What is mobile user acquisition?
Getting new users to download an app and begin using it. Mobile user acquisition is a process that involves creating an app with an engaging and seamless user experience, making sure the app is discoverable in the app store, and marketing the app through the right channels to capture the target audience.
From every standpoint, the mobile app market is increasingly in the world’s spotlight. 2017 carried an astounding $77 billion in projected mobile app revenue, with 197 billion mobile app downloads (compared to 2016’s 149 billion). In fact, mobile app downloads are expected to surpass 350 billion by 2021, nearly double 2017’s estimated app download count. Suffice it to say, mobile is taking over the world—and more quickly than almost anyone could’ve predicted.
Given the $22 billion dollar gap between mobile time spend and ad spend shown in Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Report, it’s clear that the much-discussed mobile revolution is only beginning. Yet despite the ever-increasing pool of mobile users, it’s becoming more and more difficult both for users to discover new apps and for apps to attract new users. To counteract the increased competition for mobile users’ time and attention, mobile marketers and product managers must come together to plan and execute seamless, engaging user experiences that inspire users to convert, while strategizing more effectively around acquisition campaigns.
These days, mobile marketers and product managers across verticals and around the world face one common issue in particular: in a world of complex cross-channel and cross-platform user journeys, mobile fragmentation feels nearly unavoidable—especially once you add the expanding presence of walled gardens into the mix.
How is user acquisition measured?
The most important metrics for user acquisition are number of installs and install rate. These two metrics are by far the easiest way to tell if your app is something that people find valuable, and therefore has a shot to be successful. However, from the perspective of a marketer, it is also important to consider other metrics that deal with cost. These include:
- Cost per action (CPA): The cost of getting a customer (old or new) to convert
- Cost per install (CPI): This is becoming increasingly expensive, not an efficient way to gain valuable users
- ROI: Are the users you acquired making you money? Are your acquired users making purchases in-app?
- Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM)
- Conversion rate
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
There are a number of proven strategies for addressing mobile fragmentation in a way that enables you to give your users the best possible cross-channel and/or cross-platform experience while collecting robust and actionable data that spans each user’s full experience, both pre- and post-app install. With the goal of helping B2C enterprise and emerging mobile brands achieve mobile app growth success, we have put together an even more in-depth, comprehensive guide for mastering mobile user acquisition.