Tips on Facebook Ads
for mobile installs

March 20, 2014

Two weeks ago, one of my friend who's running a mobile based startup said something like this "I wonder who succeed in doing Facebook Ads campaigns with a CTR > 4% and CPI < 0.2$". Well, after some and some tries over the last months, we eventually end up to these metrics on several campaigns. Here's mainly what we did and what I told to my friend.

Focus on use cases, not taglines

As we wanted to acquire new users for Connect App, one of our first concerns was to be exhaustive about what the app is in just 90 characters. So we ended up starting with ads such as "Connect is a beautiful, fast and friendly contact manager on iPhone", "Make your contact manager as unique as you are with Connect for iPhone" and stuff like that.

The thing is - I guessed - that these words were too general and actually did not resonate with targeted people. A few months ago, I read a post on how to create content that converts and the author's conclusion made a strong impression on me. He focused on a single question: "What's in it for me?", and suggested to look at your blog post, landing page, ads, whatever with the eyes of your target and honnestly try to answer this question.

Well, saying this, I should have thought of this earlier because the words we chose did not match the what's-in-it-for-me question for the distinct targets we want to reach. So we decided to do a bit differently.

We decided to be more focused and accepted that it was not too bad if we did not say anything that could make the App, our goal was to catch more people's attention and invite them to try the App. They would have discovered later all the possibilities within Connect. So we started to build a list of use cases and decline these into 90 characters. We came up with a few and put them in our ads. Guess what? Conversion rates increased!

Talking about concrete uses of the App will help people identify their life's problems and see your product as a solution. And you can do it with words and pictures.

Work hard on pictures

Not a surprise but pictures are so important in Facebook Ads. We've tested a ton and we still have a lot of ideas we want to test. Here are a few things among others that we tried:

  • Add "Free App" or "Free Download" in the picture.
  • Add the App's rate on the AppStore.
  • Add a review from the AppStore, from a real user and mention its nickname.
  • Put an iPhone in the picture.
  • Change the color of the iPhone.
  • Contextualize the screenshot with the audience.
  • Consider the background image / color for your target.

I'd believe the mention "Free App" is better if you don't have in-app purchases. Otherwise, "Free Download" is great. This allowed us double conversion rates. About the AppStore global rate, the words "Rated 5 stars by /*target name*/" worked well for us. I guess people identified themself with people like them who already loved the App.

We saw - it's really depending on your targets - that the color of the iPhone was important. For example, if you're targeting businessmen, most of them have black iPhones. But if you're targeting active women, most of them have white or gold iPhones. Again, we tried to match our target's life..

What's fun is that we did not notice that some iPhone positions in the Ads were better than others. We tried front and in-hand. We tried left-handed and right-handed. But we did not see that much difference on conversion rates! Juste take care not to have a too small or too big iphone, which sounds logic. However, we really paid attention to the background colors and images.

We cared a lot about the screenshots we put in the iPhone. When we targeted French people, French screenshots converted more than English screenshots. Connect allows you to organize your contacts into cutom lists. On our website, we often (I should say always) show screenshots with the lists "Family", "Friends" and "Work" because everybody have them. But in the Ads, we did differenlty. For business people, we showed "Customers", "Leads to call today", Colleagues", "Management Team" and list names like that. For active mums, we used "Family", "Parents of Pupils", "Baby-sitters" or "Children's friends". Again, we tried to match our target's life.

In conclusion, there's a lot to do

Inch by inch, we've increased our conversion rates. We did not always reach a CTR > 4% with a CPI < 0.2$ but sometimes we did or were close to. We did a lot of positive tests but we're still humble because we know that we have a lot of ideas / tips to try to get better results. Hopefully our experience could also help you reach your expectations.

Feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @ojaouen, I'd love to talk with you about this!

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