What is Drops?
Drops offers a new and fun way to approach language learning that makes vocab, grammar, and pronunciation a fun part of your daily routine and not a chore! Quickly becoming the fastest-growing language learning app on iOS and Android, Drops was chosen as Google Play’s 2018 App of the Year and later joined the Kahoot! family at the end of 2020.
The Challenge at Drops
Due to internal changes at Drops, the Marketing team realized they needed support with their User Acquisition efforts to drive profitable growth.
Since the language learning niche is highly competitive, some key areas that needed to be addressed were SKAdNetwork (SKAN) measurement, creative testing, CPA/ROI targets, and MMP complications.
This led Drops to a search for reliable partners in managing and measuring Drops’ User Acquisition efforts.
Drops had previously cooperated with Applica on product optimization, which led to great results, such as 9% growth in ARPU from only one experiment. When Drops needed a partner for their User Acquisition and creatives production, Applica was their top choice. Applica came to Drops with rich experience in similar projects and an in-depth understanding of SKAN and channel optimization
With their pain points not addressed by AppsFlyer, Drops evaluated other MMPs. There were several key factors in play: an SDK that is user-friendly, seamless integration with RevenueCat for purchase tracking and automated exports to own Data Lake for comprehensive analytics. Singular met all those criteria (and more), without exception, and the Drops and Applica teams realized that it was a perfect match.
The Drops Journey to Success
When taking on the account, Applica set out with the task of enhancing Drops’ user acquisition by:
Improving SKAN measurement accuracy with the help of Singular
Resolving other MMP-related challenges
Implementing a reliable, creative testing process
Establishing clear CPA and ROI targets
Optimizing the campaign structure
Implementing a fitting subscription tracking software
Exploring new acquisition channels
Optimizing the campaigns to ensure effectiveness and relevance
This was obviously a tall order…but Applica wasted no time in commencing efforts to tackle each goal with a well-defined action plan.
1. Improving SKAN measurement accuracy
To futureproof Drops’ growth, Applica “picked apart” the legacy SKAN model left over from Appsflyer and configured a new one with the help of Singular, which provided Drops with richer iOS campaign data.
They selected the trial start as the primary optimization event, focusing predominantly on the initial 24 hours following app installation. Consequently, they were confident that both the Meta and TikTok platforms would provide a sufficient volume of conversions to overcome privacy thresholds for more accurate event reporting.
2. Resolving MMP-related challenges
MMP setups involve a number of elements. Applica chose to focus on partner integrations and campaign structures. The Applica team explained that partnering with Singular helped here as they brought a number of important pieces to the table, namely:
Unified Marketing Data – Singular empowered the team to seamlessly combine data from diverse sources, spanning ad networks, attribution sources and internal data repositories to provide a complete-picture view of marketing performance.
Tailored Performance Reports – Applica runs ads through various ad platforms and utilizes a substantial amount of data to optimize their campaigns, including weekly, daily, and monthly breakdowns at the campaign, ad group, and keyword levels, among other factors. The same was true in their work for Drops. Singular empowered Applica with the customization to craft tailored dashboards and reports that precisely met Drops’ unique analytical requirements.
Cost Efficiency – Covering a wide spectrum of business needs for both Applica and Drops, Singular proved to not only be the most advanced MMP choice but also more cost-effective
The Applica team shared that with Singular as a partner, they swiftly overcame Drops’ measurement challenges and better optimized Drops’ marketing campaigns.
3. Implementing a reliable, creative testing process
Cost is the most common pain in running creatives. Applica quickly set out to develop a cost-effective creative testing process within Facebook Ad Manager. They ran tests, and both UGC videos and single static images showed great results.
4. Establishing clear CPA and ROI targets
Applica’s Product Growth Managers calculated precise cohort-based CPA and ROI goals so the Drops team could focus on campaign performance and profitability.
The Applica team knew that their clients were primarily interested in growing their apps by following the strategy of “more installs = more revenue.” As a result, approximately 60-70% of their budget is usually allocated to app install campaigns on Apple Search Ads and Google Ads.
Lev Strutskyi, Head of User Acquisition at Applica, explains, “For Drops, we had access to significant amounts of data from the app install campaigns on Google Ads and Apple Search Ads, which were not delivering the desired results. So, we decided to restructure the accounts by pausing the inefficient campaigns and focusing on campaigns that would bring positive ROI. This led to us creating an account structure for Drops with campaigns that consistently achieved an average ROAS of 130% and higher.”
Following ROAS optimization, Applica restructured Drops’ campaigns to maximize audience coverage. This pushed the results even higher.
5. Optimizing the campaign structure
A well-chosen integration can ease any team’s work. For Drops, they needed a solution for inconsistencies from their previous MMP’s revenue tracking. Applica’s modus operandi is to adapt their strategies based on the ad platform and target markets, tailoring their approach for maximum impact. It was all about establishing a solid foundation with a sufficient data pool and swiftly scaling up the well-performing campaigns and markets, capitalizing on what worked best. For markets with lower performance, Applica continued testing.
Apple Search Ads
Facebook and TikTok Ads
6. Exploring New Acquisition Channels
Using Singular, Applica took a comprehensive approach that involved systematic testing, continuous monitoring, and benchmarking against industry standards and internal KPIs. This iterative process allowed them to make informed decisions and allocate resources effectively to channels that deliver the highest ROI and subscriber retention.
7. Continuous Optimization
While the initial setup is out of the way, Applica remains committed to continuously optimizing Drops’ campaigns for continued growth.
Daily health checks to promptly identify and address any measurement or performance issues that may arise, while optimizing the well-performing campaigns.
Continuous idea generation to continuously generate new ideas for test hypotheses to help refine Drops’ advertising strategies and enhance campaign effectiveness.
Global testing reaches virtually every ad platform and nearly every market worldwide. This enables Applica to gather valuable insights and refine their Drops strategies to acquire diverse audiences.
Applica + Singular = Success for Drops:
In the first quarter of working with Applica and Singular, Drops acquired 40x more non-organic users than the previous quarter.
Non-organic Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) grew by an impressive 62% during the same period.
Applica successfully tested and implemented over 70 new creatives, taking Drops’ campaigns to a different level.
In the following quarters, the focus shifted to achieving positive ROI, with restructured campaigns consistently delivering stable performance.
Through Drops’ collaboration with Applica and Singular, there was a lot of trial and error to learn what works best.
1. Data-driven optimizations
The numbers don’t lie, so all decisions were made by analyzing the data and optimizing accordingly.
2. Stay Agile
No strategy should be stagnant or set in stone. Small companies move quickly and everyone involved needs to be open to change and to move quickly.
Dmytro Bolotskyi, ASO / ASA Specialist at Applica, shares “For instance, we encountered markets that initially showed low results with our primary strategies. However, we adjusted our primary strategy by directing our attention to these markets and conducting additional research. As an illustration, consider France, where our primary strategies in Google Ads and Apple Search Ads initially resulted in a 40-60% ROI. Following the strategy changes, we achieved an impressive increase, elevating the ROI to 110-130%.”
3. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Alignment is always crucial within Drops and in work with all external partners. Applica became an extension of the Drops team, clearly understanding and internalizing the Drops vision and steps needed to bring them to success. The added partnership with Singular gave them the strong foundation to make smart data-driven performance decisions and move quickly to optimize what was working and drop what wasn’t.
What is Applica?
Applica is a leading mobile growth partner that helps to grow apps’ Revenue, Conversions, and Retention by optimizing product metrics and scaling marketing efforts. Applica is the perfect solution for Heads of Growth, CPOs, and App owners who want to drive app growth. Apps like Fabulous, Loona, Photovault, FitMind, Slumber Group, and others partnered with Applica to improve performance. If you want Applica to become a non-equity partner and grow your business, schedule a discovery meeting with Applica’s CEO, Artem Kuzmych.
What is Singular?
Singular powers marketers to drive fast growth by uncovering accurate, granular, and timely ROAS insights with next-gen attribution and analytics. Leading marketing teams from Lessmore, LinkedIn, Rovio, Microsoft, Lyft, Twitter, EA, and more rely on Singular to get a complete view of their marketing performance and ROI. Singular is the solution to drive faster app growth by combining mobile attribution with industry-leading cost aggregation, including thousands of integrations, easy set-up, accurate and flexible analytics, and automatic loading directly into your BI tools. Visit singular.net