When you start listening your users and finding out why they are not interested to put real money into the apps, you start to hear lot of things. “I don’t have money for apps”, “Paying? Nah, not interested”, “I play only to waste time”, “I don’t think mobile apps are worth money”, or “no thanks”. I have this dream, where I discover a one perfect tactic to convert free-users into paying users. I am fully okay if he makes the smallest purchase ever, but it is important that he makes a purchase.
Sadly, people do not want to pay for something that they get for free. This is why “donate to the devs” nor “fair-monetization” will never work. If you want to keep developing apps, you need to be able tosell your product. In today’s post, I will go through 24 ways to convert your users. These tactics are proven by thousands of entrepreneurs and corporations and are praised around user experience and copywriting communities all across the world.
We are going to take the look of the different tactics to sell items and content in your app. The tactics are the following:
- Buyer Potential
- Social proof
- List Benefits
- Need to connect
- Need to be accepted
- Need to collect
- Show Invested Effort
- Step Investing
- Up & Downsell
- Add Bonus
- Loss Aversion
- Free trials vs Freemium
- Hiring a copywriter
WHY IS CONVERSION IMPORTANT?
People who have bought from you and have had good experience with your services are more likely to buy more from you with more money. Think of selling as a continuous process. Your goal is not to sell one item per person, but sell, sell, sell until they have bought all of your products. Let’s not get too far from the subject, so why is conversion more important than monetizing whales continuously? Monetization should focus on the motive of a purchase. When you create a desirable deal for the users and they take action on it, you get money and intel. This intel is the greater one of these goods. When we know what makes our users tick, we can monetize already converted users by same methods over and over again.
When you are tracking your user behaviour for your conversion optimization, focus on finding out what users are most hesitant with. For example, when you offer a deal to a user and it takes a while before he says no to the deal, it is a good signal that he is having an inner struggle over whether he should buy the deal or not. This means that next time, boost your deal to make it even more desirable because discounts work on him.
Here is some few good examples of how you can find if the user has a buying potential:
- Fast no = no buying potential
- Hesitant no = not a good enough offer
- takes free trial = interested, not sure if the purchase is worth it
- continuous free trial = not a good enough offer
- hesitant yes = these people lack money, but have a great need
- Fast yes = these people have money, but not necessarily great need.
Find what makes them tick. What is driving their behaviour? Identify strong motivating factors driving your customers.
Most of users will never convert and you should not try to convert everyone. To make your time more beneficial, you should try to identify users’ buying potential. Goal here is to find users who have a need that your app is providing and have money to solve the problem. After a user has converted, the problem is not the money anymore.
Decision Maker – You need to be talking to person who is making the purchase decision. Partner, Wife, Parents, Friends? If you are making app that teenage boys and girls enjoy playing, who has their access to credit card? Parents do, so find ways to connect with their parents. How can I reach them? How can I sell to them?
Need and Interest – We already spoke about this earlier, but you need to make sure it is in the decision maker’s interest to make the purchase and solve their need.
Budget – You need to know if your users have money to spend on in-app purchases. If they do not have money to spend, then they usually have time to spend. You can monetize time in various ways to boost user community or monetize through ads.
Power is a big need. Many of us desire to have the influence and control over others and have power to do things the way we want it to happen. The need to have more power is very common and so people who are looking for power can have a very strong need.
Sell them the idea that they are more able to control and influence their environment and peers through purchase. Make them feel the power. Power hungry people usually are not satisfied until they have become the ultimate puppeteers and so, offering them more and more power and control over the circumstances will be a very effective monetizer in your apps.
Greed is also a big need. People have acquired this image of riches and how money can buy everything. Most of us has a strong need for greed, and as you are reading my blog posts, I believe you, too, have the desire to make more money and do whatever you want.
Greed can be used everywhere, offering better deals, adding up bonuses, and so on. Make users understand how wealthy and satisfied their life will be when they have achieved the peak of a mountain through your offered short-cut. We all love to get awesome deals, so show those to users.
Status is the third big need that drives users to take an action. In here, it is important to provide them better social standing among their peers. Many humans work their ass off for prestige and appreciation. This need is very important and should never be skipped.
Offer them possibilities to get/achieve more recognition and respect from their peers and increase their status in the app. In here, it is important to not make your app pay-to-win as even if you put users into highlight of their prestige, no one will respect them because they just see them as whales who paid themselves up to the top of a ladder.
Fear is the last of the big needs. Especially people who live in welfare countries or people who have had lot of benefits in their life for free are afraid to lose them. People who get something for free, and are unable to get that afterward, do not want to take risks on such matters.
The goal here it stimulate fear in people’s minds. Make people imagine the huge risks they are taking and how their road is a very narrow. After this, you should provide a solution to make people feel safe if they choose to take your deal.
You should target men with the feeling of honour. You should tap into men’s sacrificial characteristics when you are applying honour in your monetisation design. White knights, SJWs, and other similar personalities have very strong sense of what is right and wrong.
Creating a moral and principled approach on your design and applying it into male psyche will become a very effective way to make money, especially if you can attach this with the status. It can be that everyone who self-sacrifices for the greater good earns more respect from their peers. This engages white knights into action.
Competition is good to engage and addict your users for good. To convert users into paying through competition, you do not necessarily need to make the app pay-to-win. You can go into users’ emotions and make them desire vengeance and keep competing with his nemeses.
Users who engage with competitive features are driven by the need to win. They are ready to invest and sacrifice lot of time and resources to get to the top of a ladder. Competitive users also see non-competitive people as weak or losers. Use this to engage these type of users with fear of being weak and therefore a loser.
This is quite a no brainer. If you have 10,000 Facebook likes, an active community, and lot of people leaving 5 star reviews, it will provide an effective boost to your app installs and conversions.
But the thing that is not spoken about so much is negative social proof. If you only have 50 Facebook likes and 10 reviews at app store, it works against you. People look at your app and may be discouraged to install or pay for the app. You should try to hide your negative social proof as much as possible until you have enough social proof that it becomes positive.
People think rationally, but make decisions emotionally. This is the reason why fat people stay fat and silent people stay silent. It is more comfortable to not push your boundaries and stay inside your comfort zone than taking action and doing that what rationally would be the smartest decision.
Whether you sell in-app purchases, extra content, or subscriptions, evoke emotions. This boosts conversion greatly but it will also increase your brand’s recall.
Use this to convert users who hesitate. Even if you have identified your user’s need and provided solution, if the need is not burning pain and more bearable one, they do not take an action. If you do the same with timer that tells users that the deal is going away after x seconds, many of these type of users will convert into paying ones.
This can be “Only 2 hours left”, “Only 4 items left”, “Limited supplies”, or, more creative, “3 people are looking this deal”. When you apply a good enough deal with urgency, it turns silver into gold. Use this in all deals you offer for users.
People have cognitive needs that drives them to explore and learn from his surroundings. They want to find out how things work and how they can benefit him.
This curiosity is a very powerful sales method when you are selling content expansions or extra features. Offer them teasers and sneak peeks of awesome material that is limited or locked. Goal is to make them desire to explore and find out the secrets.
Make perceived value much more valuable. Break your items into parts and list the benefits that user gets if they buys the product. A simple premium currency purchase can be presented much differently.
“You will get 1,200 shards that allows you to 1) Unlock more technology 2) Get more experience points 3) Save up your time 4) Extra lives.” Providing a list of concrete points of benefits increases conversion greatly.
NEED TO CONNECT
This is same as need for love and belonging as people want to connect, network, and form friendships. People love to meet other people who share the same ideas and thoughts. Many people seek to find groups to feel safer. This is a very powerful motivator.
NEED FOR ACCEPTANCE
This is quite common need and has lot of same groundings as the need to connect. People naturally want to be liked. They want other people to think good of them and respect them.
This type of users are not assertive and usually lack confidence. They perceive others as aggressive or slick. They may be quite quiet on what they want as they focus more on following the group than taking an action. They want something but are not confident enough to say it. If you find what they need, it is extremely powerful monetizer.
NEED TO COLLECT
Many humans have a tendency to hoard and nest their treasury. This hoarding instinct can be easily seen, even from your peer group. We have many friends who have bought lot of stuff that they desire to have (antiques, collection of certain product family or something of high social value).
These types of people tend to be more conservative on their actions to preserve and not lose what they have gained. This need can also be based in their insecurities. Creating items of high value converts these users into paying ones, even if they don’t need them. The “stuff” is important.
I am guilty of this need as well. People who have need for independence are survivors. For them, self-sufficiency is highly important. They do not want to follow the herd, rely on others, or be in debt. Self-reliance is a big word for them.
Most people with a need for independence want to always keep working on something, always active, always up for something. They prefer to earn their way and does not want to take freebies from others. Sell them way to play independently, this is very powerful to them.
SHOW INVESTED EFFORT
This is nice little trick to add value without adding anything.
Explain to your users how much effort you have invested to deliver this app. Show proper numbers. “We have 78 years of development experience and worked on 112 different apps before this. We have been studying ourselves into masters and bachelors to bring our dream true with this app. Yes, I am giving it for free, but it is not free, I want you to share this with 2 of your friends.”
Story sells. Using your emotional marketing to build their appreciation toward the app, this also builds up a stronger connection and commitment between app and you. Build credibility and trust with your users and get them to create immediate attachment toward your app.
STEP INVESTING – FREE TO CONVERTED.
Demanding investment little by little is an effective way to convert players into paying customers while they still don’t get the feeling of risk.
Start with simple investing such as watching advertisements or asking him to give his email. From there, build it up that the same reward what he got from advertisement, he can get if he connects with Facebook or twitter and sends a social share with an effective viral design strategy. You can build it up from there and offer more investments until you think his engagement toward the game is enough high to ask him to pay real money.
UPSELLS & DOWNSELLS
Upsells and downsells just works.
When you are offering a solution to a user’s need, you can combine something else that is valuable that makes offer feel more magical (upsell). Remember, upsells and downsells are only to develop customers into full paying users. In the beginning, when a user is not interested to pay full prices, you can offer upsells and gradually decrease the discount in due time.
Good example of this is clever Udemy. I don’t want to pay $375 for a 2hr video course. When Udemy noticed my behaviour, they had my email filled with $10 price alerts for all courses. As a learning addict, I could not resist the offer and bought ton of courses, but still have had no time to watch all of them.
The next campaign they send me 1 month later was a NEW $10 price alert. Why so soon? To test if I am buying courses because of learning more or because of learning something that I need to learn right now. After this, they recognized me as learning addict.
The next campaign started after 1-2 month that filled my email with new discounts. When I visited the Udemy categories again to look at the treasures, I found out the price was $19, not $10.
Use downsells if your users are hesitating. If the user is spending many seconds wondering should they buy this IAP and decides after some time to decline, you can pop up another screen with discounted price and countdown timer (scarcity).
Perceived value comes from the product comparison with other items in current store (your in-app store items).
You have decided to buy XP Boost to progress faster in your app:
In-app store sells XP Boost with price of $7, but it is bundled with 2 health potion. Now XP Boost is worth of ~$5 as health potions are worth of $1.
What if you offer XP Boost with price of $7 with 2 free health potions? Now XP Boost costs $7 and user received $9 worth of items.
Are you scared to lose your job? Wife? House? Are you ready to risk any of these thing to achieve greater profits? We humans are programmed to be frightened of losing something that we already have.
It is more effective to tell a user that if they leave the level now, they lose all gathered items than telling them to finish the level to get more items.
People hate to lose, but if they are going to lose anyway, they go into fight and flight mode and are ready to sacrifice all. Think the following:
- You get 200 coins back from 600 purchase price if you sell it now, because of the current influx of this items sold.
- Because of influx of this items sold, item’s price is 66% lower than when you purchased it.
A gets you sell to the item in fear of losing more coins, in B you are ready to take the risk and wait as you have already lost so much, so you can go all in. This is called conversation framing, which is used from poker to business and back to marketing. We can influence people’s decisions if we are able to frame the conversation in certain way.
FREE TRIALS VS FREEMIUM
Try between freemium and free trial. This can be easily attached with step investing as well. Depending of your users and what they are used, these two different pricing models can change your conversion tremendously.
HIRING A COPYWRITER
Everyone hates when someone is trying to hard sell them something. Hire a copywriter to write content that truly sells.
WAY OF A CONVERSION WIZARD
To increase the conversion rate for your app, you need to understand the fundamentals of sales and copywriting. Tune in and listen your users (“Whoa! Did you come up with that idea alone!?”). Try to understand what they really need and track their behaviour.
When you identify that specific users have specific needs or hesitations, convert those users from there and keep upping the better deals more and more as they play the app.
I have been reading a ton of books, blogs, and shady Internet sites to understand human behavior more deeply and what makes us tick and sold to. It took me many months to write this list to createhuge increase in your conversions, and even though I share it here at my blog for everyone, I still expect you to share this article with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Also, don’t forget to check out the free Marketing System