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Background

The social casino app market is currently experiencing massive growth, with social casino games increasing in popularity and revenue and showing no sign of slowing down. Social casino apps operate on a free-to-play model rather than requiring payment or wagering monetary value. The players are provided free credits that are reloaded periodically for the player to use. 

It is crucial for app marketers to continually retarget lapsed users of their social casino apps to win them back. Preventing players from lapsing in the first place is key to gaining high lifetime value (LTV) users. Many apps see retention rates declining after a few days so it is essential to remind users about the app, engage with its features and encourage them to make in-app purchases.

The Challenge 

One of the biggest global gaming companies from the APAC region approached Aarki for a global retargeting campaign for their social casino app. They were looking for a demand-side platform (DSP) partner with a large repository of data, machine learning expertise, and creative automation capabilities to help them exceed their key performance indicator (KPI) goals. The campaign targeted US-based users with the objective of broadening the app’s user base, preventing users from churning, and reducing the number of lapsed users. 

The campaign sought to hit the D7 return on investment (ROI) goal at a low cost per install (CPI) and to bring back previous users of the app to become active app users again. Whether these users had failed to open the app in a while or had uninstalled the app, the goal was to retarget previously active users and convert them back into loyal users again through highly engaging ad creative and customized and relevant ad messaging.

The Solution

Audience Strategy
Prior to launching the campaign, we at Aarki analyzed the app’s audience data. The analysis served as groundwork to build custom machine learning models and design relevant retargeting ads.

With this data, we segmented the existing app user base based on spend and lapsed days, as well as last open dates and created our targeting groups.

To be sure that the right personalized message was shown to the right audience, we also developed creative groups for each targeting group.  As we moved forward, we produced retargeting ad creatives in various ad formats such as: video, display, native display, native video, and banner. Our best-performing ad formats were video and display which allowed us to show more gameplay, themes, and special effects to enthrall the audience and inspire them to play the game. 

Machine Learning
Through our mobile programmatic strategy, we aimed to leverage our bidding models to predict the probability of post-installs for targeting and acquiring quality users that are most likely to engage with the app.

We used Aarki Studio, which allowed us to leverage historical first-party data received from the client, as well as learnings gathered from prior campaigns, to predict user interests, preferred geos, purchase behavior, and key post-install action drivers. Results from this predictive analysis were then used to identify lookalike users who are most likely to engage in similar post-install actions.

This allowed us to better calculate the purchase probability of the app users and thus improve the ROI prediction, as well as the install probability, to decrease the average cost per install. 

Creative Strategies
At Aarki, we understand that for a retargeting campaign to be successful, we must focus on developing relevant and customized creative ads for each user segment. If the ad creative is snappy and relevant to the user’s experience, it will capture their attention and drive more engagement. Below are the creative strategies that performed successfully for the social casino app users.              

Unbranded-RT-Slots

Performance Results

Profitable Reactivation at ScaleProfitable Reactivation (1)

 

Results (1)

 

Highlights

checkboxThe ROI performance is consistently above the goal  

checkbox2X average ROAS

checkbox21% increase in global reactivations

checkboxHigh Win and Match Rates

High Win-Match Rates copy

  • Targeting Group 1 composed of 1-14 days lapsed users where 30 days had passed since the app’s install date, which triggered a special postback

  • Targeting Group 2 composed of 14+ days lapsed users where 30 days had passed since the app’s install date

  • The High Match Rates shows
    • the percentage of users from the targeting group that matches our bid stream
    • the percentage of unique users from the targeting group that matches our bid stream / list size

  • High Win Rates represent the percent of bids Aarki won for this campaign
  •  

Aarki is a 100% real-time bidding (RTB) demand-side platform (DSP). We help companies grow and reengage their mobile users, using machine learning, data, and large customer reach. Aarki has run many retargeting campaigns utilizing a variety of ad formats, including native, video, interactive, playable, and interstitial.

Leveraging a rich database of audience and user engagement data, Aarki’s data scientists use robust machine learning algorithms to find audiences who share similar interests and are most likely to engage and spend with the app. This enables Aarki to consistently deliver strong app marketing performance no matter the app marketer’s retargeting goals.