Helping Ellevest -- a Robo-Advisor -- Launch Their App Ads and Increase Spend Profitably

The client for this project was a robo-advisor startup that offers automated investing, career development, and wealth management for users based in the US.

The company’s main challenge was to launch its first mobile app campaign and grow its user acquisition channels. This project was one of our favorite projects to work on as we have an interest in both finance and investing.

We were chosen for this project because of our previous experience scaling mobile apps via paid channels and my extensive knowledge of the mobile tracking ecosystem, before and after iOS14.

Launch, Learn, Scale

Mobile App Tracking Setup

We wanted to launch mobile app campaigns and grow our paid social and paid search channels. So, we started by setting up our mobile app tracking to launch the first app campaign.

We started configuring our Mobile Measurement Partner "MMP", a tool that helps attribute, collect, and organize app data. MMP also helps manage all tracking codes in one Software Development Kit "SDK". You can think of MMP as the Google Tag Manager for mobile apps.

This step was essential in integrating our backend with our paid channels – such as Facebook – and mapping our most important events such as app install, signup, subscription…etc.

Launch & Test

After setting up our mobile app tracking, we were ready to launch our first mobile app campaign. We choose Facebook as the first channel as it was used for previous web campaigns, which provided us with enough data points to build upon.

We started with a standard app install campaign and our best-performing creatives from web campaigns. Not long after, we were able to generate the number of events needed to optimize for subscriptions. This allowed us to launch a subscription-based optimization app campaign.

This step is particularly significant because it helped us to start building data signals for our app campaigns because the algorithm does app targeting differently from web targeting. In addition to that, it was important for us to form an understanding of our cost per install or subscription so that we could set our benchmarks and KPIs.

Retarget & Scale

The previous step helped us target more valuable users after moving to deep-funnel event optimization, find our best-performing audiences, and set our benchmarks.

In this step, we started scaling our spend profitably and finding new opportunities such as a new lookalike list or an old one where we could establish a higher spend.

We also started retargeting users who drop from the signup funnel, including the ones who install but don't signup and the ones who signup but don't subscribe.

After scaling Facebook profitably, we decided to expand to Google and TikTok Ads to expand the user acquisition channels.

Outcome: Sustainable Growth

We managed to launch our first app campaigns, increase user value, scale Facebook to a 7-figures a month budget, and expand to Google and TikTok Ads.

From setting up the mobile app tracking to launching and optimizing our app campaigns, I was able to sustainably manage the process and achieve the goals.

Such an approach works well for app businesses that want to launch their paid user acquisition, scale to 7-figure in ad spend, and keep costs within an acceptable range.

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