Affiliate Marketing Tips | 2018-07-06

How to attract quality users with cost-per-install advertising

Anastasia Zaichko
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App marketing has long been concerned with app installs. The number of downloads served to demonstrate the success of the app. However, the majority of users tend to discard applications not long after getting them from the app store, without bringing any profit to the publisher. In the long run, a few engaged users that make purchases and drive revenue are worth more than hundreds of installers that never open the app.

Although cost per install advertising is aimed at ensuring downloads, it is still an effective model for attracting the right kind of audience and highly engaged users, provided that the user acquisition campaigns are well optimized. Here are some of the best practices of how to earn more revenue with CPI advertising.

1) Make revenue the primary metric

The key mistake that marketers make is driving installs with no consideration of how users will interact with the app. Getting installs cheap is not that hard, but monetizing that kind of audience is a challenge. Working with vendors that supply low quality traffic is harmful in the long term. Getting a lot of installs can be deceptive and create great expectations of the app success, without providing any real value. That is why it is important to make revenue the most important metric and define the results of app promotion by the income that users are able to generate. Sometimes it means adjusting the strategy to pay higher CPI rates for getting better results and bigger profits.

2) Keep a close watch on fraud

Increased advertising spending has attracted fraudulent entities to the industry. The cost of fraud for the digital advertising ranges from $7.2 billion to $16.4 billion — a huge amount of money and great risks that advertisers take when running CPI campaigns. Fraud takes many guises and sometimes it’s hard to detect and prevent it. However, to be sure that the campaign budget will not go to waste it is crucial to keep a close watch on campaign data and discover suspicious activities before they harm the end result of the campaign. The signs of fraudulent actions may include the unusually high download rate from one source or identical behavior patterns for a group of installs. For combating fraud, marketers should work with the media partners that provide technological anti-fraud solutions or work with the leading anti-fraud platforms: Fraudscore, Forensiq, The Media Trust.

3) Understand incentive traffic

Marketers are often tempted to get more downloads for their apps without paying much. Incentivized campaigns are one way of driving thousands of installs for a significantly lesser price. But motivated traffic is far less efficient for gaining engaged users and driving revenue. This type of traffic implies that advertisers need to incentivize users to view the ad or interact with it in any way. Those users usually don’t have innate interest in downloading the application and they readily move it to trash once they get their reward for installing it. Motivated traffic can be instrumental for achieving certain marketing goals — for example, driving a large number of downloads to take the app into the top of category and let more users discover the app organically. At the same time, motivated traffic is not efficient for attracting large number of loyal users that make purchases in the app.

4) Nurture the audience

An install is just a start of users’ interaction with the app. Marketers should understand that building a fruitful relationship with users requires a lot of consideration and an actionable strategy. To re-engage users, marketers need to target them with relevant offers and provide rewards for returning to the app. This can be enacted through push notifications or emails that notify potential customers of the app updates or remind them about unfinished purchase or game level.

5) Analyze user behavior in the app

There’s not one single metric that can show whether the user acquisition strategy is working or not. The specific metrics you rely on will depend on the type of app and user behaviour partners typical for the particular niche. One of the indicators of the user acquisition campaign success is the number of unique users for a certain period. DAU metrics (Daily Active Users), WAU (Weekly Active Users), MAU (Monthly Active Users) show the number of people who opened your application during the day, week or month, respectively. This metric will show whether the app was installed by real people and how often they interact with it.

Another important metric tied to the number of unique users is the sticky factor, which is defined as the ratio of the number of unique users per day to their number per month (Sticky = DAU / MAU). Sticky factor helps to learn about the degree of user involvement, their loyalty, and therefore about the possibilities of app monetization.

The duration of the session, that is, the time that the user spent in the application from launching it to closing, is key to understanding how the application works. Any abnormal changes can indicate problems with the app functioning (bugs, uncomfortable interface) or the quality of traffic (wrong audience targeting).

Undoubtedly, one of the most important metrics is the Retention Rate. It shows how often users return to the application. This indicator is indispensable for assessing the quality of traffic: high RR indicate the right target audience and high quality of traffic sources. At the same time, if the majority of users churn, it’s a clear signal that there are significant shortcomings in the application.

The qualities of a great CPI network

To find loyal users marketers need to choose reliable partners. How to understand which CPI network will work best for attracting the right kind of audience?

  • Ad network has access to a large pool of partners, including direct publishers
  • Ad network is particularly strong in specific verticals or geos, which match the app profile
  • Ad network is open and transparent about rates and commissions for the campaigns
  • There are optimization capabilities that let marketers customize the campaigns

In conclusion

Attracting the right audience is not an easy task, but with a thought-out strategy and an actionable plan, marketers can achieve great results. Synergy in all your marketing efforts is crucial. For example, mobile ads generate brand awareness, which impacts your ability to get the install when you run app install ads. App install ads in return influences brand awareness, as well as driving install behavior. Other marketing channels are also synergistic. That means that your CPI advertising should be aligned with other marketing tools and performance advertising. And that’s where you need a reliable solution, such as Affise, to analyse all your online activities and optimise your ad campaigns accordingly.

Originally published