By Cristina Slattery Lopez and Jota Ferreira
Cost Per Engagement ads are one of the most effective ways to acquire high-quality mobile users. Centralized in a hub that emulates an in-app store, these ads reward users with virtual currency in exchange for engagement. Users are more than happy to receive rewards for watching a video or test-driving a new game, while advertisers can scale profitably thanks to performance pricing.
In this post, we’ll go over a number of tried-and-true techniques to scaling your Cost Per Engagement* (CPE) campaigns. These are the same techniques that helped our partner, FunPlus Games beat its ROAS target by 58% (check out the full case study here!). Keep reading for tips and tricks to scale conversions while keeping ROAS high.
Step #1: Choose the right KPIs
Step #2: Test different CPE events
Step #3: Target different countries strategically
Step #4: Make rewards more enticing with stronger bids
Step #5: A/B test creative formats
Step #6: Capitalize on currency sales
The majority of games can be segmented into one of three categories: casual, mid/hardcore, and casino. The majority of our partners consider return on ad spend (ROAS) and retention as their KPIs to measure the success of a CPE campaign.
These are the benchmarks we commonly see by genre:
In addition to these industry-standard benchmarks, advertisers should also pay attention to their campaign’s scalability. While keeping costs down is important, your campaign will not be scalable if it has a low conversion rate. A high CVR will boost your eCPM, and thus improve your Offerwall rank. A high offerwall rank (1st being the highest) is a crucial factor in campaign performance because it determines the order in which offers are displayed, the higher the rank, the higher the install numbers.
There are two different ways to set up your CPE campaign — single event CPE or Multi-Reward CPE. Multi-Reward CPE campaigns allow users to collect multiple rewards within one offer, keeping them more engaged. This offer type tends to work well for the advertisers that know what events work well for their games and for the events that take a while to complete. Whereas single event CPE offers can be used to help identify the best performing event for your game or for events that are quite quick to complete.
We recommend testing two to three different events at launch to determine which is most appealing to offerwall users. Start by identifying a point in your game where users are most likely to complete a purchase, and target an event after that. For example, if most users make a purchase seven days after installing, it’s best to run an event that would take eight days to complete.
Also, consider your genre here:
For Multi-Reward, you must choose a minimum of two events for setup, but three is recommended as a best practice. There is no maximum on the number of events you can set up. We recommend setting the deepest event available as the final checkpoint and using this as the main incentive for users. Then you can set up smaller events along the way to encourage them to keep playing. See how Huuuge Games exceed their ROAS goals by 2X when switching to Multi-Reward CPE.
We recommend getting started in the US or the country with the biggest reach depending on your partner. For Tapjoy, this is the United States. Other tier 1 and tier 2 countries that perform well include the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Russia, Korea, and Japan.
When running campaigns in any non-English speaking countries we always recommend localizing creative as it will help conversion rates.
Mechanist Games, one of China’s fastest-growing mobile game publishers, used Tapjoy’s CPE to break into new global markets. It had already seen success in Russia and Turkey and had set its sights on the US. Not only did Mechanist exceed its ROAS goals, but it also achieved a minimum of 10% D7 retention among new US users. Check out the case study for more.
The minimum bid for single event CPE is $0.20. However, bid recommendations vary in accordance with game genre, and the time chosen event’s time to completion.
Keep in mind that the above are general recommendations. We have some casual partners that set ambitious week-long events, with great success. The same is true among mid and hardcore publishers — for example, some strategy games see ROAS from low-friction events, such as asking users to reach level 3.
For Multi Reward CPE, biddings strategies grow more complex but extremely effective — we see a 27% increase in completion rates compared to single event CPE offers. We typically recommend choosing min three events that span the above timeframes — five if the final event is expected to take two weeks to complete. Below is a rough sketch of a bid strategy. Keep in mind that bids are set for individual events, rather than cumulatively.
On the Tapjoy Offerwall, you have the option to A/B test a number of engaging instruction formats. We offer three options, including:
Beyond custom instructions, we also offer the option to replace your offer icon with an animated gif. This will make your offer more likely to catch the eye as users scroll the offerwall. We recommend a minimalist approach since complex designs could look chaotic in the small space.
If you’re not sure which creative format is best for your campaign, start with a test. In the last campaign example we shared, Mechanist Games tested gallery and video instructions. It found that gallery yielded a 4% conversion rate, while video saw 3.6%.
To really take your campaign to the next level, you should take advantage of special network-wide promotions. During these promotions, called currency sales, Tapjoy publishers multiply rewards to increase revenue and engagement during high-traffic weekends. Most publishers also make in-game announcements to alert users of currency sales increasing traffic to our offerwall network and likelihood for you to find new users.
Typically, publishers promote these sales with in-app messaging, such as “Earn 2X coins over Black Friday weekend.” As a result, they typically see a 20-80% increase in offerwall revenue over the sale period. For advertisers, that correlates to an influx of conversions. These limited-time sales happen seasonally, and they’re the perfect moment to raise your bid and increase your offerwall rank.
Scaling mobile UA campaigns is definitely a challenge — after all, new apps flood the market daily and engaging quality users is more costly than ever. But as you can see, the Tapjoy Offerwall gives you a wide range of tools to optimize performance. Beyond these tools, we also have a dedicated team of mobile strategists to help you scale while addressing your unique goals. Reach out today to get started.