With over 6000 mobile apps released through the Google Play Store every day, working for an up-and-coming app can often feel like David battling Goliath. Accurate data becomes all the more critical to your company’s survival when you’re working for a startup. With less room for financial gambles, data is key to helping startups make performance-driven decisions and avoid wasting money on channels that aren’t worth it. If you are new to user acquisition (UA) management or would like to refresh your memory of the basics, this guide will help you get up to speed.
Product optimization (in-app and ASO)
Before spending your advertising budget to attract new users, make sure your product is one worth downloading – starting with ASO (App Store Optimization) and the onboarding experience. This will likely require cross-team collaboration to get right, but will avoid users dropping out mid-way through the install process.
ASO: Efficient ASO is a cost-effective way to inform users about your product and persuade them to install. Ways to improve your App Store ranking includes using relevant keywords in your app’s name and description, localizing content and sharing useful screenshots. Learn more ASO practices here.
In-app optimization: When looking for ways to optimize your onboarding experience, ensure your app has clear navigation, effective call-to-actions and images that help the user enjoy your product with ease. The aim is to identify ways to avoid churn and maximize ARPU (average revenue per user).
Focusing on these areas ensures that your hard work won’t be let down by oversights in the user funnel. Once you are confident in your in-app optimizations and ASO, you’re ready to prepare your campaigns.
How UA works: Setting objectives and KPIs
Defining your objectives
Setting campaign objectives needs to happen before implementing a campaign so that your performance can be easily measured, and ensures it’s aligned with your company goals.
When setting your objectives you must be aware of how branding campaigns and performance campaigns differ. If you are driving users to perform a particular action (such as downloads, registrations or purchases) this will be a performance campaign. With the help of an attribution provider, you can then measure the results of this campaign and know exactly how many users performed each action. Your results will show which channels performed best, allowing you to optimize your investments for future campaigns.
Unlike performance campaigns, a branding campaign’s primary goal is to spread awareness of your app. This is a more complicated measurement because — unlike downloads and purchases — a campaign’s branding influence is not immediately quantifiable. However, you can still learn how many users have seen your campaign and use that to estimate its influence. The pricing model for branding campaigns is aligned with this approach by charging based on views.
Setting your KPIs
Once you have clearly defined your objectives, it’s time to set up key performance indicators (KPIs) that will define success for your campaign. In-app factors and campaign indicators are both meaningful, so it’s important to invest time into outlining every KPI that aligns with your goals.
The CPI (cost per install) and CAC (customer acquisition cost) are essential target KPIs. With help from your attribution provider you can then compare ad networks, campaigns and ads to see which of these align with your goals. For all the key terms you need to know at this stage, read the KPI section of our Back to Basics guide.
Once you know what your KPIs are you need to ensure they can be measured. This enables you to factor in every KPI and learn the true performance of your campaigns. This will have a significant impact on your analysis and UA strategy moving forward: your KPIs will inform which marketing channels are helping you reach your objectives.
How attribution providers can help
Attribution companies like Adjust help you get a clear view of the journey users take, from first impression to in-app events. By implementing a mobile app tracking SDK you can get data points for every action a user takes to map out their customer journey. This means you can accurately measure KPI such as which channels deliver the most downloads, the revenue generated by those users and how long those users keep your app installed. In short, they give you the means to determine the most effective ads.