10 Ways to Keep Your User Acquisition Campaigns Fresh

April 12, 2017

Tags: 2017, DSPs, Marketers

Jana Gökalp
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Continually acquiring new users is key to the success of many businesses — but stale advertising campaigns can be detrimental to this effort. As an advertiser or demand-side partner, what steps can you take to make sure your user acquisition campaigns stay fresh over time, helping you continue to hit your install and post-install KPIs? MoPub’s position as a leading mobile monetization platform and programmatic exchange gives us unique insight into what advertisers and DSPs can do to keep their user acquisition campaigns effective over time. Here are 10 actionable insights:  


  1. Update your creatives. Track your creative assets to understand what’s working and what’s not. Iterate on your top performing creative, and test new designs regularly. When it makes sense, customize creatives (for example, reference location, weather, or a popular event or upcoming holiday) to appear more relevant. Keeping creatives updated takes effort, but it’s time well spent.

  2. Use all available ad formats. Similar to variety among creatives, variety among ad formats can also help keep your campaign fresh. Using all formats can also maximize scale and increase your exposure, since some apps only implement certain ad formats (e.g. native ads). With so many innovative ad formats to choose from—including fullscreen formats with rich media, video, native, native video, and more—buyers should experiment to see which are most successful at engaging users for a particular campaign. For example, rich media allows advertisers to customize for a variety of goals because of its flexible implementation; video offers a compelling immersive experience (and the chance to re-use existing video assets, such as from TV campaigns).

  3. Optimize your video campaigns. If you’re running video ads, test different lengths to see what works for your specific KPIs. For example, shorter videos tend to drive higher CTR and longer videos often drive higher user lifetime value (LTV). Be sure to front-load your content to increase the chance that it’s seen, and make sure it’s digestible without audio. Adding a companion banner to your video campaigns can also help reinforce messaging and drive engagement.

  4. Check your KPIs. As your campaign has run, users’ average LTV may change, and the cost to achieve a certain key action (for example, an install or a first purchase) may become more or less expensive over time. As a result, marketers should check regularly if the price they allocated for that action is the still the right one, and adjust the KPIs for their DSP partners accordingly.

  5. Update your whitelist. If you’re running on a publisher whitelist, regularly review what’s working and update accordingly. Consider adding additional publishers to your whitelist to increase your reach; your account team can help make recommendations.

  6. Open your campaign to more countries. If possible with your business model, test your campaign in additional geos. This can provide access to users who have never been exposed to your campaign before, and it may be less expensive in some instances to reach these people. Make sure to evaluate the lifetime value of your customer in every country and assign KPIs accordingly.

  7. Go beyond acquisition. Your job isn’t done once you acquire a new customer. Running re-engagement campaigns can help bring lapsed users back and drive your overall KPIs. This can often be lower cost than acquiring new users, as lapsed users have already demonstrated intent for your brand. For increased effectiveness, re-engagement campaigns should have their own tailored creative and messaging, rather than re-using the broader campaign’s assets.

  8. Segment your audience. If you’re not breaking out your campaign audience into segments, your budget may not be working as hard as it could be. Test segmenting your audience (for example, by geo, basic demographic info or top converting customers) to see if one segment performs better than others; then shift your budgets accordingly. The same applies for dayparting: your campaign may perform better at specific times, or on specific days of the week. Focus your budgets where they can have the most impact.

  9. Exclude existing users. Lapsed users can benefit from re-engagement campaigns, but there’s no need to spend your budget reaching users who are already active. Working with a mobile attribution partner to create a list of Device IDs for your in-app campaigns can help you avoid targeting current users.

  10. Partner with a data management platform (DMP). Mobile in-app targeting can be even richer than desktop targeting, and there’s a lot of data to manage. On mobile, you can find your audience based on specific apps or categories of apps they use (e.g. sports, fitness, news, financial); geo-enabled devices may allow for location targeting; and first-party demographic data may be provided by app publishers. In addition, Device ID acts as the cookie of mobile in-app inventory (and is not available on mobile web).  Working with a DMP can help you utilize data most effectively to reach your target audience.

Our partners' thoughts on user acquisition:

"There are many layers to consider and levers to act on while optimizing the performance of an RTB campaign. By leveraging the various optimization tactics, advertisers can eventually boost the ROI of their programmatic campaigns. It is important to identify and work with different strategies such as frequency cap, fresh creatives, day parting etc, to know what works best for them, depending on their end goals and KPIs. Performance optimization is a really effective strategy and is what separates a successful programmatic campaign."

—Ermanna Maiuri, Director Programmatic Trading, Applift

“Programmatic ad partners are very important to the mobile advertising ecosystem when properly managed, given their reach and ability to meet performance marketing KPIs. Working with DSPs and ad exchanges who are constantly innovating on their bidding technology and creative ad formats is key, as the success of your campaigns is largely driven by your ad partners and their inventory. For example, MoPub offers all the latest and most innovative ad formats which ensures your campaigns achieve high enough eCPMs to scale out traffic sources who are delivering the highest quality users—this also makes the publisher happy and allows them to continue to grow their business and audience, which translates to more users for advertisers.”

—Nick Quan, Performance Marketing Manager, Twitter

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