How AccuWeather Became the Top Weather App | AppsFlyer
Success Story

AccuWeather grows their mobile business to become one of the world’s top weather apps

AccuWeather optimized their web-to-app flow with OneLink deep linking and maximized long-term customer engagement with AppsFlyer’s real-time attribution

BACKGROUND

Remember the weather page on the back of your daily USA Today newspaper? AccuWeather launched that nearly 50 years ago, and has continued to evolve through formats and channels to most effectively reach modern day weather consumers. Their data fuels more than half of Fortune 500 companies. Whether using their weather data to predict what products major retailers may need to stock up on, providing weather advisories to school districts, or sending early hurricane and tornado warnings to hospitals – AccuWeather provides data that not only helps people but can literally save lives.

AccuWeather realized the power of their data when put directly in the hands of their consumers. They launched their website in 1996, followed by their mobile website in 2002, and their mobile app in 2008. As an ad revenue-based business, AccuWeather focused on maintaining high user engagement and stickiness. Although mobile web showed a higher engagement rate than their mobile app at first, it was clear the mobile app would be the most effective channel to engage loyal users over time. Recognizing this opportunity, the User Acquisition team started out by working with a small ad agency, which provided them with some data across a couple of channels, but no comprehensive solution. As their UA efforts expanded they teamed up with a larger ad agency to run at scale across a diverse ecosystem of network partners.

CHALLENGE

AccuWeather needed reliable attribution to help build better journeys and user experiences, especially during onboarding. Without this insight AccuWeather was prevented from optimizing their web-to-app onboarding experience to minimize user drop-off, the first step in realizing engaged app users. All web users who exercised a CTA to view content on the mobile app were directed to the app store, even if they already had the app installed. This was not an ideal user experience.

AccuWeather also needed attribution data to have visibility into user engagement. Weather app users tended to launch the app and check the weather quickly, resulting in short session durations. This meant that sustained engagement, specifically in the first six months, was paramount to AccuWeather’s long term success. To optimize for this type of engagement they needed the attribution data to effectively identify campaigns, networks, and partners that drove the most engaged customers, as well as insight into in-app events that kept users coming back. Without a clear picture of their down-funnel performance it was difficult to optimize their strategy at the top of the funnel accordingly.

SOLUTION

OneLink, AppsFlyer’s deep linking solution, ensured a smooth web-to-app onboarding experience and provided detailed attribution data for owned media, including mobile web, partner promotions, and browser push notifications. With deferred deep linking built right in, AccuWeather could be sure that users were directed to the most relevant and valuable destination every time – whether the right in-app content for users with the app or on a journey to the content via an app store for users without the app. Mobile attribution provided the team with the easy to navigate dashboards and reports they needed to identify the highest performing networks, as well as clearly identify key events along the funnel that led to the highest value users.

IMPACT

With rich attribution data at their fingertips, AccuWeather embraced a test-and-learn mentality, running campaigns across programmable networks, social media, search, and preload to achieve the global presence the app has today. A holistic view of their UA performance helped the UA team minimize user drop off, maximize user engagement, and increase lifetime value.

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Key players in the industry told us we needed an attribution provider to successfully invest in acquisition. We did our homework, and AppsFlyer was far and away the best solution on the market.
Benjamin Burgess, User Acquisition & Growth Marketing Manager