How to get the most out of rewarded traffic

Welcome to the twenty second edition of MAMA Boards, an AppsFlyer video project featuring leading mobile marketing experts on camera.

For today’s mini whiteboard master class, we have Iris Hu, Marketing Manager at Jump Ramp Games, whose most popular game, Lucktastic, has received 20 million downloads and is viewed 12 million times a week.

Rewarded traffic, which incentivizes users to view or click your ads, is another powerful way of bringing users to your app. Iris walks us through the key elements of rewarded campaign setup, especially choosing the right campaign model, and later offers 3 key tips for giving your campaigns a competitive edge.

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Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of MAMA Boards by AppsFlyer. My name is Iris Hu, Marketing Manager for Jump Ramp Games. We’re a mobile game publisher with our main product being Lucktastic. Lucktastic is a free to play, instant-win app, where users can play lots of scratch games and have opportunities to enter into contests and sweepstakes. It has been downloaded over 20 million times and has over 12 million weekly unique users.

Today, I will talk about managing rewarded traffic and how to choose the right campaign model to fit your needs.

When it comes to rewarded traffic, every advertiser faces a difficult dilemma. If your business plays the role of advertiser and publisher, often times, there is both a volume and a ROAS goal which need to be achieved.

You might have thought to yourself, is there a win-win campaign model that I can use to achieve both goals? The answer is yes, which is what I’m going to talk about today. How do you buy rewarded traffic using the right campaign model and the right revenue-generating events?

rewarded traffic boost roas

Finding your true north: Measuring your app marketing’s true ROI


What are the most common rewarded traffic campaign models and how can I choose the right one?

In this next section, I will dive into a couple of common campaign models and explain the differences between the two. For volume-driven goals, our cost per install, or CPI model, can very well be the way to go for some advertisers. The payout is simple and easy to track. However, it’s not the best fit for all situations. When you’re trying to find the balance between volume and ROAS, a cost per action, or CPA, campaign can be more effective.

Today, I will walk through the pros and the cons of CPI and CPA models when it comes to rewarded traffic. CPI campaigns provide great opportunities whose goals are mostly driven by volume. More specifically, when trying to drive traffic around a promotion or simply build your market share, a well-made CPI campaign is a strong solution and it can do wonders in terms of branding.

Another good thing about a CPI campaign is burst campaigns.

Using a CPI campaign is a strong solution for short and volume objectives. Advertisers are able to hit their volume goals consistently by increasing their spend when necessary. However, it’s not the best long term solution, as they do not always bring a favorable return on spending. In addition to that, it will result in low user engagement and a low retention rate.

Of course, volume goals can be achievable. However, typically a company would prefer to see more deeper funnel user engagement. That’s where CPA campaigns become attractive, especially for those who are looking for the best bang for their buck. CPAs campaigns can have guaranteed revenue and can protect advertisers’ return on spending. Retention can be on the low side; however, it’s still can be a good way to maintain volume without sacrificing ROAS.

One downside to the CPA model is that it can be expensive during optimization.

While establishing a CPI campaign for deeper funnel events, the benefits can be great; however, it might take some time to find the right price point at which both the advertiser and the publisher will be satisfied.

Now, there is one important thing to keep in mind. Prioritization becomes crucial when we have multiple revenue-generating events. I would suggest testing all of them out, but with different tiers of payouts. We can use average revenue per user, or ARPU, as the guide to set the initial payout.

rewarded traffic CPI vs CPA

Example CPI vs. CPA model

In this next section, I will show a basic example of how a CPI and a CPA model might play out in practice. In this example, let’s consider our app is free to download and play.

The hypothetical campaign we end up running results in 100 installs, 75 unique event A users, and 25 unique event B users. Event A represents a minor revenue-generating event in the upper funnel; going deeper into the funnel, only 25 unique users finished our major revenue-generating event, event B. Keep in mind, advertisers have the ability to negotiate different payouts for different events.

Using this example, let’s consider a scenario where we pay out based on CPI.

We’re obligated to pay based on 100, the total number of installs. However, we have no control of what the user would do after downloading the app, whether they will actually use the app or engage with any in-app events that would generate revenue. CPI models are useful for boosting download numbers; however, there is no guarantee on the return side.

As mentioned earlier, CPA campaigns can be a better option if your goal is related to ROAS. What we need to consider when structuring the campaign, however, is which event should be the payout event. In this scenario, we have the option of a payout based on event A, a minor revenue-generating event, or event B, a major revenue-generating event.

Keep in mind, when using CPA campaigns, we typically need to sacrifice some volume in the interest of protecting ROAS.

rewarded traffic example using CPI

On one hand, if we pay out based on event A, the total spend would be $75 multiplied by the payout for event A. We should be aware that the profit margin will be limited, as event A is a minor revenue-generating event. There is guaranteed revenue; however, revenue for event A can be expected to be low. Of course, additional revenue is possible through deeper funnel events; however, user might also quit right after event A without going any deeper.

Often times, we want ARPU to be high and payout to be low; however, with a minor revenue-generating event, it’s not always easy. When the number is not favorable, we should consider different campaign options. More specifically, we can either adjust a bid or change the campaign model to a more profitable revenue-generating event.

Keep in mind, we don’t have to stick with the payout that we agreed on initially. Feel free to make adjustments along the way as performance changes.

rewarded traffic and spend v CPI payout

On the other hand, if we pay out based on event B, the spend will be $25 multiplied by the payout for event B. We can expect the profit margin to be high, as event B is a major revenue-generating event. The benefit of major revenue-generating event is that it can lead you to a higher early DX ROAS, as the return is realized almost immediately, right after users finish the event.

Also, users may play event B multiple times and additional revenue is possible through other events earlier in the funnel, but we will only payout based on the total number of unique event B users.

rewarded traffic CPA revenue

What are some tips for maximizing my rewarded traffic?

All in all, the type of campaigns you run will depend on your specific KPIs in different situations. I would suggest to not be afraid to try new things and make adjustments on the fly. For instance, you might have to adjust your CPA campaigns to a different payout event if that’s what the performance dictates.

You may also need to adjust your bid if you notice any daily or weekly trends. In some cases, weekends perform better than weekdays; however, in other cases, the day of the week doesn’t have any impact on the results.

There is another tip I would like to share, which is that it’s really an art to leverage out the volume from rewarded CPI campaigns and the ROAS from rewarded CPA campaigns. Keep in mind that a portfolio of campaigns can have both CPI campaigns driving volume and CPA campaigns driving ROAS. The goal is to find the sweet spot between the two. Having the right daily cap and payout for each event will definitely help.

The last thing is that, if your business is performance driven and often needs to hit volume and ROAS goals, it’s a great idea to give rewarded traffic a try. The key to the success is finding the right campaign model and the right revenue-generating event that fits your business goals.

rewarded traffic tips

That’s all for today.

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