Mobile App Growth, Monetization, User Acquisition

ARPDAU to UA: 360° of Mobile Business Growth

Doug Borghese
Mar 2, 2023

You’ve created a very successful app. You’ve also built out some great monetization channels to drive sustainable revenue through a powerful mix of in-app purchases (IAP), in-app advertising, and app subscriptions.  

In the face of a market that’s rebounding from the pandemic resulting in decreased ad budgets, you may be wondering how to maintain your current momentum or more importantly, drive more revenue.  

Well, mobile app monetization is really only one dimension of driving profitable growth for your app. In order to make the most of your revenue streams, you need to consider the other side of the coin – user acquisition and retention.

Of course, part of this process is consistently updating and improving the user experience for your existing user base to ensure retention. But you must also find a way to attract more high-value users to your app.

The other part is an effective user acquisition (UA) strategy. Whether you have a food delivery app or a match 3 game, the quickest and most successful way to enable growth is to invest in UA.

Create a 360° growth model by working monetization and UA in tandem. Monetizing your users and investing a portion of your ad revenue into UA — which attracts more users to view ads — creates a cycle of growth with limitless potential.

Here’s how mobile apps are achieving 360° of growth, and how to build that flywheel into your overall strategy.

How apps can leverage 360° of growth

Creating a flywheel of app and revenue growth often takes time as you begin laying the groundwork for it. But if you do it right, this initial investment of time and energy will pay back in dividends.

Here are some key actions to consider when attempting to create your own 360° growth model.

Step 1: Prioritize driving optimal ARPDAU 

  • Maximize ARPDAU through thoughtful waterfall optimizations
  • Use formats that engage, like interstitials and rewarded video
  • Use in-app bidding whenever possible
  • A/B test each assumption before scaling it in your waterfall

With flat or declining ARPDAU growth, you may not have enough funds to drive profitable UA.  A good monetization strategy for your app where you see incremental revenue gains is vital before investing into UA. This will ensure you’re hitting your ROAS goals profitably. 

Learn how TownWifi was able to drive a 8X ARPDAU increase through tailored waterfall optimization on MAX

Step 2: With a strong ARPDAU, you can kick off UA efforts

  • As your ARPDAU increases, invest your incremental profits into UA (for example, 20% growth in ARPDAU provides an opportunity to invest that 20% back into your business and find high-value users)
  • Use machine learning to run smart user acquisition campaigns which leverage learned insights to help you find the right users at the right price 
  • Don’t forget about organic UA and good ad creative strategy as additional levers to grow your user base

Growth is achieved by effective and profitable UA, which means acquiring more users for less, but driving more revenue from each user through monetization efforts. Our growth engine, AppDiscovery is a must-have for UA. As one of the largest in-app supply sources out there, AppDiscovery provides massive scale for your performance campaigns. 

Here’s how Daily Yoga, a popular fitness app, doubled their installs in a month leveraging AppDiscovery’s smart UA campaigns

Step 3: Keep scaling your investment

  • Now you have new users, creating more ad impressions that can be monetized
  • Hone in on a good strategy or user experience to retain that user. A great FTUE (first-time user experience) for instance, including app tutorials baked into the experience
  • Continue to optimize monetization as your user base grows (see step 1) and reinvest ad earnings into UA
  • Earn, acquire, repeat – You’ve created a flywheel for growth! 
An illustration of the 360° growth model – 1. Monetize your apps with MAX 2. Invest a portion of revenue into AppDiscovery 3. Leverage AppDiscovery’s smart UA technology to acquire target users  4. Monetize existing and newly acquired users…and repeat.

See how Idle Office Tycoon used AppLovin’s 360° approach to achieve +200% ARPDAU and a 3x increase in app installs 

Grow holistically with AppLovin

AppLovin’s suite of solutions has been built to create a self-sustaining holistic growth model for your mobile business. More than that, we are here to improve and accelerate all facets of it. While the steps above can help you exponentially grow on your own, AppLovin has the expertise and market-leading tools to help you realize your growth potential. 

Learn how AppLovin will help you drive 360° growth

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