3 tips for running a killer UA campaign on OEM and carrier traffic

User acquisition campaigns on OEM and carrier traffic

In the context of fierce competition and saturation of traditional advertising channels, mobile marketers from verticals ranging from food delivery to news aggregation and streaming are using Android OEM and carrier channels to reach users at high impact, high intent moments directly on their devices. With 2.5 billion Android devices globally, the Android app market provides immense scale and access to niche demographics around the world. Below, we share three best practices for running UA campaigns on OEM and carrier channels like Aura.

Focus on a monetary KPI: Every user has a different price

Before launching a user acquisition campaign on OEM and carrier traffic, the first thing you need to figure out is your KPI. The key to choosing a KPI that maximizes scale is to focus on monetary goals like “cost per first order is $20 a user” rather than the more typical percentage-based KPI like “10% D7 retention”. That’s because only with a monetary goal can you set up an efficient multi-bidding strategy - or, bidding differently for each and every source at the right price. 

Meanwhile, a percentage-based goal like retention is binary: you either meet it or you don’t. For the devices that don’t, advertisers may pull their bids on sources that fail to meet the retention goal - ultimately excluding a chunk of traffic. While an exclusionary based strategy aims to bring up the overall campaign’s average retention rate, it results in inefficient bidding on top devices and excludes devices that are worth less but not worthless.

Therefore, a monetary KPI is a savvy way to cover a bigger range of users by including user bases that could still provide value, just for a lower bid. The key idea here is to bid the right price for all users - the most valuable and the less valuable ones. 

We recommend starting with one blanket CPI, and then adjust it with a multi-bidding strategy on the sources (like age, gender, device model) that don't match the initial monetary goal.

A/B test ad placements (new devices vs. in life)

The Android market is huge and diverse, which means there is a range of devices and niche demographics that can be targeted with ad campaigns. As such, your campaign strategy should not be homogenous, and in order to achieve optimal long-term KPIs, make sure to A/B test the key components of your campaigns. 

Ad placement is a significant variable behind a campaign’s success. Due to the nature of OEM and carrier channel campaigns, the types of A/B tests for placements are different from other channels - each placement powered by Aura has very different interfaces with the user, meaning there can be varied rates of engagement with each. For example, advertisers might see that preloads on new devices are most relevant for certain apps, whereas other apps see stronger performance results in OOBE or in-life notifications. 

In addition, full screen offers and notifications might perform better for special promotion campaigns (such as free shipping for a shopping app or free first ride for a taxi app), which require more context than what’s possible to show on other placements. Test which of these placements achieves the optimal CPI - remember that full screen offers are only delivered to new devices (at the end of the OOBE experience) while notifications are delivered to current device users. 

In addition to the placement itself, the creatives used within the placement can have a significant impact on performance. Full screen offers and smart notification banners offer the most possibilities for creative tinkering; you should A/B test different CTAs, descriptions, background colours, and screenshots of your app. 

Then track and measure the performance of these tests, comparing the metrics against other touchpoints like OOBE and preloads. The key is understanding whether or not the CPI is viable - if a creative for a notification or full screen offer hits the cost per action (CPA) goal for a lower CPI than the creative used in other placements, then it’s a winner. 

Measure performance with a long-term view

When it comes to assessing post-install behavior, it is important to understand the unique value of OEM or carrier-driven installs. In contrast to campaigns on traditional channels, low engagement post-install is not necessarily an indicator of a poor campaign. In fact, Aura's value lies in delivering users with high LTVs over the long-term, so you should measure performance on D30, D60 and D90.

A travel app, for instance, might convert a user to install the app during the device onboarding, but they might not open or interact with the app in a meaningful way for months - after all it's unlikely the user will be immediately interested in booking a trip abroad. However, when the come times for them to book a holiday, they are highly likely to do so on this app, because it was installed at a valuable moment, such as during the setup wizard or device update experience.  

In order to track and measure the performance of your campaigns with Aura, pay close attention to your dashboard. Here you’ll find unparalleled transparency into the performance of your campaigns and A/B tests, broken down by age, gender, device, and geo, with data about post-install events provided directly from our partner MMPs.

Check out our other popular blogs on Aura including Our Guide to App Distribution, How To Market Your App Successfully, How To Master App Discovery For Your Fitness App and more.

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