User Acquisition Trends & Optimization

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7

Gabe Kwakyi (Co-Founder & CEO at Incipia - Mobile Growth Consultancy), Ivy Cheng (Senior Manager Acquisition Marketing at Jackpocket - Android Lottery App), Annica Lin (Director of Performance Marketing & CRM at Thimble - Business Insurance App) and Marie Hayman (Senior Sales Manager at Adjust - MMP).

Source:
User Acquisition Trends & Optimization
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Panel
Publication date:
May 6, 2020
Added to the Vault on:
May 17, 2020
These insights were shared through the free Growth Gems newsletter.
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💎 #
1

When launched 2 additional channels (YouTube & Facebook), the CAC initially looked expensive for these 2 channels. But the overall paid CAC became much lower than before. Even if an impression or click doesn't translate into conversion it still helps, and that's when you want to look at incrementality. 

06:36
💎 #
2

TikTok is very restrictive in terms of the creatives they approve and allow to run. It is also difficult to find trends in this approval process: you might run an approved creative then when you add it to another ad set it gets disapproved. 

09:42
💎 #
3

In the current environment if users start to spend less it can affect LTV curves that you may have had confidence in before. These curves may change as time goes on and advertisers are getting more conservative and now looking at ROAS more than before. 

16:32
💎 #
4

For automation: collect the data and have some human optimizations first and then slowly introduce automations. 

19:40
💎 #
5

Fast turnaround on creatives and variety of ad formats (video, playable, static, etc.) help acquire users for cheaper. The required frequency of showing ads to users is usually around twice a week and you have to make sure you're not saturating your audience so users stay interested and keep watching your ads.  

21:42
💎 #
6

You want your MMP to be the source of truth but now it is started to be challenged by the ad networks. Google provides estimations on conversions, but do you trust those? Being aware and solving these attribution challenges (that attribute more ROAS to organic) is key to maintaining scale and growing. 

23:30
💎 #
7

I'd prioritize TikTok over Snap if you haven't tried either, but TikTok over Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Pandora and other tertiary SANs. TikTok has real potential to be a large SAN contenter vs. ASA/Snap. 

(from the chat)
The "gems" from this resource are only available to premium members.
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  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
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Upgrade Your Plan
💎 #
1

When launched 2 additional channels (YouTube & Facebook), the CAC initially looked expensive for these 2 channels. But the overall paid CAC became much lower than before. Even if an impression or click doesn't translate into conversion it still helps, and that's when you want to look at incrementality. 

06:36
💎 #
2

TikTok is very restrictive in terms of the creatives they approve and allow to run. It is also difficult to find trends in this approval process: you might run an approved creative then when you add it to another ad set it gets disapproved. 

09:42
💎 #
3

In the current environment if users start to spend less it can affect LTV curves that you may have had confidence in before. These curves may change as time goes on and advertisers are getting more conservative and now looking at ROAS more than before. 

16:32
💎 #
4

For automation: collect the data and have some human optimizations first and then slowly introduce automations. 

19:40
💎 #
5

Fast turnaround on creatives and variety of ad formats (video, playable, static, etc.) help acquire users for cheaper. The required frequency of showing ads to users is usually around twice a week and you have to make sure you're not saturating your audience so users stay interested and keep watching your ads.  

21:42
💎 #
6

You want your MMP to be the source of truth but now it is started to be challenged by the ad networks. Google provides estimations on conversions, but do you trust those? Being aware and solving these attribution challenges (that attribute more ROAS to organic) is key to maintaining scale and growing. 

23:30
💎 #
7

I'd prioritize TikTok over Snap if you haven't tried either, but TikTok over Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Pandora and other tertiary SANs. TikTok has real potential to be a large SAN contenter vs. ASA/Snap. 

(from the chat)
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💎 #
1

When launched 2 additional channels (YouTube & Facebook), the CAC initially looked expensive for these 2 channels. But the overall paid CAC became much lower than before. Even if an impression or click doesn't translate into conversion it still helps, and that's when you want to look at incrementality. 

06:36
💎 #
2

TikTok is very restrictive in terms of the creatives they approve and allow to run. It is also difficult to find trends in this approval process: you might run an approved creative then when you add it to another ad set it gets disapproved. 

09:42
💎 #
3

In the current environment if users start to spend less it can affect LTV curves that you may have had confidence in before. These curves may change as time goes on and advertisers are getting more conservative and now looking at ROAS more than before. 

16:32
💎 #
4

For automation: collect the data and have some human optimizations first and then slowly introduce automations. 

19:40
💎 #
5

Fast turnaround on creatives and variety of ad formats (video, playable, static, etc.) help acquire users for cheaper. The required frequency of showing ads to users is usually around twice a week and you have to make sure you're not saturating your audience so users stay interested and keep watching your ads.  

21:42
💎 #
6

You want your MMP to be the source of truth but now it is started to be challenged by the ad networks. Google provides estimations on conversions, but do you trust those? Being aware and solving these attribution challenges (that attribute more ROAS to organic) is key to maintaining scale and growing. 

23:30
💎 #
7

I'd prioritize TikTok over Snap if you haven't tried either, but TikTok over Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Pandora and other tertiary SANs. TikTok has real potential to be a large SAN contenter vs. ASA/Snap. 

(from the chat)
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Platforms or tactics working best right now

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • All platforms work well with each other
  • Got online gambling license from Google, one of the first
  • Not allowed to run campaigns in TikTok yet
  • Recently: $2 promo so people can play lottery from home. No sports so a tough time for sports betting but lottery is recession proof.
  • Make sure you reach out to users with the most relevant messaging

Annica (Thimble)

  • Nature of insurance: requires a lot of retargeting because people are searching for the best price/solution
  • Google has been the best performing channel for them. Starts by scaling Google first then adds on to it.
  • [💎@06:36] When launched 2 additional channels (YouTube & Facebook), the CAC initially looked expensive for these 2 channels. But the overall paid CAC became much lower than before. Even if an impression or click doesn't translate into conversion it still helps, and that's when you want to look at incrementality.
  • ⇒ knows that these campaigns help + also leverage them for retargeting
  • For Thimble, people can buy multiple times as well

Gabe (Incipia)

  • TikTok showing a lot of promise (check out this TikTok case study by Incipia)

  • Social networks first acquire users and then they become a valuable place for advertising.
  • About 40 million TikTok in the US about 1 year ago
  • Seeing excellent results on TikTok (low CPIs and positive ROI) so now scaling up. It's now a top 3 channel for this app.
  • Difficult to get in: still a closed invite system, then have to be approved as a good product (no crypto, no gambling, etc.).
  • [💎@09:42] TikTok is very restrictive in terms of the creatives they approve and allow to run. It is also difficult to find trends in this approval process: you might run an approved creative then when you add it to another ad set it gets disapproved.

  • Snapchat also doing really well, especially for iOS
  • Apple Search Ads started off very small but now has scaled up to be an excellent channel if you can expand to redownloads, global targeting and LAT ON users.


Other ways to get users:

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Affiliates one of the most promising platform because it means direct sales, and they sometimes leverage technology like push notifications, etc. Users of affiliate partners already have an interest in the product, have opted in, etc.


Which KPIs to determine success

Annica (Thimble)

  • Key metric was always CAC because has a limited budget that she can spend. But now looking more at LTV and if you want higher quality users and better ROAS, it is usually more expensive. So you need to strike a balance.
  • Looks at average revenue that she needs to get from 1 signup and if it is lower she tweaks the campaign optimization or budget allocation to bring the quality higher.

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Different departments look at different things (example: finance wants CAC as low as possible) but as marketer we know sometimes it is not possible to acquire high value users.
  • Sometimes hard to explain the budget allocation between ROAS campaigns and CAC campaigns. Need to paint the story and explain the angle.

Gabe (Incipia)

  • Gaming: clients look at D7 ROAS, CPI in some cases.
  • Non-gaming: very often the CAC. Looking at LTV and feeling confident (for each channel, segment of user, OS, etc.) as long as they acquire for a specific cost.
  • [💎@16:32] In the current environment if users start to spend less it can affect LTV curves that you may have had confidence in before. These curves may change as time goes on and advertisers are getting more conservative and now looking at ROAS more than before.
  • (Gabe mentioned Eric Seufert on this, check out this video about adjusting to the crisis)


It takes time to calculate LTV, so if the company is young you do not have enough data. So you can look at Average Order Value and calculate the CAC accordingly.


Automation and setting up rules

Annica (Thimble)

  • At launch, does not use automation features because trusts users more than machines. Looking at campaigns almost daily to see how it's going and then when there is scale and efficiency she looks at automation.
  • [💎@19:40] For automation: collect the data and have some human optimizations first and then slowly introduce automations.

Marie (Adjust) - Adjust has launched an automation layer, Control Center

  • Figure out your most important KPIs, understand your campaigns first then you can add the automation layer.

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Automation is a key to success in UA. For Facebook they are using dynamic creative testing to be able to test a lot of creatives at once with a large spend and scale.
  • Automation features are usually more expensive than your normal "human" process so you have to balance.
  • [💎@21:42] Fast turnaround on creatives and variety of ad formats (video, playable, static, etc.) help acquire users for cheaper. The required frequency of showing ads to users is usually around twice a week and you have to make sure you're not saturating your audience so users stay interested and keep watching your ads.

Gabe (Incipia)

  • Attribution gabs are cramping up:
    Apple Search Ads with LAT ON users
    Google UAC expanding on iOS search with Safari/Firefox untrackable by MMPs
  • [💎@23:30] You want your MMP to be the source of truth but now it is started to be challenged by the ad networks. Google provides estimations on conversions, but do you trust those? Being aware and solving these attribution challenges (that attribute more ROAS to organic) is key to maintaining scale and growing.
  • From the chat by Gabe: I'd prioritize TikTok over Snap if you haven't tried either, but TikTok over Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Pandora and other tertiary SANs. TikTok has real potential to be a large SAN contenter vs. ASA/Snap.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

Platforms or tactics working best right now

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • All platforms work well with each other
  • Got online gambling license from Google, one of the first
  • Not allowed to run campaigns in TikTok yet
  • Recently: $2 promo so people can play lottery from home. No sports so a tough time for sports betting but lottery is recession proof.
  • Make sure you reach out to users with the most relevant messaging

Annica (Thimble)

  • Nature of insurance: requires a lot of retargeting because people are searching for the best price/solution
  • Google has been the best performing channel for them. Starts by scaling Google first then adds on to it.
  • [💎@06:36] When launched 2 additional channels (YouTube & Facebook), the CAC initially looked expensive for these 2 channels. But the overall paid CAC became much lower than before. Even if an impression or click doesn't translate into conversion it still helps, and that's when you want to look at incrementality.
  • ⇒ knows that these campaigns help + also leverage them for retargeting
  • For Thimble, people can buy multiple times as well

Gabe (Incipia)

  • TikTok showing a lot of promise (check out this TikTok case study by Incipia)

  • Social networks first acquire users and then they become a valuable place for advertising.
  • About 40 million TikTok in the US about 1 year ago
  • Seeing excellent results on TikTok (low CPIs and positive ROI) so now scaling up. It's now a top 3 channel for this app.
  • Difficult to get in: still a closed invite system, then have to be approved as a good product (no crypto, no gambling, etc.).
  • [💎@09:42] TikTok is very restrictive in terms of the creatives they approve and allow to run. It is also difficult to find trends in this approval process: you might run an approved creative then when you add it to another ad set it gets disapproved.

  • Snapchat also doing really well, especially for iOS
  • Apple Search Ads started off very small but now has scaled up to be an excellent channel if you can expand to redownloads, global targeting and LAT ON users.


Other ways to get users:

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Affiliates one of the most promising platform because it means direct sales, and they sometimes leverage technology like push notifications, etc. Users of affiliate partners already have an interest in the product, have opted in, etc.


Which KPIs to determine success

Annica (Thimble)

  • Key metric was always CAC because has a limited budget that she can spend. But now looking more at LTV and if you want higher quality users and better ROAS, it is usually more expensive. So you need to strike a balance.
  • Looks at average revenue that she needs to get from 1 signup and if it is lower she tweaks the campaign optimization or budget allocation to bring the quality higher.

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Different departments look at different things (example: finance wants CAC as low as possible) but as marketer we know sometimes it is not possible to acquire high value users.
  • Sometimes hard to explain the budget allocation between ROAS campaigns and CAC campaigns. Need to paint the story and explain the angle.

Gabe (Incipia)

  • Gaming: clients look at D7 ROAS, CPI in some cases.
  • Non-gaming: very often the CAC. Looking at LTV and feeling confident (for each channel, segment of user, OS, etc.) as long as they acquire for a specific cost.
  • [💎@16:32] In the current environment if users start to spend less it can affect LTV curves that you may have had confidence in before. These curves may change as time goes on and advertisers are getting more conservative and now looking at ROAS more than before.
  • (Gabe mentioned Eric Seufert on this, check out this video about adjusting to the crisis)


It takes time to calculate LTV, so if the company is young you do not have enough data. So you can look at Average Order Value and calculate the CAC accordingly.


Automation and setting up rules

Annica (Thimble)

  • At launch, does not use automation features because trusts users more than machines. Looking at campaigns almost daily to see how it's going and then when there is scale and efficiency she looks at automation.
  • [💎@19:40] For automation: collect the data and have some human optimizations first and then slowly introduce automations.

Marie (Adjust) - Adjust has launched an automation layer, Control Center

  • Figure out your most important KPIs, understand your campaigns first then you can add the automation layer.

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Automation is a key to success in UA. For Facebook they are using dynamic creative testing to be able to test a lot of creatives at once with a large spend and scale.
  • Automation features are usually more expensive than your normal "human" process so you have to balance.
  • [💎@21:42] Fast turnaround on creatives and variety of ad formats (video, playable, static, etc.) help acquire users for cheaper. The required frequency of showing ads to users is usually around twice a week and you have to make sure you're not saturating your audience so users stay interested and keep watching your ads.

Gabe (Incipia)

  • Attribution gabs are cramping up:
    Apple Search Ads with LAT ON users
    Google UAC expanding on iOS search with Safari/Firefox untrackable by MMPs
  • [💎@23:30] You want your MMP to be the source of truth but now it is started to be challenged by the ad networks. Google provides estimations on conversions, but do you trust those? Being aware and solving these attribution challenges (that attribute more ROAS to organic) is key to maintaining scale and growing.
  • From the chat by Gabe: I'd prioritize TikTok over Snap if you haven't tried either, but TikTok over Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Pandora and other tertiary SANs. TikTok has real potential to be a large SAN contenter vs. ASA/Snap.


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↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
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Platforms or tactics working best right now

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • All platforms work well with each other
  • Got online gambling license from Google, one of the first
  • Not allowed to run campaigns in TikTok yet
  • Recently: $2 promo so people can play lottery from home. No sports so a tough time for sports betting but lottery is recession proof.
  • Make sure you reach out to users with the most relevant messaging

Annica (Thimble)

  • Nature of insurance: requires a lot of retargeting because people are searching for the best price/solution
  • Google has been the best performing channel for them. Starts by scaling Google first then adds on to it.
  • [💎@06:36] When launched 2 additional channels (YouTube & Facebook), the CAC initially looked expensive for these 2 channels. But the overall paid CAC became much lower than before. Even if an impression or click doesn't translate into conversion it still helps, and that's when you want to look at incrementality.
  • ⇒ knows that these campaigns help + also leverage them for retargeting
  • For Thimble, people can buy multiple times as well

Gabe (Incipia)

  • TikTok showing a lot of promise (check out this TikTok case study by Incipia)

  • Social networks first acquire users and then they become a valuable place for advertising.
  • About 40 million TikTok in the US about 1 year ago
  • Seeing excellent results on TikTok (low CPIs and positive ROI) so now scaling up. It's now a top 3 channel for this app.
  • Difficult to get in: still a closed invite system, then have to be approved as a good product (no crypto, no gambling, etc.).
  • [💎@09:42] TikTok is very restrictive in terms of the creatives they approve and allow to run. It is also difficult to find trends in this approval process: you might run an approved creative then when you add it to another ad set it gets disapproved.

  • Snapchat also doing really well, especially for iOS
  • Apple Search Ads started off very small but now has scaled up to be an excellent channel if you can expand to redownloads, global targeting and LAT ON users.


Other ways to get users:

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Affiliates one of the most promising platform because it means direct sales, and they sometimes leverage technology like push notifications, etc. Users of affiliate partners already have an interest in the product, have opted in, etc.


Which KPIs to determine success

Annica (Thimble)

  • Key metric was always CAC because has a limited budget that she can spend. But now looking more at LTV and if you want higher quality users and better ROAS, it is usually more expensive. So you need to strike a balance.
  • Looks at average revenue that she needs to get from 1 signup and if it is lower she tweaks the campaign optimization or budget allocation to bring the quality higher.

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Different departments look at different things (example: finance wants CAC as low as possible) but as marketer we know sometimes it is not possible to acquire high value users.
  • Sometimes hard to explain the budget allocation between ROAS campaigns and CAC campaigns. Need to paint the story and explain the angle.

Gabe (Incipia)

  • Gaming: clients look at D7 ROAS, CPI in some cases.
  • Non-gaming: very often the CAC. Looking at LTV and feeling confident (for each channel, segment of user, OS, etc.) as long as they acquire for a specific cost.
  • [💎@16:32] In the current environment if users start to spend less it can affect LTV curves that you may have had confidence in before. These curves may change as time goes on and advertisers are getting more conservative and now looking at ROAS more than before.
  • (Gabe mentioned Eric Seufert on this, check out this video about adjusting to the crisis)


It takes time to calculate LTV, so if the company is young you do not have enough data. So you can look at Average Order Value and calculate the CAC accordingly.


Automation and setting up rules

Annica (Thimble)

  • At launch, does not use automation features because trusts users more than machines. Looking at campaigns almost daily to see how it's going and then when there is scale and efficiency she looks at automation.
  • [💎@19:40] For automation: collect the data and have some human optimizations first and then slowly introduce automations.

Marie (Adjust) - Adjust has launched an automation layer, Control Center

  • Figure out your most important KPIs, understand your campaigns first then you can add the automation layer.

Ivy (Jackpocket)

  • Automation is a key to success in UA. For Facebook they are using dynamic creative testing to be able to test a lot of creatives at once with a large spend and scale.
  • Automation features are usually more expensive than your normal "human" process so you have to balance.
  • [💎@21:42] Fast turnaround on creatives and variety of ad formats (video, playable, static, etc.) help acquire users for cheaper. The required frequency of showing ads to users is usually around twice a week and you have to make sure you're not saturating your audience so users stay interested and keep watching your ads.

Gabe (Incipia)

  • Attribution gabs are cramping up:
    Apple Search Ads with LAT ON users
    Google UAC expanding on iOS search with Safari/Firefox untrackable by MMPs
  • [💎@23:30] You want your MMP to be the source of truth but now it is started to be challenged by the ad networks. Google provides estimations on conversions, but do you trust those? Being aware and solving these attribution challenges (that attribute more ROAS to organic) is key to maintaining scale and growing.
  • From the chat by Gabe: I'd prioritize TikTok over Snap if you haven't tried either, but TikTok over Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Pandora and other tertiary SANs. TikTok has real potential to be a large SAN contenter vs. ASA/Snap.