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💎 Growth Gems #81 - Paid User Acquisition (AdROAS, web-based and ATT)
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🚧 The mine is closed for the holidays. The next gems will be shared on January 10!
This week is acquisition-heavy, with gems on:
These insights come from Matej Lancaric, Todd Kane, and Thomas Petit.
🥇 TOP GEM OF THE WEEK
Paid UA: web-based acquisition
Web-based acquisition has been a central topic since ATT.
In How to unlock web-based flows for massive scale, Todd Kane (VP Growth at HOMER) talks with Shamanth Rao (Founder at RocketShip HQ) about HOMER’s acquisition strategy and why they are growing their web footprint.
💎 Reasons to implement a web-based funnel:
Better LTV/margins due to not paying app store fees
Cohorts on the web have a higher CLTV due to the audience they reach
Ability to move past selling a singular subscription and drive more ARPU through cross-selling and bundling
Unlocks web marketing channels
⛏️ Going Deeper: there are several benefits in web-based funnels, but also several challenges. George Natsvlishvili (Product Marketing at Air Apps) shared a pretty extensive list in the App Growth Week session Diversifying user acquisition: The Web2App campaign.
💎 New channels that the web funnel unlocked:
Google web ads (brand and non-brand)
Affiliates, now a very large business for them
Brand ambassadors and the network of influencers that support them
💎 Changing your web vs. app acquisition split more evenly helps mitigate risks in case of future platform changes. Example: HOMER went from 95% to 50% mobile app acquisition, so mobile acquisition is still there, but it has changed in size and complexity.
💎 The more first-party data you can collect, the better. Collecting email or even phone numbers is important, and it doesn’t necessarily hurt the funnel conversion, even if asked early in the funnel. In HOMER’s case, it was even helpful.
💎 Think about how you can drive customers to more long-term plans and move them away from 1M to 12M. This is particularly effective in the web flow, where it can be a huge unlock.
Paid UA: acquisition post-ATT
A talk from Thomas Petit (Growth Consultant) is always entertaining and insightful.
The New Status Quo, 1.5 Years Post ATT at App Promotion Summit Berlin was no different, with some good reminders on operating in this new era.
💎 There’s only one type of metric you can trust: blended metrics (total without attribution). It allows you to understand if you can still spend money. Then, you can try to infer what’s happening at a more granular level using various sources.
💎 Organic != Total - paid. What “organic” really means is “unattributed”.
💎 You already had to infer the performance of influencer marketing pre-ATT, so this channel is less affected.
💎 You develop web acquisition to diversify, because the audience is different, and because you get additional reach and campaigns. Not to avoid the app store fees or get great attribution.
💎 Bundle countries, use broader targeting and increase your budget. Simplify your campaign structure and concentrate budgets where needed to go beyond the volume/privacy threshold: aim for 3-digit installs/day/campaign and 2-digit events/day/campaign.
💎 The reason to concentrate budgets where needed is not only to pass the privacy threshold and have better data but also to give the ad networks’ machine learning more data points for optimization.
💎 You need more data analytics work than ever. Instead of spending time on campaign management, look at the different data sources to make informed decisions. Never take networks' self-reported metrics for granted.
💎 Growth is bigger than UA. Product is more intertwined with marketing; you have to compensate for higher acquisition prices with better onboarding and monetization.
💎 CRM & Lifecycle tactics are more important than ever. This allows you to focus beyond the very early part of the journey and mitigate the loss in remarketing.
Paid UA: AdROAS campaigns
The last gems I shared from the two & a half gamers’ show were on the ad monetization side.
This time, I’m sharing insights from Matej Lancaric (UA & Marketing Consultant at lancaric.me) on acquisition for apps monetizing with ads.
💎 If your game is monetized by ads, reach out to your Google representative to get guidelines about AdROAS campaigns. They were initially made for AdMob only, but since last year you can run them by optimizing for revenue from ad mediation. Do this even if you have 30% of ads vs. in-apps.
⛏️ Going Deeper: so-called “Ad ROAS” campaigns are regular tROAS campaigns but optimized for ad revenue. They can also be called Ad-based tROAS campaigns.
💎 Google AdROAS campaigns work with shorter conversion windows (3 to 7 days) but need to be able to capture 90% of the conversion value happening. You need to wait for 2 or 3 cycles (6-9 days or 3 weeks) to evaluate the campaign.
⛏️ Going Deeper: Matej usually sets a 3-day conversion window for AdROAS campaigns and a 7-day window for regular tROAS campaigns. But a 7-day window for AdROAS campaigns can work well too.
💎 A high ROAS target could mean a longer ramp-up period. So set a lower ROAS bid initially, then gradually increase the target ROAS as the campaign stabilizes. For example: if you’re aiming for 50% on day 7, put 20-30% into the campaign.
💎 When increasing your bids, do the hamburger approach. Every other day, increase the budget, then increase the bids, then increase the budget, etc. In between these, add new creatives.
💎 Proxy events for purchases make sense on paper, but in reality, it works differently. Instead, merge the proxy event with the purchase event to create one event.
And before I leave, here is some advice for UA/Growth people from her talk at APS Berlin:
“Data analytics is your best friend” - Natalie Drozd (UA Lead at Fabulous)
See you next time. Stay savvy!