Why App Marketers Are Turning to Mobile Web Campaigns

June 7, 2022

Over the past year, we have seen one type of mobile user acquisition (UA) campaign experience a renaissance: mobile web campaigns (MWCs). In the wake of Apple’s decision to deprecate IDFA and the implementation of App Tracking Transparency (ATT) with iOS 14, our team has seen clients expressing more interest — and putting more budget into — these versatile campaigns. 

It’s clear that ATT has impacted many of the most popular channels for performance marketers. Like so many of our clients and peer companies in mobile, FeedMob saw the usage of IDFA drop steeply to about 10% since ATT took effect. However, mobile web traffic does not rely on IDFA for attribution, making it an increasingly appealing channel for many app marketers.

In the first quarter of 2021, spending on MWCs among FeedMob clients was $0. Even after ATT, it took time to ramp up the MWCs. In fact, we didn’t see any of these campaigns start until around June of 2021. Since then, we have typically run six MWCs per month on average, peaking in January 2022 (12 total). Meanwhile, spending gradually increased each quarter but jumped in December 2021 — increasing from $183,000 to $310,000 (69% increase).

This burgeoning interest in MWCs is for good reason! Let’s explore mobile web campaigns and why they are a good fit for UA marketers in a post-IDFA world.

What is a mobile web campaign? 

Mobile web campaigns are designed to take prospective users to an advertiser’s owned website before prompting them to install an app. New potential users are taken from the app where they clicked the ad to a mobile site, which effectively circumvents many of the barriers to mobile attribution.

The benefits of mobile web campaigns

The web has always been an important touchpoint for app marketers as it’s one of the most reliable sources for both acquiring new users and engaging with existing users. However, in the wake of IDFA deprecation, advertisers are realizing mobile web campaigns solve many of their conundrums around data tracking. 

  • Mobile web campaigns offer an alternative conversion path that app marketers can measure accurately by utilizing first-party data. As mobile web placements are mostly on the open web, attribution isn’t based on the IDFA allowing app marketers more data granularity at a user level. 
  • At FeedMob we have been able to tap more high-quality and efficient inventory for clients who had never run MWCs before. For example, we are now able to harness certain OEM inventory that was not previously available because of app store limitations/restrictions, e-commerce inventory, newsletter/email display, native placement inventory, etc. 
  • Providing savvier users with more reason to convert/download. Sophisticated users often look for more info on products, services, and features to decide if they would like to download an app or not. The information you can provide in an app store is limited. However, on a mobile web page, you can provide more of the information potential users need in order to convert. 

Mobile web also serves as a testing ground for a different user experience, allowing marketers to gain insight with first-party data.

How do MWCs work? 

While the user flow is fairly simple (user sees an ad > user is redirected to the mobile web page > user goes to the app store to download the app > user opens the app) set-up can take a little more work. 

User experience on mobile web.

Here’s how we set up mobile web campaigns at FeedMob:

  1. FeedMob prepares pixel documentation for the client to implement FeedMob a pixel on their website. 
  2. After a FeedMob pixel is installed on the client’s mobile website, FeedMob is able to track conversions of the desired events.
  3. FeedMob will provide daily reporting with click/event/cost amount and eCPA for the client’s reference. 
  4. For down funnel events which would be happening within the app instead of the mobile web, the client shares the event numbers with FeedMob. 
  5. FeedMob will optimize based on the data and keep improving campaign performance. 

In 2021, 25% of our clients were running MWCs and in 2022 we’re seeing that number increase. Nearly 40% of our clients are now giving this tactic a try. And the data suggests smart clients will continue to use these campaigns with great success:

Conversions rates are 0.4% ~ 11% based on one week’s data from one FinTech client.

The eCPA of MWC is 41% less than the in-app campaigns based on one FinTech client’s data.

To learn more about mobile web campaigns and how user acquisition marketers are using them, check out our case study.

Posted: June 7, 2022

Category: Mobile Insights Blog, Mobile Performance Strategies

Tags: acquisition, mobile, strategy, trends

FeedMob Team

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