Best practices for successful app-to-web campaigns

In an era characterized by swift digital transformations and economic shifts, many brands face the imminent challenge of maintaining sustainable growth. This, in turn, has shifted business goals from a focus on growth to tangible profitability. With app-to-web campaigns, brands can diversify their advertising spend, stay resilient amidst economic shifts, and activate new, high-value customers on mobile channels whether or not they have an app of their own.

Why advertisers should consider app-to-web campaigns

App-to-web campaigns can help forward-thinking brands sustainably and effectively grow in the digital age.

  • Diversification: As any seasoned advertiser knows, platforms can – and do – make sudden changes. An algorithm tweak here, a policy change there, and suddenly your tried-and-true channel isn’t performing as it once did. Having a diversified approach with app-to-web campaigns in your toolkit ensures you and your team are not caught off guard when platform changes occur.
  • Prepare for Growth Plateaus: In today’s fast-paced marketplace, an adaptive strategy is crucial. Relying heavily on a limited number of digital channels might work in the short term, but runs the risk of stunting brands’ growth in the long run. In recent years, we’ve observed many advertisers hit growth plateaus, not for a lack of effort, but because of an over-dependence on the same channels.
  • Expanded Reach: App-to-web campaigns can significantly expand reach, as the average person spends 88% of their time in mobile apps versus surfing mobile web browsers. With app-to-web campaigns, performance marketers can tap into the 88% of consumers who spend an average 3 hours and 47 minutes a day engaging with apps on their mobile devices.
The value of app-to-web campaigns

At LifeStreet, we’ve driven significant performance outcomes for advertisers with app-to-web campaigns. These advertisers don’t have their own app, hadn’t worked with a demand-side platform (DSP) before, and turned to LifeStreet to find new customers, inventory sources and untapped audiences that could expand their revenue.

In the first half of 2023, the average conversion rate of our three largest partners running in-app to web campaigns grew by 28%. The average click through rate (CTR) also increased by 10%. At the same time, the average cost per registration (CPR) of these partners decreased by 20%. In some cases, we’ve seen CPRs go as low as 60 cents per conversion. This shows how in-app to web campaigns increased conversions and engagement while cutting costs, scaling our partners’ growth.

Give your campaigns time to collect data and learn

A programmatic demand-side platform (DSP) is a tool that advertisers can use to automate media buying and manage digital ad inventories from multiple ad exchanges through a single interface. A lot of programmatic advertising is purchased through real-time bidding auctions (RTB). RTB allows advertisers to effectively bid on specific audiences based on campaign and user data they have collected. Bidding decisions (e.g., which users will most likely engage with our ads, which users are most valuable to our advertisers, etc.) are powered by machine learning models that bid on the right user at the right time at the right price.

These models gain more predictive accuracy as more data is fed into them. But it takes time for a model to learn data patterns, which is why it’s important to let a campaign have a “training phase.” A campaign training phase lets your campaign collect enough data to make meaningful optimization decisions, undertake model training and evaluation, and build effective bidding strategies over time.

Pass key data signals

It’s important to pass data to your DSP that can help them decide whether or not to bid for an ad impression via the RTB exchange. Examples of this type of data are revenue data or app store IDs. If you are able to share revenue data, this can help your DSP scale your campaign faster. Because the system knows exactly where revenue is coming from, it allows the models to optimize against an advertiser’s specific ROAS (return on ad spend) objectives.

If you can’t pass revenue data, then passing data that communicates where your campaigns typically see good performance (e.g., app store IDs) can still help your DSP understand which pockets of inventory are hitting your KPI targets. A last option is that advertisers can also set a cost per reregistration (CPR) goal that their DSP partner can optimize to.

Develop a creative strategy

For the best app-to-web campaigns results, it’s important to develop a robust creative strategy that includes the following:

  • Experiment with different ad formats, such as playables, display, VAST and native.
  • Undertake creative A/B testing (see more in the section below).
  • In-house creative support or a partner that can help customize ads. If you don’t have a dedicated design team to create in-app ads, there are DSPs, like LifeStreet, that have in-house creative teams to help.

For the best results, it’s important to match your ad’s design and theme to the app environment in which it is served. At LifeStreet, we’ve also seen great results with dynamic, full screen (interstitial) ads featuring animation or ad elements that change.

Optimize your mobile web landing pages with A/B testing

Every element on your mobile web landing page, from the design to copy, plays a pivotal role in influencing user actions and conversion rates. Treat your landing pages as you would a dynamic ad – they should be continuously updated, optimized, and tested to ensure peak performance.

For the best results, make sure your landing page aligns with the environment of the app where your ad is displayed. For instance, if your ad is being served in a gaming app, the landing page could mirror that theme. Seasonal landing pages that resonate with current events or holidays can also drive higher engagement.

Regularly A/B test your landing pages to ensure every element drives conversions and growth. We’ve found when our partner advertisers regularly A/B test different landing page layouts they see:

  • Up to a 25% increase in ROAS on Android and 18% on iOS.
  • A surge in conversion rates by 11% and 5% on iOS and Android, respectively.
  • A remarkable 25% increase in payer rate for iOS and 15% for Android.

App-to-web campaigns are an innovative growth strategy that can help brands diversify their advertising spend and activate new, high-value customers across mobile channels. At LifeStreet, we’ve seen a remarkable 28% average growth in conversion rates for our top app-to-web partners in 1H 2023.

  • App to Web Campaign Best Practices:
    • Data Sharing is Essential: Pass essential data signals like revenue data or app store IDs to your DSP to enhance real-time bidding decisions. If sharing real-time revenue data isn’t an option, provide performance indicators like app store IDs or set a CPR goal to your DSP to work towards.
    • Patience Pays Off: Give your campaigns a “training phase.” This gives machine learning models the necessary time to learn from data and refine bidding strategies.
    • Strategic Creativity Matters: Diversify your ad formats (playables, display, VAST, native) and conduct regular A/B testing. Align your ad’s design with the app it’s displayed in for maximum resonance. If you need creative support, DSPs like LifeStreet offer in-house creative services to customize ads.
    • Optimize Landing Pages: Leverage consistent theming and seasonality to align your mobile web landing pages with current events or holidays to enhance engagement. Regularly A/B testing different landing page layouts can boost your campaign’s conversion rates, ROAS, and payer rate.

Have questions or need further information on how to run a successful app-to-web campaign? We’re here to help! Feel free to reach out to us.

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