Top 10 Startup Monetization Strategies to Boost Your Revenue

Startup Monetization Strategies

“Your innovative and extremely popular app has grown popular in the market, impressing users and achieving notable download numbers. Despite this massive success, you are facing a substantial challenge, turning this popularity into considerable profits”

Now, this is a familiar scenario in the startup world, where grand visions and innovative concepts should be integrated with robust business strategies to generate revenue.

Consider Spotify as an example. As a startup, they did a commendable job of transforming the music streaming industry with their freemium model. Spotify guaranteed high customer satisfaction by providing free basic service endorsed by ads alongside a premium subscription with needed features.

Apart from developing their user base with this approach, they also paved a clear path for users to upgrade to paid subscriptions. This strategy maximized their users’ experience and significantly boosted their revenue.

Whereas with Dropbox it’s a different strategy, in the begining Dropbox gained significant popularity because it offered free storage space. Customer needs and buying patterns were identified through data analysis and this prompted the implementation of tiered prices.

Likewise, successful and popular brands today have attained impressive heights by handling varied market needs and diversifying their revenue streams straight from their startup phase.

This is how they managed to provide their customers with incredibly high levels of satisfaction and confirmed sustainable growth and profitability as well.

monetization for startups

What do these brands convey? Monetization strategies are not just about making money but also about creating value and understanding customer needs to make them happier.

Start-up mobile app development teams, and indeed, any other startup entrepreneurs should therefore endeavor to consider and explore different monetization models in a bid to increase revenue and sustenance.

Are you ready to unveil the best of your startup? Keep reading to discover the most effective monetization methods so that your business evolves, customers stay satisfied, and you generate more revenues.

Now, let us discuss how you can execute these strategies to transform your business into a highly lucrative entity.

Understanding Your Business Model

Successful completion of your startup journey depends on a thorough knowledge of your business model. Your pricing strategy has to fit the development of your startup from the Minimum Viable Product development (MVP) to the finished good.

See the reference screenshot to understand the different types of monetization strategies for different business model.

Business Model and Monetization
Different types of business model and monetization methods

After successful completion, the last product should capture your whole solution and show a well-considered monetizing plan from the first. Targeting a particular market effectively depends on this significantly.

Starting a tech startup as a non-technical person offers significant difficulties, particularly with the appropriate monetizing plan. As the founder, you must view your startup idea holistically. Your pricing models should be always in line with the several phases of development of your startup.

Any startup must be monetized, hence reaching this goal calls for a thorough awareness of your target market. Understanding the need for a strong monetizing plan will help you negotiate the complexity of company development and market penetration.

Importance of Generating Revenue in Startups

A business is a profitable repeating process, everything else is a pastime. A company cannot show its viability without generating income. App developers are quite important for startups, especially those in the tech industry, in properly applying monetizing strategies.

Making money shows that your company model is working and draws potential customers, investors, and partners, not only helps to meet expenses. Even if your firm solves special issues that no other market has covered, failing to reach the proper monetizing plan could bring about its demise.

Integrating strong monetizing techniques from the beginning is essential to guarantee the long-term viability and profitability of your company. Startups can confirm their market presence and open the path for future development and expansion by emphasizing efficient income generation.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Finding the proper strategy for your startup depends on an awareness of market trends. Whether you are creating mobile games or another technology product, effective product monetizing depends on knowing your target market.

Examining customer comments and reviews of current market solutions helps you to identify areas where your product may shine and expose present industry challenges. Once you have found these holes, create a strategy on how your startup will close them.

Think about how your monetizing plan, which includes choices like banner ads or other in-app purchases, may affect the purchasing of your consumers. Building a devoted user base mostly depends on making sure your approach is both economical and efficient.

By concentrating on these features, you can differentiate your firm in the same industry by matching its business needs to the demands and tastes of your target market.

Choosing the Right Monetization Strategy

Maximizing revenue depends on selecting the appropriate monetizing approach, particularly for mobile apps published in app stores. Your monetizing strategy might be directly impacted by several factors including technological restrictions and the number of monthly active users.

For example, if you have a good startup app idea, the subscription model you decide upon has to follow app store policies. Considering these elements will help you create a monetizing plan that makes good use of the possibilities of your app and conforms with platform restrictions.

Choosing the Right Monetization Strategy

Business Model Considerations

The stage of your product’s lifetime and general business model directly affect a monetization plan. For monetizing startups, they should match their income-generating strategies with the stages of development for their product.

Some startups might choose acquisition or talent acquisition over first monetizing concerns. Still, strong pricing strategies are therefore crucial to show the worth and possibilities of your startup even in such situations.

Your monetizing approach is much shaped by the size of the market as well. If your market is large, for example, using a billing system with reasonable rates, akin to Zoho Corporation’s approach, may be quite successful in optimizing income generation.

Carefully weighing these factors, including app promotion and online services, allows you to create a strong business plan supporting the startup’s success.

Evaluating Your Options

When assessing your monetizing choices, you should pick and give tactics that fit your company’s needs and product capabilities top priority. While market dynamics are always changing and many revenue generation sources are required to maintain development and profitability across multiple industries, concentrating on a single monetization strategy might be constrictive.

Diverse monetizing techniques help you to better position your startup to earn money and gain access to a larger clientele. Plan your break-even point also based on your sunk costs, that is, the whole amount you have invested in your startup.

Providing advanced features and first-rate services can help speed up income production and guarantee the long-term viability of your company.

Carefully analyzing and applying monetization strategies will help you build a strong structure supporting the financial situation and expansion goals of your firm.

Marketing Campaign Evaluation

Your marketing plan should be very much taken into account while developing your monetizing approach. Your pricing policies directly depend on the budget for your marketing efforts, particularly in cases when your sole monetization approach is under attention. Significant funding for short-term marketing initiatives could need more prices to rapidly pay for expenses.

Conversely, since these expenses are spread across time, long-term marketing techniques including content marketing and organic promotion have less bearing on your pricing approach. This method makes managing pricing simpler by allowing more slow and deliberate spending.

You run the danger of losing your startup if you approach finalizing your monetizing strategy incorrectly. Many businesses have collapsed because of inadequate pricing strategy, which emphasizes the need for a unified approach. Let’s review a few instances of how bad monetization techniques caused company failures.

Companies Failed Due to Poor Monetization Strategy

Any startup may fail depending on the incorrect monetizing approach. Many new businesses and existing ones have failed because of bad pricing policies. These are some noteworthy instances.

Blockbuster Video: An American Multimedia Brand

Once a major participant in the video rental business, Blockbuster neglected to change with the times and accommodate the emergence of streaming services. They even turned off Netflix’s 2000 offer to sell Blockbuster the business.

Blockbuster Video Failure
Source: Seven Surprising Lesson from Blockbuster Video Failure

Among Blockbuster’s many blunders were their hated late fee policy. Blockbuster followed Netflix’s removal of late fees, therefore causing a notable loss of income. Later, Blockbuster started the “Total Access” scheme whereby online consumers may return DVDs to Blockbuster locations and get a complimentary DVD rental in exchange, all for one low flat charge.

Originally successful, the program made Blockbuster lose $2 for every DVD a customer swapped. Blockbuster had to increase the program’s fee to offset these significant losses, which resulted in significant client departures.


Kodak collapsed with an ineffective monetization plan that discounted the digital revolution. Kodak gave its profitable film business top priority even though the digital camera was invented in 1975, worried about cannibalization of movie sales.

The business missed out on building a significant digital market presence and delayed digital adoption. Rivals had already controlled the market when Kodak at last embraced digital.

Furthermore, Kodak’s attempts to make money off of its large patent portfolio were unable to offset declining film sales. This lack of creativity and adaptation brought about bankruptcy in 2012, underscoring the dangers of depending too much on antiquated corporate structures.


Once a retail behemoth, Sears neglected sufficient investments in digital transformation, lagging behind online rivals like Amazon. Customer engagement dropped as the corporation relied more on physical stores and lacked innovation.

Sears neglected to upgrade its product offers and shop experiences and mishandled its real estate holdings as well. Reducing staff and maintenance failed in attempts to save expenses, therefore undermining consumer happiness.

Its fall and final bankruptcy in 2018 resulted from its incapacity to change with the times regarding consumer behavior and market dynamics. 

These cases show the need to choose the appropriate monetizing strategy, know traffic quality and juggle premium model offers with unlimited access to guarantee continuous profitability.

Popular Monetizing Strategies

Your firm does not have to copy the well-liked monetizing techniques of rivals to make money and stand out in the market. Rather, concentrate on creative pricing schemes catered to consumer tastes.

To guarantee success, pick the appropriate plan given below depending on your particular company model.

1. Subscription-based Monetization

For businesses functioning in both B2B and B2C markets, a subscription-based model is a great strategy. Users of this model pay access fees at regular intervals, weekly, monthly, or annual.

This approach guarantees a consistent income source and gives consumers constant access to premium features, therefore ensuring app developers and startup monetization.

Subscription-based Monetization

Starting a startup gives you the benefit of always improving your pricing strategies by including feature gating, down selling, in app purchase, and feature gating. These tactics give consumers more value and freedom, thereby greatly increasing income generation.

For cloud-native applications, where consistent updates and enhancements can be easily included in the subscription model, this strategy is especially helpful since it guarantees customers always have access to the newest features and improvements.

Successful Subscription-Based Model: Netflix

With a subscription-based approach, Netflix epitomizes success. Moving from DVD rentals to streaming gives monthly access to a vast array of material. Attracting millions of members and therefore reinforcing Netflix’s leadership in the streaming sector, this strategy guarantees stable income, ongoing content investment, and technological innovation.

2. Advertising and In-App Advertising

Many firms use standard monetizing techniques including advertising and in-app advertising (Native ads) for mobile apps. Important for creating significant income and growth prospects include in-app advertising, in-app purchases, and freemium monetization model among other approaches.

For startups, especially those with free access to everyone, in-app advertising is a great tool since it often shows a better click-through rate (CTR) than desktop apps.

Thanks to the low consumer price index, in-app purchases, such as virtual currency refund or premium features, allow consumers to improve their app experience without a significant upfront expense.

In-App Advertising Monetization

Native advertising increases ad efficacy and user involvement by deftly incorporating adverts into the content of the app. These techniques taken together build a strong structure for app monetization, guaranteeing consistent income sources and encouraging long-term expansion.

Successful Use of Advertising and In-App Advertising: Angry Birds

Using in-app and advertising, Rovio’s Angry Birds epitomizes success. Leveraging high user engagement and click-through rates, the mobile game mixes in-app purchases with ad-supported free editions. Thanks in large part to this dual approach, Angry Birds is a top example in mobile app monetization.

3. Freemium Model

Encouragement of users to sign in and test a product comes from the freemium monetizing model, which provides free partial access to it. Since the product is free first and you may retain the free sign-ups for a lifetime, this strategy does not discourage consumers from testing it.

This approach usually consists of banner ads for the free edition of mobile games, which provide an ad-free experience and sophisticated capabilities via a subscription-based service. Targeting a big market size makes the freemium model especially successful since its main focus is on motivating people to interact with the product.

Pattern Freemium
Source: https://bmtoolbox.net/patterns/freemium/

Startups that offer value upfront can draw a large user base and progressively turn free users into paying consumers with more attractive paid version access. A startup’s success depends on using this approach since it strikes a mix between possible income and great accessibility.

Successful Use of Freemium Model: Spotify

Spotify has achieved notable success using the freemium approach brilliantly. Spotify has drawn a large user base by providing free access with advertisements and premium subscriptions for an improved, ad-free experience. This strategy has created Spotify as a leader in the music streaming market and produced a significant income increase.

4. Software Licensing

A legal-based tool, software licenses control the whole software use and distribution process. This approach exists to secure products against intellectual property damages, therefore preserving the value and innovation of the program.

Software licensing is especially helpful for companies creating a Software as a Platform (SaaP) model. Offering paid versions allows businesses to profit from their software and include features like push notifications, therefore augmenting its value.

Sites like Google Play help to streamline this process by allowing licensed software to be readily available and distributed. This strategy not only guarantees the software program but also generates a sustainable income source.

Successful Use of Software Licensing Model: Microsoft

With its Windows operating system and Office suite especially, Microsoft has effectively used the software licensing model. Microsoft has made a large income by licensing these goods to consumers and companies. This strategy has protected Microsoft’s intellectual property and made it the clear leader in the software market.

All things considered, using several monetizing techniques tailored to your customer preferences will significantly increase your startup’s success. Choose the best monetization method that fits perfectly your company objectives.

Alternative Monetization Strategies

Investigating different monetizing techniques would help in monetizing startups that can develop and greatly improve customer experience.

Startups might open fresh chances for consistent income and market competitiveness by concentrating on creative ideas that give customers happiness and involvement a top priority.

The techniques listed below guarantee flexibility in a market always-changing scene.

5. Selling Goods and Services

For ed-tech companies especially, selling goods and services serves as one of the product monetization strategies that fits quite well. Under this strategy, one recognizes consumer wants and offers customized solutions to satisfy them.

Edtech companies that concentrate on the particular needs of their target market can provide consumers with worthwhile instructional goods and services. This approach not only increases income but also improves client loyalty and happiness, hence building a sustainable company model.

How Ecommerce Websites Work 2048x950 1
Source: https://www.ecommerceceo.com/learn/ecommerce-website/

Successful Use of Selling Goods and Services Model: Amazon

With its goods and services approach, Amazon has been especially rather successful. Amazon has become a major participant in e-commerce by providing a large range of goods, reasonable prices, and first-rate customer support. Their creative approach, which includes cloud services and Prime memberships, has propelled consistent industry leadership and expansion.

6. Open-Source Revenue Model

For developers, the open-source concept is quite easy to build and can bring in big income. This approach lets everyone access and manage the program code, therefore enabling community-driven development and innovation.

Offering top-notch features, support services, or enterprise-level solutions on top of the free, open-source base would help businesses maximize their products and create a cooperative environment. This method promotes general acceptance and ongoing development of the program and software.

Successful Use of Open-Source Revenue Model: Red Hat

Red Hat’s open-source revenue strategy has brought about notable success. The company has grown into a thriving business by offering enterprise-level support, training, and services for open-source software like Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Their approach gives value-added services to clients and uses open-source advantages to maximize revenue streams

But how does Red Hat makes money? See the screenshot from Reddit from an Red Hat Employee.

How does red hat makes money?

7. Data and Content Monetization strategy

Leveraging valuable consumer data to link ads with the appropriate audience can help the data and content monetizing strategy pay for itself. Businesses that gather and examine large volumes of data will especially find this method appropriate.

Targeting advertising and customized content helps companies maximize income and improve the consumer experience. This approach makes use of data-driven insights’ increasing significance in developing successful marketing campaigns and content distribution optimization.

Successful Use of Data and Content Monetization Model: Facebook

With its data and content monetizing approach, Facebook has been rather successful. Facebook makes significant money by using user data to provide focused advertising. One of the most profitable firms in the digital advertising market is the platform since it can provide tailored content and adverts to a huge user base.

facebook how facebook makes money from advertising
Source: https://www.kamilfranek.com/how-facebook-makes-money-business-model-explained/

For startups, investigating different monetizing techniques can greatly improve user experience and propel expansion.

Startups can open new prospects for consistent income and market competitiveness in an always-changing environment by giving creative ideas that concentrate on customer happiness and engagement top priority.

Advanced Startup Monetization Strategies to Generate Revenue

Investigating sophisticated monetizing techniques will help your income model be much improved. Customizing services to user behavior guarantees a consistent flow of income. Together with ongoing innovation, various monetization strategies listed below will improve the market situation and profitability of your startup.

8. Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) Revenue Model

Pay-as-you-go is a pricing model where you pay for a product or service based on how much you actually use it, rather than a fixed fee upfront like in a subscription model. This gives users the flexibility to pay only for what they use, allowing them to easily adjust their usage and manage costs. Since billing is based on usage, the system should offer high transparency, enabling users to track their activities and see exactly what they are paying for.

Since the pay-as-you-go model is usage-based, there’s a higher chance that users might switch to other services if they don’t feel emotionally connected to your product. Despite this, the revenue model is widely popular and accepted, especially by monopolies. Examples include mobile phone plans, internet services, electricity, and water.

Successful Use of Pay-as-you-go Revenue Model: Amazon Web Services

The pay-as-you-go revenue model has helped Amazon Web Services (AWS) to be quite successful. From startups to big companies, AWS has drawn a broad spectrum of companies by providing scalable cloud computing solutions where consumers pay only for the resources they consume, therefore fostering major expansion and market leadership in cloud services.

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9. Affiliate Revenue Model

The Affiliate Revenue Model is a performance-based marketing strategy where a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. All the affiliators will be given with unique affiliate ID which will be tracked to categorise the visitor or customer they brought to your online stores.

Finding a right marketing agency for startups could improve your affiliate income efforts for thorough ideas and techniques.

Affiliate Revenue Model

Successful Use of Affiliate Revenue Model: Rakuten

Through its Rakuten Marketing business, the massive Japanese e-commerce behemoth Rakuten has been successful in applying the affiliate revenue model. Providing a range of affiliate marketing alternatives, this site links advertisers with publishers. Driving large income and expansion, it has become a big participant in the worldwide affiliate marketing scene.

10. Email-based Monetization

The email-based monetizing plan uses email marketing tools to properly advertise products. Personalized email marketing can grab your audience’s attention and inspire them to act, hence this method is quite successful in increasing user involvement.

Through their email campaigns, companies may build a devoted customer base and consistently create income by routinely contacting members with tailored offers and updates.

Successful Use of Email-Based Model: Morning Brew

Morning Brew’s email-based monetizing strategy has worked well. They have built a sizable readership by simply sending interesting and succinct business news straight to subscribers’ inboxes. Using sponsored content and advertising inside their newsletters, they profitably target a professional readership and draw highly valuable sponsors.

Effective Monetization Strategy Implementation

Any company striving for profitability and sustainable development depends on a good monetizing strategy being followed. Whether via subscriptions, advertising, or affiliate marketing, it entails determining the most appropriate income sources and then deftly including them in the company model.

Important actions are knowing the intended audience, examining market trends, and using technology to maximize income. Refining the strategy and making sure it fits changing corporate goals and consumer needs depend on regular assessment and iteration grounded on performance data.

Since it guarantees financial sustainability and supports long-term development, therefore addressing one of the most important software development challenges for startup using the final monetizing plan becomes very important.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Maintaining long-term profitability and brand integrity depends on avoiding typical pitfalls in the application of monetization strategy. One common mistake is selecting a monetizing approach without thinking through the value proposition.

Choosing a plan that fits the special qualities of your good or service as well as the requirements of your target market is vital.

Choosing the incorrect ad format is another error. The advertisement style should fit your platform and involve people without invading their space. Misaligned ad formats might cause a bad user experience, therefore lowering general interaction and income.

Moreover, depending too much on your financial status on your monetizing plan could damage your brand. Although inevitable factors like rising taxes or maintenance expenses call for changes, consistent alterations can alienate and confuse your consumers.

Maintaining a consistent strategy for monetization is crucial. Only make adjustments required to keep dependability and confidence.

Neglecting customer comments, not routinely analyzing performance data, and not following industry trends are other frequent errors. Steering clear of these traps will enable a strong and successful monetizing plan to be developed.

Optimizing Your Startup Monetization Strategies

Making sure your monetizing plan enhances the user experience and does not compromise it is part of optimizing it. Good integration of a strategy should improve user satisfaction and general involvement.

One should try a monetization plan on a small number of users and assess its effects before deciding on it. Getting comments and evaluating the outcomes can assist in finding possible problems and guide required corrections.

This method guarantees the strategy is both efficient and understandable for users. Finally, a well-thought-out and tested monetizing approach can generate income while preserving a good user experience, therefore promoting long-term success and expansion.

How AppKodes Helps to Structure Your Startup Pricing Model?

Ultimately, entrepreneurs trying to increase their income and attain sustainable development depend on choosing appropriate monetizing techniques. Choosing techniques that fit your value proposition and improve user experience can help you generate a consistent income without sacrificing client happiness.

Small-scale testing plans and data-driven changes will help you hone your strategy. Furthermore, including excellent project management methodologies for startups helps to guarantee that these ideas are carried out properly and effectively by simplifying their application.

Startups can maximize their income potential and guarantee their market position using meticulous planning and ongoing improvement. For more assistance, just give us a call and monetize your startup. 

At AppKodes, we’ve partnered with many startup software companies, helping them develop pricing structures tailored to their market criteria. We understand the intricacies of different pricing strategies and assist startup founders in selecting the right one for their products.

Whether it’s Decoy pricing, Cost-based, Value-based, or Add-on pricing, our core technical team is well-versed in these methods. We can guide you in choosing the right monetization strategy for your startup.

Founder of AppKodes. As a serial entrepreneur, I have successfully established five brands over the past 12 years. After creating a successful rank tracker for SEO agencies, I am currently dedicated to developing the world's first SEO Project Management software.



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