5 Min. Read

CTR, CTI, & IPM: Optimizing The Path to Install Conversion [Benchmarks]

Igal Frid Igal Frid Mar 26, 2019

This post is an update of a March 2019 blog with new benchmarks

Over the last few years, much has been said about the post-install journey — marketers need to measure this data, then connect to a user’s pre-install behavior to optimize their future marketing efforts. Indeed, emphasizing user “value” over “volume” is key to driving marketing profitability.

However, in addition to post-install analytics, it is important to closely monitor pre-install data, which offers key insights that inform creative optimization, ASO, targeting, and bid management (check out this list of 16 KPIs gaming app marketers should measure). 

Marketers rely on pre-install metrics to: 

  1. Measure the value of ad creatives and their ability to drive users to perform a desired action (e.g. click, install, registration, purchase). To improve these metrics, marketers need to optimize the creatives (design and copy), a/b test ad placements, improve targeting, etc.
  2. Know the quality of media sources they work with by comparing their supply variety, scale, global reach, and business logic (machine learning complexity that determines where, when and to whom your ad will be shown). This will allow campaigns to reach optimal pre-install metrics under their given limitations (budgets, frequency caps, targeting, etc).

This post will cover the importance of pre-install metrics, and provide data-driven trends and benchmarks per genre.  


What are install conversion rates and why are they important?

Among the variety of mobile marketing KPIs, pre-install conversion rates are used to measure the volume of users that make it through your conversion funnel to install. 

While an install is usually not considered the real “end game” of marketing efforts, it is still an important milestone, as users must physically download the app to their phone and invest attention and/or resources into it.

Understanding this significance, in the broadest terms, a pre-install conversion rate can be the number of installs divided by either the number of total ad clicks or ad views, depending on what you’re trying to measure.

In the past, when granular data was less accessible, mobile marketers relied more heavily on pre-install conversion rates, trying to reach high engagement and choose the partners that can help them rapidly grow while maintaining high quality.

Today, pre and post-install metrics are both an integral part of every user acquisition strategy.

Let’s explore each pre-install metric:

Показатель переходов по ссылке (CTR)


Число кликов / число просмотров рекламы

ИнформацияКреативная оптимизация
Объяснение Выше в воронке CTR имеет ограниченную ценность информирования по другим общим маркетинговым целям, но напрямую отражает эффективность креативной кампании на основании полученных кликов.


Click to install (CTI)

ФормулаЧисло установок /число кликов по рекламным объявлениям
ИнформацияКреативная оптимизация и оптимизация магазина приложений; таргетинг; и/или техническая имплементация (например, ваш MMP, технология соотнесения внутреннего ID, время от загрузки игры до развертывания поставщиком атрибуции события установки на API), все это может влиять на время загрузки.
Объяснение При измерении прямой конверсии между двумя самыми сильными точками взаимодействия на пути пользователя перед установкой CTI имеет важнейшее как социальное, так и техническое значение, поскольку более низкие коэффициенты могут означать менее релевантную аудиторию, неэффективные креативные кампании или более медленную загрузку до завершения установки.


Установок на тысячу (IPM – установок на 1000 показов)

ФормулаЧисло установок / 1000 показов
ИнформацияКреативная оптимизация; понижение CPI; увеличение объема установок; и/или эффективный каскадный биддинг и управление
ОбъяснениеIPM shows the full picture of the user journey when targeting new users. Additionally, a high IPM directly impacts the waterfall ad bidding process, moving the rank of a given ad campaign towards the top due to the high performance of a creative, ad, and campaign in generating installs. In turn, the ad receives more traffic and a higher volume of impressions, further boosting install rate.


Gaming genre trends

The comprehensive data set used in this research covers 470 billion ad impressions, 49 billion clicks, and 2.1 billion installs of 4,500 apps in the past 1.5 years. It included top media sources used by Gaming app marketers, whose inventory is mostly comprised of video placements (rewarded and interstitials). The data set does not include Facebook and Google inventory.

The fact that video covers most of the data explains why the average CTR values are significantly higher than in cases where display (standard static banners) is more dominant.

Advanced technology and constant training of machine learning algorithms drive performance, delivering the highest returns of campaign investments. Some genres do it better.

According to our data, Midcore and Hyper Casual games are the most popular genres, with the largest scale and fastest growth. It is therefore no surprise that these genres are leading all three metrics in the graph above. 

The most impressive growth rate was seen in CTI (click to install), rapidly growing for the past 18 months in most gaming genres (excluding Social Casino), and especially within Midcore and Hyper Casual games — each of which increased by nearly 110% YoY.

Hardcore games are very popular among specific types of players, making it harder to drive scale through UA because of a smaller pool of potential players. However, they’re still growing every year (Q2 vs Q2) in CVR (+18%), CTI (+34%), and IPM (+6%). 

It is important to take into account the impact of COVID-19 and the imposed lockdowns in many countries across the globe. 

As we’ve shown in our COVID-19 dashboard, Gaming apps enjoyed a spike in installs, usage and revenue. With heightened demand for games, pre-install metrics improved as well as we can see in most cases in the chart above.


Regional trends

In our latest State of Gaming report, we’ve shown the vertical’s significant growth across the globe. Clearly, mobile games are engaging more users and more users in every country, increasing its reach in different regions with different cultures. 

As we can see in the chart above, there has been a significant increase in regional pre-install metrics. Rising above is Latin America, where the YoY (Q2 vs Q2) increase across CVR (+28%), CTI (+86%), and IPM (+19%).

The fact that pre-install performance is on the rise across every region worldwide reflects progress in creative optimization, and the ability to match creatives to multiple cultures. As a result, ads are more relevant to the end-users wherever they are.  



The following tables include pre-install metrics, showing the average per app, market, and gaming genre during H1 2020. In addition, we added the percentile 90 value to show the performance of the top 10% of apps (per the KPI measured) — a great way to put a number by a goal in your game’s genre: