Metrics That Matter: How a Lower CPI Boosts ROI in Mobile Games

Chiara Patrizi
March 23, 2023
Metrics That Matter: How a Lower CPI Boosts ROI in Mobile Games

Advertising your mobile game is vital to get your potential users to know your product, however the current economic downturn is no help for the mobile game industry. The recession leads users to invest less and less money on mobile game apps, and this can be quite a problem for advertisers.  For this reason it is necessary to get creative in order to find up to date strategies to boost mobile game profitability. Advertisers are trying to figure out this issue by lowering their CPIs and increasing their ROI (Return On Investment).  Let me break this theme down for you and let's see how you can lower CPI for your app promotion  campaign. 

What is CPI and Why It Matters for Mobile Games

When dealing with customer acquisition costs, CPI (Cost Per Install) is probably the most popular pricing model; it  is particularly profitable for advertisers because  they will only pay for concrete results, which means App Install Actions. CPI  is a metric that calculates how much it will cost to acquire new users for your app. In other words, it is a fixed cost advertisers pay every time a user installs their app as a result of an ad campaign.  However, it is important to keep in mind that there are several factors that can alter CPI, such as geos,platforms, creative formats, app categories etc. 

The formula that calculates CPI is the following: 

Having a lower CPI value means that the advertising campaign for your app is cost-effective.

Why is CPI  Crucial for Mobile Games ROI

CPI is an important metric for mobile games developers and advertisers,  because it allows them to measure  their return on investment (ROI) and consequently the efficacy of their app promotion campaign. Return On Investment (ROI) is a useful metric to determine the long-term overall profitability of your mobile game.  To improve your  ROI, you should focus not only in gaining new users but also in keeping them engaged with your app, in order to increase revenues. 

Therefore, ROI depends both on  CPI and LTV metrics. To reach a positive ROI, the money that your users spend while using your mobile game must exceed the money you invest to gain them. 

Tips for Lowering  CPI and Increase ROI for Your Mobile Game

First of all, to build an effective User Acquisition Strategy for your Mobile Game, you must know that CPIs are deeply influenced by some factors, such as: Geos, Creative formats, App categories, Platforms etc. Let’s consider some fresh strategies to boost your app installs and lower CPI.

  • Target a specific audience from a smaller market: As an advertiser, if you want to decrease CPI costs,you can also consider targeting a specific audience belonging to a smaller market, because they tend to be cheaper. Plus by selecting a certain user segment, which is more likely to engage with your mobile game, you can avoid wasting budget on the wrong users.
  • Consider retargeting strategies:According to Appsflyer, retargeting has become crucial for the profitability of your mobile game. In a nutshell, this strategy consists in reaching out to lapsed users, who have installed your gaming app, but haven’t converted yet. 
  • To give an example, let’s say that a user, who shows interest in your product, still has the app installed on his/her device, but he/she hasn’t converted yet. As an advertiser, you can try to retarget this user using a persuasive offer that can convince him/her to engage again with your game and perform an In-App action.
  • Optimize creatives: Another way to lower CPI is to create engaging and appealing ads that can increase app installs. Making a clear and easy to understand creative format is arguably one of the best ways in which you can lower CPI,and catch the attention of potential users. To optimize your creative performance,you can try to create shorter video ads, which utilizes colors in a strategic way. For instance, using contrasting colors can help potential users to focus their attention on the main features of your game, such as the character, or the special tools used to reach the victory etc.   

Low CPI and High LTV as a Goal for Mobile Games

Nowadays, running an advertising campaign has become a challenge, especially if you want to reduce the investment costs. However, increasing ROI is not an impossible task, in fact if used together CPI (Cost Per Install) and LTV (Lifetime Value) can help reach extremely positive results for your app promotion campaign. The secret recipe is simple, your goal should be a low CPI and high LTV. The right balance between these two metrics ensures your success. 

LTV is basically the net profit generated by a single user over the whole relationship with your mobile game. Tracking this metric can be pretty useful, because it allows you to adjust your app marketing budget in order to achieve a high profit.

To Sum Up 

The current recession has led advertisers to be more careful on investing in mobile advertising. Therefore, understanding the importance of CPI  and finding new strategies to lower it, is crucial to run a Mobile Game Ad Campaign in 2023.  Let’s review some key points.

  • CPI is a pricing model, which sets a fixed price advertisers have to pay publishers for each install.
  • ‍Having a lower CPI value means that the advertising campaign for your app is cost-effective.
  • ‍CPI is an important metric for mobile games,  because it can help measure  their return on investment (ROI).
  • ‍ROI depends both on  CPI and LTV metrics.
  • ‍Some strategies to lower CPIare: targeting a specific audience from a smaller market, optimizing creative formats, and retargeting lapsed users.