You could have the most engaging, innovative, and revolutionary marketing campaign at your fingertips, but in the end, installs are what matter most to mobile app marketers. That’s why cost per install — CPI — is an essential KPI for mobile marketers to measure. When entire advertising campaigns are based around this metric, we refer to it as CPI marketing. To find out why it’s relevant to you, read on!


What is cost per install (CPI) marketing?

CPI stands for “cost per install,” and should not be confused with the identical acronym for “cost per impression.” While marketing campaigns can exist for both, cost per install has become the dominant approach for the mobile advertising industry.

Marketers calculate CPI by dividing their ad spend by the total number of app installs generated by the associated campaign. This provides you with a baseline cost to acquire a single user.


How do CPI marketing campaigns work?

CPI marketing campaigns use a pricing model built around install efficiency. Under this model, advertisers only pay for users that install the app after seeing an ad promoting it. Since CPI campaigns only charge advertisers for confirmed installs, marketers only pay for real users and can protect their budgets.

While the benefits of CPI marketing are more straightforward than other pricing models, there are many details that determine its effectiveness. Any one of the following variables could have a massive influence on your ROI:

  • Install location by country: Individual CPIs vary wildly depending on the country they’re sourced from. The general rule of thumb is that established, wealthy economies like China or the United States demand higher rates while emerging economies like Brazil or India have lower ones.
  • Device platform: Android and iOS apps generate contrasting CPIs as well. Many studies have found that that worldwide, Apple users are willing to spend more on IAPs than Google users, which equates to a higher average cost-per-install.
  • Advertising network: Each media source will offer a different rate for deploying advertisements. Social media platforms tend to have the highest rates for their visibility, while other networks vary cost by services offered.
  • App Category and Genre: The specific category and genre of your app can dramatically influence the overall CPI. For example, mobile games tend to have a higher CPI than other app categories, while certain gaming genres like casino games can demand above-average CPIs as well.


Who should use CPI marketing campaigns?

CPI campaigns can be used by any mobile developer or marketing team that intends to promote and distribute apps across a broad audience in a cost-effective way. These benefits, however, can impact different mobile businesses in different ways:

  • Game Developers: CPI data can be represented as regional or demographic averages to determine which market segments are the most cost-effective and valuable for mobile game creators. With this information on hand, developers can strategically target users with the most relevant campaigns.
  • App Marketers: CPI campaigns provide a clear cost of customer acquisition that marketers can use when creating growth strategies. Not only do marketers gain the demographic insights described above, but they can also pair CPI metrics with detailed behavioral data. This information enables marketers to optimize conversions for market segments who engage with ads to install new apps.
  • DTC Marketers: With a CPI marketing campaign, brands have an opportunity to measure the cost of acquiring highly targeted consumer segments. This data can then be cross-referenced with shopping data to understand which markets represent the highest return on investment.


Getting the most from CPI marketing

CPI Marketing

Calculating your CPI is simple enough, but generating the highest ROI for your spend will require other strategies. When running a new campaign, consider the following:

  • Campaign targeting: One benefit of CPI marketing is that it’s easier to identify key audiences, even among niche users. Use marketing strategies to target your core audience, and be prepared to adjust as new audiences become interested in your app.
  • Optimize and scale your campaign: Analyze your campaign performance and target KPIs, then optimize to meet your core strengths. You’ll want to go beyond ad creative or platform considerations to optimize for country and region, and choose ad networks that reach engaged audiences.
  • Don’t forget about other metrics: CPI is immensely significant when measuring the impact of your ad spend, but it’s not the only KPI to keep in mind. Keep an eye on metrics like CPA, ROAS, and other indicators for engaged users.


The value of CPI marketing

CPI marketing became a standard mobile advertising pricing model for a reason. It can better identify and target specialized audiences, measure interest in your app, and ensure ad spend is directed towards guaranteed installs. As such, it has inherent value for mobile marketers across all app categories and shouldn’t be underestimated.

If you need help maximizing your ROI while minimizing your CPI, reach out to the marketing pros at Tapjoy today.

Want to better understand the financial bottom line of your advertisements? Check out our article, “What is ROAS?” for a deep dive into measuring the effectiveness of mobile marketing campaigns.

The CPV model is beneficial to advertisers, as they can be sure they’re only paying when video ads get watched.

As any good ad exec knows, video marketing is key in today’s mobile-first, high-tech environment. The rise of video advertisements has the industry moving away from a traditional CPM structure, in which ads are a set price, regardless of how many people interact with them. Instead, many advertising pros are turning to CPV marketing, which ensures that they only pay for ads people actually look at.

But what is CPV marketing, exactly? Why is it useful? Follow along as we take you through the ins and outs of CPV marketing.

What is CPV marketing?

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CPV is short for “cost per view.” In other words, it’s a method of marketing in which advertisers only pay for videos that are actually watched, which is advantageous for them. It’s a good arrangement when making sure your advertising budget goes as far as possible.

Of course, what qualifies as a “view” varies depending on the source. For example, Google defines a view as 30 seconds (or the duration of the video, if the ad is shorter than half a minute). Twitter’s view duration is much shorter: about “two seconds of play time with at least 50 percent of the video on the screen,” according to Ad Age. The reason for such variances is that users interact with different platforms in entirely different ways, and as a result they expect the time ads require to reflect this. This is important to keep in mind when crafting a video ad campaign.

Why is CPV marketing beneficial?

One reason CPV marketing is so beneficial to advertisers is that they know they’re getting their money’s worth out of a good video ad campaign. Measuring success (and price) by views provides an immediate metric into how ads are performing, what tactics are working, and what areas need attention. It’s not as risky as more traditional ad payment structures. If views aren’t actually being successfully delivered, the advertiser doesn’t end up paying for something that nobody is watching.

As Ad Age points out, with marketers duking it out for consumers’ ever-shortening attention spans, every view matters. As a result, the quality of ads and ad placement rises as well. “Performance advertisers are turning to CPV for a variety of factors… Performance advertisers are able to obtain high-quality users by paying for just a view in front of premium traffic, giving them a competitive advantage when battling for inventory.”

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Now that you know more about CPV marketing, that knowledge should help fuel your next big ad campaign. Need more information about all things mobile advertising? The experts at Tapjoy are standing by and ready to help.


In the world of mobile advertising, there are so many metrics by which one measures success. Along with tracking active users, clicks, and views, ROAS is critical to understanding the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, especially as they relate to the overall success of a business. Is your head swimming with yet another acronym to memorize? Not to worry, we’re here to help!


What is ROAS?

In the marketing world, ROAS is an acronym that’s short for “return on advertising spend.” In other words, it’s a metric that lets you know how effective your advertising efforts are and how much revenue your ads are achieving. In the mobile world, this often refers specifically to the amount of revenue generated by in-app purchases, advertising impressions, and app subscriptions. This revenue is often measured across user segments, or specific groups of users known to have been acquired through advertising networks or campaigns. By grouping users according to their source, recording the cost associated with acquiring them, and subtracting it from the revenue they’ve generated, mobile marketers are given a clear look into how their choices impact the company’s bottom line.

Knowing your ROAS is an important part of any modern marketing campaign. If your return on ad spend is meeting or exceeding expectations, it’s a good indicator that your strategy is paying off. On the other hand, a low ROAS is a sign that something’s not working and needs to be retooled.


How to calculate ROAS

what is roas


It’s a simple formula: revenue generated by customers resulting from ads divided by the cost of those same ads. For example, if a recent advertising campaign brought in $10,000 after spending $2,000 on ads, that’s an $8,000 or 500% return on that investment. It’s often written as a ratio, which in this case would be 5:1. For every dollar spent on advertising, five dollars were generated in revenue.

If this concept sounds familiar, it’s because ROAS shares similarities with return on investment (ROI). However, ROI is more of a “big picture” metric, typically used to measure effectiveness of an entire project. ROAS, on the other hand, is designed to evaluate specific advertising initiatives and is typically limited to the first day an ad started running, to the last day a resulting user churns out of the app. It’s also calculated differently than ROI, so it’s important not to confuse the two.


How is ROAS tracked?

Of course, to determine such a specific metric, you’ll need to know where users are coming from, how they’re engaging with your campaigns, and how much revenue each segment is generating. That’s where mobile attribution comes in! Mobile attribution is defined by Localytics as “the process of tracking where users learn of your app and connecting them to key actions in their journey towards becoming customers.” In other words, it lets you know what aspects of your advertising campaign are the most successful and which platforms are driving the biggest return on ad spend.

Using a variety of internal tools, such as user agents, IP addresses, and timestamps, marketers can take a deep dive into their engagement stats to determine what ad strategies are driving the most success. Over time, marketers can build up enough data across multiple networks and/or campaigns to make meaningful comparisons between them. By figuring out where your users are coming from, how they interact with various ads, and how they behave after install, you can figure out where and how your advertising budget is best spent.


What is a good ROAS?

Keep in mind that every business is different and marketing pros need to tailor their goals and expectations accordingly. However, there are some guidelines available for those interested in maximizing their ROAS.

According to Disruptive Advertising, a good rule of thumb for ROAS is:

Other sources echo the general rule of shooting for a 4:1 return on advertising spend.

Naturally, getting to a successful ratio is easier said than done. There’s no single foolproof way to max out ROAS, but once you’ve calculated this metric and figured out how effective your ad campaign is, you can start looking at other factors.

In one case study, marketers tested A/B landing page variants to see which approach consumers responded to, eventually taking their conversion rates from 12% to 20%. Again, every company and every campaign is different, but good marketing pros will be able to work with your brand and raise that ROAS.

Measuring the success of advertising campaigns can be intimidating, but knowing what metrics to look for goes a long way towards turning a profit. Want to know more about ROAS and successful ad strategies? The marketing pros at Tapjoy are ready to help with all of your engagement and monetization needs.


So, your app is on the market.

It’s getting attention and downloads. You even have a healthy number of daily active users. What next?

It’s time to take full advantage of that engagement with a solid in-app marketing campaign that will drive revenue. If you’re not sure what that means or want some help on forming strategies, not to worry–that’s what we’re here for! Read on for a deep dive into in-app marketing and tips for developing your own unique approach.

What Does “In-App Marketing” Mean?

The term “In-app marketing” refers to any kind of marketing campaign that is developed for, and deployed within, a mobile application. While there’s a lot of variety in specific methodologies, we’ll be discussing how to connect with users that have already installed your app and started their first session. This includes a number of in-app communication tactics designed to promote desired behaviors and drive revenue, such as:

While your own in-app marketing strategies will vary based on your specific platform and app format, what’s important is making everything easily accessible for your users and keeping your messaging fresh. Staying on top of the latest marketing trends can be challenging, but the results are worth it.

Customer And Community Engagement

Many successful in-app marketing strategies borrow fundamental principles from traditional marketing campaigns. As always, marketers need to know their audience. Knowing the average age, habits, and lifestyle trends of your target customers will help ensure your communications resonate. According to Forbes, targeted marketing approaches like these are more successful than campaigns developed for a general audience.

Next, your campaigns have to be on-trend and creative. This means staying on top of what the newest operating system capabilities are and taking full advantage, even if they change frequently. In-app marketing placements that take the form of traditional ad formats like full screen interstitials or offerwalls remain consistently effective, but creative marketing pros are always coming up with new ways to promote their products. Monitor the market to see what tactics are being employed by the apps at the top of the charts, as well as those being spotlighted in the app stores by Apple and Google.

For example, sophisticated sharing tools like those seen in the Nike+ app allow users to share their fitness accomplishments with their social networks. Including this feature comes with the added benefit of raising awareness of the app via the implicit endorsement of its community. Give your users a reason to show the world how they’re using your app  on social media, and your daily install numbers will benefit.

Keeping Users Informed

Effective mobile marketers use in-app marketing to keep users up to date on new features and available content. Full screen interstitials can be used to let users know what has changed or been added in your newest update, or to suggest how they can engage with your in-app economy for a better experience. For example, Spotify regularly reminds non-paying users they can upgrade to a subscription package that includes a commercial-free listening experience. Marketing communications like these are most effective when they include a prominent button or link that directs users to take immediate action.

Along with Nike and Spotify, Starbucks is a leader in the field of effective in-app marketing. Their mobile marketing team regularly updates their mobile app content to feature new drinks, snacks, and discounts. All promotions include a clear call to action for customers to order these items. In-app marketing campaigns like these are most effective when they’re personalized based on each individual’s in-app behavior. Users appreciate birthday messages and recommendations for products based on recent searches.

In-App Marketing Tactics To Avoid

While every app requires its own approach, there are a number of practices that every mobile marketer should watch out for. Most importantly, campaigns should not be intrusive or interrupt a user’s intended experience. Promotional videos or interstitials shouldn’t be difficult to dismiss and should make graceful use of screen space. Communications should be clear enough to be noticed while prioritizing user experience above all else. While most marketers like to cultivate a unique brand voice, keep in mind that most mobile businesses have found success in cultivating a natural and conversational tone.

In-app marketing is a tricky thing to master, but fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. For answers to all of your app marketing questions, as well as help planning more effective campaigns, be sure to contact our talented team of marketing pros at Tapjoy.

Want to brush up on more mobile app marketing fundamentals? Check out “What Is ARPDAU?” and learn more about how to measure the revenue benefits of your in-app marketing efforts.

When working in mobile app development, there’s a whole world of acronyms to memorize in order to understand evolving sales processes and whether your monetization efforts are effective. One such acronym is ARPPU, and it’s especially vital for increasing revenue. Not sure what all of those letters mean? Not to worry, we’re here to help.

What does ARPPU stand for?

ARPPU is short for Average Revenue Per Paying User. For free-to-play games and apps, or those that depend heavily on in-app purchase revenue, only a fraction of a users will spend money on a regular basis. While there are other important metrics used to measure overall consumption and activity, ARPPU is specifically for tracking the percentage responsible for the most revenue.

How is ARPPU calculated?

To find your ARPPU, you must first isolate the number of paying customers, and then divide your total revenue by that number. It will likely be higher than overall revenue per customer. So, for example, if your revenue over a given period of time is $5,000 and you have 100 paying users in that time period, your ARPPU will be $50.

$5,000 / 100 Paying Users = $50 ARPPU

Be sure to note the period of time you’re analyzing, as ARPPU can vary wildly in daily and monthly calculations. That’s not necessarily cause for alarm — even your biggest whales probably won’t make purchases every single day.

Why is ARPPU important?

According to an article by Vasiliy Sabirov on Gamasutra, “ARPPU is a reaction of precisely paying users to the value that brings your project. This metric shows how much a loyal paying user is willing to pay.” In other words, ARPPU shows you if your efforts to land the whales are working and whether you’re garnering enough revenue from your most loyal customers.

On top of that, ARPPU can help determine whether your pricing structure is effective. It’s easier to make decisions about revenue by isolating the customers spending the most money, rather than appeasing  the ones who will likely utilize your app for free no matter how you adjust and advertise.

Improving ARPPU

How can I improve my ARPPU?

If your ARPPU is underperforming, your first instinct may be to raise prices. And while this could boost your average revenue from paying users, it might also reduce the number of paying users your app has, also known as your conversion rate. As with every metric, a balanced approach is needed.

There are other methods that successful app developers use to improve ARPPU as well. Celebrating your biggest paying users is a great way to get them to keep spending–if they’re regularly rewarded, they’ll feel appreciated and stay engaged. Make an effort to provide perks to your biggest spenders, such as early access or playtesting privileges, shoutouts in company communications or the app itself, and special items or actions customized for them.

Of course, even with a loyal paying user base, you’ll still want to nudge non-paying users into higher spending territory. Adding more social or personal options can encourage users to take the plunge, or offer special deals to first-time paying customers to make their decision easier. Once they’ve made their first payment, even if it’s less than a dollar, it becomes easier to make future payments; you just need to motivate them past this initial barrier.

CIO’s article ”Why some people are willing to pay for a mobile app” states the types of people most likely to pay for apps are impulse buyers, extroverts, and–surprisingly–bargain hunters. While that last stat seems contradictory, it’s useful to know that showing the haggle-prone users a good deal makes them more likely to pay for a premium version of the app outright. Use this information to target your strategy and watch your ARPPU rise!

While there are many ways to measure success in an app, developers should prioritize ARPPU early and check it often. With the information outlined here, you’re well on your way to understanding how your regularly paying users generate revenue and how to keep that metric healthy.

To find out more about ARPPU  and other proven in-app monetization strategies, get in touch with Tapjoy’s talented team of experts.


The wonderful world of mobile game and app monetization is full of fun acronyms, and ARPDAU is one of the most important ones to understand. Short version: it’s a metric to determine how much revenue the average user is bringing in. Simple, right? Well, not quite. Read on to find out more about how understanding ARPDAU helps keep your monetization goals on track.


What does ARPDAU actually mean?

ARPDAU is short for Average Revenue Per Daily Active User. In other words, it’s a measure of how much money every regular user is bringing in on a daily basis. The money earned can be from ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, or whatever your particular application uses as a monetization model.


How do I calculate ARPDAU? what is arpdau 2

You can find out your ARPDAU, which may change from day to day, by dividing the revenue earned in a 24-hour period by the number of active users in that same period of time. It’s important to note that ARPDAU calculates income from all players, even the ones who don’t make any purchases. (There are metrics that measure revenue from paying customers specifically, but that’s a topic for a different day!)


Why does ARPDAU matter?

ARPDAU is an important metric for app developers for a few reasons. While it’s not the only abbreviation that matters, it is a good way to analyze an app’s income, as well as whether your monetization efforts are working as intended. For example, if you have an influx of new users and the ARPDAU remains steady, it’s a good sign that the newbies are spending or generating income consistently, as intended. If the ARPDAU drops every time a new wave comes in, that means only the same small percentage of users are actually generating money, and it’s time to rethink your strategy.

This is particularly critical for free-to-play apps, which require frequent analysis to ensure that monetization is maximized in an environment where many users won’t be paying a cent. In-app purchases and advertising strategies need to be visible and balanced, and ARPDAU helps get a sense of whether or not you’re achieving that balance.


My ARPDAU is lower than expected. What do I do?

If you’ve analyzed your average revenue per daily user and you’re not quite thrilled with the results, not to worry. There are a few proven ways to engage these users and encourage them to generate revenue, either through ads or purchases.

If you’re not already using reward videos, you really need to start. As reported by Rubicon Project, “rewarded video earns a 79% completion rate,” which is “1.5 times greater than the mobile industry benchmark of 52%.” Post-video click-through rates are higher as well. Plus, reward videos tend to beat ad blockers, and users willingly engage with them, instead of avoiding them.

As for more traditional advertising, it might be time to assess how and where you present ads to users. Are they visible enough or too obscure? Are they too invasive? Are they relevant to your user base? A good mobile advertising partner (like Tapjoy!) can help you with the answers to these questions.


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Finally, wherever applicable, nudge non-paying users toward in-app purchases. Make sure your prices are fair, and reward players (through videos or other methods) with a few premium options, just to show them what they’re missing. A free trial or currency sales on certain days also goes a long way towards encouraging users to drop a few bucks to heighten their enjoyment of a product they’re already using.

By now, you should have a firm understanding of ARPDAU and what to do with that information. The concept can be a little intimidating, but a comprehensive grip on your app’s ARPDAU is vital for keeping revenue streams high and users engaged.

To learn more about how Tapjoy can help you increase ARPDAU by using the most effective in-app advertising strategies, get in touch with our talented team of game and app monetization experts.

APAC advertisers increased their spend among select Tapjoy ad formats by more than 50% during Singles Day in 2017. Publishers hoping to take advantage of this year’s opportunity for increased ad revenue need to be prepared.

Singles Day is a popular holiday that began in China and quickly spread throughout the APAC region. It sees millions of lonely hearts celebrating their romantic solitude with parties, blind dates, and above all else: shopping. In 2017, Asian e commerce giant Alibaba set a world record for the most payment transactions during the festival, with more than $25.4 billion USD in spending processed.
Fortunately for mobile publishers, this massive commercial spike equates to higher demand for quality ad impressions. It’s a time when brands are more willing than ever to pay top-dollar to connect with APAC audiences.
This is especially so for publishers who use the Tapjoy offerwall to monetize their mobile titles. Tapjoy saw offerwall spending from APAC advertisers increase by more than 50% during the 2017 Singles Day celebrations. This translated to higher ad revenues for mobile publishers that were able to cultivate ad engagement among their APAC audiences during that time. It’s a welcome boost for many, especially with the holiday surge less than 60 days away. Any extra ad revenue that can be routed towards pre-holiday user acquisition is likely to pay dividends once peak spending season arrives in the West.
There are a number of options for publishers eager to take full advantage of the opportunity, all of which involve promoting ad engagement among APAC users during the celebration:

Run A Rewarded Ad Promotion

Publishers using rewarded ad placements to monetize their users can boost ad engagement by increasing payouts over the celebration. Offering double or even triple rewards is often enough to compel even those players who typically shy away from rewarded ads into engagement.

Run An In-App Sale

Publishers can approach the opportunity from another angle by offering substantial discounts on virtual goods sufficient enough to encourage users to seek out any extra digital currency they can. Rewarded ads and offerwall placements often see increased engagement when users are eager to take advantage of limited time offers.

Connect Through Push & Email

Whether you choose to run an in-app promotion or not, be sure to take this time to reach out through whatever channels you can to invite your users back into your game or app. Scheduled push notifications and email blasts can help keep your title stay top of mind during the holiday, ensuring that your APAC users are given every opportunity to engage with your ad placements.

Increase Interstitial Frequency

If you don’t use rewarded ad placements, consider increasing the frequency at which you show non-rewarded ads to your users during the festivities. Keep in mind, however, that this has the potential to negatively impact retention, and the risk should be weighed against the potential reward. If possible, limit your adjustments to APAC audiences, as Singles Day isn’t yet a global holiday.

The increasingly competitive nature of Singles Day is a prime opportunity for savvy publishers to leverage their users’ time and attention during one of the most lucrative advertising opportunities of the year. With a little preparation and forethought, publishers can look forward to a powerful bump in portfolio revenue, ultimately contributing to a strong fourth quarter to close out the year.
Want to learn more about rewarded ad strategies? Check out our Maximum Impact Report – Impact of Rewarded Ads on IAP Retention and Engagement and start seeing higher returns on your rewarded ad efforts!