Five Mobile User Acquisition Tips for 2015

The mobile app marketing world is a complex ecosystem. Gone are the “infancy days” of mobile. Unlike the desktop marketing world where tools are more developed through cookies, pixels, etc., the mobile marketing world can be tough to navigate; especially for marketing and user acquisition managers. How do you go about acquiring mobile users? Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind as you attract users to your app:

1. Cast a Wide Net
Instead of going after a specific audience you think will be a valuable user segment, try to acquire users from several different channels and let the performance data speak for itself. Cast a wide net across multiple acquisition channels, but spend a small amount on each channel initially. When you see results in a few channels, then spend more on those channels only!

2. Know Your KPIs
KPIs (key performance indicators) are the most useful metrics for marketing and user acquisition managers to use when judging the success of a campaign—these are your roadmaps for navigating a massive mountain of data. However, different divisions of a marketing team will be focused on different indicators. For example, a creative director might care about CTR (Click-through rate) on different ad creatives while a media director might be focused on the volume of traffic being driven, and a CMO might care about return on ad spend. Similarly, an insurance company will use KPIs such as number of qualified leads generated while a travel company will focus almost exclusively on number of bookings. Understand the KPIs for your vertical and focus on them.

3. Optimize
Use data gathered from your wide net test campaigns to optimize by inventory sources and ad creative. Some partners may drive poor quality users and should be cut out immediately. Use partners that deliver high quality users (depending on what quality means to you) at scale. Take out bad performing creatives and have a flexible design team who can make changes on the fly; typically, 8-10 live creatives is enough to make optimizations.

4. Leverage Programmatic Buying
Mobile programmatic buying is far more efficient than traditional mobile ad networks. Programmatic buying allows you to spend more time on creative thinking and strategy versus manual number crunching and analysis. Programmatic provides maximum efficiency and scale.

5. Use High Performing Formats
Banner ads offer great scale but interstitial ads are consistently better performers and offer higher CTRs and engagement. Seek partners that have large volumes of interstitials and convert all of your creatives to retina or high-quality resolution images; you will notice 3-5 times better performance.

Thomas Flaherty, the author of this post, is the Director of Demand Partnerships at TapSense