The User Acquisition Arms Race: Why Russia & CIS are the New Battlegrounds for Mobile Advertising

Anita Koimur
International Sales Manager
Everyads Russia


For those of us that aren’t familiar with Everyads, please tell us a little more about your mobile network and genre specializations. 

Everyads is a mobile CPI advertising network. Our mission is to run ROI positive pay-per-install campaigns for app developers and advertisers.

We specialize in Gaming, as well as Utilities, and Food & Drink genres. We also have a handful of News offers and work with Lifestyle/Dating Apps. Typically, we will work with most types of apps. Although we work on CPI basis, we do understand that a client needs real users, instead of just installs, and that is why we are constantly improving ourselves and optimizing campaigns to hit an advertisers’ goals, regardless of metric.


The global user acquisition landscape is extremely competitive, with millions of apps fighting for attention and loyal users. Do you think CPI rates for loyal users will continue to rise or will level off at a certain point? 

We have two opinions here. To begin with the first, CPIs will level off as advertisers become more experienced and work with different CPI networks on a progressive scale. This will ensure they are getting the most effective CPI and should cause CPI rates to flatten out. However, CPI rates for loyal users tend to rise as the saturation of the audience increases, and hits the peak of the supply curve.


There are hundreds (if not thousands at this point) of mobile ad and affiliate networks that claim to be able to drive 1000s of installs for an app for the lowest possible CPIs. What do you think are some criteria that a user acquisition manager should use to evaluate which ones to test with?

First of all, one should pay attention to the company’s experience in the market, their targeting capabilities, tracking systems integrated, and payment terms. Everything should work for them and cause no difficulties or concerns. For our part, we always say that the most significant indicator is the performance of a test campaign. Moreover, quantity doesn’t mean quality, which is the most difficult thing to balance when scaling campaigns.


What do you think are some of the biggest challenges in mobile user acquisition today?

In recent days, there has been a trend towards paying only for non-incent installs. Some app developers even prefer to pay for deeper funnel events and other KPIs, needs of which should be met.

To achieve this, we developed new technical solutions, algorithms which are used to optimise and simplify the process of buying traffic, to provide users with the requisite quality. The creation of additional postbacks for events does not work all the time, as fraudsters have learnt to circumvent the system and can still generate low-quality installs. A good campaign can only be done through a close partnership of the client and network.


Are there any average CPI numbers you can share with us for acquiring a user across each genre or geo?

It is always depends on the specific app. A number of factors should be taken into account when selecting the right CPI rate: the number of reviews an app has, their screenshots, the size of an app, genre, geo, etc. All of these factors have an influence on the conversion rate, click through rate, and CPI.

We are always eager to know a clients’ forecast based on their LTV, as we are interested solely in ROI positive campaigns. In general, we could say that game genres like Puzzle, or Match3, convert better and require a lower CPI price, rather than hardcore/strategy games, which have a smaller audience.

The same case is with other genres: mass consumption apps usually have a lower CPI. An example would be Utilities apps for Android, and Dating apps. Highly specialized apps like banking, in contrast, require higher rates.

Here are some general  figures below:

$0.55 Android
$0.7 iOS

$0.75 Android
$1 iOS

$ 1-$2 for Android
$1.3-$2.5 for iOS


What are your thoughts on things like mobile video, playable ad units, and programmatic buying?

The market changes every day, and what is demanded by their players will also evolve. We are in favor of any new formats and ways of buying.


Rebrokering of traffic is a huge concern in the industry. How do you think that we, as an industry, can mitigate this?

It is a known fact that some companies whom position themselves as direct vendors, with their own traffic, are sometimes companies that are just re-brokering traffic. The only way to shield against this is to watch campaigns closely and measure downstream events to look for any suspicious activity.


What are some of your suggestions for an indie app developer starting off with paid user acquisition?

A lot rests on the clients’ budget, but we have solutions for indie developers as well. Sometimes we support projects we like and generate installs for them absolutely free of charge. Our advice is to invest in development and PR during the start-up period in order to get high virality. Typically, CPI install campaigns are for the bigger companies.


Being based in Russia (but with a global presence), what are some key trends you are seeing for user acquisition in Russia? (any numbers/stats would be helpful)

Russia has the very unique market: we have our own social networks, own search engines, and local traffic sources. In order to succeed here, one should understand the psychology of Russians and the specific traits of the market – the creative units, call-to-actions, and culture. According to analysts, Russia is one of the top countries with a high level of downloads, and the market is constantly growing. By 2017 it will reach 88M users. Additionally, due to the stronger dollar, advertisers can now buy Russian traffic at a much lower price.


Lastly, what do you see as the future of mobile user acquisition?

We believe everything in user acquisition will point towards the improvement of user quality. Also, app developers will start to look for ways outside of mobile or digital channels to promote their app, as can be seen with many of the larger developers running linear TV campaigns during the US Superbowl.

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