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How To Make Money With Emoji Apps

Bring home the bacon

by Mark in Monetization

The emoji craze is here and app developers are cashing in!


Because the annual increase in emoji usage in messages is 775%.  No, that is NOT a typo.  We are literally being fed emojis.

The best news is, there’s LOTS of room for emojis and the emoji boom has just begun!

If you’re reading this, you’ve already drank the emoji kool-aid, but you’re probably asking yourself – “how can I profit from emojis?”

Below are the 5 most lucrative ways to profit from an emoji app.

1. Make It Paid


But it’s true, you can make stacks of cash by making your emoji project a paid app.

Emoji InText Pro is priced on the App Store at just $0.99 and is estimated to make over $62k a month (Apptopia).

Making your app paid is the easiest way to get a quick return, but keep in mind – paid emoji apps need to offer premium features and/or emojis.

2. In-App Purchases

Ever asked yourself how free apps make money?  In-app purchases are the easiest and most common way free apps bring in revenue.  They do this buy selling goods and/or services inside their app.

Here’s how it works…

A bacon fanatic (yum) searches the App Store and finds a tasty BaconMoji free app.  They download the app and get hooked on all the app’s delicious bacon emojis.

Next, they are offered 5 packs of animated bacon emojis for just $1.99.


Below is a list of the types of in-app purchases you’ll find in emoji apps:

  • Unlock Emoji Pack – $0.99
  • Unlock ALL Packs – $1.99
  • Add Emoji Keyboard – $1.99
  • Unlock 150 NEW emojis – $2.99

If you want to publish a free app, in-app purchases are a powerful monetization tool to hook your user into paying for more premium content.

3. Advertisements

Serving ads is a viable way to make money with free emoji keyboard apps if you can keep the user in the app.

Here’s how it works…

Publishers pay Advertisers per ad impression, click, and conversion.

For example, the user opens an emoji keyboard app and an ad appears.  If the user clicks on the ad, the publisher will payout the advertiser and you (the app developer).

Most users spend less than 30 seconds in an emoji app.  But within that 30 seconds, you can target ads you’re serving to specific themes and trends associated with the emoji app.  For a dog emoji app, you can target dog food ads.  For a car emoji app, you can target a specific brand of motor oil.

This makes for higher ad conversions and more earned income per ad impression, click, and install.

(and more money in your pocket…)

Just like the App Store, ad networks do take a cut of the profit.  The amount taken by ad networks is usually around 30%, unless you have agreed on a direct deal.

The 2 most popular ad networks used in emoji apps are AdMob and Applovin. Using these marketing platforms, you can serve:

  • Banner ads
  • Interstitials
  • Video ads

To find out what converts best for your emoji app, you need to test different advertisement platforms, where/when your ads are served, and different ad offers.

4. Create Content

Creating content is a fantastic way to get more app downloads, for free.

By leveraging emails, newsletters, blog posts, and social media networks, you can get more eyeballs on your app and build a stronger relationship with your users.

For your emoji keyboard app to go viral, you need to be creating content on Facebook.

Facebook will help your emoji app:

  1. Get more exposure and downloads
  2. Engage with your users
  3. Build custom audiences for paid traffic campaigns
  4. As a support channel
  5. Share posts to help your app go viral

Create a Facebook page for your app and post daily.

5. Paid Traffic Campaigns

The quickest and easiest way to find and target emoji app users, is through paid traffic campaigns.  With paid traffic, YOU control your marketing.

What is a paid traffic campaign?

Paid traffic is when you pay to get visitors to an app or website.

Here are some common types of paid traffic: Social Media Advertisement (SMA) pay per click (PPC) like Google AdWords or Bing Ads, and App Store Search Ads.

With Facebook Ads, you control how many downloads your app gets. You don’t need to guess what keywords to use or battle the always changing app algorithm.

Running paid traffic campaigns is easier than you think.  Facebook’s Ad platform is so dialed, even a parent or grandparent can run a successful ad campaign.  And it’s cheap!  You can start campaigns at just $5.

Advanced Monetization Strategies

Looking for advanced ways to make money with emoji apps?  Here are 3 strategies that can make you rich!

  1. Partner with influencers – an influencer is someone with a big following that can push downloads to your app.  We recently partnered with a social media influencer and made nearly $10k the first month!  We found the influencer on Facebook and agreed on a 50/50 revenue split for every app install they were able to bring in.
  2. Make your app a subscription – apps that make the MOST money in the App Store are using the subscription model.  With subscriptions, the customer must pay a reoccurring price to have access to the app.  Emoji apps are starting to use subscriptions to leverage: free trials of the app, advanced features, and frequently added new content.
  3. Backend marketing – why limit yourself to $0.99-$1.99 revenue per user?  With backend marketing, you can collect email addresses and Facebook information to pitch customers on products and services they’re interested in.  Using an emoji app to get leads for big priced high converting products is a great way to make MORE money.

So, if you’re thinking about creating your own emoji app, or if you’re already an app developer but wondering “How do I make money with emoji apps?” study the strategies above.

I hope this post inspires you to create your own emoji app.  Emoji apps are fun low-risk projects that are great for people new to app development and advanced developers alike.

Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to reply 🙂

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