Case Study: 4,468 New App Users & Reducing CPA 75%

Let’s get right down to business

This is the story of how we were able to growth hack our client Vea Fitness’ user base from 5,000 to 13,000 and reduce cost-per-install dramatically. This post covers our first 4,468 new users. The remaining ~3,500 were from the influencer campaign’s shelf life.

(Disclosure: I originally founded Vea Fitness, but eventually passed it to the team to grow to focus on our growth hacking agency)

In the test round of the growth campaign, the Vea Fitness platform acquired 4,468 new users and reduced cost-per-install by 75%. The most exciting part isn’t getting a few thousand users.
Finding a strategy that scales to 100K+ users is what’s really exciting!

 

Beyond that, the campaign I’m describing was a test – not the full scale campaign. We were just confirming the strategy could work. Now that we’ve confirmed the cost-per-install and value proposition among our target audience, we’re scaling the campaign.

 

Before we dive in, please remember a few important words.
Don’t just grow for growth’s sake. I strongly encourage that you have a revenue model in place – or some way to make money off your tech platform. Don’t just grow aimlessly without monetizing.

 

Long gone are the days of founding a Snapchat (7 years, to be exact) or Instagram (8 years) – with unexpected and unprecedented growth followed by eager investors.

 

The space is more competitive, capital is harder to come by, and seeding your own growth is much healthier (business and emotionally).

 

You got into this to make money, right?
[sidebar: you can totally grow without monetizing, and use the rapid growth strategy you learn in this campaign to show investors you went viral. But I still recommend monetizing before scaling]

 

1. Foundations: Be a Visionary, and Delegate the Bulk

Before hitting those numbers, I empowered my team fully to run the Vea Fitness company on their own. Told my team “You’re fully responsible for acquisition, engagement, etc.”

 

This allowed them more ownership and freed up my time for strategy.

 

This also wasn’t an optional decision, I was in a point where I drastically needed to reduce my workload due to stress from the agency growth and tech startup.

 

I can’t do all the work, and neither can you. Delegate and scale.

2. Craft a Team of Savage Hustlers to Execute Your Vision

After I decided I was going to focus wholly on strategy, I needed help executing my vision.

 

I forged a partnership with a network that owns or manages a variety of large Twitter accounts. In total, they have over 50M followers across 30 accounts. (Rather than reaching out to influencers one-by-one – which can definitely be done, using a good virtual assistant – but just requires a bit more effort).

 

With this reach, they can – in a moment’s notice take over the Twittersphere, and make organic content go viral on-demand.

 

You can either utilize a network like we did, or you can recruit influencers yourself. If you do it yourself, it can become quite time consuming. Again, delegate your work and liberate your time.

3. Develop Your Growth Hacking Strategy

Goals for Test Campaign

  • 1,000 downloads
  • Cost-per-install $0.50
    • Reduced from Vea’s current CPI was $1.53
  • Total test budget: $500 + $1000 for content
Improving ROI by 3X? As many of you know, that’s not easy. However, we did it. And so can you.

 

If we hit the test numbers, we would scale to 45K downloads for the Vea team.

 

Target Audience

As for the tactical rollout, we worked with our influencer partners to find accounts that related to our target audience
  • Millennial females 18-29 who are into fitness and shopping

 

Channels and Tactics

Choosing a channel can be a bit challenging, but we recommend making your strategy very focused – don’t overwhelm yourself with like four or five marketing channels at first.

 

Twitter was a good fit for a few reasons:

 

  • First, it’s easier to go viral on Twitter than on any channel, except maybe LinkedIn
    • A retweet is low committal. Not only are people OK with retweeting something – they kind of enjoy being the ones to “find” and share good content
  • Contrast that with reposting someone’s picture on Instagram? Almost never. Reposting a brand’s content? Even less likely.

 

Twitter is great for engineering virality.

 

I’ll be the first to say, I’m no Twitter expert. However, the influencers are. They had countless case studies showing the amazing viral performance on Twitter.

 

And so the decision was made.

 

We chose influencer Twitter profiles that have 1M+ followers – tested with independent influencers, then the network. The influencer pages were fan pages that follow internet trends, and use humor to make a soft sell.

 

IMPORTANT: There were no “promoted posts” or ads, and no “Call to Action’s” – on any of the content. No “Available on App Store & Google Play” – just a few icons. 100% organic.

 

4. Launch Your Marketing Plan

Thank God. Executing this plan was easier than any past prior marketing strategy. Historically, the Vea team was doing monthlong influencer-led fitness challenges in each city that required a ton of legwork.

Vea would run a contest, and influencers share it out. The budget for each contest was $2,000 and each would gain 1,500 – 2,000 new users – for a CPA of $1.00 – $1.50 depending on tactics.

 

With this influencer led growth campaign, our initial test goal was to get 1,000 downloads.

  1. The test yielded 517 new users on day one, 304 on day two: 817 total
    1. Each time we retweeted across accounts, the content got more traction and virality

  1. Test campaign results
    1. Main piece of content Shared on Twitter (we shared 4 tweets when all was said & done)
      1. Impressions: 1,943,327
      2. Video views: 259,845
    2. New App Users
      1. 1,282 on iOS
      2. 256 on Android
    3. New Users Total: 1,547
    4. Test campaign cost: $650
      1. Cost per install: $0.52
    5. Download and CPI Goal: Reached
  2. Final Test Campaign Results
    1. App Downloads
      1. 4,468 iOS
      2. 893 Android
    2. New Users Total: 5,361
    3. Cost per install: $0.27
    4. Test campaign cost: $1500

 

Our Thoughts Post-Facto
  • Growth hacking is as much about finding smart people to do the hard work for you, as it is for you to 10X your own performance
  • Organic app downloads have much better engagement than PPC
  • Recruit a team of intellectual beasts, and they’ll do the hard work for you

 

Growth Hacking Your Startup?

We’re hosting a free live Webinar explaining this campaign in more depth, and sharing templates, tactics and more that you can use for your own startup or at your job. You’ll also have a chance to ask any questions that you have. We’d love to have you join!

Register Here

 

Hope this was helpful!
Jonathan

 

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