Getting more downloads using pay per install ads
This post is part of my ongoing series on App Marketing Strategies.
Every app developer wants to get more downloads, but it’s not an easy thing to do. With almost 200,000 apps in the App Store, it’s becoming harder and harder to gain visibility and get users to download the app you spent weeks, if not months, developing. As indie app developers, we don’t have thousands upon thousands of dollars to spend on marketing our apps, so we have to look at the most cost-effective ways to get the exposure we need to make our app development investment pay off. One of the techniques I’ve used successfully is buying ads to promote my apps, particularly pay-per-install ads. It’s easy to get more downloads using pay per install ads… and make money off of each install. Read on to find out how!
How pay per install ads work
Unlike traditional mobile ads where you pay per click, you only pay per app install (that is, when someone downloads the app from the App Store and opens the app) when you buy pay per install apps. This means that you have complete visibility and control as to how much you pay to acquire a user. This is huge if you’re trying to optimize your marketing budget… instead of buying 10,000 clicks at $0.15 per click and hoping that you’ll get the ‘right’ number of actual app installs, you can make sure that each install has a positive return on your ad spend.
Getting more downloads with zero risk
In order to always have a positive return on your ad spend (and thus zero risk) when buying pay per install ads, it’s crucial that you know your app’s customer lifetime value, a metric that represents the total value one average user brings to you as an app developer. Once you know your app’s customer lifetime value, it’s easy to buy pay per install ads – simply bid a price per install that is less than or equal to your app’s customer lifetime value. For example, for a $0.99 paid app, I know that my customer lifetime value is $0.70, so I pay $0.50 per install and make $0.20 in pure profit. It’s that easy!
Where to buy installs with ads
Currently, I know of three companies where you can buy pay per install ads: Burstly’s Developer-to-Developer Marketplace, Tapjoy’s incentivized installs, and Flurry’s AppCircle. I’ve used both Burstly and Flurry to buy pay per install ads and found that the main difference between Burstly’s Marketplace and Flurry’s AppCircle is that Burstly allows you to name your own price for installs while Flurry imposes a $0.75 minimum price per install. Tapjoy’s incentivized installs are different from both Burstly’s and Flurry’s offerings in that they get users to download your app, but those users are likely not interested in your app specifically, but rather just want to get ‘free’ virtual currency for use in another app. In other words, the customer lifetime value for users acquired through incentivized installs is likely much lower than the customer lifetime value for users acquired through other forms of pay per install ads.
That being said, if you’re using pay per install ads to get more downloads, it always makes sense to buy ads from as many providers as possible as long as your cost per install is less than your customer lifetime value. Sometimes it makes sense to spend more than your customer lifetime value for pay per install ads too – for example, if you’re trying to push your app into the App Store Top 100 as part of a concentrated marketing campaign.
Want to test out buying on a pay per install basis? Burstly is offering $100 in free installs for anyone who signs up for the Marketplace, so you have nothing to lose. Click here to get started now!