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Tips on Growing Your App Business Using Actionable Insights

  |  October 20, 2011   |  Comments

Four ways you can use your data for actionable insights that will have a major impact on your app business.

I just returned from the GDC Online (Game Developers Conference) in Austin, TX, and found many of the sessions focused on data and how to use it to grow an app business. This is a subject dear to my heart, as it has helped my company grow our business over the years. For example, in 2004 we created our first business intelligence system and grew the business by more than 400 percent. (Making all the employees quite happy, as they won a trip to the Florida Keys.) Here are some examples of how you can use your data for actionable insights that will have a major impact on your app business.

Optimizing Images for Huge Performance Improvements

It is very important to test and optimize images. Our game investment company, Recharge Studios recently optimized an image in My Pet Zombie that increased the click-through rate (CTR) from 6.6 percent to 32 percent. Just by testing and optimizing the creative, 4.8 times more users clicked the image.


Optimizing the Tutorial Reduced Churn

Not many developers think of optimizing their tutorial. The new iOS game called My Pet Zombie from Riptide Games had a huge churn rate during the game tutorial prior to optimization. By optimizing the tutorial and improving the user interface, My Pet Zombie reduced the churn from 41 percent completion rate to 81 percent completion rate - a 98 percent improvement.



Improving just one particular image in the tutorial saw the churn rate go from 25 percent to 4 percent. The developer focused on the elements circled in pink.


Distribute Through Multiple Channels and Measure the Results

Not all app developers believe in paying for distribution. However, buying the right traffic and knowing the return can have a major impact on scaling your business. By knowing the return on investment (ROI) for each source of distribution, you can make smart buying decisions, but you need to experiment and understand the data. Also, some of the more expensive channels may have the most qualified users and can prove to be your best source of traffic, but you will never know unless you look at the data.


On the left side are various sources of traffic, and on the right side are the user retention rates after 30 days. As you can see, there was a lot of variance in the traffic sources. Once you know what traffic has the best ROI, it is a pretty easy business decision to buy more of that traffic. If you are interested in more information, check out my blog article.

Offer Users More Than One Revenue Stream

Only around 5 percent of users are willing to pay for an app or make an in-app purchase. By adopting an incented purchase model - offering users virtual currency for installing another app, for example - app revenue can more than double.


In this game, Dolphin Play, the user is offered Dolphin Bucks for installing Tap Fish 2.

In a recent case study using the incented, offerwall system, My Pet Zombie's average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 131 percent.


Do I have you convinced that to grow your app business, testing and optimization is important? (It's almost as fun as playing the game itself.) Getting actionable insight from your app stats can turn an unprofitable app into a profitable app. Are there other tests you performed that made a major impact on your revenue? If so, please share the data in the comment section.

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Rob Weber

Rob Weber co-founded W3i in 2000, growing W3i to be a leader in app user acquisition and monetization. For 42 consecutive quarters the company continues to be profitable and has grown to over 120 employees. For more than a decade, Rob worked to create solutions to increase distribution, drive revenue, and heighten engagement for app developers, such as DeNA, Gree, Kabam, PocketGems, and many other indie and public developers. Under Rob's leadership, W3i recently launched a mobile offer exchange that includes partnerships with leading offer providers.

Rob's business philosophy is to provide a collaborative environment developing solutions that provide value to app developers, advertisers, agencies, and ad networks.

In addition, Rob shares his passion for apps, digital media, and entrepreneurship by serving on the board of several tech companies. Rob recently presented at MobileBeat, GamesBeat, GDC, GDC Online, APPNATION, iPhone/iPad App DevCon, and also judged Start-Up Weekends.

Rob is an angel investor in a number of game, social media, music, video, and mobile app start-ups.

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