User Acquisition Campaigns For Mobile Apps: Strategies, KPIs and Optimization

Giulia Bergamaschi
June 14, 2024
User Acquisition Campaigns For Mobile Apps: Strategies, KPIs and Optimization

App developers have replaced brand marketing activities with OTT (over-the-top) advertising campaigns, especially user acquisition campaigns.


But why are they gaining so much popularity? User acquisition campaigns are getting successful because they are performance-based, can be optimized towards ROI/ROAS and are characterized by precise targeting.


Now let’s find out what UA campaigns really consist of and why all app developers are choosing them over other less efficient options.


What are user acquisition campaigns?

User acquisition (UA) campaigns are marketing strategies designed to attract new users to your app. These campaigns are conducted through a variety of channels, such as social media, in-app advertising and influencer partnerships, to reach potential users.

Their goal is to acquire active users, ultimately driving app installs, engagement, and revenue. When it comes to mobile apps, user acquisition usually has to do with app install campaigns, usually achieved through advertising campaigns and promotional offers. This is essential to inspire non-organic installs and find users who might engage with the app and install it.

Why are user acquisition campaigns essential?

User acquisition campaigns for mobile apps are crucial for several reasons:

  • Growth. They help expand the app’s user base, which is vital to ensure scale and quality for the app.
  • Revenue. More users often lead to increased in-app purchases, subscriptions, or ad revenue.
  • App store ranking. Higher install numbers can improve your app’s ranking in the app store, leading to the possibility of organic growth.
  • High-quality users. User acquisition campaigns are most likely to help your app obtain high-quality users who will generate revenue by performing in-app actions.
  • Brand awareness. These campaigns boost brand visibility and recognition in the market.

KPIs for user acquisition campaigns


Measuring the success of user acquisition campaigns involves tracking various key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to consider:

  • Cost per install (CPI): the cost associated with acquiring a new user through app installs. Lower CPI indicates a more efficient campaign.
  • Cost per action (CPA): the cost related to actions conducted by users such as subscribing, in-app purchasing, etc.
  • Lifetime value (LTV): the total revenue expected from a user over their entire relationship with the app.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS): revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. This can also help you recognize the most effective creatives.
  • Conversion rate: the percentage of users who complete a desired action, such as installing the app or making an in-app purchase.
  • Retention rate: The percentage of users who continue to use the app over a specific period.
  • Churn rate: The percentage of users who uninstall the app within a specific period.

Channels for your UA campaign

There are several platforms and channels you can leverage to deliver your UA campaign:

  • Influencer marketing. Collaborating with influencers can help you reach their loyal followers and gain credibility through trusted recommendations. Influencers can create content that showcases your app's features and benefits, driving downloads and building trust.
  • Affiliate networks. Partnering with affiliate networks allows you to tap into a broad network of publishers promoting your app in exchange for a commission on each new install or purchase.
  • Ad networks. Leveraging ad networks enables you to place ads within other apps, reaching users who are already engaged in mobile activities. These networks offer a wide range of ad formats, from banners to rewarded videos, thus helping you find the most effective way to attract new users.
  • Demand side platforms. DSPs allow you to buy digital advertising space programmatically across a vast array of apps. By leveraging precise targeting and real-time bidding, you can ensure your ads reach the right audience at the right time, optimizing your ad spend.
  • Offerwalls. They provide users with a list of offers, such as downloading an app or completing a survey, in exchange for in-app rewards. This method can drive a large number of installs from new users motivated by the incentives.
  • Google, Facebook and Tiktok. These platforms’ ads are powerful tools for user acquisition due to their extensive reach and advanced targeting options. They can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, making it easier to attract users who are more likely to engage with your app.

How to optimize your UA campaign

UA campaign optimization is another step you should never take for granted. Here are a few ways to optimize your campaign:

  • Targeting and segmentation. Precisely target your audience based on demographics, personal interests, and behaviors to improve ad relevance and conversion rates and approach the right users for your app.
  • Creatives. Experiment with different ad creatives that can be tested simultaneously and optimized according to results. During user acquisition campaigns you can conduct A/B testing of different ad formats to check their efficiency and conversion rates.
  • Data analytics. Leverage the data you obtain to gain insights into user behavior and campaign performance, allowing for data-driven decisions.
  • Incentives. During a user acquisition campaign, you can implement strategies such as promotions, discounts, or free trials to encourage app installs and in-app purchases.


User acquisition campaigns are necessary for the success of any mobile app, driving growth and ensuring long-term sustainability. That’s why app developers are choosing them over brand marketing activities. By understanding the essential components of these campaigns, tracking the right key metrics, and pursuing a constant optimization, you can effectively attract and retain users, consequently decreasing your app’s churn rate.