Marketing Mobile Apps: Free vs. Paid

One part of marketing mobile apps is determining whether or not you will offer the application for free or with an accompanying fee. This way, it will be easier to determine which marketing methodsthat can be effectively used afterwards.
It will help you decide whether to offer your app as paid or for free by understanding the pros and cons of each option.

Paid Apps

Most users prefer to view and download apps that are free for use. Thus, you won’t expect phenomenal sales when you offer the application as a paid commodity. Unless you believe that your application is exceptional in terms of functionality and quality as compared to free apps from the competition. But considering that most users still won’t buy right away, it will help to offer a teaser comparable to a trial version. Also called “lite” version, you can let users download an app for free and use it within a specific period or until a limited extent only such as a few chapters in a game or partial functions only in any other app. In order to unlock all chapters and usage of the app or keep using it after the trial period expires, the user will need to pay the full version’s price.
When determining the app’s price, some considerations include the following:
Fees, commission payments, and other expenses to the Android market itself
Competitor pricing. What similar and competing apps charge for their product
User expectation. Users will expect apps to be priced based on quality and usage with simple apps normally priced at .99 cents; advanced utility apps are priced between $2.99 to $4.99, and anything else above that are expected to be of exceptional quality and functionality.
Experimentation. You may also try out different prices starting with the least price and eventually raising the bar along with the price of the app. You can also begin with a higher fee and lower it in case users find it too expensive to purchase.

Free Apps

Free apps, otherwise known as freemium apps dominate the Android market. In fact, most users tend to stay in the free zone when looking for applications to download. Free apps are more viewed and downloaded as compared with paid apps. Thus, it will be more feasible to offer an application for free.
How do you monetize free apps? I already discussed it in an earlier post. Check it out here.

Free vs. Paid

Between free and paid apps, it will be easier to market an application readily available for free download. Paid apps on the other hand may require more advanced means for promotion such as paid advertisement.
In terms of user initiated promotion such as through word of mouth or web sharing (social networks, email, forums, blogs, etc.), both free and paid apps can benefit from users who have downloaded and benefited from the app whether they paid for it or not. But obviously, more users can promote free apps because these are accessibly downloadable for free.
Offering your Android app for free makes marketing mobile apps so much easier as more users are able to download a free app and in turn promote it over the web or by any other means to their immediate connections online and offline.