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How To: Optimize Revenue For Mobile App Install Ads

Written by: Carmen Yuen, Senior Account Manager

Not all users are worth the same, so why pay the same price for someone who spends nothing in your app vs. someone who may spend hundreds?

It may seem counter intuitive, but being willing to spend more to get high-value customers can be the easiest way to boost game advertising revenue. If you don’t care what you have to pay as long as it’s backing out (read: if you know a certain type of gamer is worth X amount of money to your company), you can set your campaign goal to maximize yield instead of Cost Per Action (CPA).

We call this “RevOpt” — shorthand for Revenue Optimization. Using Nanigans ad automation software, you can set a specific window in which you want to count the revenue we’re tracking. For instance, your company may know that return within the first seven days after a mobile app install is the best indicator to future performance.

Best Practices for Revenue Optimization Bidding


Start with actual/realized yield goals

One thing to remember when running a RevOpt campaign is that our system will bid based on the goals you set for it, and react to the revenue that it is recording from your users. When using RevOpt, if goals are not being met, volume will dwindle because we do not see the desired value from acquired users. To avoid this, we recommend that campaign managers set realistic goals based on data they’ve seen. For example, if they are only seeing a 10% seven-day yield, they shouldn’t aim for a 20% seven-day yield goal unless they’re willing to drastically drop volume.

Cost-criteriaHave very relaxed cost criteria and max bids

Once you’ve enabled our RevOpt algorithms, it’s important to make some other adjustments to your strategy settings. As the focus turns to yield, we recommend that campaign managers loosen other settings (such as our Stop Loss algorithm, or their maximum bids) that may have been more stringent when simply running a CPA campaign. If yield goals are not being met, bids will automatically decrease, so settings related to cost control should be utilized more as a safety net.

Leverage-what-you-already-know-about-your-usersLeverage what you already know about your users

Our “Audience Override Tables” let you feed our ad automation software granular data about different segments you’re targeting. If you know that the aggregate purchase rate for US males aged 24-35 is 5%, while it is only 1% for AU females, you can work with your Nanigans account team to upload these expectations into the software. While our system gathers data on all users that you’re acquiring to make bidding decisions, and will learn the value of different segments over time, any prior knowledge you have regarding user behavior will speed up optimization.

Performance-and-KPIsPerformance and KPIs compared to Minimize CPA campaigns

Knowing what to expect from a RevOpt campaign vs. a CPA campaign is important. In general, you should expect to see CPAs increase within high-yield segments because our software is built to recognize that these segments are worth more, and will bid higher to capture more spend at the given yield goal. At the same time, you should see decreased traffic from poor-yield segments as these ads will be bid down. Depending on what your goal is and how your ads are performing against that, performance and KPIs can be very different after moving to a RevOpt strategy.

Target-PriorityDecide what your priority is, and stick to it!

While our algorithms are intelligent, you need to give them a clear objective. If meeting a yield goal is truly your main concern, this should be your focus, and should translate into a RevOpt strategy. Our bidder will optimize toward either yield or CPA. As mentioned above, when using a RevOpt strategy, utilize Stop Loss and maximum bids as safety nets, as opposed to the driving force of the campaign.

RevOpt is not a magic bullet, but it is an extremely useful tool within a marketer’s arsenal. We suggest that campaign managers set reasonable goals from the outset and gradually raise their yield targets as they tweak creative and targeting to continue to find high value users.

Looking for other tips around spend and revenue? Check out “How to Maximize Your Ad Budget.”

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