Aperture’s Hannah Parvaz on profitably scaling performance marketing
And why it begins with setting the right targets and methodically working through the funnel from the top down.
Every app wants to grow and succeed. But many developers and teams aren’t asking the right questions, and they aren’t focusing on what really matters.
Aperture founder Hannah Parvaz can help — she’s mentored hundreds of great apps and guided good businesses to become even better. Aperture is a full-service growth partner that knows what marketing efforts actually move the needle.
Tracing the funnel: From installs to optimized events
“Whenever we’re thinking about scaling for performance marketing, we have to have some targets in place,” Hannah explains. You need to be able to grasp your app’s funnel from the top down. Focusing on app installs enables both you and algorithms to learn. As you move down the funnel, you can optimize for various app events. Throughout the entire funnel, testing and iterating should never stop.
“As we start to unlock more budget by bringing back more money with our subscription product, we’re able to get better results,” Hannah says. This is especially important since the iOS App Tracking Transparency (ATT) changes, which require a different strategy. You need to hit a target number of daily events to be able to optimize for that event, which means the more you spend, the better you can optimize. Developers should be asking, What are my targets for optimization events? Do I have enough trial starts (or other down-funnel event) to optimize for that, or should I be optimizing on install for now?
Timing the ATT pop-up right
Hannah points to Duolingo’s ATT pop-up, which appears only after a few lessons, as interesting. This strategy is likely driven by tracking users who stick around, rather than those who fall off after just one or two lessons — why bother tracking the latter category? For subscription app developers, it’s easy to fear that testing ATT pop-ups might interfere with signup and trial rates. But the pop-up could end up having a low impact — even if it comes up when someone opens the app for the first time. Test to establish the most effective timing for your specific app.
Optimal ad creative: continual iteration
When it comes to always-on campaigns, rigorously tested ad creatives are the key. Multiple variants with one single control element help identify the best message, which can then be tested across different design formats. The iteration process builds a portfolio of effective creatives for these campaigns, preferably left untouched while testing new creatives.
Part of getting those creatives that work is to pair them with a product that delivers on user expectation of value, and the clearest view of that product-market fit comes from tracking hard activations. Meaningful actions — including first meaningful actions and core actions — reveal user commitment and signal when users are actually engaged (instead of misinterpreting trial starts as user engagement). Developers can then use these insights to refine the user journey and make it as easy as possible for users to reach the desired level of engagement.
Leveraging “Q5” for marketing momentum
Finally, be wary of November: It’s always the toughest month for ad spend, from Halloween until the start of December. By pivoting to awareness campaigns to navigate rising costs, apps can turn December into a rebound month. Especially from the middle of the month, digital products take priority over e-commerce spending because of last mail dates in the lead-up to Christmas. This period, jokingly referred to as “Q5” by some, is the perfect time to leverage gifting strategies and New Year messaging.