Mobile App Terminology

User Acquisition

What is User Acquisition?


User acquisition refers to the process of acquiring new users to a mobile app through various marketing activities. App businesses will typically generate new installs through a combination of paid advertising, organic traffic, and app store optimization (ASO). Ultimately, the goal of user acquisition is to acquire users at a cost that is less than a typical users lifetime value (LTV) or the average revenue per user (ARPU). For example, if paid advertising is the primary method of user acquisition, this means mobile marketers are looking to generate a positive return on ad spend (ROAS) for their app installs.


What are the uses of User Acquisition?

A strategic user acquisition plan is key to the success of any app business. Typically, mobile marketers will use a variety of techniques, ad platforms, and marketing channels in order to determine the most cost-effective way to acquire more users. After determining the most profitable user acquisition channels for the particular app, businesses can then focus on scaling this marketing initiative to achieve the highest ROI possible and maximize the number of active users.

As the mobile marketing agency Udonis highlights, the most common methods of user acquisition include:

  • Paid user acquisition: This marketing method involves paying media channels and mobile ad networks to display ads that encourage the target audience to download the app. In order to create an effective user acquisition with paid advertising, marketers need to track the performance of each platform, creative, and targeting in order to improve the ROAS over time. For example, tracking metrics such as CTR, install rate, and cost per action, are all critical to ensuring a profitable paid user acquisition strategy.
  • Owned media marketing: Owned media refers to channels that the business already owns, for example their email list. Since users in owned media channels have already opted-in to the company, this channel can be highly effective at acquiring initial users. That said, it can take a significant amount of time to earn owned media and thus it may not be as scalable as paid user acquisition.
  • App store optimization (ASO): Similar to search engine optimization, ASO refers to the process of optimizing an app listing on a marketplace such as the App Store or Google Play Store. The goal of ASO is to rank for target keywords that users are already searching for and make the app easily discoverable. Examples of ASO include optimizing the app’s description, visuals, and title in order to attract visitors and convert them into user
  • Retargeting and re-engagement campaigns: Finally, retargeting and re-engagement refers to marketing activities geared towards users that have already interacted with the business and either have not yet downloaded the app, users that have uninstalled it, and keeping existing users active. With so many options available to consumers, retargeting and re-engagement act as a reminder for users of the app’s value proposition.  

Regardless of which user acquisition channel is used, app marketers must use a data-driven approach to growth by tracking the entire user lifecycle. Specifically, this involves aggregating cost data, analyzing marketing spend, and attributing relevant actions for each new user. To solve this, a marketing analytics and attribution platform provides the necessary tools and insights needed for marketers to improve their user acquisition strategy.

How Singular Helps With User Acquisition?

As a marketing analytics and attribution platform, Singular provides an end-to-end view of a company’s user acquisition funnel. 

In terms of marketing analytics, Singular takes a scientific approach to growth by providing unrivaled ROI insights to optimize and maximize the campaign’s return. In particular, the platform provides 8 layers of granularity associated with ROI insights that help app marketers optimize their marketing spend. Singular also allows marketers to visualize their creative assets alongside one another in order to view the performance of each in a unified platform.

If you’re driving user acquisition through several paid marketing channels, our cost aggregation solution allows you to collect, transform, and analyze ad spend data across each platform. With over 1000 data connectors, this provides marketers a holistic view of an apps paid user acquisition. As described in our article on Questions Every Successful User Acquisition Manager Should Consider, collecting data is not an easy task without a dedicated solution:

As a User Acquisition Manager, it’s crucial that you are collecting all data from all sources in all formats, checking for accuracy and completeness. All while analyzing regularly for trends, quality assurance, and scale. 

Finally, in terms of mobile attribution, Singular provides useful user acquisition tools such as deep links and deferred deep links that streamline both the user experience and improve tracking across the entire user lifecycle. 

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