like Average Session Time, Daily Active Users, and Retention.

Here are some clear principles and mechanics you can use:

  • Make ads part of the game (including meta layer!)
  • Combine IAA (in-app ads) and IAP (in-app purchases)

You don’t have to stick to one monetization model — you can choose a hybrid model.

  • Try to have two or more in-app currency methods that engage users with rewards and a sense of accomplishment

You should always try to have two to three different kinds of in-game currencies, such as soft, hot, and premium currencies; reward your users generously with soft coins, but keep your premium coins hard to get. Make it so that users can buy anything in the app for premium currency, create a demand for it, and encourage players to buy it.

Be strategic about pricing: analyze your competitors when developing your pricing strategy.

Increase Traffic to Your Game App and Monetize It

It's no secret that mobile games with the highest revenue stick to this time-proven mobile game marketing approach: engage → retain → earn.

Keeping players active and engaged with the game will help you increase app revenue: users who open and use the app daily view more advertising banners. Strengthen your incoming traffic flow and monetize your game app with ads like our stellar customer Bladestorm that boosted its ARPU by 4.58% in just eight months of working with Pushwoosh.

👇 Here's another example:

One of the Pushwoosh customers from the gaming industry enjoys their engagement and growth metrics high above the median values for the entire sample and their size of app too. The cherry on the top: the mobile game enjoys high conversion rates and gains sizeable revenue from every push.

Stick to this time-proven marketing approach: engage → retain → earn
For more tips on app traffic monetization, check out our latest game apps growth guide.

Engage Players with Daily Offers

Schedule repeating notifications with daily promotions and reminders about routine in-game activities and events — and even personalize them with Dynamic Content to achieve better CTRs.

Engage players with daily offers

Retain Users with Hot-Hour Deals

Set a particular period of time when your players can get more coins, experience points or other bonuses and automatically remind them of that in advance with scheduled messages.

Discover how to make effective scheduled campaigns with Pushwoosh Customer Journey Builder

Target Your Offers Based on User Behavior

Customize your messages to different groups of players and choose the right moment to show your special offers:

  • Suggest the users who have completed a free practice round try one month of VIP games for free
  • Reach out to your paying users whose subscription is about to expire
  • Target those users who have purchased some in-game items in the past
Customized in-app messages based on user behavior

👇 A live example: Dot Com Infoway improved ad revenue & in-app purchase for a cooking game
At the early stage, allow your new users to get some premium items and features by watching ads instead of purchasing them.

Dot Com Infoway, a premier mobile and web solutions company and a Pushwoosh partner, faced a challenge once: new users of a cooking game they promoted were hesitant to purchase in-game items as they were unfamiliar with the game. The app team came up with an additional option to earn those extra elements by watching advertising videos. After implementing them, the game saw more traction and user activity on the respective ads, leading to higher revenue from monetization.

Learn more cases that Pushwoosh and Dot Com Infoway shared on the joint webinar. Watch it on demand for free!

Re-Engage Inactive Players and Increase Your Revenue at the Same Time

Make the process of returning inactive users into the app even more profitable for you:

  • Target users by the games they’ve played and cross-promote additional games that the customer might like

If you develop and promote many games, just like our customer Beach Bum does, redirect users who have lost their interest in one game to another app and extend their LTV. Another option could be to promote partners’ games to your dormant players.

  • Send a sponsored video: if a user watches it, they get a boost to help them complete the level

A user is stuck in the game level? Send players a sponsored video and reward them for watching it with in-game currency or useful items. Another option: collaborate with a streamer who makes playthroughs and tutorials on your game and send their videos to the players who struggle to move on in the game.

  • Drive customers directly to ads to increase click-through rates

Make thoughtfully-integrated ads a part of your re-engagement process: get additional income from monetization or even boost in-game purchases.

  • Provide free in-game resources to re-engage gamers and convert them into paying users

Entice players’ appetites and stimulate purchasing by sending time-limited offers with free gifts and in-game currency.

With Pushwoosh Customer Journey Builder, you can create custom multichannel event-triggered workflows from scratch and increase your game app revenue.

Create custom multichannel event-triggered workflows with Pushwoosh Customer Journey Builder

How to Gain Higher Mobile Game Revenue from In-App Purchases

For Starters, Ascertain Accurate Tracking

You won’t get far in optimization unless you know where you’re starting from. Pushwoosh users like to refer to the Conversion Tracking feature that keeps them informed of both conversions and revenue earned with a push.

Another option is using a custom In-App Purchase Tracking event — it’s already available out of the box for iOS, and we’re working on making one for Android.

Track conversions right within Pushwoosh Customer Journey Builder

Promote Paid In-Game Items through Push Notifications and In-App Messages

Help your players advance in the game — recommend purchasing the most useful in-game items and abilities:

  • VIP and battle passes
  • Premium currency
  • Premium characters and skins
  • Cooldown timer reducers
  • Extra lives and retries

And to make your offers even more enticing, provide an additional bonus or a discount on paid items.

Promote purchasing in-game currency using in-app messages

Leverage Cross-Channel Marketing to Secure Your App Revenue

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is timeless advice for marketers. Of course, having one efficient automated marketing channel is good for a game app, but it’s more secure and profitable to orchestrate cross-channel messaging.

Use Deep Linking to Land Users Directly to the Offer Page

Be careful with the copy: you don’t want it to be too pushy. Add Dynamic Content for a personal touch and apply Deep Linking to make your messages as effective as possible — for both you and your user.

Land users directly to the offer page

Send Alerts on New Paid In-App Content

Your game app may have a good share of players that have never paid. But what if a new in-game item will finally motivate them to convert?

Try sending a notification on new paid content arrival to a broader audience. You may send a broadcast message, but we recommend you Start by Segment. Target those who have recently added their payment methods or visited a specific page. This way, you will concentrate on the most motivated users.

Notify users about new paid in-app content
Provide customers with important information about the game: new levels, bonus points, low lives etc.

Drive Special-Occasion Sales for Instant Revenue Growth

E-commerce apps may not be the only ones to strike it rich during the holiday season. Game apps can seize this wonderful time of the year to raise their revenues too!

Indulge your audience’s appetite: tease them with a holiday discount and ensure the majority of your app users (=everyone who has opted in for notifications) receive your message.

Test What Converts Better: Regular Paid In-Game Items vs. Seasonal Offers

Limited-edition in-app items may excite an extra interest among your players — or turn out to be no more than just a shiny new thing that doesn’t bring you any higher ROI. Experiment to find out what your game audience prefers.

Here we have two examples of pushes — will you guess which one has gained +2% more conversions?

Regular offers with paid in-game items vs. seasonal deals

Target Users by Their Behavior

Here are a few gold-standard examples of Event Triggers to use in your campaign:

Gold-standard examples of Event Triggers

Return Users to the Abandoned Cart in Your In-Game Shop

Recover abandoned carts almost like e-commerce apps do — but you can do it in an even more advanced way: filter abandoned items by the Price>N and users by their LTV>N. After identifying the most valuable players, use promo codes in your communications to get the user to complete a purchase.

Return users to the abandoned cart using Pushwoosh Customer Journey Builder

Up Your Game with Pushwoosh

Want to learn more about field-proven game app growth strategies and get some useful tips on increasing your game app revenue? In our comprehensive research + guide, you can find even more first-hand data on game app monetization and growth strategies. Download the ebook to learn the latest trends in mobile gaming, proved by 2022 data and insights!

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Growth guide for gaming apps