Loyal app users
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJune 29, 2012
Writes Thomas Hazlett for the Wall Street Journal: "On June 29, 2007, thousands of fan-boys and-girls camped in long lines to inhale a wisp of sweet techno fairy dust. The new iPhone rocked the world. Revolutionary in design, function and ecosystem, it set off the mobile data tsunami. In three days, Apple sold a million of them."
Since that day, the world has never been the same. As we celebrate the iPhone's five year anniversary today, we're reminded of just how much the device has rocked the world and shaped so many aspects of modern culture. In fact, The Atlantic recently pegged the iPhone as the "defining consumer item of its age."
Apple's iPhone undoubtedly sparked the mobile app revolution and burgeoning ecosystem, which has inspired entrepreneurs and developers around the globe, added an estimated 500,000 jobs in the U.S. alone and delighted consumers with more than 650,000 apps in the Apple App Store. But all of those mobile apps are vying for the spotlight – making mobile marketers' jobs increasingly difficult as each month goes by.
Mobile app success – and monetization - requires more than smart and broad mobile media buying. It takes app store smarts, and no one understands and analyzes the dynamics of the app stores quite like Fiksu. For more than one year, our Fiksu Indexes have tracked monthly fluctuations in competition for rank in the Apple App Store, and the cost to acquire loyal users (defined as someone who opens an app three or more times), to help mobile app marketers benchmark their performance against industry averages. In fact, we just released data for the month of May – check out the news release.
To illustrate the ebbs and flows in app store dynamics and mobile app marketing costs over the course of 12 months, we've created the following infographic. It highlights many of the major industry trends that have rocked the world of mobile app marketing along the way, including Apple's ban on incentive-based installs, the iPhone 4S launch, the flurry of activity around the 2011 holiday season and the move away from robotic install tactics.
Embed this graphic on your site - 400 pixels wide
<div style="padding:6px"><a href="http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes/infographic"><img src="http://www.fiksu.com/images/fiksu-index-infographic-400px.jpg" alt="Fiksu Indexes - Analyzing 12 Months of Mobile App Discovery"></a></div>
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<div style="padding:6px"><a href="http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes/infographic"><img src="http://www.fiksu.com/images/fiksu-index-infographic-800px.jpg" alt="Fiksu Indexes - Analyzing 12 Months of Mobile App Discovery"></a></div>
Downloads Drop in February Post-Holiday Discovery Rush; Early Indications of Market Responding to Apple AnnouncementPosted by: Viki ZabalaMarch 29, 2012
Following January's sky-high download volumes available at rock-bottom prices, February presented a steadier and more normalized landscape for mobile app marketers.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the February Index data:
- App Store Competitive Index tracks the aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. In February, the Index decreased by six percent to 6.35 million daily downloads, down from January's record high of 6.79 million.
- Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps. For the purposes of the Index, loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. In February, the cost per loyal user rose by 15 percent to $1.31, up from January’s $1.14.
February revealed a decline in download activity; a contrast to January’s post-holiday download frenzy. Interestingly, even though Fiksu was not working with robotic install traffic sources, our Indexes may reflect early signs of the impact of Apple's emphatic stance against robotic install tactics, following the company's February 6 announcement to crack down on this particular marketing technique.
But while consumers took it easy, downloading fewer apps in February, mobile advertisers returned to action.
Having halting their marketing spend at the beginning of the year to focus on app upgrades and internal level-setting, many mobile marketers geared up for new campaigns in February, driving total marketing costs back up slightly. Yet, the Indexes show that February still presented a great opportunity for mobile app marketers, as volume was plentiful and costs remained at a reasonable level.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaFebruary 29, 2012
Last month, our indexes showed the extreme marketing that took place during the Holiday frenzy as advertisers spent heavily to drive up their app store rankings and acquire an elevated volume of users. As it turns out, for app marketers who were budget-conscious in December, January paid big dividends as the post-holiday weeks provided excellent growth and value.
Hot off the presses, our newly released indexes for January show a dramatic drop in mobile app marketing costs in January—the lowest since July 2011—following the Christmas advertising rush. iOS app downloads in January reached an all-time high as all those new devices unwrapped during the holidays drove propelled app discovery and usage in the New Year.
Here’s a quick snapshot of our January findings:
- App Store Competitive Index tracks the aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the Top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. In January, the Index peaked at 6.79 million daily downloads, up 12 percent from December’s 6.04 million, its previous high.
- Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps. For the purposes of the Index, loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. This month, the cost per loyal user fell by 37 percent to $1.14, from a record high of $1.81 in December.
So, while many advertisers joined the rush to spend over the holiday season, January actually provided mobile app marketers one of the best opportunities to-date with volume at an all-time high and costs approaching an all-time low.
“We’ve observed many app brands invest heavily in the fourth quarter, seeking extreme growth during the holiday season, then reduce spending in January as they evaluate their marketing programs for the New Year and focus on version upgrades for their apps,” said Micah Adler, Fiksu CEO. “However, the latest indexes show that January is an excellent time for both growth and value—and budget savvy marketers should take full advantage of this time, instead of slowing down.”
Thanks to Kathleen De Vere of Inside Mobile Apps, Keith Andrew of PocketGamer.biz, Sarah Perez at TechCrunch, Allan Maurer at Tech Journal, Dan Rowinski at ReadWriteWeb, and Jon Russell at The Next Web for their reports on our latest Index data.
Mobile marketers take note: New data reveals on average, Android app users are 2x more loyal than iOS app usersPosted by: Craig PalliOctober 12, 2011
After months of speculation and finally, the much-covered iPhone 4S launch, it seems like iPhone fever is everywhere. If you own one (or plan to), or make or market mobile apps, it's certainly hard not to get caught up in it all. Urban legend has it that iOS users are naturally loyal and engaged app consumers. So mobile app marketers often assume that they should throw their advertising dollars behind promoting the visibility and ranking of their iOS app.
Well, we have news for you!
It turns out that on average, Android users are two times more likely than iOS users to open an app ten times or more.
We discovered this by extensively analyzing more than four billion app actions (recorded through our platform) and applying our metric defining a loyal user based on the number of times he or she opens an app.
Even though Android has surpassed iOS in U.S. market share, iOS still dominates among the premium brands that it serves – and so has earned its cache. But what this actually means is that there is plenty of inventory available on the Android platform, where global traffic can cost less than iOS traffic, based on standard supply and demand principles.
Think about it. A global Android campaign is untapped inventory awaiting for you to see the returns on your app marketing investment.
Although the upfront cost of an Android campaign might be similar to an iOS campaign, over time, global Android traffic costs become significantly less expensive. So not only can an Android app global marketing campaign deliver more loyal users, but the acquisition cost will also be significantly lower – indicating a better investment overall. It's also worth noting that the average cost to acquire loyal users on iOS has steadily increased in the last six months, according to the Fiksu Indexes, topping out in August at $1.54.
In recent weeks, much has been written about the surging Android market. Nielsen recently revealed that twice as many consumers purchased Android phones over iPhones in the past three months. Research from analyst firm Ovum predicted that Android app downloads will overtake iPhone apps for the first time this year. And new data from the NPD Group reported that the majority (52 percent) of the smartphones shipped in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2011 was running Android. Further validating this growth is a report by ad network Millennial Media, which revealed that in July 2011, Android captured 61 percent of the smartphone space – a hefty jump over the previous month.
As Fast Company put it, Android is having it's "Cinderella Moment."
Clearly, mobile app marketers need to take a closer look at the opportunity that an Android app presents. There’s evidently a lot of headroom and opportunity to cost-effectively acquire volumes of loyal app users on Android. Bottom line: If you haven’t considered running campaigns on Android, now is a good time to start thinking about it.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaAugust 10, 2011
Last month, Apple announced that its App Store alone now contains more than 425,000 apps. For app marketers, your challenge is finding a way to make your app stand out in such a massive crowd.
Discoverability hinges on getting your app ranked high enough in the app stores. Additionally, in order to scale your business, you need to find a cost-effective way to secure enough downloads. And the real kicker – you need to achieve all of these marketing goals without breaking the bank.
Before throwing your hands up in defeat, rethinking your career choice and going prematurely grey, know that you’re not alone, and that there are ways to overcome these challenges.
Following are four simple and proven best practices for developing your creative and effectively promoting your app for profitable and sustainable loyal user acquisition and business growth. By employing these, you can greatly increase the likelihood of finding loyal users in a cost-efficient way. You can also read additional strategies in our recent post Five Ways to Drive Downloads and Loyal Users for Your Mobile App and in our e-book.
1. With App Ad Copy, Less is More
Unlike traditional ad copy, mobile real estate is limited. Keep your ad text short, punchy and straight to the point, and make your call to action immediate and valuable. When writing effective mobile ads, we recommend the following:
- Your ad copy should resemble that of Google AdWord copy, rather than traditional copy
- Do your research and identify the most compelling, targeted keywords to use in your title
- Highlight key benefits and functionalities that clearly differentiate your app
- Keep it easy to understand, and keep jargon to a minimum
2. Practice Makes Perfect
Once you've developed your creative, conduct A/B testing by comparing a baseline, control sample to a variety of single-variable test samples across all traffic sources to determine which ads perform the best – resulting in higher ranking in the app stores and/or garnering increased downloads. By looking at the results from different tests, you'll be able to identify the ads that consistently produce the best results and swap them for lower-performing ads on a per source basis. But don't stop there – routinely play with different copy combinations with the goal of continuously increasing conversions.
3. Write Your Landing Page for Mobile Consumption
It is extremely important to remember your audience when developing your app store landing page. When composing your landing page, don't focus on how it will look on the desktop, but rather how it will look on mobile devices, since this is where the majority of app download decision-making will occur.
4. Drive Downloads Through Your Title
When creating your app's title, it is essential to look beyond your brand and also consider terms of app store search results and conversion of users who arrive on your app store landing page. For example, if you have a photography-oriented app, speak to the functionality of the app in its title by referencing a feature like "picture color". This way you are just as likely to appear in the app store search results for a user looking for a "photography" solution.
It's true that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for marketing to and securing mobile app users. But the good news is that there is a way to overcome these challenges and build a successful, sustainable mobile app business – and reduce your user acquisition costs by up to 10x in the process. To learn more about these tips and tricks and many others, download the free e-book, Best Practices for Growing Your Mobile App Business.
Posted by: Micah AdlerJune 29, 2011
Recently, Yahoo! announced its App Search in an effort to address the app discoverability challenge. We understand why. Consumers have an insatiable appetite for downloading the hottest new apps that reside among the half a million crowding the app stores. As a mobile marketer, this spells huge promise and opportunity if you can overcome the needle in the haystack problem. Those 500,000 apps are competing with yours for users. How can you ensure that they will find and download yours?
The solution is in loyal user acquisition. Loyal users are those who take an action, such as an in-app purchase or registration. And they key to attracting loyal users is App store visibility. There is no amount of buzz, PR, one-off ad campaigns or sheer "wow" factors that can equal the power of a top ranking.
The challenges of app promotion are complex and can easily consume large chunks of your marketing budget. However, they don't have to. Following are five of the strategies we’ve proven out for improving app store rankings and securing those critical loyal users (read about 9 additional strategies in our e-book):
1. Work with as many traffic sources as possible
If you are working with only one traffic source type (e.g. a mobile ad network, real time bidding platform or incentive based program), or even just one of each type, it really is too small a universe to be successful. You are missing out on valuable opportunities to identify the best traffic sources for driving the largest numbers of loyal users, and to scale your business.
2. Focus on loyal users
None of the ad networks has a method for understanding how to deliver loyal users that can be directly tied back to your ROI. So you must take the initiative. To get loyal users we recommend the following:
- Define the characteristics of your loyal user
- Automate the tracking of these loyal user characteristics
- Identify the traffic sources that generated these loyal users
- Steer your ad spend toward these traffic sources
Track all of your users' interactions with your app
3. Drive and track downloads from organic users
Organic users are those who actively seek and download your app without any marketing influence. They have a much higher lifetime value than ad-driven users. You should be actively targeting organic users because they are the most likely to become your loyal users.
4. Consider differentiated or alternative categories
Do you know which category and rank will generate the most loyal users for the lowest cost possible? Your app probably fits into a number of categories, and while your gut instinct may be to place it in the most popular categories, you may fare better in one that is differentiated or alternative that might enable a higher ranking. For example, it might be better to rank fifth in a smaller category as opposed to 25th in Games.
5. Know which traffic sources drive loyal users
Based on your definition of a loyal user, you need to understand how many loyal users you are generating from each ad network and traffic source, and at what cost. Measure and recalibrate to get the mix right.
It’s true that finding the right mobile app marketing formula takes time and effort, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, you could even slash your user acquisition costs tenfold in the process. To learn more about the tips above and others, download the free e-book, Best Practices for Growing Your Mobile App Business.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJune 21, 2011
App clicks, downloads and launches can be very misleading metrics. Measuring ROI beyond downloads involves evaluating an app user’s loyalty. How many times do your users return? Have they made a purchase? Did they register? If these are unanswered questions, then you are NOT measuring your ROI.
Billions of app downloads and a culture reliant on apps is presenting marketers with an increasingly dynamic environment to promote their apps. In-Stat projects 48 billion app downloads by 2015 due to the growing number of touchscreen-equipped smartphones while a recent survey by MTV reports that 83% of respondents are “addicted” to their apps.
This mobile explosion requires marketers to refine their mobile app promotion approach and target downloads by loyal users. Why? Because loyal users use apps repeatedly, make purchases, and spread the word on your behalf. It is loyal users on whom you build your business. A download, or even an app launch, does not mean that you have a loyal user.
So what is a loyal user? A loyal user is someone who has taken an action that can be directly tied back to your ROI. Depending on your business, a loyal user can be defined differently. It is up to you to define your loyal user.
If you’re a publication, a loyal user might be someone who registers and becomes a member. If you’re a deal site, a loyal user may be a customer who makes a purchase. If you’re an app developer who relies on in-app ad revenue, a loyal user may be someone who opens your app at least five times.
Rapid and sustainable app-business growth is all about finding loyal users. However, none of the ad networks have a viable method for understanding how to obtain loyal users.
Here at Fiksu we will help to set benchmarks and performance goals based on your loyal user profile and then tie in monitoring, real-time optimization and reporting to create a full cycle app marketing euphoria.
Let’s crunch some numbers and see why loyal users are a critical metric. As depicted below, a typical reporting system would only measure the basics, with a heavy emphasis on cost per download (CPD). On the other hand, if Fiksu for Mobile Apps had a hand at the data set, it would reveal the ugly truth behind this marketer’s ROI.
Pretend my app was created to further my branding efforts and was based on increasing my registrants. In this model, I would like to know: How many of my downloads turned into registered users? – Ah, yes! This is what we call “Loyal App Users”, as the user is taking an action that can be directly tied back to my ROI.
Exhibit A: The Ugly Truth Behind CPD Metrics without Considering Loyal App Users
In this case, the loyal app user metric is registrations. While Network “A” may seem to have the best CPD and volume combo, the stark reality is that these are the most expensive subscribers to acquire and puts the marketer in danger of a negative ROI.
Transparency will be key in measuring and optimizing users through the mobile app funnel as the market becomes noisier, more fragmented and more complex. This is especially apparent in the Android marketplace where there is less visibility into the quality of users due to less well developed reporting and tracking capabilities.
The Fiksu for Mobile Apps platform is the only loyal user acquisition platform reaching across the entire mobile ecosystem providing the necessary insights and data to monitor your campaign’s true ROI success.
No more excuses! Beef up on your mobile metrics and define your loyal user. Find 13 other Best Practices for Growing your Mobile App Business in our free eBook.
Posted by: Bill FlynnJune 15, 2011
Fiksu for Mobile Apps was born from the technologies, tools and expertise we developed to successfully promote our own mobile app, Fluent News™ Reader. Within 6 months, the help of 5 PHDs and a history of hyper-efficient marketing experience, we figured out how to get our app to #1 in Apple’s App Store for our category (News) generating tens of thousands of downloads per day.
For a significant period of time, we were more than holding our own with heavyweights such as CNN, WSJ, NYT and others. Even better, we were able to get the cost of DL from $3.00 to $0.30 in a matter of weeks by finding the best places to spend our money. We immediately recognized we were on to something, that our winning formula could help mobile marketers supercharge visibility, create volumes of downloads, and build a loyal user base for their apps.
As a company we decided to offer this technology solution to others and so transformed the company about a year ago to offer folks like Groupon, Hearst, HotelTonight, Barnes & Noble, VH1 and dozens of others the Fiksu for Mobile Apps platform.
Recently we took our wealth of experience and published a useful free ebook: Best Practices of Growing your Mobile App Business
Here's the first couple of tips:
- Work with multiple traffic sources
- Focus on acquiring downloads from loyal app users
- Drive and track downloads from organic users
- Determine your optimal category and rank to maximize your ROI or cost per loyal user
...Find the other 10 Tips here: www.fiksu.com/resources/ebook/grow-app-business