App developers want to get the maximum benefit from their apps. But what are the main steps towards successful mobile monetization? There are several factors that developers should consider before shaping their strategy. Let’s review the best practices for ad publishers to generate more revenue and successfully monetize their app.  

Focus on the efficient ad formats

There are numerous ad formats available for in-app advertising. Publishers can easily get lost trying to make the right choice. The ad should not only fit the app content, design and user experience but also engage users and induce them to take an action. App publishers certainly prioritize the ad formats that bring more profit. The higher the CTR rates for the ads, the better outcome there is both for advertisers and publishers. Brands get a more engaged audience, while publishers get better payouts.  

What are the most popular ad formats for in-app advertising?

Catfish (banners)

This is the oldest and most widespread ad format.  The ad appears on top of the app content; users can click on it or make it disappear by pressing the button.


ad formats for mobile monetization

Native ads

The native ad format integrates seamlessly into the app, to fit surrounding content and avoid interrupting user experience.

ad formats for mobile monetization



This type of ads appears on the screen in the natural break points of the app flow, for example between the game levels. Usually, the ads cover the whole screen.

ad formats for mobile monetization

Video ads

One of the newer ad formats, video ads can be served in-stream (before, in the middle or after the publisher’s own video content) or out-stream (in a video player on top of the publisher’s content or in interstitial placements).


ad formats for mobile monetization

Mobile video ads boast high view rates and are taking the lead in terms of profitability. As for other ad formats, according to Clickky’s research, publishers prefer catfish, native and full-screen ads among all the available formats. Meanwhile, interstitial ads take the last place in the rating of the most popular ad formats. At the same time, looking at the click-through rates it is clear that dialogue ads, expandable ads and rich media — somewhat less widespread formats — demonstrate better results in terms of clickability.

Overall, there is no one right answer to what type of ad will definitely work in the best way for a particular app. But it’s clear that testing and trying out different ad types, including less conventional ones, can provide app developers with more opportunities for monetizing traffic and reaching out to the audience.

Optimize ads for UX

In addition to making the right choice of the most profitable ad format in terms of CTR and clickability, app developers need to think about user experience. Sometimes earning more means compromising the experience that users have with the app — and that can lead to an undesirable outcome of higher churn rates. App developers should check if they comply with the following basic demands to the app UX:

  • Ads don’t create clutter

Any app can contain only a limited number of ads. It’s no good to clutter the screen with all types of ad formats that appear at will and interrupt the interaction with the app. This can result in skyrocketing churn rates and mass uninstalls.

  • All the key buttons and menu tabs are clearly visible

Any kind of ad that pops up on the screen shouldn’t obscure the main menu and escape button. Users should be able to close the ad and continue using the app or return to the start screen if they don’t wish to interact with the advertising.

  • The design is consistent throughout the app

This applies to ads as well as to other design elements: the functionality of each button should be clear and consistent; all the elements should work similarly in all parts of the app.

  • Interactive elements are predictable and familiar

Don’t make the users guess about how the app elements work. This includes ads — make sure that the ad formats that you choose are familiar to the audience and don’t create confusion about how to interact with them.

Analyze your strategy with reliable metrics

Choosing the right ad format and placing it strategically in an app is just a part of the monetization process. After the implementation of ad formats, app developers should pay close attention to how the ads perform, how the audience reacts and whether the chosen tactics generate enough revenue.

The metrics that give an idea of the success in monetization include ARPU — the average revenue per user for a certain period. It is calculated as a ratio of revenue for a given period to the number of users. The key function of this metric is to determine the approximate value of one user for the application. That is, how much revenue you can drive from a definite number of people in your audience. By knowing how much you can earn with the specific traffic volume, learn about ARPPU. It is the average revenue per one paying user, a metric that helps to determine the specific profitability of your chosen segment of the audience. If the earnings you get are less than you expected, check these two metrics. It is either about attracting more users to the app or attracting users that pay more.

The key measurements of success for any app developer are RR (retention rate) and Churn rates. They show not only whether the monetization strategy works, but also if the design, functionality and content of the app are attractive to users. If the churn rate is high, it’s a good idea to check if the app works properly, whether there are bugs or crushes. On the other hand, high RR indicates that the app developer managed to attract target audience and keep it interested enough to use the application continuously. Increasing the app stickiness is what app developers should focus on.

Choose reliable monetization partners

Last but not least, choose your monetization partners wisely. Connect to the platforms or networks that supply quality ads from reputable advertisers, provide support for app developers and give the tools for tracking and analyzing monetization metrics.

Looking for monetization partner? Work with Clickky.


The key to successful monetization is a combination of best practices. It includes choosing the right ad format, keeping UX user-friendly and integrating with reliable advertising partners that supply quality ads. Ticking the most important steps off the list, publishers can be sure to generate more profit.