The User Acquisition Playbook for App Growth Marketers

Do you need thousands of low cost, highly targeted, cheap installs?

Our user acquisition playbook will be your guide. It’ll give you an action plan you can put into use right after you read it.

“How exactly does it help me?” – you ask.

The plan shows you how to scale your monthly users, and to take advantage of the rising digital advertising trends.

The best part?

Most of this will get your installs below $0.20 CPI!

Now you might think it’s too good to be true. Let us tell you what’s this all about.

Before we dive in, let’s talk about who’s this study made for. We all know there are a bunch of pricing models for apps out there. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll take the example of apps using in-app purchases. That usually covers a wide variety of industries so it felt like a good fit.

You may be present in the lifestyle industry, or have an awesome car-rental app, or help discover the World for travelers – it really doesn’t matter. Now, we’re not saying it’s not useful if you have a paid app or your main revenue stream is from in-app ads… but you may need some modifications to this strategy before implementing.

The upcoming sketch might look a little strange or complicated first… but no worries, we’ve got you.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Man, I just wish I knew what works,” then this blog post is going to be the best blog post you read all year.

It starts with Google Ads [AC], Facebook [FB], and then AppLovin [AL].

These three networks are commonly used by top media buyers because they provide massive traffic at a great CPC with precise targeting.

Expert Mobile Marketers Love These 3 Networks Because Of Their Cheap Traffic Combined With Hefty Scale

Next, is still a little bit of untapped water, mobile retargeting.

By using Google Remarketing lists, Facebook’s custom audiences and Criteo you can use deep-linked ads to retarget your app users with personalized ads. Is it good for your business?

Using retargeting, we’re seeing a 25% uplift in retention rates.

Kinda great, right?

If you’re reading this, you probably put great effort into UA. Put the same effort into retargeting too. Use it to bring back customers who have stopped using the app and to communicate with active users to drive more sales. Hit two birds with one stone.

Quick tip: you should create audiences by using the RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) technique – at least this one worked out the best for us. So take a closer look at:

  • how recently they visited your app (more specifically a high-converting screen in your app)
  • how frequent visitors / action-takers (again, on a high-converting screen/action)
  • did they purchase already?

And then test all the above examples as you see fit.

We discovered these best practices while working with some of the most exciting App Startups in Europe.

We also use competitive intelligence tools like AppAnnie, Mobile Action, AdEspresso (etc) to analyze your trends and competitors. 🕵️

Based on all of our experience and the data that we saw last year, we believe this playbook is the strongest media plan for modern mobile marketers.

”Aw, if I had a penny for every digital marketer saying this about his stuff, I wouldn’t need to read all these pages…”

Familiar thoughts?

To make you sure we’re not just making this up, we’ve brought you proofs. Below you’ll see screenshots showing ad spend by network for a few of the world’s largest mobile advertisers…

Did you notice that Admob, Facebook, and Unity are the only three that all 3 companies had in common?

Listen, we’re not just making this up. We have access to an astounding amount of data that makes sure this is a collection of the “most sought-after” digital ad strategies.

The best part?

You can either be a one-man shop, or you can have a team of in-house media buyers – it doesn’t matter. Following this strategy, anyone can drive millions of clicks – profitably. (Providing you have a proper app that users love)

Obviously, some customization might be needed based on individual needs, but we felt this is a good template for companies to start with.

What You Need To Know About
Google’s App Campaigns To Get Started

[AC]: Google’s Universal App Campaigns

It’s an automated ad type, similar to Dynamic Creatives on Facebook. After you submit a couple lines of ad copy, some visual assets, choose the campaign objective, set the budget, and bidding, Google automatically generates your ads and optimizes them for each network. When you find the winning recipe, it can scale MASSIVELY. It works best if your market is more Android vs iPhone.

[FB]: Facebook Ads

While Facebook is getting more saturated (and costly), they do have arguably the best traffic sources for Mobile Apps. Period. We still urge you to not rely on one network only but that’s been a rule of thumb since there’s more than one out there.

They are not easy on compliance for sure. You have to be careful around how you’re crafting your ads. You can read their guidelines here. (We live and breathe these as well.)

Also, use as many videos as you can. They work like a charm. (Best ads blend seamlessly into its surroundings. Meaning, you might think it’s a regular post on your feed.)

Another titan ahead.

[AL]: AppLovin

They have a very solid position in the Gaming app space right after Google and Facebook. It’s more about unconventional ideas that can bring success. You can be bold… but testing and optimizing based on data are the basics here as well. Besides AppLovin, there’s a vast number of mobile ad networks out there, just to name a few – Vungle, Unity, TapJoy, Fiber. You should take a look at Unity as well – especially if you have a lifestyle or utility app.

What You Need To Know About
Mobile Retargeting

Just because it works on the web, you can’t assume it will work on mobile too. On the web, it’s about “pushing people down your sales funnel with ads” – it’s definitely not the same here.

How do I do it then, should you ask. Let’s see.

You can’t take your eyes off the goal – which is to make more revenue. But on mobile, you also can affect their whole experience with your app in a way you’d never be able to on the web.

Sounds exciting, right?

You can help them learn the basics, discover new things inside or eventually get them to buy. It’s not rocket science, you just need rock-solid research on your customers before you dive in.

Ready for the next one?

[FB]: Facebook Retargeting

As we said, Facebook has the best traffic for mobile and that stands for retargeting as well. With their custom and lookalike audiences, you can create an audience from all your users and then serve them short video ads later on while they are on Facebook or Instagram. Put the same effort into these ads as you do with your UA campaigns, and you will be fine.

Or even more than that.

Imagine a user who was on the fence about your offer all of a sudden seeing video testimonials, user demonstrations, or short teasers for days after they leave your checkout page. Surely, you see how this is way more powerful than simple banner retargeting.

We hope you love these so far.

[AC]: Google Remarketing

Google is a whole different from Facebook and adjusting can be a bit tough at the beginning…but it’s actually kinda nice in the end. You should focus on creative and bids first. Then when you find the winning recipe, it can scale MASSIVELY.

Criteo is also worth taking a look at if you’re in the ecom space.

It was an adventurous, full-o-expertise, and fairly long drive.

“Man, that’s a ton of new information. Where should I start? How can I make sure I won’t mess it up, and end up losing my hard-earned money?”

We’ve got you.

Wrap Up:

The best part about the roll-out strategy is that it works for a one-man shop or a company with its own team of internal media buyers. It’s simple enough for the amateur and strong enough for the veteran.

However, if this looks overwhelming to you, or if you don’t have accounts in these networks, or if you don’t have the time to learn how to use each of these networks, then you should let us make it hands-free for you.

Our enthusiastic team of media buyers specializes in User Acquisition ad campaigns. We can guide you through the scary maze of compliance rules, and help you scale your campaigns to the moon (we LOVE to do that).

What we need from you…

  1. Proven/tested application that is capable of converting the precisely targeted clicks we send towards your app. (Note: we do not work with newly built Apps)
  2. Tracking already set up – we work with all 3rd party tracking solutions that are capable of attributed ad tracking. However, other solutions (like using deep links for measurement) are not acceptable tracking solutions for our services.
  3. 1 day of your time to plan and build your digital marketing strategy.
If this is you, fill out our appointment setter form and one of our colleagues will be in touch with you in 24 hours to set up a strategy call with you.

Again, this is for serious App marketers only.

For everyone else, we answer every e-mail (as soon as possible), so if you have questions, drop us a line here. We’d love to hear your opinion about the article too. Also, if you found the information above helpful, sharing it on LinkedIn or Facebook helps us a lot in producing more content like this. If it wasn’t for the shares, we just couldn’t afford to keep producing free content like this.

Thanks for reading. Have an awesome day!

If you’d like our direct help planning and implementing these strategies for your market, then contact us today for more info. No obligations or contracts. The goal is to determine if we can help your business grow and find our best fit clients.

We made a Spreadsheet of the most valuable traffic sources an App Startup could ever use and it’s making millions for top-grossing apps right now.
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We made a Spreadsheet of the 50 most valuable traffic sources an App Startup could ever use and it’s making millions for top-grossing apps right now.