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Scoring record high ARPU while improving LTV with AppsFlyer and CleverTap

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Background

Co-founded by Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra in 2018, Mobile Premier League (MPL) has grown to become Asia’s largest esports and skill gaming platform, with over 75 million users in India and 4 million in Indonesia.

Having worked with a number of Indian and international game developers, MPL has on-boarded over 70 games on its app, available for Android and iOS. In less than three years, the company has grown to over 700 employees across Bengaluru, Pune, Singapore, and Jakarta, raising $95M in Series D funding at a valuation of $945M.

Challenge

MPL’s hyper-growth and ambitious targets brought about a host of challenges such as launching and managing complex marketing campaigns at scale. To appropriately optimize campaigns, the marketing team needed to keep track of data from a variety of sources, including app stores, platforms, and channels, thereby requiring one single platform to capture and analyze the data in one place.

As a Gaming app, customer engagement and retention were of primary importance. The team wanted to continually touch base with the app’s users on their key milestone achievements, encouraging them to play more in order to upskill these players. Since upskilling users represented the best pathway to retention, MPL would actively engage its players to get better at their game of choice. Cross-selling was also a priority, and the app also encouraged players to look at games within similar genres.

MPL needed an integrated engagement platform that could help them improve their onboarding process, get players hooked early on, encourage repeat usage, and build positive user habits. To achieve this, it was important for MPL to dive deep into analyzing user behavior patterns and creating real-time segments.

MPL also needed to more effectively attribute their web campaigns, as well as implement a better user onboarding process for users in order to more seamlessly stitch together the user journey from the various pre-install touchpoints.

Solution

MPL chose AppsFlyer and CleverTap, an AppsFlyer integrated partner, to achieve its multiple objectives, which included implementing a one-stop attribution platform; creating a solution to reach out to players at the right time to sustain engagement or get started; develop more personalized targeting of users, and kick off a user referrals program.

Accurate attribution and user referrals

To enhance and streamline the user onboarding process, MPL rolled out AppsFlyer’s deep linking and user invite referral program. The team set up App Store attribution to get installs attributed from the various app stores, media sources, and channels. OneLink Smart Script was put in place to secure accurate attribution from the mobile landing page as well as to measure all important UTM parameters.

The team was also able to unearth deeper insights into their customer base through raw data. With AppsFlyer’s Raw Data reports, MPL was able to measure attribution and in-app engagement data and thereby measure the impact of its various marketing and customer-focused strategies.

With raw data, the team could go beyond an understanding of user engagement on Day 1 and plot an overall lifetime value (LTV) model that could determine a customer’s overall value to the app.

Renewed user journeys

The growth marketing team knows that successful engagement begins with a robust onboarding process. Using an onboarding journey, they get users to log in, play, and make a successful deposit. An important KPI is converting newly activated users into depositors. Following onboarding, a Day-7 conversion journey encourages users to start accessing paid games. There are various milestones before a user starts depositing. The ultimate goal of these journeys was to compel users to log in, play, and ultimately to make a successful deposit.

For the team, converting new users into depositors represented a key KPI, with various preparatory steps designed to increase the chances of a deposit. MPL used CleverTap’s Journeys to nudge the user to achieve certain milestones along their path to a deposit. Journeys also allowed users to be targeted differently depending on their previous engagement actions.

In addition, CleverTap allowed MPL to run multiple campaigns targeted at either active or lapsed us and referrals. Campaigns help inform users about upcoming matches, encourage them to form teams, promote their referral program, increase their user base, encourage users to upload stories, provide timely transactional updates, and win back inactive users.

Enhanced segmentation

MPL primarily uses an RFM model to target users based on the recency of their gameplay and the amount generated. Players are further segmented based on the type of games played. They also use custom lists/CSV uploads to target specific user cohorts that have performed key actions during important sporting events like IPL. This user segment receives personalized messages.

Further, live segments are created based on user actions and inactions. Users would also be reminded through a triggered campaign when they’ve dropped off midway while creating a Fantasy team.

Results

Through the use of AppsFlyer’s user referrals feature, MPL dramatically increased the efficiency with which it onboarded its users.

In the 30 days after these referrals, the uninstall rate was a low 58.65% (compared with an industry average of 62%) – lowest amongst all non-organic media sources – due to the intelligent and automated deep links. In addition, these referrals yielded the highest average revenue per user, as well as the highest loyal user/install ratio, at 4.73% (not to mention the zero cost per install).

The time savings and overall success of the CleverTap and AppsFlyer integration also allowed MPL’s marketing team to focus on new growth initiatives through the AppsFlyer platform. This included event attribution of specific cohorts to maximize user engagement, build lifetime value models through Raw Data reports, and reduce user churn rate by processing App Store data to create cohorts and perform RFM analytics and predictive modeling.

“Being one of the largest esports and online gaming companies, we needed advanced platforms that could do justice to our scale of marketing and user engagement campaigns. We partnered with AppsFlyer & CleverTap, which are the best in business, and they helped us to improve our growth metrics across businesses and geographies.” – Arpit Awasthi, VP Growth Marketing

And via the OneLink Smart Script, MPL could more effectively convert and attribute website visitors (from any source) into mobile app users. This was achieved by correlating their app traffic with the web to achieve a better understanding of how the web factored into their portfolio mix. MPL was able to attribute their Google web campaigns with key parameters such as source, campaign and other sub-parameters, then send it back to Google for further optimization.

MPL also saved money. The team trimmed user acquisition budgets through AppsFlyer’s platform by attributing data from multiple sources, platforms, app stores, and channels, and then reducing any overlap.

Smarter marketing decisions start with better data