Achieving success in scaling paid user acquisition: A fresh 5-step approach

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Lorenzo Rossi, Co-founder and Head of Growth at REPLUG, offers a 5-step framework for elevating your paid user acquisition efforts.

Merely incorporating mobile app paid user acquisition into your holistic approach is no longer sufficient. The ever-evolving landscape of tracking complexities, surging costs, and intensifying competition pose significant challenges for marketers seeking to achieve their goals efficiently.

Scaling paid user acquisition remains a complex task unless we adopt a systematic and holistic approach, navigating through processes that allow us to pinpoint challenges and opportunities while addressing intricate details.

We will introduce Procework 2.0, where we take further steps with a spirit of change and innovation.

In this article, we uncover a portion of our enhanced 5-Step Paid User Acquisition Process Framework, which we call “Procework” because it combines the essence of both a process and a framework. It’s an invaluable resource for any app marketer seeking guidance on paid ad campaigns and aiming to sidestep significant mistakes.

What is the Paid UA Procework?
REPLUG’s Paid User Acquisition Procework unfolds in five sequential phases, each containing vertical and horizontal tasks.

All activities are neatly categorized based on their nature, falling into campaign-related tasks, creative-oriented tasks, and tech-driven or cross-functional activities. This ensures you have a clear roadmap for every step of your user acquisition journey.

5-step framework for elevating paid UA efforts
In the 2.0 Procework version, you’ll discover more structured activities, increased possibilities for personalization, and enhanced scalability. It’s now adaptable to ALL scenarios, from startups to scale-ups and even traditional companies eyeing the transition to mobile.

REPLUG’s 5-step process framework, known as Procework 2.0

Here’s a preview of the fresh features:

  • Structured activities: each phase is accompanied by a set of specific questions that define the phase’s objectives and actionable tasks. Activities have been thoughtfully grouped into campaigns-related tasks, creatives-related tasks, and activities involving tech and cross-functional collaboration.
  • Personalization: our 5-step framework now underscores the importance of personalized user journeys, ensuring your paid UA efforts resonate deeply with your target audience.
  • Scalability: we provide a roadmap for scaling your paid user acquisition endeavors efficiently, making it easier than ever to unlock your app’s full growth potential.

Who is this framework for?
Everyone in the app marketing field can benefit from our framework. Starting from startups and businesses that can lay a solid foundation for growth, established brands that can take their scaling efforts to even greater heights, and traditional digital enterprises seeking to embark on a mobile transformation journey.

Five questions for each phase of mobile app user acquisition
We’ve crafted a series of straightforward questions for every phase, playing a pivotal role in defining the phase’s key objectives and the specific tasks that must be executed. Here are the questions associated with each stage of paid user acquisition:

1. Audit and Setup
This phase is of paramount importance in every paid UA project. Before committing to any budget, no matter how big or small, it’s crucial to assess past actions and ensure your tech infrastructure is prepared for measuring success.

Key questions to ask yourself: what previous activities have been undertaken? What types of past actions and messaging were employed? Is your tech infrastructure equipped to measure success?

2. Strategy Planning
Following the audit phase, you delve into the stage where you determine the most effective way to allocate your budget and achieve your objectives.

Key questions to ask yourself: what is the primary objective for the paid UA activities? Who is the target audience, and what are the optimal channels to reach them? What messaging and creative strategy should you employ? What are the unique selling points of your app?

3. Strategy Implementation
With the strategy defined and approved, it’s time to launch your campaigns. The precision of your campaign setup is crucial for measuring success and scaling your paid user acquisition efforts.

Key questions to ask yourself: what is the optimal campaign setup, and how will you measure success? How do you acquire the necessary creatives?

4. Results Analysis
As live campaigns gather data, it’s time to analyze the results. This phase is essential for understanding what worked in your initial strategy and planning for the future.

Key questions to ask yourself: what are the primary results and the drivers behind them? How are the creatives performing? Which channels, targeting methods, or creatives are delivering the best results?

5. Optimization and Testing
After the initial results, it’s time to optimize for even better outcomes. This phase offers plenty of opportunities for experimentation in mobile app paid user acquisition.

Key questions to ask yourself: what can you test to enhance results? How can you optimize cross-functional activities? What specific optimizations are needed within your ongoing activities? What new tests can you carry out?

However, our approach extends beyond just questions. Specific tasks must be executed, which fall into various categories that consistently apply across all phases.

Unlocking the guide to your Procework 2.0
By addressing these questions, you can pinpoint the key aspects of each category and understand the tasks that need to be completed.

Our 5-step framework encompasses a set of tasks, categorized by area, that remain consistent throughout each phase. The primary areas of tasks are as follows:

  • Tech: encompassing all activities related to the tech components required for executing paid UA campaigns, such as MMP (Mobile Measurement Partner) and analytics.
  • Campaigns: covering all tasks associated with the strategy, management, and optimization of campaigns across various ad platforms.
  • Creatives: encompassing all tasks related to the creative aspects of paid user acquisition.
  • Cross-Area: covering all tasks not directly tied to paid user acquisition but with the potential to positively influence results, such as App Store Optimization and Mobile CRM.

The approach to scaling paid UA, however, remains unchanged, emphasizing the necessity of adopting a holistic perspective:

  • Think holistically: paid UA cannot exist in isolation. A comprehensive view of app growth, where all marketing activities are interconnected, is vital.
  • Use frameworks: frameworks aid in understanding the connection of various app marketing activities and their impact on paid UA.
  • Follow processes: processes enable you to track progress in different areas and maintain a systematic approach to growth.

What lies ahead?
As mentioned, acquiring mobile app users as a standalone endeavor is ineffective. A systematic strategy is the way forward, allowing you to identify challenges and opportunities accurately.

It all comes down to meticulous planning, monitoring, testing, optimizing, and repeating the process, which we refer to as the “Optimization Loop.” Each phase builds upon the previous one, with the audit stage always serving as the starting point.

While it may seem intricate at first glance, it’s a matter of following the steps and paying attention to the finer details.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of Procework 2.0 and explore the five phases in greater detail?

Delve deeper into the framework by downloading our ebook, available for free.