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The graph shows “advertising fatigue”? Here are some things you can do about it


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Oh no, not those old banners again! Mental clicking on “ignore”. We are all worried from this reaction when users see ads within our app. But, hey! Ads are a major contributor to our app revenues… Help is needed! Here are some ideas to win over advertising fatigue.

I was recently working for an app developer whose main monetization model is based on in-app advertising. The company got really worried after identifying that the users are becoming annoyed by the ads or even just ignore it (not elegantly at all…). For any mobile-app developer this scenario is a scary one!

We have decided to roll up our sleeves and dig in for some fresh ideas that will help us get through the clutter. We found gold. Seems that you can get quite creative with how and which ad format you implement in your app.

I am sharing here two interesting formats that came up in this journey. These can help you boost your revenues. The two are very different but both could be relatively easy to implement, so you can get going quickly!

DIY marketing community

Polling – an innovative monetization overlay

This is a really cool one. I remembered meeting a startup company called Pollfish while visiting MWC in Barcelona. I saw their demo specifically, but there are probably similar offerings out there (or there will be soon enough). They had created a monetization layer that comes on top of your existing ad inventory, meaning that you can continue leveraging your existing inventory. That’s quite an icing on the cake! This additional monetization layer prompts users to fill in surveys (coming directly from advertisers or market research companies). Now, Pollfish’s UX (requires an SDK implementation, as expected) is one of the things that captured my attention. We are talking here about a seamless, non-intrusive, small icon that floats on top of the app screen, and doesn’t interrupt the user from interacting with the app. Once users decide to click on this icon they are requested to fill in a survey. In order to encourage users to participate, publishers (that’s you I guess) can choose to offer a certain incentive to users who fill in surveys, but Pollfish claim that you could certainly gain great conversion rates without offering incentives. After all, it’s just a few questions, and we all take surveys every now and then.

OK, great, but where is the $$$? You will get your cut per completed survey. And according to Pollfish it starts at $0.30.

Those of you how already monetize on ads will probably agree with me that this sounds like a pretty good deal. Especially since it doesn’t interfere with the ad inventory you are already monetizing, just adds to it.

Now, I immediately had some concerns with regards to this floating button and how it can annoy users, but Pollfish say they can play with the frequency (e.g., offer one survey per day per user).

Why do I like it? First, it’s a new format, not yet overly used. Second, it offers fresh interaction with users who are used to passive ads. Now this is a real chance to help them recover from their advertising fatigue! They can now fill in surveys through a mobile, applicative infrastructure, express an opinion and make a difference. According to Pollfish they actually like it!

Check out below the looks in Quizoid Android app. The middle screen shows Pollfish’s red icon on the top left. Once clicked, the third screen appears and the actual survey starts.

Quizoid_Pollfish example

Click to enlarge

Native ads

Native ads are really hyped these days. It’s not one advertising format, but really an advertising concept. I believe the inspiration for them comes from the install ads format that you can see on Facebook (and on other mediums as well).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The ad looks like it’s part of the news feed, an integral part of your Facebook experience. And that’s what native ads are all about. The ads are presented in a way that’s fully contextual and consistent with the user experience, in our case, the app.

You can imagine that a user seeing native ad feels less interrupted, and therefore is more willing to take a look and click on the ad. Naturally, as this is a new advertising concept, it can be served in many formats, depending on the app and the experience it offers – text, videos, images, etc. But remember, the ad network/platform you are working with should be supporting native ads as well, to complete the cycle. Many of them already support native ads, and more are jumping on the wagon each day.

Native ads are more effective, more relevant and are performing much better than the traditional ad formats. And advertisers are willing to pay more for better results. So you have a real chance here to improve and increase your $$ from advertising, while all along make your users happy.

So you’re probably asking yourself just now: OK, I understand the concept, but how and where do I implement it exactly? Think of your app’s main events/actions. Search, share, reach some goal, play, jump between levels, etc. Each of these presents an opportunity to display an ad with a call for action.

Here are some examples of how native ads look like:

An ad as part of an app’s news stream

An ad as part of an app’s news stream

An ad as part of an app’s contact list

An ad as part of an app’s contact list

An ad following a user achievement

An ad following a user achievement (Done by

Native ads offer quite a lot of flexibility around copy and creative, so brand marketers are happy to join the game and give it a try. Since native ads by definition need to be seamless in your current app flows and events, it’s relatively easy to implement.

To give you an idea of expected results from native ads, here is a guarantee from NativeX (for game apps): Nativex guarantees to pay developers $30k if their revenues do not increase by 30% (at least). Testimonials from ad publishers talk about even higher scales, higher than 50% increase. Now that’s maximizing app ad revenues!

You can access professional training on how to maximize ads revenues and reduce ad fatigue here.

To summarize, we all need to stay in the know all the time, find new, innovative ways to keep our users engaged, interested and delighted. Even when using advertising, which we all love to hate.

If you are familiar with any other interesting ad formats, please share it as a comment at the bottom of this item. We will make sure we investigate it further and tell you what we think. We are here to share and learn from each other!

Tsipi Joseph
Tsipi is one of Co-Founders, a mobile expert and a mentor. Over 10 years of experience in the mobile and marketing industry: Director of Marketing at Telmap, Comverse and marketing professional development director at the American Association of National Advertisers.
Tsipi Joseph
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