App acquisition campaigns are tricky to get right, which is why it’s imperative to closely monitor yours to see where you can improve. But what exactly should you be monitoring?

  1. How are your ads performing? According to studies, the average CTR (click-through-rate) for a Facebook ad is 0.04%. This number will vary based on channel and industry, but use it as a benchmark to measure success. If you’re not at least getting a 0.1% CTR, it’s time to optimize. How do you go about doing so? By A/B testing your ads. Test one thing at a time so you are able to pinpoint the effect of the change.

  2. How is your ad performing on each channel? Take a step back and look at your ad’s performance by each individual channel. More often than not, the results won’t be even. It’s possible that your creative for a certain channel is falling flat, but it’s also possible that your audience is just more active on a different channel. That’s why with every app acquisition campaign we recommend casting a net and then honing in from there. Now that you’ve identified where you’re getting the most traction, put more of your advertising spend towards the channel that’s paying off.

  3. Is your ad network partnership up to snuff? Ad networks use different algorithms and methodologies to produce results, and some perform better than others. That’s why it’s important to take a look to see the results your ad network is giving you, and if it’s worth changing.

  4. Are Your Campaigns Actually Attracting Quality Users? While app downloads are great, they’re really just vanity metrics, especially since we know from research that 24% of users abandon an app after only one session. To truly understand the success of your app acquisition campaign, you need to go beyond downloads to see how many users are actively engaged with your app (daily and monthly active users). In order to do so, you need access to a mobile engagement platform with strong data capabilities. Checkout a breakdown of the key metrics you should be tracking to understand how your campaigns are paying off:

  • Average Session length (engagement): Understanding how long users are spending in your app is crucial to keeping a pulse on them and predicting churn. It can also help you realize any hangups users may be encountering so that you can address them.
  • Retention: Are these newly acquired users sticking around for the long haul? Taking a look at whether or not they return back to your app after their initial visit, as well as how many times they return, gives you insight into whether or not you’re attracting the right users with your acquisition campaign.
  • Channel success: Knowing which channel you’re having the most success with will help you to target your ad dollars accordingly. The idea here is to monitor which ad channels are performing in terms of user engagement and LTV and which are falling flat, so that you can trim back accordingly and focus all of your efforts on where it’s working.
  • Campaign success: Going even more granular than channel is monitoring campaign success. Make sure you label all of your campaigns so that you can easily distinguish between them. Then, pay attention to which ad creatives and audience segmentations are most successful so that you continue to get highly targeted with your efforts, and focus in on those campaigns that are paying off.
  • Lifetime Value: Perhaps the most important metric and indication of a successful app acquisition campaign is the LTV (lifetime value) of your newly acquired app users. While lifetime value is calculated in a few different ways, it is an estimation of a user’s value over time. This could be the number of conversions a user has taken or the amount of time a user has been active.This is an essential measurement because it gives you a true indication of ROI. The goal of your acquisition campaign should be not just to attract new users, but quality users who will continue to engage and convert over time.

The most successful app acquisition campaigns come from performance measurement and optimization. And while there’s no exact formula for success, taking into consideration the best practices listed above while continually monitoring results and A/B testing will help you find the rhythm of what works for your app.