Apps, Smart Phone Apps, iPhone Apps, Phone Apps, Mobile Apps…whatever you wish to call them, they are certainly the tool that is being totally embraced in the current marketplace.

All types of businesses are utilizing this technology to communicate more effectively and in a more targeted manner. All types of businesses are also creating more leads and profits from Mobile Apps, used strategically and in partnership with their marketing.

There are of course many ways an app could bring in revenue for you, not just in your business alone, and in this article I will address 5 of these. The first 3 are for business owners who develop an app specifically for their business and customers and use it as part of their marketing strategy:

1. Lead Generation

Gaining extra sales means gaining new customers as well as increased sales from existing customers. Lead Generation is a vital part of this and most businesses now have a Lead Gen opt in or subscription form on their website and Social Media. This can also be extended to your business app.

Every time someone download your app, they will receive a front of phone message letting them know what you are offering and how they will benefit. In most cases, they are interested in your business before they even go looking for your app so it would make sense that they will fill in the form and subscribe/opt in to the value offering you have.

Having a list will enable better marketing as well as gaining new sales from the people who come into your sales funnel this way.

2. Front Of Phone Messages

Also known as Push Notifications, this function is an amazing way to get in front of your customers and potential customers (people who have downloaded your app but are not a customer yet). By having the ability to announce special offers/new products/appointment vacancies/tips and advice or event reminders in this way, you are reaching your interested audience AND you are reaching them without having to compete with a noisy marketplace – right there on their mobiles.

That is powerful, effective and will generate sales by keeping your business top of mind.

Depending on your business type, this is also a great way to fill appointment spots last minute, remind people of happenings within your business and also offer spot specials to make a quite day/night more profitable.

3. 24/7 Browsing and Sales

If you have a shopping cart or purchasing capability o your website, your business app is a great companion and a more convenient way for your customers to browse and buy from you.

Your app could also be a stand alone shopping device with your goods/services or products available at the top of a button to the user- through their mobile device.

There are more people sitting with their tablet, iPad or phone than sitting at their computer and even though they can look up your website on their device (and it needs to be mobile friendly!) it is MORE convenient and LESS hassle to simply tap on an icon (your app icon) and then browse your store, tap on what they desire and then buy.

The next 2 ways to make revenue from a mobile app are outside of your business and would be for an app development that you invest more time and money into for the return.

4. Develop a unique Industry app

In many industries and professions, there are systems and ways of doing things that are time consuming and often challenging for the business owner to manage.

Apps have come a long way to solving some of the everyday problems and tasks and systems by having the ability to streamline and calculate.

Is there a task or system in your business that could be made more simple by having an app do the work? If so, by investing in the development of this type of app and then selling it to your industry, you could be in line for some nice profits.

Examples of this would be Zero, and also Evernote. There are also many other apps in the marketplace that serve a purpose by either storing or calculating for you. Collecting data, keeping track of timesheets etc are all valuable processes to be streamlined and made easy. Apps can do that and they can have a nice revenue if done correctly.

5. Develop an Industry app and sell the licence to use it.

This is another very popular way to earn from an app development. If you have a great idea for a way to make something easier, or if you have an idea that would mean other businesses in your industry would also benefit, having a specific app to do this means you can licence it out so that you are earning from it, and the businesses who use it are also earning from it.

An example of this would be the Coffee Card app that is currently in the marketplace. This app is a loyalty card system in an app. The coffee shops/cafes that are using this app, pay a fee for the use. The customers benefit. The shop owner benefits and the app developer benefits. This is a great way for a business such as a cafe, to have a loyalty system in place instead of developing their own (which in some cases would actually be more cost effective!)

There you have it. 5 ways an app could bring in revenue to you and your business.

In the end, its all about how to communicate with your customers. Building relationships will create loyalty. This will create more referrals, sales and long term custom.

An app is the perfect tool for this as it cuts through all the white noise and places YOUR business directly in the hands of your interested and loyal audience.

Monetise your app too and you have the perfect sales tool working with you and for you.