Concocting business models and monetization or app engagement and retention best practices is no longer something app developers are required to do. Nowadays there’s an SDK for almost anything you might need, even if you don’t know you need it. Thus, the challenge has shifted from coding to smart selection and implementation of third-party code. And we’re here to help.
Here are 10 SDKs that could have a significant impact on your app engagement and monetization results. They are bundled to reflect the understanding that the monetization front can’t be won without simultaneously tending to the engagement front. In other words, monetization managers must be focused on engagement as much as they’re focused on direct monetization methods.
Engagement focused SDKs
Push-messages can be a great way to increase ROI if operated smartly (as in DON’T SPAM YOUR USERS!). How? Reminding the app-laden users of your existence and getting them to get in the app. OneSignal’s interface simplifies push notifications through SDKs that support major mobile platforms, with an online dashboard for designing and sending notifications.
Why it’s on the list: There are many push messaging solutions out there, but we like the fact that there is a wide set of features, and the free offering is quite extensive. onesignal.com
Branch offers a deep-linking solutions for mobile apps. This helps app developers recruit new users, personalize onboarding, send users directly to the desired content, and learn how users are using the app.
Why it’s on the list: Freemium solution to making app usage easier and seamless and gather important statistics. Branch.io
An app usage survey found out that some 90% of users are more likely to do business with a company that responded to their feedback. Communicating with your users is also vital for getting to know and understand users, learning what works and what doesn’t, improving your app accordingly and driving app downloads and usage. Apptentive is all about opening different communication channels with your users, such as ratings prompts, surveys, and a message center.
Why it’s on the list: Unlike many other similar solutions, this one made the communication process double as an engagement tool, getting users to return to the app when they get an answer. apptentive.com
Monetization focused SDKs
4) Facebook audience network
If it’s ad monetization you’re after, you should definitely start with FAN. It enables targeting real people and their interests with native ads.
Why it’s on the list: As obvious as it may be, a list of SDKs focused in monetization without Facebook is incomplete. Developers report great eCPMs and fill rates, enter barriers are minimal, you probably already have FB SDK added in your app anyway, and the management dashboard is extremely easy. developers.facebook.com/products/audience-network
Want to engage your users and get their input? Pollfish adds a survey layer to your app. Users are rewarded for completing a survey, while brands get access to relevant audiences and their insights, and the developer gets their share of the action, money-wise.
Why it’s on the list: Just like Start Magazine [link], Pullfish creates a whole new monetization layer, that does not conflict with existing streams. Also, it offers a non-intrusive format that may even raise the satisfaction of the users with its rewards program. Pollfish.com
6) Unity Ads
In-app purchases are a popular way of monetizing game apps, but only 3% of players actually make such purchases. Ads are another way, but too many of them will alienate the players. Unity Ads rewards users with game-related currency for watching video ads.
Why it’s on the list: We believe that rewarded video ads are an especially effective monetization model for the gaming segment. unity3d.com/unity/features/ads
Advertising is a key monetization model for app developers, so why not invest in making ads interesting for users? AdColony provides an ad SDK with machine-learning algorithms utilizing real-time data to optimize campaigns, and buffer-free HD ads.
Why it’s on the list: The AdColony differentiating promise, in my opinion, is innovative ad formats, which is always a blessing in an advertising-saturated world. adcolony.com/publishers
8) Open IAB
This payment SDK will allow your users to make purchases on your app, giving them more options beyond the built-in store mechanism, such as Google in-app billing for the Play store. OpenIAB gives you the ability to enable payments on Google Play, SlideMe, Amazon Store, Nokia Store, Samsung Apps, Yandex.Store, Appland, Aptoide, AppMall and Fortumo all in one SDK.
Why it’s on the list: When you are after in-app purchases monetization model, and your strategy includes presence in alternative app stores, having something like Open IAB can be really helpful. onepf.org/openiab/
Also for those are after in-app purchases monetization, card.io lets you accept credit card payments by enabling credit card scanning in your app, then extracting the card number from the image locally, without storing or transmitting the data.
Why it’s on the list: Credit card payments are very popular. If users interested in a purchase hit a no credit card policy, or are asked to type-in the looooooong number, you’ll lose them, probably forever. You want to cover all your bases and direct relationships with many credit card companies. card.io/
Engagement AND Monetization focused SDK
10) Start Magazine
Ya, that’s us, but we totally deserve to be on this list! Let us explain: Content has proven to be king on the web, but leveraging strong, relevant and customized in-app content is still a relatively nascent concept, albeit a promising one. Developed based on our own needs and experience, Start Magazine offers a content-as-a-service magazine for your app. This fresh content, customized and adjusted to each user’s reading habits, leads them to fire up the app much more often. It also utilized smart push messages to encourage users to visit more often around that fresh content. And finally, it helps you generate more revenue with its full, built-in ad monetization mechanism.
Why it’s on the list:
1. It boosts a synergy of engagement and monetization
2. It adds a whole new revenue stream that does not conflict with other existing streams
3. It offers a unique business model. Not only do you get top-tier fresh content that fits your users for free, you actually get paid at the end of the month startmagazine.com