Cost Per Install Explained With Examples

Cost Per Install (CPI) is a crucial metric in app marketing campaigns that measures the cost of acquiring new users through paid installs. It is an essential component of mobile ad campaigns and user acquisition strategies, helping app developers and marketers evaluate the effectiveness of their app promotions.

When running a mobile advertising campaign, it is important to understand the cost per install to ensure cost-effective installs and maximize the return on investment. By tracking CPI alongside other metrics like user engagement and revenue, app marketers can optimize their performance marketing efforts and drive the success of their app promotions.

CPI provides valuable insights into the cost of acquiring new users through paid advertising, allowing app marketers to make data-driven decisions and refine their user acquisition strategies. However, it is important to note that CPI only represents a narrow segment of user acquisition costs. Other methods like organic traffic, user referrals, and user engagement should also be considered for a comprehensive app marketing strategy.

Key Takeaways:

  • CPI is a metric used in app marketing to measure the cost of acquiring new users through paid installs.
  • Calculating CPI involves dividing the ad spend by the number of new installs.
  • CPI is an important metric to track alongside other metrics like user engagement and revenue.
  • While CPI is informative, it represents only a portion of user acquisition costs.
  • Optimizing CPI campaigns requires considering factors like ad networks, app category, and target markets.

How to Calculate Cost Per Install

Calculating the Cost Per Install (CPI) is essential for app marketers to assess the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and ensure that the revenue generated from acquired users exceeds the cost of acquiring them. Here’s how you can calculate CPI:

  1. Step 1: Determine the total ad spend for your campaign.
  2. Step 2: Count the number of new installs generated from the campaign.
  3. Step 3: Use the formula: Ad spend / New installs = Cost Per Install.
  4. Step 4: Apply the formula to calculate CPI.

For example, let’s assume you spent $200 on ads and generated 130 new installs. Using the formula, the calculation would be:

CPI = Ad spend / New installs

CPI = $200 / 130

CPI ≈ $1.53

Therefore, the Cost Per Install (CPI) in this example would be approximately $1.53.

Tracking and calculating CPI accurately allows app marketers to make informed decisions about the success of their marketing campaigns and optimize their strategies accordingly. By monitoring the CPI, you can evaluate the cost-effectiveness of your app promotion efforts and ensure a positive return on investment (ROI) in user acquisition.

Now that you know how to calculate CPI, let’s explore the pros and cons of this metric in the next section.

Pros and Cons of Cost Per Install

Cost Per Install (CPI) offers several advantages and disadvantages in app marketing campaigns. Understanding these pros and cons can help app marketers make informed decisions about their customer acquisition strategies.

Advantages of CPI

1. Measuring Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): CPI allows app marketers to accurately measure the cost of acquiring new customers through paid advertisements. By calculating the ad spend divided by the number of new installs, app marketers can track the effectiveness of their campaigns and determine the cost per user acquisition.

2. Determining Viability of Paid Advertisements: CPI helps evaluate the viability of paid advertisements in reaching the intended target audience. By analyzing the cost per install, app marketers can assess the performance of their campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing efforts.

Disadvantages of CPI

1. Limited Scope of User Engagement: One disadvantage of CPI is that it only measures the initial capture of new users. It does not guarantee ongoing user engagement or retention. Therefore, app marketers need to consider other methods, such as user referrals and organic traffic, to ensure a comprehensive user acquisition strategy.

2. Excludes Organic Traffic: CPI focuses solely on paid installations and does not account for organic traffic. Organic traffic refers to users who discover and install the app through non-paid sources, such as app store searches or word-of-mouth recommendations. Neglecting organic traffic may lead to an incomplete assessment of the overall user acquisition strategy.

Advantages of CPI Disadvantages of CPI
Measures Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Limited Scope of User Engagement
Determines Viability of Paid Advertisements Excludes Organic Traffic

Mobile App Metrics and KPIs

In addition to Cost Per Install, app marketers should consider several other essential metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track the success of their app marketing campaigns. These metrics provide valuable insights into user engagement, revenue generation, and overall performance.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

ARPU is a crucial metric that calculates the average revenue generated per user. It helps app marketers understand the financial value of each user and evaluate the effectiveness of their monetization strategies. By tracking ARPU, app marketers can optimize their revenue streams and improve the profitability of their apps.

LTV:CAC Ratio

The LTV:CAC ratio compares the lifetime value of a user to the cost of acquiring them. This metric indicates the return on investment of acquiring each user and helps app marketers assess the long-term profitability of their user acquisition efforts. A higher LTV:CAC ratio signifies a healthier business model and greater potential for sustainable growth.

Session Length

Session length is the duration of time users spend actively engaged in the app during a single session. This metric provides insights into user engagement and app stickiness. By tracking session length, app marketers can assess the quality of user experiences and identify areas for improvement to enhance user retention and satisfaction.

App Ranking

App ranking is a crucial metric that determines the visibility and discoverability of an app in the app store. Higher app rankings increase the chances of attracting organic downloads and user acquisition. By monitoring app ranking and optimizing app store optimization strategies, app marketers can improve app visibility and increase organic downloads.

Industry Benchmarks

Industry benchmarks provide valuable insights into the average performance metrics for different app categories, devices, and regions. These benchmarks enable app marketers to compare their performance against industry standards and identify areas for improvement. By benchmarking against the industry, app marketers can set realistic goals and develop effective user acquisition strategies.

Understanding and tracking these mobile app metrics and KPIs is crucial for app marketers to analyze and optimize their app marketing campaigns effectively. By monitoring metrics such as ARPU, LTV:CAC ratio, session length, and app ranking, app marketers can make data-driven decisions, drive user engagement, and maximize the success of their app promotions.

Factors Affecting CPI

The Cost Per Install (CPI) metric can be influenced by various factors that play a crucial role in determining the success and efficiency of app marketing campaigns. Understanding these factors and optimizing your strategies accordingly can help you achieve better results and cost-effectiveness. Let’s explore some of the key factors that affect CPI:

Ad Networks

Ad networks are an essential component of CPI campaigns. Different ad networks offer varying rates and performance. Choosing the right ad networks that align with your target audience and app category can significantly impact your CPI. It’s important to analyze the available options and select the networks that deliver the best results for your app.

App Category

The category of your app also influences the CPI. Some app categories, such as gaming or finance, tend to have higher CPI compared to others. Understanding the typical CPI benchmarks for your app category can help you set realistic expectations and allocate your marketing budget effectively.

Device Platforms

The platform (iOS or Android) on which your app is primarily available can affect the CPI. iOS users are generally known to spend more on in-app purchases, which could potentially impact the overall acquisition cost. It’s essential to consider the device platforms and their respective user behavior patterns when optimizing your CPI campaigns.

Target Markets

The target markets you choose for your app marketing campaigns can also influence the CPI. Different regions and countries may have varying CPI benchmarks, which can be influenced by factors such as user demographics, market saturation, and competition. Analyzing and targeting specific markets that align with your app’s value proposition can help optimize your CPI performance.

Ad Types

The type of ads you utilize in your marketing campaigns also contributes to the variations in CPI. Different ad types, such as banner ads, video ads, or native ads, can have different effectiveness levels and costs associated with acquiring new users. Testing and optimizing various ad types based on their performance metrics can help you minimize CPI and maximize user acquisition.

Industry Benchmarks

Comparing your CPI performance to industry benchmarks is crucial to understand how your app marketing campaigns fare against the competition. Industry benchmarks provide insights into the average CPI for different app categories, device platforms, and target markets. Analyzing and benchmarking your CPI against these industry standards can help you identify areas for improvement and set realistic goals for your campaigns.

To further illustrate the impact of these factors on CPI, refer to the following table showcasing a comparison of average CPI for different app categories:

App Category Average Cost Per Install
Gaming $2.50
Social Networking $1.80
Finance $3.20
Education $1.50

By considering and optimizing these factors according to your app’s needs and goals, you can improve your CPI campaigns, reduce costs, and enhance the overall effectiveness of your app marketing efforts.

Comparing CPI to Other Metrics

Cost Per Install (CPI) is a crucial metric in app marketing campaigns. It provides app marketers with insights into the cost of acquiring new users through paid installs. However, CPI is just one of many metrics used in app marketing. Let’s take a look at some other important metrics and how they compare to CPI:

Cost Per Mille (CPM)

CPM is the price paid for every 1000 ad views. Unlike CPI, which measures the cost of acquiring new users, CPM focuses on the cost of reaching a thousand impressions or views. This metric is commonly used in display advertising campaigns and is helpful in evaluating the efficiency of ad spend in terms of reach and visibility.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

CPA, as the name suggests, refers to the cost paid for a predefined action performed by the app user. It could be anything from clicking on an ad, completing a registration form, or making a purchase. CPA helps app marketers measure the cost-effectiveness of specific actions and optimize their campaigns accordingly.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

LTV is a metric that measures the value of a user over their entire lifetime. It takes into account the revenue generated by a user through in-app purchases, subscriptions, or advertising views. LTV complements CPI as it provides app marketers with insights into the long-term value of acquired users and helps optimize user acquisition strategies accordingly.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

ROAS is a metric that helps assess the success of an ad campaign by measuring the return generated from each dollar spent on advertising. It calculates the revenue generated divided by the ad spend, providing app marketers with insights into the profitability of their marketing efforts. ROAS is a valuable metric for evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of app marketing campaigns.

Each of these metrics focuses on different stages of the app user journey and provides valuable insights for app marketers. While CPI measures the cost of acquiring new users, metrics like CPM, CPA, LTV, and ROAS help app marketers evaluate the reach, engagement, long-term value, and profitability of their app marketing campaigns.

Explanation of CPI vs. eCPI

When it comes to measuring the cost per install (CPI) in app marketing campaigns, there is another metric that provides a more accurate assessment—effective cost per install (eCPI). While CPI measures the cost of acquiring new users before a campaign, eCPI takes into account the organic variances and calculates the cost after the campaign. This metric considers the viral component of a campaign and is used for optimization and attribution purposes.

Calculating eCPI can be more complex than calculating CPI, but it provides app marketers with a comprehensive understanding of the true cost per install, taking into consideration the impact of organic growth and the wider reach achieved through viral sharing.

By considering eCPI alongside CPI, app marketers can gain insights into the overall effectiveness of their marketing efforts, including the organic traction that the app has gained during the campaign. It also allows them to make data-driven decisions regarding campaign optimization, budget allocation, and attribution.

Here is a simplified comparison between CPI and eCPI:

CPI eCPI
Measures the cost of acquiring new users before a campaign Takes into account organic variances and calculates the cost after the campaign
Does not consider the impact of organic growth or viral sharing Considers the viral component of a campaign
Used for analyzing the initial acquisition cost of new users Used for optimization and attribution purposes

viral component

Understanding the difference between CPI and eCPI is vital for app marketers looking to evaluate the true cost of acquiring new users and optimize their app installs effectively.

Reducing Cost Per Install

When it comes to reducing the cost per install (CPI) of your app marketing campaigns, there are several variables to consider. Factors such as ad networks, app category, device platforms, target markets, and ad types all play a significant role in determining the cost per install. By understanding these factors and comparing your results to industry benchmarks, you can identify areas for optimization and ultimately reduce your CPI.

Ad networks are a crucial element in determining CPI. Different ad networks may have varying rates, and it’s essential to find the ones that offer the most cost-effective installs for your app. By strategically selecting ad networks based on their performance and pricing, you can maximize the value of your marketing budget.

App category is another factor that can significantly impact CPI. Certain app categories tend to have higher CPI than others due to factors like competition and user acquisition costs. By evaluating the CPI benchmarks for your specific app category, you can gain insights into the cost expectations and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Device platforms also influence CPI, as users on different platforms may exhibit different behaviors and spending habits. For example, iOS users are known for their higher average spend on in-app purchases compared to Android users. By understanding the spending patterns of your target audience on different platforms, you can optimize your marketing efforts and allocate your budget more effectively.

Additionally, target markets have a considerable impact on CPI. The cost of acquiring users can vary significantly depending on the region and demographic you are targeting. By conducting market research and analyzing industry benchmarks for different target markets, you can optimize your campaigns to prioritize regions with lower CPI and higher user engagement potential.

The choice of ad types also plays a role in determining CPI. Different ad formats, such as interstitial ads, rewarded videos, or native ads, may have varying costs per install. By experimenting with different ad types and measuring their performance, you can identify the ones that deliver the most cost-effective results for your app.

Understanding industry benchmarks is crucial in optimizing your CPI. By comparing your performance to established benchmarks, you can gain insights into how your app’s CPI stacks up against competitors and identify areas for improvement. These benchmarks provide a reference point for evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and setting realistic goals for CPI optimization.

CPI Optimization Example

Variable Optimization Strategy
Ad Networks Compare the performance and pricing of different ad networks. Allocate more budget to networks with lower CPI and higher install quality.
App Category Analyze industry benchmarks for your specific app category. Identify areas where your CPI can be optimized compared to competitors.
Device Platforms Consider the spending patterns and behaviors of users on different platforms. Adjust your targeting and budget allocation accordingly.
Target Markets Conduct market research and analyze CPI benchmarks for different regions. Prioritize regions with lower CPI and higher user engagement potential.
Ad Types Experiment with different ad formats and measure their performance. Optimize your campaigns by focusing on the ad types that deliver the most cost-effective results.

By considering these variables and implementing data-driven strategies, you can make informed decisions to optimize your CPI and improve the efficiency of your app marketing campaigns. Reducing the cost per install not only helps you acquire more users cost-effectively but also ensures a higher return on your marketing investment.

Industry Benchmarks for CPI

Industry benchmarks provide valuable insights into the average cost per install (CPI) for different regions, devices, and app categories. Benchmark data allows app marketers to evaluate their performance and set realistic goals for their CPI campaigns. Let’s take a closer look at some key benchmarks:

Regional Benchmarks

Understanding regional variations in CPI can help app marketers target their advertising efforts more effectively. Here are some examples of average CPI benchmarks:

Region Average Cost Per Install
North America $5.28
Latin America $0.34
Europe $2.47
Asia-Pacific $1.93

Device Benchmarks

The choice of device platform can significantly impact CPI. Here are some average CPI benchmarks comparing iOS and Android apps:

Device Platform Average Cost Per Install
iOS $3.60
Android $1.22

App Category Benchmarks

The category of the app also plays a role in determining CPI. Certain app categories may have higher costs due to increased competition or specific targeting requirements. Here are some examples of average CPI benchmarks for different app categories:

App Category Average Cost Per Install
Social Media $1.89
Gaming $1.58
E-Commerce $3.05
Travel $2.17

By comparing your CPI to industry benchmarks, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your app marketing campaigns. These benchmarks help you evaluate your performance, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions to optimize your user acquisition strategies.

Industry Benchmarks

Conclusion

App marketing is a dynamic and ever-evolving field, and user acquisition is a key aspect of a successful app promotion. Cost Per Install (CPI) is a crucial metric that helps app marketers measure the cost of acquiring new users and evaluate the effectiveness of their paid advertisements. By tracking CPI alongside other metrics like user engagement and revenue, app marketers can gain valuable insights into their user acquisition costs and refine their marketing strategies.

Although CPI has its limitations and focuses on the initial capture of new users, it is still an important metric to consider. By optimizing CPI campaigns based on factors like ad networks, app category, and target markets, app marketers can reduce costs and improve the return on their marketing investments. A comprehensive understanding of CPI and other relevant metrics is critical for developing effective user acquisition strategies and driving the success of app promotions.

App marketers should also consider other metrics and KPIs like Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost (LTV:CAC) ratio, session length, and app ranking. These metrics provide further insights into user behavior, revenue generation, and app visibility, helping app marketers make data-driven decisions and optimize their app marketing campaigns.

Optimizing app marketing campaigns requires ongoing analysis and optimization, leveraging industry benchmarks and staying updated with the latest trends and technologies. By focusing on metrics, including CPI, and implementing effective optimization strategies, app marketers can enhance the user acquisition process, reach their target audience more efficiently, and ultimately drive the success of their apps.

FAQ

What is Cost Per Install (CPI)?

Cost Per Install is the price to acquire a new customer from paid advertisements. It measures the cost of acquiring new users through paid installs in app marketing campaigns.

How is Cost Per Install calculated?

Cost Per Install can be calculated by dividing the ad spend by the number of new installs. The formula is: Ad spend / New installs = Cost Per Install.

What are the pros and cons of Cost Per Install?

The pros of using Cost Per Install include measuring Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) specifically and determining the viability of paid advertisements. However, it has limitations as it only measures the initial capture of new users and doesn’t guarantee user engagement or retention.

What are some other important metrics and KPIs for app marketers?

Other important metrics and KPIs for app marketers include Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), LTV:CAC ratio, session length, and app ranking.

What factors can influence the cost per install of a campaign?

Ad networks, app category, device platforms, target markets, and ad types are factors that can impact the cost per install of a campaign.

How does Cost Per Install compare to other metrics?

Cost Per Install should not be confused with Cost Per Mille (CPM) or Cost Per Action (CPA). It complements metrics like LTV and ROAS, which focus on different stages of the app user journey.

What is the difference between CPI and eCPI?

While CPI measures the cost of acquiring new users before a campaign, eCPI takes into account organic variances and calculates the cost after the campaign. eCPI considers the viral component of a campaign and is used for optimization and attribution purposes.

How can the cost per install be reduced?

The cost per install can be reduced by optimizing factors like ad networks, app category, device platforms, target markets, and ad types based on industry benchmarks.

What are some industry benchmarks for cost per install?

Industry benchmarks provide insights into the average cost per install for different regions, devices, and app categories.

What is the importance of Cost Per Install in app marketing campaigns?

Cost Per Install is crucial in measuring the cost of acquiring new users and evaluating the effectiveness of paid advertisements.

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