How to monetize mobile app re-engagement
If you spend any time in mobile app marketing, you know that the vast majority of advertising campaigns are based on app installs. Whether an ad network or publisher is charging for impressions, clicks, or installs, the majority of app developers are backing everything out to a cost-per-install. We've started to see a shift. It's a shift I'm extremely excited about because it brings advertising back to a cost-per-action (CPA) for mobile apps.
Let's say you have a utility style app that's installed on millions of devices. Your users keep the app on their phone in case they want to book a trip, check in, listen to music, or pick up on a game they thought was interesting. Acquiring new app installs is certainly still important, but what if you could pay publishers and advertising channels for the users they re-engage, causing those users to return to your app and make a purchase. Wouldn't that be worth something?
We have to start thinking about the value of a user's actions beyond the install. What is a purchase in your app worth to you? How would this impact your budgets?
Imagine how this impacts the monetization of social media traffic. Though it might be likely that a user sharing their app experience on social media might be broadcasting to others that already have the same app installed, perhaps this re-engagement causes a new purchase decision or in-app action. Incentivizing marketing and advertising partners by paying for this actual revenue event will only drive more quality users to make more in-app purchase decisions.
We've already seen major travel apps and mobile games testing these programs out, and so far they've been met with incredible success. One hurdle it leaps over is the need for marketers to prove the value of newly acquired users (or installs). There was a time when pure volume of app installs was enough to get you ranked in Apple's top 25, launching your app into unbridled organic success, but as competition stiffens and Apple continues to tweak its ranking algorithm, more bodies doesn't equal success.