Game or app donations are one of the best ways for developers to get a reward for the resources and time they spend on development. Working on a game or any other application is not a mean job.
Developers spend hours doing research and taking their games and apps through the entire software development lifecycle. This is not an easy job. However, imagine doing all this for a free app or game. What do you stand to gain?
There are thousands if not millions of free games and apps on different app stores. Chances are that if you have used any of them, you might have seen the developers asking for donations.
As a developer who has created a free game or app and asked for donations, have your users made a significant donation? Are you struggling to convince them to make donations?
Well, in this article, we are going to talk about some things you can do to get more donations. But before then…
How Do You Prepare Before Asking For Donations From App Users?
Asking for donations on your game or app comes with a lot of work. First of all, you need to have learned the best game development languages such as Python for the development of your app and game.
In addition, you need to be creative. You will also need to plan and strategize. Before launching your game or app and asking users for donations, here are a couple of things you need to do;
Planning is essential when it comes to donations. When planning the development of your app or game, you need to include your primary source of revenue – donations. This will help you outline your strategies and how they will work.
Have a story
Even if you have developed a free app or game, do not expect donations to flow without telling your story. Tell your users about yourself and the reasons for developing the app or game. This might be the motivation behind them donating towards your efforts.
Provide an explanation
You do not expect an app user to donate simply because they are using your app. You need to tell them why they need to donate.
Though optional, providing statistics can help you get more donations, especially if only a few people have so far donated. Show your users the number of people or money donated so far.
What do you tell a user who donates? Since you do not know how many people will donate, automate a response to every person who donates. Show them that you appreciate their donation.
How To Get More Donations
As a free app or game developer asking for donations from your app users, you need to make sure that you are getting more donations. However, you cannot force your app users to donate.
All you can do is employ different strategies to convince them to donate. So how can you get more donations through your app or game?
Here are a few things you can do;
Create Email Campaigns
Email campaigns play an essential role when it comes to attracting donors, convincing them to donate, and building a relationship with your app users. However, you need to make sure that the campaigns are handled effectively for them to meet expectations.
For this to work, you need your app user emails. Before launching your app or game, you can create a website to tell people about it.
Here, talk about what the app will do and all its features. Tell people about the game and what makes it special. Is it a cross-platform game? Are there incentives for playing or using the app? Why should someone download the app or game?
You can then ask those who visit the website to subscribe to your newsletter so they can be updated on the development progress and launch dates.
In addition, you can ask for email addresses on the app or game once it is launched.
Now that you are getting emails here, your email campaign should include the following;
- An email before launch, also known as pre-launch talking about your progress and launch date.
- A launch email informing subscribers that the app or game is now ready for download.
- A weekly email that keeps your users engaged and asks for reviews.
- An email once a week or after every two weeks asking your subscribers and app users for a donation. Remember the things you need to do as discussed above.
When sending these emails to your game or app users, you need to ensure that you are sending mobile-friendly emails. This is because a bigger percentage of people check emails on their mobile devices.
With more than one billion users, Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms we have today. This means you need to think about how to use it to get more donations.
The first step is creating a Facebook page for your app or game. This should start before the app or game is even released. As you gain followers, keep updating them on the progress of your app during development, launch, and after.
You can also promote the page to gain more followers and encourage your followers to download and use your app. This is one way of growing your app users. Remember to find a selling point that convinces people to use your app.
On the app, encourage those users who have not yet followed you on Facebook to do so. This way, you will be growing both the app users and Facebook followers. You can then go live on the page from time to time and talk about donations. You can also use the platform’s advertising tools to request app downloads and donations.
Try Out These Tip Jar Ideas
The message you place on your donation buttons or pages plays a crucial role in convincing an app user to donate. You do not have to be serious all the time throughout your app, sometimes, puns and humor can go a long way in increasing your donations.
If you look at these ideas for tipping jars, for instance, you will realize that they are very important when it comes to convincing guests in restaurants and other premises to donate. Imagine going for a drink and then you see a message like “Tip before your sip”.
You would maybe be ashamed to start drinking before tipping. This is not playing with the psychology of guests, but rather being creative to encourage them to donate. You need to employ the same tactics on your game or app.
Using these tip jar ideas, you can also implement the same tactics on your app. Find ways of implementing humor, sentiments of shame, donations for a cause, incentives, or even asking users to vote by donating. This way, you will convince users to donate, helping you get more donations.
Give Incentives to Donors
You will not receive a standard donation from all app users. Each user will donate what they want to donate or what their financial situations allow. What do you do to those people who donate apart from sending an appreciation note or email?
This is something you can use to encourage other users to donate. It can be done through digital incentives. They play an important role in engaging your donors, appreciating them, and giving them a reason to donate even more.
Digital incentives might include things such as badges, access to certain features of your game or app, tutorial access from your partners or sponsors, recognition on your website, newsletters, or social media platforms, and digital certificates, among others.
Let us take the example of badges. You can set different badges, such as gold, silver, and bronze depending on the amount of money donated. If new users realize that some users have badges, they might be interested in donating to get one themselves.
Apart from helping you get more donations, digital incentives can also help build a relationship between your users and yourself. They also give them a sense of connection to your app.
To increase momentum and attract more users towards using your app or game, you need to create a blog and write different blog posts. Your blog posts should talk about the app, what it does, and why it stands out from other apps.
You can share links to your blog and blog posts on the app or game, on social media platforms, and in newsletters with your app users. However, there are a couple of things you need to do for you to get more donations through your blog.
Use long-form content
Most readers prefer reading long content that makes sense compared to short content that does not. This is also important for your search engine optimization.
Provide useful and emotional information
When creating content, make sure that it connects with your app users and blog readers. You should also ensure that they are convinced to download and use your app.
You can add pictures, videos, and infographics, among others to break the long-form text. They help attract the attention of your readers.
When writing these blog posts, make sure that your readers understand that you have developed a free app or game. However, tell them that you need support – through donations – to keep on improving the app and making it better. This can help you get more donations.
In conclusion, creating an app or game is not a walk in the park. It needs a skilled person, takes a lot of time, and consumes a lot of resources. One way for developers to compensate for this is through donations. Following the tips discussed above, you will find it easy to get more donations from your users.