Picture Perfect App Marketing: Facebook mobile app ads and Fiksu programmatic tools help grow SimplePrints business 70% in five months

StoryTree’s SimplePrints app was built when entrepreneurs from the Stanford Design School decided to create a new, simple way for families to share memories. One of the problems they noticed was creating a photo book using existing web based services was very complex and often took an entire weekend. At the same time, photos had shifted to mobile but there were no good mobile alternatives.

To address the problem, the StoryTree team developed SimplePrints, an app that is as easy to use as it sounds. The app lets you drag photos from your iOS device, Facebook, Dropbox, or other services and turn them into a photo book that can be printed or shared online.

Challenge: Scaling the Business

As a startup, the team needed to rapidly grow their user base. After trying several ad networks, the company found that Facebook, with its rich audience segmentation capabilities, was a very productive marketing channel. But despite their initial success with Facebook, maintaining momentum as the business grew became a challenge.

“Online advertising campaigns require maintenance and optimization in order to scale and be successful. We found that we were spending a lot of our time managing our Facebook campaigns, and we needed to focus on our business” says Alex Oliveira, head of product development for StoryTree. “We also weren’t sure that we were getting the most we could have out of our Facebook advertising. It seemed that when we increased our volume of users, our costs tended to rise. We looked for partners who could help us automate the marketing process and scale more cost efficiently.”

StoryTree had heard about Fiksu’s experience marketing mobile apps on Facebook from another successful app developer and decided to test Fiksu alongside another Facebook advertising partner.

Approach: Apply Fiksu Programmatic Technology to Facebook Campaigns

By automating and applying optimization technology to the creation and management of these campaigns, Fiksu was able to generate large volumes of new users for StoryTree while staying within cost goals.

Fiksu applied several dedicated technologies to these campaigns:

  • Programmatic campaign management and optimization tools
  • Programmatic budget management and allocation tools
  • Creative optimization and testing tools


Simpleprints saw significant improvements in both volume and CPI. In addition, performance was significantly better with Fiksu than with the alternative tested. According to Oliveira, “Fiksu was able to improve our CPI by 20% and nearly doubled our volume. Fiksu CPIs at scale also were 40% lower than the other partner being evaluated.”

Facebook mobile app ads and Fiksu were key drivers for the company’s growth. Said Oliveira, “In the five months we’ve worked with Fiksu, our business has increased by 70%.”

Volume when you need it

StoryTree is a seasonal business: certain times of the year, such as the year-end holidays and Valentine’s Day, are very heavy photo-taking and gift-giving seasons.

One of StoryTree’s key goals is to maximize new users during these periods. Fiksu has been able to move the dial on this goal. During the December holiday period, conversions more than doubled. In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, volume of purchasers nearly doubled, while at the same time cost per purchaser was maintained within the target range.

As StoryTree continues to grow its SimplePrints business, Facebook mobile app ads and Fiksu are key components of that growth.


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