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May 1, 2017

Make App Promotions Work: Acquire & Re-engage the Right Set of Users

Click! Click! Click! and you are done. Yes, acquiring new users and re-engaging with existing users of your app is as simple as that in the tried and tested ‘promote your app’ feature in the Windows Dev Center. If you are not familiar with these capabilities, learn more about them here.

This blog is about making promotions work for you so that the ad campaigns that you create can acquire the right set of users at the lowest cost.


Do choose auto-targeting unless you are 100% sure of your game/app audience profile.

  • Choosing manual targeting without knowing the right audience profile may end up giving bad ROI for the campaign.
  • For e.g. most card/casino based games work well with age group 50+ while racing games work with 18+ male.
  • Let our machine learning algorithms do the work for you.

Do use a good descriptive tagline in the ad creative.

  • Most users often forget to the fill the custom tagline or write a tagline that is very generic.
  • Creatives with taglines have higher click through rates compared to those that don’t.
  • Highlighting the differentiating/unique features of the app also increases the click through rates.

Do leverage the power of free campaigns.

  • Create house campaigns that run all the time without fail if you have multiple ad monetized apps.
  • Opt-in to community program to earn credits for displaying other developers’ app install ads. You can use those credits to run free app promotions.
  • Create community campaigns to get featured in apps owned by other developers who have opted in to the program for spending your credits.


Don’t choose extremely low budgets.

  • We have seen a few developers create monthly campaigns with budgets as low as $50.
  • Campaigns with monthly budgets lower than $100 would not make a sufficient dent in the bottom-line of the business, given they help in acquiring anywhere between 70 to 100 new users.
  • For running a sustainable business, calculate the required average number of monthly active users, and then choose a budget that would help acquire a percentage of those users.

Don’t target a generic segment in re-engagement campaigns.

  • Re-engagement campaigns help you target specific segments of users with a precise objective.
  • Creating a generic segment will lead to a bad ROI with no objective met at the end of the campaign period.
  • For example, if you target all the users who have used the app in the last week, the campaign will not have any results unless there is a new feature in the app and the highlight is captured in the ad creative.

Don’t forget to monitor the campaigns regularly.

  • Ad campaign ROI can change based on the marketplace dynamics.
  • Machine learning algorithms help optimize for the best ROI in the backend, but campaign delivery might take a hit due to extremely low budget or manual targeting of a niche segment of users who are not available in the apps with ads.
  • Tweak the campaigns in the initial few days/weeks to end up with the best combination of creatives/budget/target audience to get the best ROI.

Stay tuned for additional tips to increase ad monetization over the next few weeks.