User acquisition (UA) is the process of acquiring new users through various marketing activities. The main forms of user acquisition are organic, non-organic (or paid) and app store optimization (ASO). An organic install happens spontaneously because the user is not prompted by any marketing activity, while a paid user acquisition (non-organic) is the process of encouraging users to install a specific app through advertisements or other marketing channels. Mobile user acquisition is a key point of every app grow startegy and it is crucial for app growth.
Main user acquisition channels for mobile apps
Paid user acquisition works through different media channels used to prompt users to install a specific app. Here below you can find the main user acquisition channels:
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Brand advertising
- App Install Campaigns
In this article, we will especially focus on the app install campaigns and especially on how CPI app campaigns can help your user acquisition strategy.
What are CPI campaigns?
Cost per Install (CPI) is a negotiated price for mobile app user acquisition campaigns that the advertiser agrees to pay to the publisher every time a user installs and opens their app. CPI can be fixed or variable, depending on the channel used to run the campaign. A marketing partner gets paid only when the users install the app by clicking on the publishers ‘ads and this process is referred to as a performance-based marketing activity, which means that advertisers only pay for concrete results and that the only risk is for the ad network (or DSP).
Most advertisers prefer this type of CPI app campaign because it involves less risk as opposed to other methods such as CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPM (Cost Per Mille). CPM refers to the cost per 1000 impressions generated by the ad. It is usually used to increase the awareness and engagement of the brand, and it is employed within RTB exchanges. CPC, on the other hand, is preferred if the goal is driving conversions.
The choice of the pricing model will depend on the strategy preferred for the app, for this reason, CPI can be used in those campaigns where the advertiser is focused on the growth of its app user base. In contrast, CPA campaigns focus on revenue generation through specific in-app events such as purchases, and transactions who are most likely to perform a specific action helping to increase the ROAS.
Why do CPI campaigns help you improve your user acquisition?
Here below we suggest some of the most important benefits of a CPI campaign:
- Growing your user base faster than with organic installs
- Optimize your user acquisition towards business-related KPIs
- Acquiring high-quality users with sophisticated targeting capabilities
Following these few steps, you will be able to get a profitable CPI app campaign with the goal of acquiring new users.
Growing your user base faster than with organic installs
Organic user acquisition represents the highest valuable traffic. However, due to its limits, such as its less scalability, CPI campaigns appear to be more successful if you want to achieve quick results in creating a customer base or if you want to find more users.
Since growth is a necessary element for your app campaign, acquiring new users and maximizing their value is very important. Reaching a target audience for your app is not easy since organic is never enough to scale very much.
Optimizing your user acquisition towards business-related KPIs
CPI campaigns are not only used to acquire users, but they can also be optimized toward business - related KPIs which are related to the revenues generated inside the app. For example, campaigns can be optimized toward users who generate more in-app purchases, who have a high LTV or ARPU.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) is another important indicator that measures how profitable an app is (and the overall revenue generated). LTV is another core metric to follow because it calculates the lifetime of a user and the revenue of your app. Tracking the ROAS is also fundamental because it estimates how much revenue is generated from a specific ad or campaign.
Acquiring high-quality users with sophisticated targeting capabilities
Ad networks and DSPs which run CPI campaigns, often have sophisticated targeting capabilities which allow, for example, to target specific operating system versions, devices, connection types, and geographic locations. Thanks to these processes, it is possible to optimize campaigns and acquire high-quality users, that is, users who have high LTV and generate in-app revenues.