Marketers who are charged with acquiring users for mobile apps have tough jobs. There are dozens and dozens of ad networks to experiment with, and that’s just the reputable ones. Other tactics, like content marketing and affiliate marketing, keep changing.
And if that weren’t enough, there are teams of fraudsters that are working hard to trick systems into racking up bogus conversions that wipe out media budgets, with seemingly few who have a vested interest in stopping them – except for perhaps the advertisers themselves.
On the other hand, no one said that this was going to be easy. There’s a lot of revenue to be made and lost in the mobile app industry. Statista estimates that by 2021, in-app advertising and total media spend across app stores will exceed $339 billion.
So what’s the best way to maintain a sense of control over your user acquisition efforts? It’s all about the attribution analytics. For those unfamiliar, mobile app attribution enables marketers to measure the impact of their efforts. After selecting an attribution platform and installing its SDK, marketers can trace in-app user engagement back to the specific campaigns, creatives, channels, networks, and calls-to-action that yielded this activity.
Using this data, it’s possible to derive insights into what marketing touchpoints are most effective at garnering the highest-value users with the most efficiency. Interested in taking this type of “moneyball” approach to mobile user acquisition? Then you’re going to need a spectacular attribution service.
Here are some of the key features you should look for when choosing one:
- Attribution, using modern technologies including validation rules, deep linking, fingerprinting, and secure postbacks.
- Analytics, combining mobile attribution with app usage data. Marketers are able to use this information to improve marketing campaign performance and user acquisition.
- Audience building, which mobile app marketers use to identify and retarget users to optimize user acquisition and re-engagement.
- Fraud prevention, to make sure that the data you gather isn’t coming from bots, device farms, or otherwise spoofed referrals.
Now that we know what mobile attribution is and the features you should look for in an attribution platform, let’s compare AppsFlyer and Adjust, two popular platforms, to help you find the right option for your business considering your goals, target audience, and type of app.
Mobile app marketers use cross-channel marketing to increase the visibility of their ads regardless of the platform they’re viewed on. Mobile app attribution helps you identify which campaigns are successful, which ones need improvement, and which ones need to be retired.
AppsFlyer’s user acquisition attribution lets you map every app install to the specific media source and marketing campaign that drove it. You’ll be able to identify which channel or network, ad group, ad type, and ad creative drove the user to install the app.
The platform also comes with a built-in deep linking feature which enables marketers to send new users to the correct app store and show them relevant (and targeted) messaging when they install the app. And if the app is already installed on the user’s device, the link will open up to the correct app state or page. AppsFlyer also offers short linking support for SMS and email marketing campaigns, social media posts, and QR codes for print and other non-clickable media.
Users usually interact with several ad campaigns before they decide to install an app. AppsFlyer’s multi-touch attribution allows app marketers to identify which ad campaigns actually drove the user to install the app and which ones assisted along the way. You can also receive real-time alerts when specific conversion events take place, which Adjust can’t do.
AppsFlyer enables marketers to segment audiences in order to run retargeting and re-engagement campaigns. It offers detailed performance reporting to help you understand which campaigns performed the best in terms of driving re-engagement and re-activation.
Adjust’s multi-touch feature allows you to attribute every user touchpoint before and after the interaction and helps you gain visibility into marketing tactics starting from the bottom of the funnel. You’ll be able to easily discover trends and conversion performance and track users across your web and mobile channels.
You’re able to set custom attribution windows that match your campaign objectives, down to the specific tracker level. You’ll be able to individually analyze both ad impressions and clicks for better insights.
Deep linking lets you run complex campaigns that direct users to specific pages within your app to help boost app installs, although Adjust does not offer an API for generating deep links. With re-attribution functionality, you’ll be able to improve the visibility of the users returning to your app by the ad campaigns that drove them back.
Mobile app marketers use marketing analytics to identify which campaigns are creating profits over time and which ones should be discontinued.
AppsFlyer offers acquisition marketers helpful insights into marketing performance via its built-in cohort and retention reports. This allows you to view which campaigns are doing great and which ones can be improved.
The tool also enables you to stay informed with its live alerts feature. You’re able to stay on top of important events even when you’re away from the desk or on the go. In addition to this, the Pivot tool enables marketers to save, clone, edit and collaborate with team members without having to manually rebuild pivot tables. This is especially helpful for collecting marketing performance data and managing deep campaign analyses.
Adjust’s cohort analysis capabilities enable you to easily and quickly discover trends and changes in the way users interact with your app. Its KPIs help you clearly understand the performance of your app on the basis of revenue, user retention, and event conversion. You’ll also be able to measure the lifetime value (LTV) of your app users showing you when paid campaigns become profitable for you.
Adjust lets you fully customize events to your app’s particular conversion objectives, whether they may be purchases, signups, or level-ups. Its robust filters let you know more about user cohort behavior through its unique KPIs.
What’s more, you can leverage its reports to improve your campaigns to target churned users and encourage them to return to your app. It also lets you monitor the value users offer during their app usage lifetime, helping you find your most valuable users and attract more like them. You’ll also be able to monitor multiple platforms and attribute users as they switch between TV and phone.
Audience segmentation helps mobile app marketers optimize re-engagement and retargeting campaigns for conversions.
AppsFlyer’s audience builder enables marketers to segment audiences using Boolean logic. This allows you to send the right message to individual audience segments. Its Venn diagrams allow marketers to quickly visualize audience segments and easily manage exclusions and overlaps. It also allows marketers to run A/B tests on audience groups to test out various messaging, partners, and bidding types to identify the one that generates the most ROI.
AppsFlyer offers a comprehensive list of pre-configured integrations enabling you to sync with partner platforms in a single click. You can also re-engage and re-target users with its Audiences feature to boost your user acquisition and re-engagement campaigns enabling you to increase revenue.
Adjust’s Audience Builder enables you to build specific audience groups with in-house Adjust data which is communicated directly to your partners. These audience segments can include the target users who installed your app on a given day, events they triggered or the device they used. Audience Builder can help you seamlessly integrate with Facebook, enabling you to set similar patterns according to the audiences you build using the tool.
Its mobile retargeting works by sending your partners audience segments you build with Adjust and pulling together data to run your retargeting campaigns. You can also use split audiences to test various messaging, creatives, and campaign logic, or run tests on various partners with the same audience.
You need to look for a mobile app attribution platform that offers protection against mobile fraud and secures your customer data. This helps you prevent data breach which can adversely affect your company’s reputation.
AppsFlyer’s Protect360 feature is equipped with automatic machine learning fraud protection, enabling you to block known and unknown threats at each level of interaction including before, during, and after the app install. The powerful feature leverages behavioral analysis to offer coverage against mobile fraud. It secures you from bots, device farms, and app install hijacking.
AppFlyer’s extensive list of compliance guidelines include GDPR, TRUSTe, ePrivacyseal and SOC 2.
Adjust’s Fraud Prevention Suite gives you extensive ad fraud protection that actively prevents fraud before it occurs freeing you up to focus on growing your business. The platform’s multi-layered encryption stops fraudsters from behaving like the Adjust SDK and committing ad fraud at scale. It’s automated filter can identify real installs and reject attributions coming from click spam.
Adjust can easily detect and reject fake clicks, to secure the integrity of your app campaigns. You’ll also be able to prevent fake installs and save ad money.
Mobile app attribution tools like AppsFlyer and Adjust allow acquisition marketers to glean useful insights about how users find out about their products, and which marketing assets drive them to install and interact with it. This helps you improve campaigns for conversions and maximize ROI.
Between AppsFlyer and Adjust, which mobile app attribution platform best meets your specific needs? Let us know in the comments section below.