How to Optimize User Acquisition for Mobile Games ?

Lorenzo Viscanti
April 5, 2023
How to Optimize User Acquisition for Mobile Games ?

The user acquisition process for mobile games is a holistic process involving many actors that can be optimized at various stages.

For example, user acquisition is obviously based on audiences and clusters of users (whatever definition of audience might be realistic in the post-IDFA world). UA costs might vary a lot depending on the cluster of users we are targeting, so audience segmentation is obviously one of the first optimization steps done by a DSP.

  1. Creative optimization
  2. End card optimization (if you’re using video ads)
  3. Audience segmentation
  4. Reduce fraud
  5. Avoid churn rate
  6. Analyze and optimize your KPIs

Creative optimization

We work with algorithms, but we know very well that creatives have a big impact, in some cases even bigger than algorithms. It’s not only a matter of the design of the creative that you are using for growing your mobile game. Every format also has a different impact on the cost, retention and engagement of your mobile game growth strategy.

End Card Optimization

Mobile game growth relies more and more on video ads. End cards are pieces of content that are shown at the end of the mobile video. They might be static or dynamic (even playable in some cases). Pay particular attention to end cards, as in a mature advertising ecosystem for mobile games, end cards play a very important role: most of the user interaction with ads happens when the end card is shown, so you must put lots of effort into creating and optimizing end cards.

Why is end card optimization so important that we are separating it from the rest of the optimization process for creatives? Some recent studies (Digital Turbine, Appsflyer et al) have shown that longer videos and specially engaging end cards tend to attract more user attention, generate more interaction on the ads and thus more conversions for your user acquisition effort. This is why we are dedicating so much attention to end cards.

Audience segmentation

This might seem native to the mobile app marketer expert, but audience segmentation is very important also in the post-IDFA world. Even if behavioral audiences don’t exist anymore, DSPs are capable of picking the best contextual segments that have higher engagement rate or lower user acquisition costs.

Reduce fraud

Fraus is a complicated subject in the mobile ecosystem, as there are many aspects where different frauds might be involved. Fraudulent impressions, fraudulent attributions cannot be avoided 100%, but their impact might be reduced using some tools and a bit of knowledge of the mobile ecosystem. This has obviously a huge impact on reducing user acquisition costs for the mobile gaming industry.

Avoid churn rate

Again, churn rate is a plague for the mobile marketer that can’t be avoided, but it can be reduced. How? Audience segmentation is again useful, as it’s possible to focus your efforts on the best converting clusters of users, in terms of engagement. This will drive up the value (i.e. ROI) of your user acquisition strategy. Increasing ROI is another way of reducing costs.

Analyze and optimize your KPIs

Sometimes optimization it’s not a matter of reducing costs, but focussing on the right KPIs (and their measurement) has even a bigger impact on the user acquisition process for mobile games.

If you want to reduce costs for your mobile game growth strategy, review your KPIs and, if needed, change some of them. Move your CPA measurement down the funnel and reduce ROI target for the best segments, in order to bring in bigger volumes of the best users.