Op-Ed: In Mobile User Acquisition, Traffic Quality Matters

Op-Ed In Mobile User Acquisition Traffic Quality MattersThe following is an exclusive guest contributed post by Eyal Hilzenrat, VP Products & Partnerships at YouAppi.

Despite the excitement from the Cannes Lions handed out a few weeks ago, it’s not the creative which has the greatest impact on mobile marketing.

The variable with the greatest impact in mobile user acquisition – in fact in all mobile marketing – is the quality of the traffic.

That’s because the greatest creative in the world will not deliver quality users if it’s been pitched to prospects that have no interest in the app being offered.

Maybe a great sales person can sell ice to Eskimos, but the most compelling visual with the most enticing call-to-action will probably not convince many Eskimos to download an ice making app.

One of the greatest changes in marketing over the last 20 years has been the migration from mass marketing to targeted marketing. Previously, when running a TV campaign, marketers knew that some of the viewers would find their marketing message relevant and other wouldn’t.

But today, when mobile marketers are using targeted sources of traffic, they can’t rely on finding users the way network TV delivered users for consumer goods manufacturers in the 1980s and 90s. They need to buy traffic that will deliver enough actual users who will buy products, games, in-app purchases, etc., in order to justify the cost of buying the traffic.

So how do you know if the traffic you’re buying is quality traffic?

Here are three important points to keep in mind when analyzing the performance of your various sources of traffic:

  1. Make sure the Post-Install Events you’re monitoring are focused on traffic quality: The most effective way to determine if the traffic you’re buying is quality traffic is to monitor Post-Install Events (or Key Performance Indicators). The Post-Install Events you should be monitoring are the ones which predict Lifetime Customer Value. So if your app is a game, Post-Install Events to monitor will include viewing the tutorial or time it took to progress from the first to the second level. And if you’re marketing a travel app, you should be monitoring Post-Install Events like the number of hotel rooms / flight options viewed as well as regular app usage (number of minutes / times used during the first week / first month).

By monitoring these business-critical Post-Install Events, you’ll be able to understand how profitable the average user delivered from each traffic source is, and in turn, determine which sources of traffic are providing your app with quality traffic.

  1. Monitor results over time: Like wine, some sources of traffic generate better results over time. Perhaps those users were away or on a holiday when your campaign launched OR they might simply be the kind of users who take longer to spend time / money on apps. That’s why it’s important to continuously monitor the performance of Post-Install Events by traffic source because certain sources of traffic which looked disappointing from the perspective of conversions in the first week might outperform other sources of traffic after six or eight weeks.
  1. Traffic performance changes: In the same way that some sources of traffic will improve over time, others will start to underperform. This might be because most of the relevant users from this publisher / platform have already converted or because of changes in your app’s KPIs which result in pursuing mobile users with different attributes.

Regardless of the reason, it’s critical to monitor traffic quality against your app’s Post-Install Events and KPIs in order to ensure that you’re still generating quality leads that are converting into users with a high Customer Lifetime Value.

Though there aren’t yet any awards for traffic quality (at Cannes or elsewhere), the Ka-Ching of a growing stream of revenue is enough to make any app marketer happy. I’ll drink a glass of Rosé to that.