CPLU Money

Brands Are Paying 345% Too Much For Loyal App Users

How do you determine if you are marketing your mobile app the right way?

Metrics matter, but some matter more than others. Cost per loyal user (CPLU) is an app marketing metric that deserves attention. While most marketers focus on cost per install (CPI), CPLU is a better indicator of your app marketing performance.

What is a loyal user?

A loyal user, according to Fiksu, is someone who installs your app on their smartphone and uses it three or more times. Therefore, CPLU is measure how much you spend on average to acquire on loyal user.

Acquiring loyal users is challenging, especially considering that 25% of all downloads apps are never used once. I recently learned that it is super expensive for most brands with mobile apps.

Fiksu reports on how much brands who actively market their app are spending to acquire loyal users. In December 2015, the average CPLU for brands actively marketing their apps was $4.23, up 101% year/year.

I am blown away by this because in December, our CPLU at Miner was $0.95 cents. This means my team and I out-performed the iOS industry by 345%.

All of this goes well with my internal narrative that most people marketing apps have no idea what they are doing. Rather then be critical (and a jerk), I want to offer some ideas for how to lower your cost per loyal user.

How To Lower Your CPLU

Why are app marketers and developers spending so much to acquire loyal users? What can you do to lower your CPLU? Here are some ideas based on my success.

1. Know your customer. I begin every marketing strategy by developing a deep understanding of our target audience. This helps you to choose the right acquisition channels, write more persuasive copy and much more.

2. Pay attention to your app analytics from day one. If you notice poor retention, then you need to address this before spending more money to acquire customers. If you continue to spend money acquiring users, but have most of them never come back, your CPLU is going to be sky high.

3. Identify the ‘Aha’ Moment of your mobile app. This goes along with the previous point. If you can figure out what keeps loyal users coming back, you can optimize the first-time experience to show other users the “loyalty-inducing” moment.

4. Invest in App Store Optimization. Start by reading my ASO tips. If you want to lower your CPLU, get more organic downloads. App Store Optimization is one of the most effective ways to do this. Furthermore, as I’ve seen first hand, users that discover your app via App Store search tend to stick around.

Acquisition means nothing without loyalty. Paying for people to install your app isn’t going to help you create sustainable growth. You need to get the right people to download your app; smartphone users who will use your app again-and-again, recommend it to their friends and family, share it on social media, etc. This is where true marketers succeed.

One of my goals this year with my blog is to show you how there is a better way to market products like apps. The best way to do that is by being transparent with my results. The more content like this I publish, the more I can help people with apps evaluate their marketing acquisition options. It’s hard enough building a great app; it shouldn’t be that expensive to acquire a loyal user. Four bucks and change to acquire one loyal user is not sustainable. Get in touch with me if I can be of help.