Secondary Conversion, The Key to Driving App Marketing Return on Ad Spend

Mobile app install has been and still is an important key performance indicator (KPI) of mobile app marketing campaigns. However, as mobile usage skyrockets and apps flood the app stores, it’s hard to deny the growing changes in the ecosystem. With heavy competition in the app stores, install - or the primary conversion - is no longer the only way app marketers should be measuring the success of a campaign. While install is still important, app marketers should also be focusing on driving user engagement - or secondary conversion - on top of install.

What is Secondary Conversion?

Secondary conversion action refers to the second user action after the initial engagement. It will vary depending on each app marketer’s campaign goal. Some common secondary conversion action includes registration, purchase, engagement, and other post-install events. These actions are often done by active and engaged users.

By tracking secondary conversion, app marketers can identify who their high LTV users are by analyzing each user’s activity and segment them accordingly. For example, how much were the total value of purchase that the users made? How long was the duration between when the app installation and the secondary conversion action? By analyzing these metrics, app marketers can determine what are the key action drivers. Furthermore, they can optimize for a specific post-install event that can drive stronger return on ad spend (ROAS).

How Do You Optimize for It?

First and foremost, identify high LTV users who have already finished secondary conversion actions. From this point, there are two options: Acquiring new high LTV users or re-engaging existing users to finish the secondary conversion action.

For user acquisition, app marketers can leverage their high LTV users segments to find audiences that are most likely to behave similarly - also known as lookalike targeting. If purchase is the key performance indicator (KPI), then app marketers would use the segment of users who have completed at least one purchase to find lookalike audiences.

For re-engagement, app marketers can identify lapsed users who have yet to complete secondary conversion actions and re-engage them with new promotions, offers, or features. Ad creatives can be deep linked to take users to the point of interest in the app where they can complete secondary conversion.

In both cases, app marketers can use machine learning algorithms to help them target and serve the right audiences with the right ad creatives. To learn more about how to optimize for secondary conversions, please contact us at

Topics: Industry News