Dana Roth


Paul Teresi, Skyscanner digital media exec, will guide us through Skyscanner’s unique, scientific hacks of working towards sustainable app growth.

Skyscanner, a leading global travel search site, is a place where people are inspired to plan and book direct from millions of travel options at the best prices. It serves 60M customers every month globally, in over 30 languages and 70 currencies.

Check out the talk below:

Video Highlights:


What is your role at Skyscanner, and what is the company doing in order to reach sustainable app growth?


My role within Skyscanner is Digital Media Executive, and I work solely in our paid growth side of things, working on user acquisition. Internally, we have a couple of different titles, and the big one is growth executive and growth hacker. We are growth a hacking organization using the sensibilities there and so together at Skyscanner we are leading travel metasearch engine that compromises flights, hotels, and car-hire searches, helping users find the best travel solutions for their needs. So together, it is my job to really help focus on our mobile app and make sure that we are bringing the best users who are going to really engage the product and ultimately just make it a nice, simple experience. Travel booking in the past has not necessarily been the most user-intuitive, so making sure that users are able to book their travel whenever they want, where they want, that is kind of the main focus for us.


What is unique about Skyscanner?


I think what is  really unique about Skyscanner is that we have a lot of direct partnerships and that gives us a lot of direct content that users are able to leverage.



How does Skyscanner manage to stand out in the travel industry?


With our partnerships, we go directly back to different airlines, hotels, online travel agencies, etc. so we are really able to give users a really comprehensive mix, making them feel comfortable, trustworthy, giving them a lot of sources and options and just take the pressure off of it and really help them focus on their overall trips. We also have great customer support side of things there, so we are really able to offer users a really well-rounded opportunity in travel experience.


Do you think that this industry has its own characteristics when it comes to user behavior?


I think it is really interesting because there are a couple different ways that travel stands out. Specifically on the app front of things.


What is unique in the customer journey of travel apps as opposed to other services?


Apps like gaming or eCommerce maybe have a bigger or shorter dormancy period where they may give users a faster life-cycle there, whereas in travel we might really engage with the user at the beginning and then we have not necessarily lost that user but they are just not ready to book their next trip. So it is making sure you are able to decipher that, and I think a really interesting thing as well is users in the past really looked on their mobile phones just to figure out research, but then they go to another device. They would go to the web and their desktop computers to do the booking, so it is really interesting and a challenge to make sure that you are trying to give the users the best experience at the palm of their hands. And to make them feel comfortable enough that they are able to book their entire travel experience right from their phones.



So, your users are not looking for other apps? Do they stay within your app and do everything there?


We give users all the options and then we provide them the partners and then they are able to go there. But, some features that we have been adding on now include direct booking, which allows users to have the opportunity to book directly with our partners, the airlines, the online travel agencies, from their phone without having to leave the app, making it very seamless for them.


A known problem every app marketer faces is how to re-engage users. What do you think of re-engagement?


I think re-engagement itself is a really big issue. A lot of different advertisers and companies are trying to figure out right now is how to really get those users on the acquisition front.


How is this done at Skyscanner?


One thing that Skyscanner is doing that is really unique is that we are trying to make sure we are giving users experiences before, during, and after the whole bookings side of things. So we have some really cool features like the travel wallet, which allows users to input their frequent flyer numbers, their passport information in a secure setting so they are able to have that at the palm of their hands when they are checking in places. They will have that information accessible as well as with our recent partnership and affiliation with We are going to be able to start giving users more UGC, more content that they are going to be able to engage with after they book their experience as they get hyped up and ready for their trip.


So, you're saying it's a lot of trial and error until you find the right way and it changes every time?


The things to be conscious of is that failure is not a bad thing. And making sure you are able to learn from those mistakes is important. Everything is not going to work out: you are going to have ideas that may be out of reach but once you are able to find something that is working for you, and if you test fast and you test small, then you are able to amplify it. Those are where you are going to find those real pockets of gold, but just understanding that maybe if you did fail, understand why and how you can pivot or persevere from that to really kind of get those actionable targets you are looking for.


You are concentrating your efforts on growth and the ways to “hack it.” How are you doing it, and what are the ways to achieve it?


The big thing for us and how we focus is making sure that we are applying strong scientific experimentation to our user acquisition, so that we are able to grow at scale and that it is sustainable and that we are able to continue these growth trajectories.


What are some of your growth-hacking methods?


The way we do that is making sure that we are hammering it out by having a very concrete hypothesis, knowing exactly what our  metrics are, what we really hope to turn, and then making sure we are able to measure that the entire way through. And making sure that it is, at the end of the day, proven and that we are able to say this is because of our test that we ran, making sure that you are eliminating the different noise of seasonality and just making sure you are applying the numbers and everything behind it to really validate everything is one key point.


Do you have any examples?


I think another way to make sure that you are really working on hacking your growth is just making sure that you are looking at user acquisition as a whole and not necessarily siloing out your unpaid, your ASO, and then your paid activities and making sure you find those relationships and those correlations and how you can truly leverage that. That really comes into effect with localization and making sure you understand your markets, the areas of focus, and making sure that if you do find a pocket, how do you  capitalize on that in that moment instead of waiting too long, whereas it may have fizzled out. So, it really is just making sure that you’re understanding and digesting your numbers and are able to back up what you are doing.


Is Skyscanner mobile-first?


Mobile first is really our mindsets and that basically translates to our strategy of customers-first, so customers are engaging with this product and they are engaging on the web. In 2016, about 61%  of our traffic came via mobile, so there is that switch that I mentioned earlier about users researching on their own then going to desktop.


How do you make sure your users will get the perfect experience and get targeted at the right time?


You know they really engage on their mobile devices, so it is making sure that you are setting them up to have the best features available and having full support there. For a lot of markets we are active in, we have done user acquisition (+35 to be more accurate). A lot of these markets are not only app-first but they are app-only, so we really have adopted a look to Asia, and look to China approach to make sure that we are able to give that attention that they are doing over there to our strategies globally.


So you actually look to see what the right moments are for you to target those users?


Exactly, in those micro-moments and then giving that exclusive content and features of our mobile device, so that users are able to see that it is not just necessarily an app they would engage with when trying to book travel, but rather an app that you would engage with when you are just trying to book your travel between the entire funnel, from your exploration to inspiration to actually getting ready to go there and get notifications about trip delays and those types of things and where to eat or where to go.


What in your opinion is one thing Skyscanner does better than the competition?


I think that one really unique aspect about Skyscanner that sets us apart is basically our technology, it is all self-built. About 50% of our spending goes towards technology and that is at the same level as major companies like Linkedin, Facebook. So we are self-building our products up and then we are able to really localize that. So by making sure that we are getting a true product that is going to have multiple currencies and languages supported and making sure that that is always going to be at the forefront of how we operate and by having that self-built and not relying on third parties, we are really able to change fast, grow fast, and get new features or jump on board of new technology formats right when they are coming out.


Many companies are adopting AI and other new technologies to better serve their customers. Can you tell us if this is something Skyscanner is also considering?


It’s a really exciting aspect and something that we are doing at Skyscanner. So in Feb. 2016, we were the first travel metasearch to actually have skills and tools for Cortana, and for Skype.Within the Skype bot, we are able to have group booking functionalites, which is exciting.

We also have a Facebook Messenger tool, so we are really adopting that by being the first-to-market,and  testing it out. Since then we have actually  had over 500,000 users really engage with this product, so it’s really exciting and just the growth that’s coming is going to continue, and it’s really going to be a forefront.



Skyscanner must have loads of interesting data, from user preferences to airplane fares in many countries and perhaps can even predict trends. Can you share some interesting insights with us?


I think it’s a really interesting area, and I think for us, making sure that we’re kind of just focusing on how we  can really make the user’s journey as seamless  and easy as possible will all fall into place. But making sure that online, when the user comes to us, they are always going to feel comfortable with booking online, booking from their devices and providing just the most seamless opportunities available for them.

App Valley Rocked! Key industry decision makers and entrepreneurs got together to learn, contribute, and take an active part in the conversation about the future of apps, because let’s face it: it’s not about growth anymore; usage hacking has taken over.

Each week, we are going to share one speaker’s speech. To kick it off, we are starting with Elad Natanson, Appnext’s Founder and CEO.

The way people experience apps and mobile as a whole has changed.


1. We Are Using Apps More Than Ever, But We Are Installing Fewer

If in 2013, we were installing 6.4 apps; in 2016 we were installing only 1.3 (depends on the specific report) but at the same time, the time spent within apps keeps increasing. The run rate of revenue spend generated by app developers is going to hit $60 billion.

Users Install Less Apps | Appnext

2. The Narrative Has Changed From ‘Which Apps Am I Installing to Which Apps Should I Use?’

3. In Mobile, What Really Matters is Not Necessarily Who the User is but What’s His or Her Timeline

What is he or she doing right now? What moments are best to target this individual user? The answers to these questions provides us a way to understand the users’ behaviors, in order to serve them the right ad at the right time. We also know the time it will be best to re-engage a user, based on his or her timeline.

The Future According to Elad

In April 2017, he introduced Appnext Timeline. Appnext Timeline is a unique predictive technology used to understand the users’ context. This enables Appnext to understand what type of services or apps the user would be interested in using next.

More About Appnext Timeline

Appnext TimelineThe Appnext Timeline technology is currently integrated in more than 5,000 apps around the world. It collects over a 100 different signals from each user (based on app permissions). With that, they are able to to translate these signals into moments. Right now, five months after the inception of Timeline, Appnext sees over 80 million daily active users’ timeline.

4. Apps are no longer about a specific app’s usage. They are more about the service itself.

People interact with their mobile devices hundreds of times a day: on their way to work, on vacation, out shopping, and more. There are countless indispensable daily actions made from mobile devices, which is why Appnext created Appnext Actions. It allows users to better experience life through their mobile. With every action users opt in, they receive search-like results of the best fitting apps, enabling them to make better choices faster.

With Timeline technology, Appnext is able to understand what services the user will be interested in using and enabling them to instantly use these services from every single app in the world.

5. Users are looking for seamless discovery and instant app usage.

Some of the industry’s biggest players understood these trends early on and have created massively successful products. WeChat is one of these. It is one of the most popular messaging apps in Asia, especially in China and currently has more than 697 million active users. Last January, the company introduced mini-programs, aka as embedded apps. These apps require no download and no installation.

Available In-App | Appnext

6. Content and services are set to be unbundled from apps and bundled into the platform’s solutions.

To drive usage, it is important to understand when the potential user is most likely to use the app. Elad believes that in a year or two, we almost won’t install any new organic apps.

“We will probably buy a new device, we’ll probably install a couple of apps when we buy it, we’ll probably customize it, maybe download a nice keyboard, maybe install our messaging apps. So from this point on, we’ll be interested in using apps instantly and the real question is how do we find these apps is it Facebook Messenger is it our home screen device?”

Check back next week for more insights from AppValley!

The holiday season drives more app downloads in the U.S. than any other time of year, and it’s easy to see why. As people use holiday cash to gift or purchase new technology, smartphone activity spikes. And, what do people do when they get new phones? They personalize it, and that includes downloading their favorite apps or finding new ones.

As marketers, you need a plan for the lucrative holiday season, so let’s first review the numbers than go over the best hacks and tactics to help maximize your revenues during this crucial time.

Holiday Stats

  • According to Apple Newsroom, customers broke all-time records last holiday season with purchases from the Apple App Store topping $3 billion in December. In the same month, Nintendo’s Super Mario Run made history with more than 40 million downloads in just four days after its release, and was the most downloaded app globally on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
  • Mobile apps data player Sensor Tower found that smartphone and tablet users spent a one-week record $967.6 million on game apps for iOS and Android devices between Christmas and New Year’s Day. That figure is up 53 percent year over year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • App analytics platform Flurry saw app installs double on Christmas Day 2016 compared to an average day in December.

1. Update Your App Icon

Change your app icon to suit the festive look. The icon is the first thing that a user notices about your app, and makes a lasting impression. If you’re looking to show potential new users that you’re ready for the holiday season, consider updating your icon to reflect this.

Playrix perfectly capitalized on this technique by changing each of their app store icons to match the holiday season.

Playrix HolidayUpdating your icon also makes it stand out from the rest. The following are examples from the Google Play Home Page.

2. Include New Screenshots

Change of screenshots to make the app look more festive.  This will not only entice new users to download but could also attract users who have churned back to your app.  

3. Add Holiday Keywords to App Page

Add Target Keywords to Your App Page. Beyond modifying app icons and screenshots, some brands also amended their names and descriptions to reflect discounts and persuade consumers to download. In addition to alerting app store browsers of deals, this is a good way to utilize any keywords that you are specifically targeting this season.

Companies such as App Annie offer a Keyword Explorer tool to help find what people are organically searching for. Then you can update your description to include the words people are searching for.

Ebay updated it’s description to include Halloween keywords

GardenScapes and Photo Lab Pro included their target keywords in the What’s New section of the their app page listing.

So what do you need to do in order to get your app APP Store-ready for the holidays?

It all depends on the type of app you have. For example, many shopping apps run holiday sales and free shipping promotions, for example. Meanwhile, most popular games run holiday promotions and special events, such as new levels. These limited-time additions incentivize new and lapsed users to revisit apps, and they have the added bonus of keeping things fresh for longtime users.

Traveling brings with it many unavoidable hassles that can drive people mad. To help make the entire experience of traveling less of a hassle, developers everywhere have been coming up with awesome travel apps that span every part of travel, from how to get there, to activities you can enjoy once you arrive, how to speak with the locals and even apps that take the struggle out of paying for stuff.

The State of Travel Apps Today

Apps are now a part of all stages of a traveler’s journey. From inspiring a trip, scoring a great hotel deal, navigating new airports and planning sights to see, customers are reliant on their mobile devices. Just take a look at the figures below.

1. This year, digital travel sales in the US will reach $189.62 billion, 40.0% of which will come from mobile devices.

In its definition of travel sales, eMarketer includes airline, car rental, cruise, hotel, accommodations (including Airbnb) and transportation.

2. One in three boarding passes will be delivered via mobile by 2019.

More than 1.5 billion airline boarding passes will be delivered worldwide via mobile phone by 2019 according to a study by Juniper Research. That’s part of an even bigger shift to delivering paperless passes and tickets on mobile in the native mobile wallet app. EasyJet has a great app! Take a look below.

Easy Jet Screenshots

3. This year, 140.3 million US adults will research a trip online. And 101.4 million will do so via their smartphones, up 13.1% over last year.

research trips

4. This year, 57.5 million US adults will use a smartphone to book a trip, up 14.1% over last year. That represents 81.2% of all mobile travel bookers.

5. By 2021, eMarketer projects computer and mobile booking volume to be neck-and-neck in upcoming years. Mobile booking volume would soar to some $108.75 billion in 2021.

Travel Sales by Device

6. Eighty-eight percent of travelers with smartphones would switch to another site or app if yours doesn't satisfy their needs.

7. The total number of worldwide downloads for travel apps increased by 20% this year compared to 2015. This marks a 50% jump in downloads for travel apps since 2014.

Unique Travel Apps

We see tons of apps every day. Here are some notable ones–whether it is the design, latest marketing campaign, high ratings, etc.

ItsEasy - Planning

ItsEasy e-mails you the forms you need and turns your phone into a passport photo camera. It’s simple. You simply print the forms, mail them to ItsEasy using the trackable USPS priority overnight ticket provided by the company, and you’ll get your new documents in two to three weeks.

SkyScanner - Booking Flights

Skyscanner is a metasearch engine for flights, hotels and car hire.  With this app,  you search through more than 700 sites at once to find the lowest prices currently available for airfare and lodging.

Roomer - Lodging

If you are stuck with a nonrefundable hotel reservation that you cannot use, you can offer your room on Roomer and avoid losing your money.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a bargain hotel package, you can buy hotel accommodations on Roomer and save up to 80% on your next vacation.

Cool Cousin - What To Do

Cool Cousin is a fun way to find unique places you’ll love in cities around the world. It’s pretty simple to use. You simply connect with locals who share your interests — aka Cousins — and get a map of their favorite city spots and personalized advice about how to spend your time and dime in their town.

GeoSure - Safety and Security

GeoSure is a location-sensitive personal security app provides a safety score that reflects health risks, political uprisings, and environmental threats. It also gives crowd-sourced information about thefts and assaults that have occurred in the area.

HotelsCombined - Lodging

HotelsCombined is awesome technology that cuts through availability and prices from all the top travel websites from around the world, including, Expedia,, Agoda, AccorHotels, Hilton and many more.

Loco - Booking Flights

Loco brings you all the low-cost airlines in one place, and compares them with all other standard and charter flights. Loco consolidates all flights – low-cost, standard, and charter, with amazing prices, so you can pick and choose exactly the one that fits your needs. Throw in a hotel, and get even bigger savings. You can also complete the purchase from within the app in real-time.

bitemojo - Eating

bitemojo is a state-of-the-art innovative tourism and travel application, offering individuals and small groups the means to experience cultures and values of new destinations by tasting the best of local food and discovering off-the-beaten track points of interest.

We’re honored to have made the latest AppsFlyer Performance Index. The study ranks the top Media Sources in Mobile Advertising. Highlighting trends and changing dynamics in the mobile app marketing and advertising ecosystem, the index offers an in-depth look at the media sources that have the ability to scale app user growth, deliver strong retention rates and attract the most engaged app users.

AppNext chosen in AppsFlyer Performance Index

The index was based on 40 million installs with cost data (from over 50 networks with a minimum of 10,000 installs), and roughly $150 million in revenue from over 800 apps that measure both cost and revenue.

The Index offers a global look at the best performing mobile media sources, covering:

  • Operating systems (Android and iOS)
  • Regions: North America; Asia-Pacific (APAC); Europe; Latin America
  • App store categories: Gaming, Shopping, Entertainment / Lifestyle, Travel, Utilities, Finance, News, Music, Health & Fitness and more


“The mobile app advertising ecosystem is as strong and healthy as ever. Over the last six months there has been a great deal of movement as networks gained or lost in their scale and retention rankings. A few first-timers also appear in the latest index, a sign of industry health and strong competition,” according to an AppsFlyer press release.

Key Findings

The index provides tons of insights into the current mobile app ecosystem. Here are just a few that we think might interest you.

  • Facebook continues to dominate with its position as the top media source in mobile advertising. The social network ranked first place globally in both the Android and iOS power rankings.
  • Twitter has shown it can deliver loyal users across the board. On Android it holds the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in global retention scores in both non-gaming-related and gaming-related categories. While on iOS, the social network climbed up the charts to reach the top 5.
  • The mobile app advertising ecosystem is as strong and healthy as ever. Over the last six months there has been a great deal of movement as networks gained or lost in their scale and retention rankings. A few first-timers also appear in the latest index, a sign of industry health and strong competition.
  • Video ads on mobile are a winning way to deliver loyal app users. With users able to have a detailed look at what an app is all about, there are less surprises—leading to high retention rates.
  • App user retention on iOS and Android is super close, as both platforms had an almost identical retention score globally. Slightly different numbers were only evident in North America, where iOS retention was higher than Android, and in Europe where Android’s score was higher than iOS.

The world is a scary place—but the internet can be even scarier. Just take a look at mobile advertising app fraud. These scams have been so effective, they’ve fooled thousands of advertisers. And, the worst part is, they are still out there hiding in the shadows, creating sophisticated robots and other techs to do their dirty work. Over the last year, the number of different types of mobile ad fraud integrated into apps via malware has grown (and continues to grow). This includes click spamming, click injection, ad stacking, and invisible ads.

This is seriously freaky! Take the US market as an example: mobile app install advertising expenditure reached $5.7 billion last year, and it is growing. This Halloween we are bringing you the most frightening fraud stats and stories.

Google Play got PLAYED

Google kicked out 40 apps from its Play store after one the BIGGEST case of ad fraud was revealed. It turns out these devilish apps were secretly forcefully driving Android users to click on ads. An article by Forbes suggests that the apps were downloaded as many as 36 million times. Security researchers claim this to be the biggest (and scariest) case of ad fraud committed through Google Play as well as being successful when it comes to a number of installs from the store.

This shenanigan started with Kiniwini,  the South Korean company responsible for hiding an illegitimate ad click function inside 41 apps (mostly games). Once the wretched code was added to the apps, web pages were secretly opened in the background through a  software that imitated a PC browser. The malware used a JavaScript code to find and click on banners from the Google Ads infrastructure allowing Kiniwini to make money ($300,000 per month) off of every ad click. If that’s not a great costume, I don’t know what is.

Minecraft fans got TRICKED, and it wasn’t pretty

Fan of Minecraft? You might have been tricked! Recently, a handful of mods for Minecraft Pocket Edition were taking over player’s smartphones and tablets and using them to power an ad fraud botnet.The vindictive apps were dispersed through the Google Play store and were advertised as character “skins.” Security researchers from Symantec believe that approximately 600,000 to 2.5 million players installed the questionable, “naughty” apps.

Related content: Marketer’s Guide to Mobile App Attribution[

Got your own scary story? Send it to

This case study was a ton of fun to work on. We got to explore our inner goddesses, and mine was a bad-ass hero in heels with purple hair.  But, the real heros of this story are actually behind the scenes. Find out the moves Kunlun Games used to defeat their ROI issues in our Case Study.


Kunlun Games came to us wanting to improve three key metrics: campaign scaling, campaign cost, campaign quality. In addition, the company wanted assistance finding reliable acquisition partners.

Tactics for Success: Real-Time Campaign Optimization

Kunlun Games used the Appnext platform to keep track of every aspect of the campaign performance, allowing the company to make adjustments to the campaign in real-time for better results. That way, their ad spend is constantly maximized for the greatest ROI.

Accessing Publishers

Unqualified publishers got removed, and direct-buy campaigns were created for quality publishers.

A/B Testing

We find guessing games silly. Instead, we performed A/B testing for all creative assets to find out what really attracts users.

Ongoing Optimization

By staying on top of the campaign’s targets, such as GEO and date, Kunlun Games was able to adjust their campaign ad spend to the target group most relevant.


Kunlun Games raised its ROI x 1.5! Join us as we take you through the specific aspects that led to the campaign’s success.

About Goddess

Goddess: Primal Chaos is a cinematic 3D-action MMORPG where you must go back in time and stop a dangerous Tyrant before they destroy the world. Along the way, team up with Goddesses, vanquish demons, join in on multiplayer activities, and experience many innovative quests, available for IOS and Android.

About Kunlun Games

Operating from 9 offices across the globe, Kunlun develops and publishes online, web and mobile games in China, South Korea and Taiwan.

“The Mobile Revolution is Here”

It has been a decade since the app ecosystem as we know it emerged with the launch of the first iPhone. Nowadays, the Hockey stick install growth barely happens overnight, user acquisition budgets skyrocket, users spend more time in fewer apps. Let’s face it – it’s not about growth anymore, “usage” hacking has taken over.

This year’s App Valley San Francisco focused on the dramatic change  user acquisition methods are taking. With a slew of top-notch featured speakers, we were able to get a view of the new ecosystem: what it is, what to do, what the future will look like.

About App Valley

App Valley is full day, dedicated app summit, under the auspices of CTIA’s Mobile World Congress Americas, to discuss the future of apps. will be held with Appnext’s two major partners in The U.S – mobile analytics and performance marketing platform TUNE  and mobile-first digital agency Fetch. will be held with Appnext’s two major partners in The U.S – mobile analytics and performance marketing platform TUNE  and mobile-first digital agency Fetch.

1. The app economy is evolving rapidly with respect to the way consumers think about apps and discovery

When every device is connected, every device appears to be a platform on which to develop products, such as messenger bots, voice-activated devices, and VR systems, to reach a new audience. Essentially, you can do this constantly since connected devices proliferate and create platforms, but it is difficult to know which platforms will truly reach scale.

2. As mobile video advertising surges, attribution and ROI calculation become problematic

With the continued popularity of video on mobile, there is an endless amount of new opportunities for audiences to be reached (sometimes, even cheaply), but the lack of accurate attribution makes it difficult for advertisers to understand ROI. Probabilistic models however can help advertisers match clicks/installs to specific campaigns, but again it’s not exactly attributable.

3. Walled garden advertising platforms are making it harder to stay technologically flexible/platform agnostic

The biggest mobile advertising platforms are becoming siloed, both in terms of tool offerings and inventory offerings, and the biggest inventory sources are vying to own advertiser data as a form of lock-in. So, it’s two-fold: platform-specific tools and inventory help advertisers reach appropriate audiences more efficiently, but the walled gardens make scaling difficult, which  can actually limit growth.

4. It’s necessary to think about the user, not just the app

Now that users are downloading fewer new apps, it’s important to make sure your app has the best chance for success, and right now that is targeting the users personally based on their daily actions in order to be there at the right moment. It’s important to now focus on immediate engagement, reaching users a tap before an order or a purchase is made. Appnext Actions accomplishes this.

5. Measuring app installs per month should not be the main metric

Just because you have an install, it doesn’t mean it is valuable or effective. Not all acquired users are created equal. It could be due to one of many reasons, all of which don’t help you accurately measure your app engagement and performance. In fact, general user acquisition stats show that a good chunk of app users (25%) just open the app only once and leave after the first day.


The Notable and Quotable


App Valley 2017


App Valley After Dark

App Valley After Dark


App competition is fierce. There are more than 2.2 million in the App Store and more than 2.5 million in the Google Play Store. The staggering numbers are only increasing each day, making user acquisition harder. To stand out from the crowd, you need to make sure to optimize your campaigns for success. If you don’t know where to begin, have no fear.

We’ve got all the information necessary for you to make the best choices.

Organic Traffic

We know that users with the highest LTV  most likely come from organic traffic. This means that the user who downloaded your app was not prompted to by any paid campaign.  This is why they tend to be more committed because they found genuine interest in it.

Getting Organic Traffic Via App Store Optimization

(ASO) is the process of making sure your mobile app ranks highly in an app store’s search results. The higher the ranking, the more  free organic installs your app is set up for receiving. The bottom line is that ASO will help you leverage app store search to promote your app and get more free downloads.

NOTE: According to the Apptentive study (results below), 48% of iOS and 50% of Android apps downloaded come through app store searches.

Optimization Factors

A. Title.

This is the first impression your users will have when learning about your app. It’s essential to add your keywords in the title to increase the exposure of your app.  Having a keyword in your title can improve your app’s search ranking for that keyword by an average of 10.3 percent.

TIP: You want to place your most relevant keyword, regardless of the keyword difficulty, in the title. If you have limited space in the title, you can add the keywords in the subtitle.

B. Keywords.

It’s easy to understand why keywords matter so much in your search optimization methods. After all, keywords are what customers use to search for your app, so performing keyword research is one of the most crucial things you can do for your ASO strategy. Using the right keywords can help you maximize your app’s chances to get found by potential customers.

TIP: Your ASO strategy begins with putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Your goal is to improve discovery in app store searches and target those keywords that drive the most traffic. The best way to identify optimal keywords is consumer research. This includes finding out exactly what search queries brought your customers to your app

C. Icon

You know the old saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Well, it rings true in ASO as well, which is why you need to make sure your icon appealing. As we discussed previously, app users have tons of app choices, so the icon is a good way to show off your uniqueness. It is the first opportunity to show off your app’s purpose.

TIP: Don’t forget to test your icon against many different wallpapers.

D. Description

This is the only place for users to learn about your app’s functions and features in detail. So, you have to realize the importance of description of your app. The first three lines are very crucial to attract users to click “read more” button. You can add the main keywords in this part, but you should make sure the they appear about 8-12 times. You can also a call to action here, such as “play now,” “defeat your enemies,” “start meeting new friends,” or a number of any other relevant CTAs for your app.

E. Ratings and Reviews

App store ratings are crucial to driving rankings, discovery, downloads, updates, and in-app purchases. Apple and Google both use app store reviews and app store ratings in their app store search ranking algorithms, so the higher an app’s rating, the higher it goes in the rankings.

With a few easy-to-integrate improvements, in the form of rating prompts and in-app customer communication tools, you can make your ratings and reviews work for you rather than against you.

TIP: Another great place to ask for reviews is to ask in the latest release notes. Uber does this a lot.

F. Preview Video

Users who watch your video and then choose to install are of higher quality, as they have the best preview of app usage and are the most likely to use the app post-download. Keep in mind that App Previews and Google Play Videos have a totally different design and different requirements for video. Apptamin has a great resource for this.

There are tons of different types of videos, so you really need to analyze your audience. For example, in the gaming ecosystem, we noticed that showing the actual game play at an advanced stage is working best.

G. Screenshots

Screenshots show the functionality, look & feel of your app. Users, as a majority will not read through the whole app description to find out, what your app is about. Check out the three examples below. In each, the user gets a great picture of how the app works.

To reap the rewards of ASO, you need to invest time and effort. If you do, you’ll have a consistent channel driving traffic to your app. Being found is one of the most difficult challenges for mobile apps, but it is a problem you can resolve.

ASO Tools

Keyword Trackers

App Store Data platforms

App Store Ranking optimizing agencies


Some of the available networks use direct cross promotion. The idea is pretty simple, the network allows two apps to exclusively show each others’ ads to their users. Every time you generate an install for your partners’ app, you’re allowed to receive an install in return.

Usually direct cross promotion is free for developers, with the network making money by selling some of the traffic.



An influencer is somebody who influences other persons to buy or to try a product, in our case, an application.  Getting the attention of influencers is invaluable, and it’s easy to see why. They already have a dedicated fanbase who values (and trusts) what they say. They are responsible for actually driving new users for your app.

According to an eMarketer survey, 81 percent of marketers found that influencer marketing is the most effective method. Another survey found that 51 percent of the respondent marketers got better customers from influencer marketing.

Traffic via influencers

A few popular youtube influencers can literally bring thousands to your app. There are tons of them. Just go to Youtube and search for an app similiar to yours. You will see a bunch of uploaded videos from influencers. Go through and pick the ones with the most views or followers.



NOTE: here are few places to look at when searching for influencers.

  • Buzzsumo has a great feature literally called “influencers,” where you use keywords and discover Twitter handles of users sharing similar keyword-related content.
  • Neoreach helps you search through millions of influencers based on keywords, social performance, and even audience demographics.
  • Klout helps people who want to be great at social media. Join today to start sharing original content and measuring your online impact.
  • Clarity helps identify, navigate and strategize with you to effectively use the platform to your advantage.
  • Instagram Search

Paid Traffic

Organic acquisition shouldn’t be the only strategy up your sleeve when it comes to gaining app users, even if it is cost-free. When executed properly, paid campaigns complement organic ones by bringing in users quicker.

Payment Models

Understanding digital advertising pricing can be a bit confusing for beginners. There is a lot of different information out there as there is no set industry standard. Here is our attempt at unifying the terminology, so you can make the best payment model for you.

NOTE: It is not rare for an advertiser or agency to use more than one pricing model within the same campaign, and with a same publisher or supplier, all depending on their creative used and objectives.

1. CPM (Cost Per Mille)

CPM means cost per thousand impressions. If your level of engagement is over the threshhold, your cost per click will be lower than if you were bidding CPC (Cost Per Click). The reason is that, when shown, your ad receives clicks much more often than average. So if you pay for a block of impressions, you know your ad will receive many clicks, resulting in a lower effective CPC.

Keep in mind that CPM bidding will often grant more impressions than CPC, so if you’re under a time crunch for traffic, CPM may be a good way to go. Also keep in mind that costs per result may be very high in this process, but it’s an option to push volume quickly.


  • Brand building.
  • Reaching Premium Publishers
  • Scaling


  • Huge Budgets
  • Fast Turnover
  • Can be easily manipulated
  • Chances of fraud are higher

NOTE: This model is the riskiest because of the unpredictable outcomes, which require tons of attention and constant optimization.

2. CPV (Cost Per View)

Cost per view is the method of charging for video ads based on the number of watches the ad receives. This is a common bidding strategy for branding campaigns that primarily focus on reach.


  • Pay only after the video ad started on the users’ device.


  • The viewer might skip the ad, or close it at anytime, so all of the views you paid for might not actually be relevant.

3. CPCV (Cost Per Completed View)

You pay after the view meets the agreed-upon requirement, such as whether the user watches the entire ad or just a part.


  • Able to receive high-quality users by paying for just a view from premium traffic, which provides a competitive advantage in the battle for inventory.


  • There is no industry standard for what constitutes a view. Some platforms say it is after 30 seconds. The lack of industry standard makes it difficult to gauge your results on varying platforms.

4. CPC (Cost Per Click)

This determines which ads and where they get shown. When bidding CPC, you’re effectively shifting the onus of performance to the platform. That means you pay nothing if your ad isn’t effective at getting users to click. That risk that the platform takes is not a charity it provides, though. If your ads do not succeed at driving clicks, they very quickly get sidelined and stop receiving impressions.

When your ads get really high engagement rates on other platforms, the platform is quick to provide discounts on your cost per click because your ads are earning the platform money more often than other advertisers.

NOTE: Instead of counting on the platform to proactively give you discounts, it is recommended to lower your bids until you’re at the point of naturally hitting your daily budget. That will generate the cheapest clicks and act as your own discounting mechanism.


  • Easier to gauge ROI
  • The ad gets exposure even without clicks.


  • Huge budget: To track this type of data you’ll either have a robust in-house team or you’ll hire an agency, which is pricey.
  • Sometimes pay for accidental clicks or people who were just curious and not looking for your business at all.
  • High risk: can be easily manipulated by fraudsters.

5. CPI (Cost Per Install)

In CPI, you pay only  after the user downloads your app after clicking on the ad.


  • CPI bids are generally higher than CPC and CPM.
  • Performance-based, so you only pay for users who have expressed enough interest to install the app.


  • Limited control over traffic
  • Limited user behavior tracking
  • Paying per install on average leads to a lower total campaign ad spend than running CPC or CPM.

6. CPA (Cost Per Action)

Leads are only paid for if they complete an action (registration, reaching a goal, purchase, etc). With a CPA model, the conversion happens immediately. The sale is complete, and the advertiser or affiliate gets paid. This works great if you are advertising a high-volume low-cost product or service.


  • Low risk
  • Easy to work out your return on investment and how your campaign is going.


  • More expensive per unit than pay per click
  • Not Available To All Businesses
  • You need to know you are good enough at converting leads to be able to meet those costs and still make a good profit.

7. CPS (Cost Per Sale)

Leads are only paid if the user completes a purchase. This method pays a commission on a sale only if the lead results in a purchase.


  • Leads get qualified by relevancy before they can be sold.
  • Good for building brand awareness
  • Low risk


  • Higher costs per lead than other payment methods such as CPO, or CPA.

User acquisition is an ongoing battle for digital app marketers. The market is completely saturated with mobile apps, so it’s important your strategies set you above the competition. Remember you don’t need to choose one method over the other.