Best Practices for Ideal App Install Campaign

The number of app installs is one of the key metrics for your mobile application. If you want to boost the numbers,...

Written by Niel Patel · 5 min read >
Successful App Install Campaign

Anyone who says that the job of a mobile marketer is simple – is very mistaken. If they want to succeed in their work, mobile marketers have to hit numbers every quarter. Seeing how apps aren’t cheap or easy to build in the first place, the app installs metric is one of the most critical for mobile marketers.

The estimated cost for app development these days is $171,450, and this hardly even covers enterprise-level or service-providing applications. If you are an expert developer, it takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks to develop an app. What does this mean?

Unless you achieve good results in your app install campaign, you’d be facing tremendous losses of time and money, not to mention the missed opportunity to attract and convert leads.

And it’s not only that expense that you should take into consideration. Marketing your app costs a fortune, so unless you do it right, you’d be losing even more!  InsiderIntelligence shows that it costs marketers $4.08 to get a single user to install their app and around $74.93 to convince them to also make an in-app purchase.

Luckily, there are things you can do to make sure that your app install campaign is a success.

From creative optimization and tracking KPIs to using the right channels to promote your application, several proven practices can help you develop the ideal app install campaign. In this article, you’ll learn all about them.

What is an app install campaign?

An app install campaign includes a variety of methods to target people who will download the application. This is not as simple as most think. You can’t just upload your product to the iOS or Android store and expect people to download it. An ideal campaign is spread across different channels, based on analytics and data, and requires consistent creative messaging across the user journey.

A smart campaign should have the following characteristics:

  • Creative optimization across the entire user journey (from the moment the user sees the ad or app to the moment when they install it)
  • Consistent messaging and streamlined process that allows users to get into the app with ease
  • Accurate attribution across the user journey

The 5 best practices for your campaign

If you’re reading this, that means that you’ve completed your app development process – or are almost there. Congratulations! This takes you halfway to your goal, but now you need to make sure that people download that app. So, let’s take a close look at how you can create an ideal app install campaign!

  1. Prioritize creative optimization

The success of your marketing strategy and your ads depends on your understanding of the target audience. If you want to get to the right people and convince them to install the app and make in-app purchases, you need the creative optimization features at Creatopy. 

Start by researching your audience and forming your key buying persona. Then, target them with personalized, creative messaging across paid ads. Creatopy can help you a lot with this. Here are some of the reasons to use it:

  • It will provide you with real-time ad performance data including metrics like impressions and track clicks.
  • You can use it to run A/B tests and generate ad tags for your designs. 
  • You can import your designs to the ad networks you use without having to download or re-upload the creatives.
  • Use it to optimize your live ads and update your data field in real time.


Doing this manually is possible, but counter-productive. Why? Because it can take forever and a lot of the time, the customer data you have will be outdated or inaccurate. With the right tool on your hands, you’ll have complete control over your ads, including the live ones, and you can react fast when something needs to be changed.

  1. Always know your KPIs and metrics

Analyzing KPIs is vital for any marketing strategy your brand has in place. The same applies here – if you want more people to install your application, you need to monitor the KPIs and most relevant metrics. 

There are plenty of things to look at when you’re working on your campaign. For instance, you can check the:

  • The average revenue per user metric or ARPU – how much money your users are spending in the app after the install
  • Lifetime value metric or LTV – the quality of users of your app
  • Return on ad spend or ROAS – how much you earn compared to what you spent


In addition to these metrics, you should keep analyzing your inventory. Not everything sells all the time throughout the year. For example, retailers will sell particular items during specific months i.e. their high season, but these items won’t result in many app purchases during low seasons. Your POS system can be very useful when gathering this data. 

What is a POS system, you wonder? This is a tool that companies use for inventory automation and optimization. The data you gather from yours will help you anticipate bumps in sales. Combine this data with your ROAS and ARPU, and you’ll know which products to highlight in your app and ads – and when. 

  1. Choose your channels for paid ads carefully

The next important step is the choice of channels. The results of your ad campaign depend greatly on how effectively you target the users, something that’s influenced greatly by where you post your ads. After all, you can’t attract an audience if you keep inserting ads in the wrong places or on channels they hardly ever use. 

Yes, organic leads are the least expensive and preferred by most marketers, but you should still keep paid ads in the mix. The average user on Google makes 3-4 searchers per day ad the US digital display ad revenue in 2022 is getting close to $70.2 billion! 


Since placing the same ad on every social media channel and across websites is not practical for obvious reasons (different social channels require different forms of content), you can’t possibly add ads everywhere. This is not practical and will cost a fortune.

For that reason, you need to choose a few channels you use – and choose them well. Once you do, make sure to tailor your ad format and content to the channel where you’re posting it. Banners are perfect for websites and landing pages, and so are pop-ups. Videos are a great strategy for platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and short bits of content are ideal for Twitter. 

  1. Optimize the deep linking for your users

It won’t matter how you design your apps or where you place the ads to reach your target audience unless you can optimize the deep linking. The next important thing is to ensure that every user is deep-linked to your app seamlessly from the start to the end of the user journey.

If you don’t do this, the people that engage with your ads won’t get the experience they expect. They’ll change their mind about installing your app, or they’ll uninstall it soon after. So, your efforts so far will be tanked. 

For example, if a user clicks on your ad and, instead of the app page, they are directed to your website, they won’t be able to download the app when they want. This can enrage the user and make them leave the website before even trying to find the app download page. 

Here are a few ways to optimize this for your users:

  • Use clear CTAs that inform the users of the steps they should take – and their outcome
  • Make sure that you link to the app download page – don’t try to get people to your site first
  • If you want to direct people to your website with your ad, make it clear that it’s what they’ll get


  1. Don’t forget to retarget your users

If you’ve done things right, this means that some people have already downloaded your app and maybe even made an in-app purchase. This is their initial conversion, but it should not be their last. From this point, it is your job to retarget and re-engage the existing users. 

This is a less costly, more effective way to drive revenue with your application. After all, the people who already converted are familiar with your brand and you know that they are your targeted audience, so they are the most likely to buy again.

Unfortunately, most of the users that app developers attract don’t take any action after they download an app. The average smartphone user has over 100 apps on their phone, but they only use 3 to 4 apps daily. 

So, you need a retargeting and re-engaging strategy for these users also. Consider creating ads that target the people who installed the application, encouraging them to engage with the product again. 

Let’s get more downloads for that app!

An app install campaign is a work in progress. Don’t stop working on it. The practices in this guide are a sure way to create the ideal campaign, but you shouldn’t stop there. Tweak your strategy, your advertisements, and your app regularly to attract more people and convince them to install it!

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