CPI App Campaigns’ Optimization: How To Get It Right!

Beatrice Bursese
December 16, 2022
CPI App Campaigns’ Optimization: How To Get It Right!

Cost per install (CPI) is a predetermined price for which every advertiser agrees to pay the publisher every time a user installs their app. This model is used in app campaigns because it represents one of the most used metrics in app marketing, and it is different from CPA, which refers to a pricing model where advertisers pay media sources a fixed rate based on some post-install events or generated by the user.  

Benefits of a CPI app campaign

A CPI campaign is a marketing strategy focused on the acquisition of mobile users through specific ads placed by an ad network to encourage app downloads. Running a CPI campaign can bring some important benefits to your marketing effort. Let’s analyze some of the pros of a CPI app campaign:

  • Low risk for the advertisers compared to other pricing models

Since it is a performance-based model, advertisers pay for the installations that take place and not for the users that see (CPM) or click (CPC) the ad.

  • Grow your user base quickly

CPI helps grow the user base of the app faster than the organic installs alone

  • Good KPI for the campaign

CPI is a KPI that can be optimised, e.g. to lower its value, and thus the cost to advertisers 

Nevertheless, there are also some drawbacks that can affect a CPI campaign: CPI, for example, is not as profitable as CPA because it cannot guarantee that the user will remain engaged with the app. Also, the number of installs of an app does not always have something to do with the engagement of the user, thus, no revenue is generated.

Reasons to optimize a CPI app campaign

There are plenty of reasons to optimize a CPI campaign: since this campaign can lead you to significant benefits in terms of volume of installs and revenue (depending on the goals set for your campaign), you should always optimize your CPI campaign if you want to increase your conversion rate by raising the volume of installs as quickly as possible.

Another goal could be decreasing all the costs used to boost the convention rate. In this way, you can use your budget more efficiently. The optimization can also have the goal of increasing the number of specific in-app events helping ROI’s growth and reducing eCPA (the equivalent cost per acquisition).

Tips for a successful optimization

If you want to optimize your CPI campaign, you should follow these 3 tips that can help you produce an effective marketing strategy:

  • Location: it refers to the location of the user and it is fundamental for the set-up of the cost of a CPI campaign. A CPI campaign can be optimised for geolocalisation by targeting states, regions, cities and zip codes. The richer countries are expected to have more high-quality users which spend more in-app. That’s why advertisers choose to adopt a higher price tag for richer countries.
  • Os version: you must always keep in mind the difference between iOS and Android users. This distinction is strictly related to the location point: iOS is more dominant in more developed countries, while Android has a great predominance in Southern Asia. What’s more, there is also a significant difference between the different versions of the Os, which can increase or not the profitability in terms of CPI.  
  • Creatives: they are made of videos, banners, playable, interstitials and native. Each of them has a different cost that generates different results. An efficient and optimised rotation of creativity can decrease campaign costs, increasing user-generated revenues and the overall ROI.  


CPI optimization can provide several benefits and low risks for advertisers, helping to grow the user base quickly. Despite the drawbacks that this kind of campaign can have, you can focus on some specific features to optimize your CPI campaigns such as the location, the Os version and the creatives used to boost the installs of your app.