Get More Valuable Customers for Your App This Holiday Season

The holidays are an important time for businesses looking to grow sales—and the same holds true for app marketers. In 2015, smartphone sales rose nearly 10% in Q4 compared to any other quarter that year. And as people use holiday cash to gift or purchase technology, smartphone activity spikes.

Once people get their new devices, they often install new apps to get better acquainted with their phones, and this behavior extends through January. Last year, App Store installs peaked in December, January and February. We also know that thirty days after people install an app, only 6% still use it—so optimizing for valuable installs is key to winning the “appy holiday season.”

As you build out your strategy, prioritize these three things: Finding customers who take action beyond the install, driving valuable repeat actions (such as in-app purchases) and measuring the value of your marketing. 

1. Find the right people

Businesses have already been using Facebook dynamic ads to find the people most likely to buy their products. Now we’re offering app marketers the ability to use dynamic ads to drive mobile app installs, just in time for the holiday and post-holiday spike in downloads. Advertisers can use dynamic ads to show relevant ads to people who are most likely to install their app, including people who recently browsed their products.

“Hotels.com used dynamic ads for mobile app installs to find new, high-quality users as people began planning upcoming travel. We are seeing early positive results in CPI as well as in cost per in-app purchase compared to static web retargeting campaigns. This great performance indicates that dynamic mobile app install ads are the future of app marketing on Facebook.” —Daniel Craig, Senior Director of Mobile at Hotels.com

Businesses can also use app event optimization to identify the customers who are more likely to take valuable actions after downloading an app—such as completing a level in a game, booking a trip or making a purchase. Marketers are already seeing the value of this functionality; in fact, more than half of Facebook’s top 100 apps use app event optimization to reach high-value customers.

Zynga, for example, wanted to increase downloads among people most likely to make in-app purchases in its Wizard of Oz Slots game. By using app event optimization, they saw a 4.5 times higher return on ad spend, doubled conversion-to-payer rate, and increased conversions to installs by 60%. 

2. Drive repeat actions

Once the right customers have your app, the challenge is keeping them engaged over time. App remarketing is an effective way to reengage people who have already installed your app—letting you market to them based on what they’ve been browsing. This is critical as more and more people turn to mobile for shopping and purchasing.

Earlier this year, we highlighted the impact of app remarketing for some of our partners. Online marketplace Jet.com used dynamic ads with deep links to remarket to customers who had browsed products on their app. 

“Dynamic ads allow us to automatically show highly relevant creative to people who have demonstrated intent while using our app. As a result, dynamic ads have been an extremely effective native acquisition tool, increasing CTR by 63% and decreasing CPA by 56% in our Facebook app campaigns.”  —Lauren Picasso, Associate Director of Marketing at Jet.com

3. Measure impact accurately

Clicks are a strong signal for attribution, but they don’t tell the whole story. After analyzing 30 mobile app install lift studies, we determined that impressions drive installs when there is no preceding click. These studies indicated that advertisers who used only last-click measurement were unable to assign credit for an average of 14% of their app downloads.

View-through attribution allows mobile app advertisers to assign credit to ads that people viewed but never clicked. As the holiday season brings a higher number of downloads, it’s a good time to add impression-level data to your attribution model so you can better understand the impact your ad campaigns have on incremental installs.

Mobile app advertisers have already seen the impact of adding view-through attribution to their measurement mix. Game company Pocket Gems discovered that 18% of their installs were from people viewing but not clicking on ads. This helped them better understand the effects of their advertising on Facebook. 

“We partnered with the Facebook team to run a lift study and understand the effects of view-through attribution. What we found was that we were under-attributing installs by 18% when only using a last click attribution model. We always understood the effect of Facebook advertising, but this really helped quantify the overall impact. We’re very excited about view-through attribution as it enables us to better understand the effects of our advertising.” —Chris Luhur, Director of UA at Pocket Gems

As you plan for your holiday and post-holiday strategy, we hope you use these products to find more valuable customers, remarket to them over time, and measure the business results. Get started today with app event optimization, check out app remarketing, or dive into view-through attribution. For more information on each of these products, be sure to watch our webinar.

From all of us on your mobile app team here at Facebook, Appy Holidays!

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