So your app’s nearly there! It’s developed and ready to submit to the app store. However there’s one last important decision you have to make that can have a significant impact on your app’s app store success, whether or not you make your app free or paid. This is absolutely critical, and the decision you make depends on different factors. An effective pricing strategy is essential to the success of your application.

Don’t free apps get the most downloads?

Well, technically yes, but it’s not that simple. Sure it’s easier to get more people to download an app if it’s free, but that shouldn’t be your main concern when making your decision. Offering free downloads will only propel your company to success under certain conditions. Thinking strategically such as what the overall goal for your app is, the characteristics of the app itself, and it’s place in your business overall are all important factors to keep in mind when trying to make a decision.

Let me break down some of the goals and outcomes that can help you develop an effective pricing strategy.

Consider making you app free to download if it falls into one of these categories:

  • Your app’s main purpose is to support your company’s primary product
  • Your app is inherently viral
  • Users have to make an IAP to use the app

Consider requiring payment for the app if:

  • Your able to explain the value of the app in screenshots
  • If the app itself is your main source of revenue

To charge or not to charge?

Deciding whether or not to make an app free or paid depends on the app’s purpose and content. If your app’s purpose is to generate a revenue stream, making it paid will probably be the best option for you. You can also consider offering your app for free for a limited time, a promotional opportunity that tends to work well for a lot of apps.

If the goal of your app is not directly related to generating revenue, you might consider making the app free to download. If you have other distribution channels outside of the app store that provide you with a revenue stream, your likelihood of a successful app most likely falls under free download. Also, if your app’s pricing model requires an immediate in-app purchase, making the app free for download is the best option.