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Giacomo Balli
Innovation consultant specializing in mobile strategy
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Tips to acquire more loyal organic users for your mobile app

Following are proven best practices for promoting your app for profitable and sustainable loyal user acquisition and business growth. By employing these best practices, you can overcome the challenges outlined in the previous pages, and greatly increase the likelihood of finding the right users at the right cost. 

happy mobile app users



Work with as many traffic sources as possible


If you are working with only one traffic source type (mobile ad network, real time bidding platform, incentive based program), or even just one of each type, it really is too small a universe to be successful. You are missing out on valuable opportunities to identify the best traffic sources for driving the largest numbers of loyal users, and to scale your business.

By working with several ad networks, you can also insulate yourself from saturation on any one network, which typically results in higher acquisition costs.

The best scenario is to try to work with as many traffic sources as possible. This will enable you to reach your largest potential audience, realize the lowest-possible acquisition, and also protect your app from audience saturation. To attain the best results, app marketers should track users from at least ten traffic sources and at least two of each traffic source type.

Focus on acquiring downloads from loyal users


None of the ad networks have a method for understanding how to deliver loyal users, so you must take the initiative. The best ways to get loyal users are to:

1. Define the characteristics of your loyal user.

2. Automate the tracking of these loyal user characteristics.

3. Identify the traffic sources that generated these loyal users.

4. Steer your ad spend toward these traffic sources.

5. Track all of your users' interactions with your app.

Drive and track downloads from organic users


Organic users, those who actively seek and download your application without any marketing influence, have a much higher lifetime value than ad-driven users. These are the users you should target as they have a higher propensity to become your loyal users.

Your starting point for acquiring organic users is to establish and measure “organic lift.”

A vital dynamic that exists in mobile app advertising is the tight relationship between conversions, rank and the effect both have on generating organic users. This relationship is called “organic lift.” This is the natural “coattail effect” that conversions have on the acquisition of organic users.

In the App Store, ad-driven downloads improve rank, which allows more users to discover your app organically and, in turn, increase organic downloads. Therefore, conversion to organic lift in Apple's App Store is the ratio of organic downloads per ad-driven downloads.

As you acquire new users, the app's usage increases. As that usage increases, so does the app's rank within Google Play. This improved ranking is what yields the higher number of organic downloads. The good news for advertisers is that, once improved rank is achieved, the rank does not degrade the minute an advertiser stops spending. As such, the advertiser continues to enjoy incremental organic downloads beyond those generated during a campaign.

Over time, you can develop profiles for organic users and ad-driven users to understand what your loyal user funnel looks like to help guide your ad spend and measure ROI.

As you track your advertising program over time, be sure to continuously track organic lift and use this as a key measurement to help guide your ad spend.

Determine your optimal category and rank position to maximize cost per loyal user


What's the best category for your app? What is your optimal rank position within that category?

The answers are simple: It's the category and rank that generates the most loyal users for the lowest cost possible. Unfortunately, testing various categories and rank positions is a time consuming challenge. Here are some tips for defining your optimal category and rank position:

Category


Most apps can fit in multiple categories. For example, many games contain aspects of Social Networking, Music or Entertainment. Rather than defaulting automatically to the Games category, consider whether or not your app would be better differentiated in an alternative category.

Rank – In Category


Depending on your category, you will set a different optimal rank target. For example, if your app is in a large category, such as Games, your rank objective may be to get into the top 25. Conversely, if your app is in a smaller category, your objective may be the top five.

Further complicating this is that some apps get no more organic users at a rank of 15 than 25. So why pay for rank 15 when there is no difference between organic lift in rank 15 or 25?

Gain an understanding of your optimal rank, and track performance continuously to ensure that you are not spending more than you need to spend. This will also ensure that your rank position is delivering the required number of users.

Rank – Overall


Further complicating matters is the need to understand how overall rank impacts organic lift. Both the Apple and Android stores measure overall rank across all categories. This overall rank is highly visible in both app stores and, as a result, the overall rank can have a dramatic effect on organic lift.

App Marketers seeking the highest possible organic lift ratio may be better served seeking the optimal overall rank position regardless of category rank. As such it's just as important to test organic lift based on overall rank and category rank.

Understand the number of loyal users generated from each traffic source


Based on your definition of a loyal user, gain an understanding of the number of loyal users you are generating from each ad network and traffic source, and at what cost. Be sure to consider which intra-network sources are yielding the most efficient traffic, and consolidate spending to those sources.

Insulate yourself from variations of available traffic at a given bid


Traffic variations, and therefore ad costs, can change on a daily basis. For example, you may get a lot of traffic for five cents per click on one day, and the next day that same traffic costs 10 cents per click. Your costs just doubled. You can insulate yourself from these fluctuations by tracking traffic variations on a continuous basis, and moving your ads to more cost-effective traffic sources.

Define lifetime value per user


Define your lifetime value per user to determine how much you're willing to spend to acquire a user.

Define cost-per-conversion


Determine your cost-per-conversion target for a given volume of users. You may be able to get away with a nickel per click, but to double your volume you may have to pay 15 or 20 cents per click. It's important to understand how much to bid for a given volume to deliver the best possible ROI.

Target best-performing days of the week


Understand which days of the week are best for acquiring loyal users and adjust your ad spend accordingly.

Track ad performance based on downloads


Determine which ads and traffic sources achieve the highest download rates, rather than click through rates, because you don't want to pay for clicks that don't lead to downloads.

Define your app title with the goal of conversions


Define your app title not only in terms of brand but also in terms of app store search results and conversion of users who arrive on your app store landing page. For example, if you have a photography-oriented app, speak to the functionality of the app in its title. This way when a user searches for “picture color” you are as likely to appear in the app store search results as “Photography.”

Write your landing page copy for consumption on mobile devices


Compose store landing page copy not for how it looks on the desktop where most people proofread it, but as it appears on the device where the majority of app download decision-making occurs.

Test different creative


Conduct a/b testing of your ad creative across all traffic sources to determine which ads perform the best and swap out lower-performing ads on a per source basis.

Use short and punchy ad copy


Your ad should be more similar to search engine AdWord copy rather than traditional ad copy because you have limited space. Less is More.

#marketing, #mobile app, #optimization, #user acquisition, #users
Published: Thu, 30 May 2013 19:03:51 +0000