Mobile Advertising to Gain User Base

Let me start off by saying I work for Millennial Media. I have always concentrated on helping developers monetize there app but now I am interested in helping them also advertise and gain user base. We have a promotion going till the end of the year, if you spend $1 we will give you $100 dollars to use on an advertising campaign to promote your app. Just use promo code GMSVINAUG when creating a campaign. I am interested in reasons why a developer would not want to advertise their app through mobile advertising. Also, I am interested in everyone’s questions with concerns to mobile advertising. I will do my best to answer all of them.

Wow! Nice promo code. I will take it this week!

Let’s be honest here. You want us to spend money to advertise. So make our life easy!

If I am going to spend advert dollars, I need to know how much it costs to acquire a user, and how much that user (on average) will be worth. If the math says the user pays more than I pay for them, then I am just printing money. How much is dependent on how fast you can pay us (hint: anything more than net-15 sucks… at least some companies can get this right)

You would really help your case (and probably bring yourself customers) if you laid out a complete tutorial for novices on how to do the calculations. Preferably with a Google spreadsheet that we can just plug Flurry data into.

Example tutorial subject material:

[li]Intro to terms: CTR, CPC, CPI, DAU, etc
Calculating the value of a player
[li] Calculating number of active players
[/li][li] Calculating user retention rate
[/li][li] Calculating earning lifetime of a user
Calculating the cost to acquire a player
[li] Advertising methods - CPC, CPI
[/li][li] Finding ‘good’ users that have ‘value’
[/li][li] Determining how many users install and use your app
[li] How to handle Google Play not being installed
[/li][li] Geo targetting
[/li][li] A/B testing your creatives

Also, since MM has a net-65 day (I think?) payment plan, you might want to consider enticing users by saying they can spend the income on advertising with you before the 65days is up.

Example for WordHero.
Average adverts seen / active user = 35 (determined by average user/day stats from the servers * number_of_ads_per_day / flurry_active_users/day)

My retention percentage goes from 60% on one day after, to 15% after 30 days. Based on this, I can calculate the number of adverts a single user (who averages 35 ads/day on day 1) will see over 30 days. This is around 385 adverts.

Assuming an eCPM of $0.50 (banner adverts!!!), my net profit per user is just under $0.20 … and I need to subtract server costs.

Can I acquire users with a CPI campaign that pays that low ? Nope! Also, my experience with CPC campaigns is that only 1 in 8 users installs. This means I need to be able to pay under 3 cents per click.

Thank you for your insight. I will begin to put together a Google Spreadsheet for everyone to use. If anyone has anything else they would like added or explained please let me know.

Thanks Again!

I’ve tried banner ad campaigns on ad-mob to promote some of my apps before. From my experience, it’s a waste of money. For example I spent $350 for an admob campaign, got about 32,000 clicks and about 200 installs. Money made from these users who installed my app is not even close to reaching $350.

How are you different than ad-mob? Do you charge by click or by install? Do you have any stats from your users who had a “successful” ad-campaign?

I used admob house ads for my paid apps and I was almost even after that - the reason it went quite well was probably that I advertised my new game in very similar games I made before. And admob had quite low eCPM at the time so I wasn’t loosing much by showing the house ads. Although I don’t remember but I probably just counted sells that happend during showing the house ads (I might have has some sells not caused by that promotion).
What I’m trying to say is - for free apps it’s not worth it, for paid app it might.

I am working on a google spread sheet that will give you more insight on Millennial Media Advertising. Thank you all for your suggestions. If anyone deposits $1 and uses promocode GMSVINAUG to get the free $100 I would love to hear feedback. Thanks!

Hi guys,
here my partial result using this campaign:
Views : 85,133, Clicks : 625, Spent : 43.75$, Convertions : 8, Cost per install : 1$ / (101$/43.75 * 8) = 0.06$

If we calculate the CTR:
8 installs / 625 clicks we get 1.28%

Maybe I’m wrong but it seems to me a very poor result.
Is my landing page so bad that 617 users click and when they see my game just run away?

Maybe it is I don’t know. Check it here:

If you consider I spent 1$, the promotion looks good because it cost me 0.06$ per install (AppBrain want minimum 0.20$ per install) but if I would pay for real 101$ to get about 17 installs I don’t think I’ll ever do it.
It will cost me about 5.94$ per install.
How can an ad-supported app get 5.94$ from a single user?
I don’t think I even get 0.06$ from a single user :slight_smile:

Let me know what Do you think.


Hi Gabriele,

Your landing page looks good to me. If anything, I would add some background music to the video and maybe add some intro to it. Take a look at the “Cut the rope” video to know what I’m talking about.

Hi Androider,
Thank you for the suggestion :slight_smile:

Not to be nasty or anything, but the answer is “YES!”. This is exactly the data you are seeing. People click the advert, go look at the app, and THEN decide “What I see is so bad, I want to CHANGE MY MIND and NOT install it”.

Ok, so there it is. Now get over it and do something about it. Have a look at how the big boys do it (Zynga et al).

They are called ‘screenshots’, but NOBODY does real screenshots. They are the first and most important thing the user will see and use to make a decision to install or not install your app. You really need to put a lot of time and effort into them!

Thanks for everyone input here. The more the better, it will only help improve everything!

Hi guys,
I can accept that my landing page is not amazing like Zynga’s one and I can accept that I need to improve my screenshots but I still have some doubts about the fact that so many users click INTENTIONALLY to my banner that isn’t better than landing page and don’t want at least to try it.
Anyway if anyone want to contribute to this discussion with real data like I did will be great!

PS : mind you sad you don’t want to be nasty but you did. You can explain your point of view in a different way I think.
I accept your opinion and I agree with you about all you sad but maybe you should consider that we are trying to success in this difficult world like you were trying to do an year ago.
Maybe it looks strange to you but people can understand without be rude. :slight_smile:


I think you need to look at your question. What you were seeing is data. You wanted someone to make you feel good and tell you the data was false.

I could have been gentler. I am sorry I hurt your feelings. But I felt it was more important for you to understand. This is a hard realization. It is also important for you to fully and completely understand. If you do not come to terms with the truth, you will continue to look for others to tell you the data is false.

You can choose to be unhappy with the person who told you bad news… or USE the information to go forward and shape your own future!

probably you don’t read before to reply.
I told you I agree with you about what you suggest but I don’t like the way you did it.

Anyway stop this useless discussion :slight_smile:

I forgot to tell you that I’m using a special link from Distimo called funnels that track everything and I got at the moment 218 lands to my Google Play page.

If I trust it I get CTR = 11 / 218 = 5% that looks better to me.

Anyone have experience with Distimo funnels?


I had similar, terrible results with an ad mob campaign 32000 clicks and about 200 installs. Banner advdrtising just doesnt work for indie promoters. I believe there is say too much false and accidental clicks.

Hi XdebugX,
I think I can get more downloads for free just updating my game on SlideMe :slight_smile:


You had 600 clicks and only 200 page views. This means most people are closing the browser before your page even loads. Subtract your normal page views you get per day and its even worse. Only people like zynga can afford to advertise this way. Spend $100k to get to the top of the lists then you can stop advertising and make it back.

Hi XdebugX,
I had tried a lot of services and the only ways that really works for me were:

  • Get Reviewed by website/blog
  • Facebook group
  • A bit post on forums but not that much

I think the other things that will work is cross promoting with a specific button in main screen like suggested here:

I know that because I have “More Games” button on my main page and people click on that.
I’m using that button with AppBrain and it’s working fine :slight_smile: