3 Steps for User Acquisition Success

Volumes have been written about the ‘where’ and the ‘when’ of starting User Acquisition (UA) Campaigns for your mobile game, not to mention how to optimize your marketing dollars once the campaign has started. With all of the information that’s out there, are you sure of which steps you need to take before you hit the “Launch” button on your game?

 If you want to get the most of our your paid campaigns, there is some preparation that needs to be done. Lucky for you, we've put together a quick and easy guide!

Step 1 - Setting the foundations to support UA

While it should be a given, just a reminder: before performing any user acquisition - either paid or organic - you must integrate a few tools (software development kits, also know as SDKs) that will support analysis and marketing optimization of your game.

 At the minimum, you will need to implement:

  • An attribution tool: This is a basic requirement for install attribution, event tracking, and optimization. There are many out there such as Appsflyer, Tune and Adjust - check out the ones that best fit your needs and budget.
  • Facebook SDK: Even if you are able to run campaigns through the attribution tool, Facebook offers many other products and features (sharing, invites, push notifications, analytics, and more) that might be of interest to you.
  • Analytics tool: This is ESSENTIAL. You need to understand what’s going on in your game. Furthermore, you need to be able to see which UA channels the users are coming from. Some might be profitable, others might not, you need to know which is which to have a shot at achieving a positive ROAS (Return on Advertising Spending).

 Also, it is advisable to pay attention to other games out in the market that are similar to yours. Pay attention to what they’re doing regarding marketing, paid campaigns, etc. First, establish which games you would like to monitor and analyze their unique selling points, reviews, and store strategy (keywords, categories, chart positions, etc.). You can also look for tools (like AppAnnie or PrioriData) that can provide you with some estimates on downloads or revenues by date and by country. Follow their social media and marketing campaigns, they might turn out to be a great source of inspiration - both in terms of dos and of don'ts!

 Set your goals and standards for success  to guide you along the way - they will remind you of what you want to achieve, so you don’t lose track!

Step 2 - Soft launch

 Forgotten by many, this is one of the key steps you need to pay attention to. This phase will set the main pillars for the development of results-based UA campaigns.

 You may ask yourself ‘Why is a soft launch important for my UA strategy? I see the importance on the product side, but for UA...’  

 Well, well, well, what a surprise I have for you!  In fact, a soft launch should be mandatory in order to:

  • Measure early performance and engagement KPIs, not only on the product side but in campaigns & by channel. Remember, you’re A/B testing here, so it would give you a hint at what works best for each channel or audience.
  • Ascertain costs and CPIs projections to be included in the business plan.
  • Project monetization and lifetime value for paid users - so you can better define your marketing mix.
  • Define which campaigns, audiences, and marketing assets are most effective before spending your marketing dollars.

In terms of store optimization, it’s a perfect opportunity to run some A/B tests. Play with icons, screenshots, videos previews, and anything else you can think of. Optimize your game’s app storefront as much as possible: the higher the volume of organic installs you get, the lower the overall CPI (Cost Per Install).

 So your mission here is: LEARN, LEARN, and LEARN!

 The more you know about your game, the behavior of your players, and the market’s limits (for example, the CPI), the more prepared you’ll be for the moment we have all been waiting for…

Step 3 - Push the “Launch” button!

by now, you are more than ready.

Here’s a checklist of ideas you might want to try on the first release:

Here’s a checklist of ideas you might want to try on the first release:

  1. Try to get your game featured in the stores! If you don’t have any direct contact with them, find a partner that will pitch your game to them.
  2. Keep an eye on your metrics - even with all the prep work that you’ve done- the game is still new and fresh, and so are your users. Be prepared to adapt your strategy, as necessary.
  3. Want a boost on the charts? Take a look at 'burst' campaigns, which might allow you to push your game into (or higher in) the app store charts, thus bringing lots of organic installs, but be prepared because it can get expensive!
  4.  Be open to testing new channels, ad networks, influencer campaigns, or other paid actions, but make sure that you can track and measure the effectiveness of each one and define the minimum KPIs you'll be looking for in each case.

 Follow these steps to get the best of your User Acquisition.  If you're not sure on how to proceed with your strategy, feel free to get in touch!