Keep on Trackin’ – Post-Install Conversion Tracking for Successful Customer Acquisition and Retention

Unlike other marketing metrics, conversions have the ability to prove success or failure beyond reasonable doubt, allowing marketers to determine which strategies are providing the best results.

With this in mind, app marketers need to shift their attention from click rate and click-to-install rate onto post-install events where these user-to-customer conversions actually take place.

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Effectively Measuring Conversion Rate: How and Why?

Conversion rate, simply put, is the rate at which users transition to paying customers. While there are various calculations available for conversion rate, we would argue the best is that which is broad enough so that it can be applied at any step in the customer journey.

Conversion Rate = (the number of users who perform an action ÷ the number of users who could have performed that action) x 100

Using this simple measurement allows for the measurement of overall conversion rate, page-level conversion rate, marketing channel conversion rate, campaign conversion rate, individual ad conversion rate, keyword conversion rate, and more. Each of these measurements grants marketers with highly valuable data with which to optimize their strategies and allocate resources.

A recent study audited 2000 Google Ads accounts and found that 42% did not track their conversions. Worse still, of those who did, only half were using the sort of effective conversion tracking that provides meaningful results for marketing analysis. Without effective CR measurement, these marketers cannot properly evaluate their campaigns nor optimize them for maximum profitability.

The Interplay Between Targeting and Conversion Rates

Precision targeting, localization, and CRO are intrinsically linked; they supplement each other in a symbiotic process. After targeting potential customers (based on prior research), localize and personalize ads to increase interaction, then measure conversions and adjust tracking based on real-life information.

This is, of course, not a one-off process – it should be done periodically. At Applift, we usually conduct one-month test periods to understand where the value of conversions is highest.

Post-Install Conversion Tracking

Post-install actions play a crucial role in the conversion of users to customers. These actions can range from liking a post on a social media app to downloading a premium trial on an educational app.

Accurately identifying and attributing which of these post-install actions are the conversion tipping points is both vital and campaign specific. For an ecommerce app, it could be the first purchase whereas on a gaming app, it could be a user finishing the tutorial levels. It is the action that differentiates between a user and a customer with high lifetime value (LTV).

Identifying and measuring these pivotal actions then attributing them to a specific campaign allows marketers to understand which campaigns are bringing in the most valuable conversions. This is the foundation of post-install conversion tracking.

Using Performance Campaigns to Track Conversions

An app’s performance and KPIs will change based upon development stage, seasonality, category, market and ad channel dynamics. A “Keep on tracking” ethos is vital, and best implemented through continually optimised, professional performance campaigns.

Using performance marketing campaigns facilitates post-install conversion tracking in an open, transparent ecosystem. With a variety of metrics available, marketers are able to pinpoint the crucial tipping point with which to measure conversion and only pay for the customers that are converted. 

Teaming up with performance marketers gives you a partner with a shared goal (improving your conversion rate). And some, such as Applift, provide an Advertiser Portal where you are able to effectively monitor your campaigns.

Additional Tips for Improving Conversion Rate

There are well-written and informative guides available from both Google and Apple for conversion tracking. No matter the operating system, there are some pieces of guidance that remain true and valid for each:

  • Ensure your App Runs Well: When it comes to mobile conversion, speed really matters. Having a short render start time (RST) is directly proportional to mobile conversion rate.
  • Make your App User Friendly: Ensure that you have an excellently designed, responsive app with a logical user flow. Use impactful images, make high-quality product videos, and hire professional copywriters to make it even more compelling
  • Use Auto-complete: Using autocomplete in your search bars or onsite filtering tools is another part of enhancing user experience (UX). It has been proven to enhance conversion rate.
  • Use Deep Links: Deep links as an isolated feature may not produce amazing results, but it becomes a powerful CR tool when used in conjunction with these other features for both re-engaging existing users and attracting new ones.
  • Build Trust: Trustworthy brands are more likely to inspire users to depart with their money and become customers. Trust can be gained through testimonials, reviews, security certifications, and word-of-mouth.

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  • Simplify the Final Conversion: When faced with a complex experience for the final conversion, potential customers may abandon the process. Reduce the number of steps for them to get to the final conversion metric and include a guest option. If there’s a payment associated with your final conversion metric, digital wallet payment options also help to build trust and negate that first-time purchase or in-app deposit stress.
  • Minimize Abandonment: Whether through push notifications that appear after users have been inactive for a certain time period or through last-minute deals offered to users who step back from the final event, these actions can be a lifesaver.

Post-Install Conversion Tracking: A Case Study with Jackpocket

During our recent partnership with Jackpocket, a U.S. third-party lottery app, we worked to acquire customers based on granular targeting and performance-centric campaign goals. For Jackpocket, the most important post-install action was the first in-app deposit. Upon identifying that as their main KPI, we optimized the campaign towards that action.

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We ran individual campaigns for each state using our granular targeting abilities. We tested different inventories over the course of a month, analysing the chosen post-install actions on a daily basis.

Because we were using a performance pricing model, Jackpocket only paid for customers who reached the end of the customer journey and made the first in-app deposit. The campaign was a success and brought in thousands of new paying customers. Jackpocket saw a 190% increase in month-on-month deposits and a peak install/deposit conversion rate of 22%.

The main currency in town is conversion; app developers that figure out how to capitalize on it have everything to gain. Learn more and download our case study.

Mario Meijide is based in Applift's HQ in Berlin and heads the Client Success teams in EMEA, US and APAC.