Mobile App Marketing Guidelines

Acquiring downloads and installs of a mobile app isn’t easy. With millions of apps available on iTunes and through Google Play, getting your application to stick out above the rest is quite difficult. You can sit back and hope you get lots of great reviews or promote your app through social media, but thankfully there are many options to utilize media spend to acquire downloads.

Mobile app campaigns are bought similar to traditional online media campaigns. CPM is widely available but there is often more focus on CPI (Cost Per Install) or CPD (Cost Per Download). These options are essentially CPA campaigns, where you only pay when an action is completed.

Incentivized Traffic


This advertising option helps you get your app in front of millions of potential customers each day. By partnering with one of the many mobile app advertising networks out there, you can have your app presented to be people who are utilizing a different app. They will be prompted to download your app and they can receive in game currency or upgrades.

Incentivized traffic is a great way to get your application in from of millions of people each week. The only issue is the fact that the users are incentivized to download your app and not genuinely interested in it. This can lead to a lower quality user base.

Non-Incentivized Traffic 

There are many other ‘app stores’ out there besides iTunes and Google Play. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to these app stores and download apps each day. Through these online stores, there are advertising options available to promote your app. Usually bought on a CPI or CPD basis, you can pay to have your app on the promoted on the front page of the store or deeper in category pages.

The quality traffic of these users are significantly higher than those that incentivized traffic programs generate. With this quality comes much higher cost. CPI/CPD’s for non-incentivized traffic can be anywhere from $1 to $8 more than incentivized traffic.

Mobile Display

mobile-display-sausage-egg-cheeseTraditional mobile display programs can also be a great way to generate downloads of your apps. With networks like Grey Stripe and Millennial with CPC’s between $0.05 and $0.25, you can advertise your app in a cost effective manner and generate downloads of your application at your required CPA.

Mobile display campaigns can be bought on a CPM or CPC basis. Best practice for generating downloads is to send traffic to a dedicated landing page that prompts users to download or to send users directly to your iTunes or Google Play app page. Quality of these programs runs in line with non-incentivized traffic as users who click on your ad and install your application are genuinely interested in it.

Push Notifications

ap-news-push-notificationsThe notifications you get from ESPN, USA Today and others can also be utilized for advertising. Push messaging allows you to send messages directly to people who have installed your app to increase long term engagement. If you happen to have multiple apps available for users, you can send notifications that prompt users to download your new or other applications.

In order for this advertising tactic to work properly, users must accept push notifications when they originally download the first application. These push notifications can become a nuisance to users, so this should be used as part of your repertoire and not overused.

What Type of Advertising Program Should you Use?

In order to answer the question above you need to understand the goals of your campaign, specifically the question of quality versus quantity. The main driver behind the quality of your new user is if the offer to download your app is incentivized.

Incentivized offers are provided to users who are looking to get more currency or an upgrade for the current game they are playing. These often lead to a large amount of downloads but a lower quality in the user base.

If you’re looking for higher quality users, non-incentivized traffic is the better route to go. Users who download and install your application are interested in becoming a user or playing your game. This leads to higher quality users but they often come at a higher CPI/CPD rate than incentivized traffic.

Related reading

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