How To Get Users To Download Your App?

There were 2.6 million apps available on the Play Store in December 2016, and 2 million on the App Store. The app competition is higher than ever: here are some tips to improve your visibility and drastically increase your number of downloads.

Know Your Users

First of all, you need to know who you intend to target: in terms of demographics (age group, gender) and app usage (why would they download your app?).

This will influence all your app’s content, its store title, screenshots and description. You should come up with a list of keywords and phrases that will be searched by your targeted users.

According to this survey, the main motivation to download an app is to accomplish a specific task, followed by a friend’s recommendation.

Improve Your App Store Optimisation (ASO)

Your ranking on the app store and its sub categories will not only depend on your app’s content (see above), but also on many other factors: number of reviews, shares on social media, recommendations from friends, etc.

Therefore, you must work on improving your users’ retention. For instance, you may ask for their feedback a few days after they install the app. If the user likes the app, invite him to put a review on the App Store. If he doesn’t, leave a comment section within your app that will help you improve and get better ratings.

Another trick is to place many buttons allowing the users to share your content on social media: when they accomplish a special action within your app, get a reward, buy a new feature…

Invest in User Acquisition

A good User Acquisition strategy can help acquire profitable users. We published last year a white paper highlighting 8 recommendations to improve your UA strategy. As a result, it is important to work with trustworthy and direct sources that can provide a sharp optimisation system and send the best traffic quality.

Keep track of the most important metrics

Determine which KPIs are the most relevant with your acquisition strategy, and follow them daily. We recommend you to put a special focus on these ones: ROI, number of downloads per source (organic vs ad networks), app store impressions, retention rate, number of shares on social media.

3 Targeting Options To Improve Your Campaign’s Results

In order to get more quality users, you need to sharpen up your campaign’s targeting:

Device targeting

Your users will be more likely to install your app whether they are using their phone or tablet (reasons: app weight, purpose of the app, gameplay,…). You can do some A/B testing and create 2 different campaigns to see how the results differ, in terms of performance and KPIs. You may also create specific sets of creatives, showing a smartphone or a tablet according to the device(s) you want to target.

OS version

Targeting a higher OS version will increase the percentage of paying users, especially if your app requires a high-end device to run smoothly. You may create different tracking links per OS version. Once you get the first results, apply a specific CPI per OS version. You will typically choose a higher CPI on latest OS versions (for instance, 5.0+ users on Android and 9.0+ users on iOS).

Wi-Fi targeting

If your app weights over 40Mo, we advise you to consider targeting “Wi-Fi-only” users. The best way to start is from A/B testing: create 2 different tracking links, one targeting 3G users and the other one for Wi-Fi only. Only keep separated links if you see a significant difference in terms of results.

Close Up On Rewarded Videos

We all know it: videos are a must for any publisher that wants to acquire users on mobile. However, an unsolicited 30-sec long video may be perceived as intrusive for the user. Viewers are twice more likely to have a negative emotional response to an interstitial ad than to a rewarded, opt-in ad.

When you are buying traffic for your app, it is hard to know where your ads are going to be displayed. For instance, they can be showing at a moment that is not convenient for the user (right when he opens his app for instance).

The solution: using rewarded video ads. They are an option offered by publishers to their users, to watch a video in exchange for some virtual item within their app.

Using rewarded video ads offers many benefits and can boost your campaign:

Better user experience

  • Rewarded video ads are not threatened by ad blockers, nor perceived as intrusive (unlike regular ads).
  • For the same number of impressions, rewarded video ads generate in average more installs than other ads, which means that your app is more attractive to users. If your video converts well, it will get a better visibility among publishers apps (can appear at the first request for instance), and therefore higher quality users.

Better traffic quality

  • Your brand image cannot be affected as the user is requesting himself to see the ad. Even better, if you are working with a premium ad network like AdBuddiz, you can be sure that the ads will be displayed in relevant apps with similar audience.
  • Users have to watch the video entirely, so they will know what your app is about.
  • Applying the same CPI as for non-rewarded video ads, advertisers tend to see similar to better volume and retention (better than interstitials, similar to non-rewarded videos). For more information, check out our white paper detailing best practices to use rewarded video ads, and some more insights from leading mobile gaming advertisers.

How To Improve Your Campaign’s KPIs

Here is how to make sure you’ll get traffic that matches your KPIs, and improve the existing sources’ efficiency:

Work with a few trusted transparent sources

The white paper we published recently revealed that mobile advertisers tend to limit their partners to 5-20 maximum. They prefer getting higher volumes from fewer partners they can trust and build a long-term collaboration with. Some of them allow a part of their budget (around 10%) to test new partners regularly.

Affiliation platforms are not recommended, for their lack of transparency. The mobile advertisers we interviewed reported working with 2 types of partners: social media and ad networks. Indeed, only these 2 can provide detailed information about the ad placements and their direct sources. It is easier to control where the traffic is displayed and optimize.

Notify your partners with in-app events

It is the key to have your partner optimize the campaign automatically. This prevents from buying too many installs that don’t match your KPIs if you don’t have the resources to check the results daily and prepare optimization plans.

Most tracking solutions on the market offer the possibility to create event postbacks. This way, if your ad network is integrated with your tracking solution, you can use the event template so it will be notified automatically every time an in-app event occurs.

Let’s say that your goal is to reach a minimum of 20% Day 1 retention. Once you set up the event postback on your tracking solution’s platform, your partner will receive all the “Day 1 retention” events that were from the users he sent you. Therefore, your ad network will pause automatically all the sub sources that don’t reach that goal. This way, you will only get traffic that matches your KPI.


Want to know more about this topic?
Download our white paper and learn the 8 Best Practices to improve your mobile User Acquisition strategy, including advice on how to find sources that reach your KPIs, new optimization tools and much more!

Is Video The Best Ad Format On Mobile?

We recently released the results of a survey showing that 8 out of 10 advertisers declare that video is the best ad format in terms of performance:

  • Volume: more installs are generated for the same number of views
  • Quality: the users tend to use the app longer

Of course, both traffic quantity and quality will depend on the efficiency of the video ad itself (learn how to make a great video ad for your game).

What payment model for video ads?

Videos can be used on CPM, CPC or CPI campaigns. The interviewed advertisers reported using the same payout for their campaign regardless of the ad format (the same CPI will be applied on both videos and interstitials for instance).

Rewarded or non-rewarded videos?

Videos can be rewarded or non-rewarded. Rewarded videos reward the user (they will earn some virtual item) in exchange for watching the ad. Non-rewarded videos are skippable, usually after a few seconds (depending on the ad network). The user is not incentivized to download the advertised app.

Advertisers usually don’t know if ad networks use rewarded or non-rewarded videos. The ones who were able to track the results from the 2 formats didn’t notice any difference in terms of performance.


Want to know more about this topic?
Download our white paper and learn the 8 Best Practices to improve your mobile User Acquisition, including advice on video ads, new optimization tools and much more!

3 Tools to Improve Your Mobile User Acquisition Strategy in 2016

We have interviewed 10 leading mobile advertisers to know the best tools they use for their User Acquisition strategy. Here are the 3 tools to watch in 2016:

1. Launch a retargeting campaign

The goal of retargeting is to reengage high-quality users who stopped playing a game, by displaying ads to them. As a studio, you can choose to promote among these high-quality users the same game they stopped playing, or a new similar game of yours.

2. Cross Marketing is a must-try

Cross Marketing is a way to promote your other apps within your own app. For instance, if your users are enjoying your app, A, they might be interested in your new app, B. Therefore, you can do Cross Marketing by displaying an ad for app B to the users within app A. There are various ways to do Cross Marketing: banners within the game, emails, push notifications… Some studios set a specific CPM (Cost Per Thousand) floor under which they prefer to do cross-promotion rather than monetizing their traffic through advertising.

3. What about RTB?

7 out of 10 interviewed advertisers have launched RTB (Real Time Bidding) campaigns. Results were mixed for most campaigns, and one of them was a great success. All of the advertisers saw a high potential in the future for RTB.


Want to know more about this topic?
Download our white paper and learn the 8 Best Practices to improve your mobile User Acquisition, including advice on how to use retargeting, Cross Marketing, RTB, and much more!

Mobile Campaign: What Geos Should You Target?

Ready to launch your campaign, and want to focus on US and other Tier 1 geos only? This post is for you.

Why you should diversify your geos

Tier 1 geos are the ones where users can potentially generate higher revenues: USA, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand and Great-Britain.

Most advertisers choose to focus on the above geos for their campaigns because they are more likely to reach high ROI. However, they suffer from high competition and therefore, CPIs (Cost Per Install) can go very high, up to $10. The average CPIs are from $2.00 to $4.00.

We recently published the results of a survey showing that more and more mobile advertisers target geos from different Tiers. Indeed, the lower competition helped them lead ROI positive campaigns as they have bought a high number of users for a very low CPI.

Which ones should you target?

Our interviewed advertisers reported buying traffic from Tier 2 geos (mostly Europe: France, Germany, Netherlands) as well as Tier 3 geos (Brazil, Russia, Turkey were the most quoted ones).

CPIs usually vary from $1.00 to $2.00 in Tier 2 geos, and from $0.40 to $1.20 in Tier 3 geos. Not only are the CPIs much lower than Tier 1 geos, but it is also easier to get the best placements to display the ads. In other words, both conversion rate and traffic quality are better.

Advertisers targeting Tier 2 and Tier 3 geos tend to look at various KPIs other than ROI to check the quality of the traffic (Day 1 retention rate…).

Want to know more about this topic?
Download our white paper and learn the 8 Best Practices to improve your mobile User Acquisition, including advice on geo-targeting, new optimization tools and much more!

White Paper: 8 Best Practices for Mobile Gaming User Acquisition

Are you in charge of User Acquisition in your game studio? Would you like to improve your strategy and acquire as many high quality users as possible? This post is for you!

The following white paper aims at helping any individual wanting to strengthen his User Acquisition strategy on mobile today. We share what we have learned from interviewing 10 leading mobile gaming advertisers.

We have identified 8 Best Practices that can be used by any game studio to better acquire & reengage users. You will find the answers to the following questions and much more:

  • How to choose the best partners to acquire new users?
  • What are the best tools to optimize your campaigns?
  • What are the new trends to reengage users in 2016?
  • What is the UA strategy of the advertisers we interviewed?

This white paper is a 26 pages study. In the first part, you can discover the 8 detailed recommendations from top user acquisition professionals. The second part highlights the interviews summary.

Click here to download the white paper!

3 In-App KPIs to Watch Carefully

The following KPIs can be game changers. Optimizing them is necessary if you want to succeed!

Click-to-install rate: get more downloads

Although the source of the traffic (advertising, organic) influences your number of downloads, the landing page on the App Store has an impact on the conversion rate. If the percentage gets too low (usually less than 1%), you might need to consider these factors:

  • Weight of the app: less than 50Mo is optimal.
  • Screenshots: the first 2 or 3 must be the best. Videos are great!
  • App title and description: clear, relevant to the category and attractive.
  • Ratings: try to aim at 4+ stars.
  • Last update: updates need to be frequent enough (not more than a month old).
  • Reviews: make sure your support team replies to bad reviews.

Day 1 retention: get more active users

It is normal to see less users coming back to your app the second day after installation. However, improving this rate should be one of your first goals. You need to pay a lot of attention to the experience of your users during the first minutes within your app. Most app developers usually aim at a minimum of 20 to 30% in Day 1 Retention.

Here are tips to improve this rate:

  • Sign up: if the user needs to log in, make sure the process is as fast and as easy as possible.
  • Simplicity: the user should be able to catch the concept of your app in minutes. It can help to work on a nice tutorial.
  • Minimize the loading time.
  • Be reactive when bugs are notified in the reviews.

Daily / Monthly active users: keep users engaged

This rate should be followed daily. Engaged users will recommend your app and drive more traffic to it. A downward trend is a sign that something needs to be fixed:

  • Check your crash rate and fix the bugs you might find.
  • Reactivate users by sending regular notifications: new app feature, discount…
  • You can go further and send specific notifications per type of users: for instance, send extra lives to the users who stopped playing a level because it is too hard.
  • Get social: entertain your users on social media.
  • Launch a retargeting campaign: the advertising platform will find the users that are no longer using your app, and display an ad to make them want to come back.

How to Optimize your Ranking in App Stores

Are you developing the next big Hit? Great! In order to optimize your number of downloads, you need to optimize your app’s ranking. Indeed, smartphone users look for new apps through 2 main tools: the top charts on the store and the search bar.

Here’s some advice on how to get the best ranking on Apple and Google’s App Stores:


    • It’s important to find the right keywords before you launch your app. Newly released apps seem to have a better chance of getting a higher ranking by the stores’ algorithms. You don’t want to miss that chance!
    • Choose the right keywords for your package name, title and description. Get inspiration from the store suggestions, and choose a short name for your title. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to the description.
    • Once your app is live, you can use tools like AppAnnie to review your ranking, and remove keywords to which you rank low.


    • The number of downloads and their growth rate have a high influence on the app’s ranking. It is even more important within the first few days after releasing your app, so share it with your friends, family and on relevant forums.
    • The most efficient way to get downloads is to buy traffic from ad networks. You can also increase your downloads by having your app featured on websites or apps like Giftiz, which showcase apps against a fee or return traffic.
    • Keep track of uninstalls as they bring your ranking down. An unusual uninstall rate can mean that there are issues within your app (bugs, loading time).


  • App store algorithms also take into account in-app metrics to determine your app’s ranking.
  • Work on having the highest percentage of active users: make sure users can start using your app within minutes (Is the sign-up easy? Is the tutorial too long?) and don’t experience any bugs. Keep your users active: send them notifications and give frequent rewards (e.g., first levels of a game need to be easy to reach).
  • Make sure you update the app frequently, fix bugs and provide support.


    • Both ratings and the number of reviews count towards your app’s ranking.
    • Ask your happy users to review your app! Good reviews improve your app’s ranking, but you also need constructive feedback to improve your app. It’s a good idea to include a contact form in your app, so that unhappy users don’t feel the need to get your attention through a bad review.

Good luck!