Understanding Mobile Cost Per Install (CPI)

Understanding Mobile Cost Per Install (CPI)

In the world of mobile marketing, cost per install (CPI) campaigns are the most popular campaign type to drive mobile app installs and increase new user acquisition. Other common mobile campaign types include cost per engagement (CPE) and mobile cost per acquisition (CPA), which are focused on increasing post-install engagement and completing in-app actions.

All of these campaign types can be highly profitable and cost-effective ways for mobile marketers to acquire engaged users. 

That said, just because someone is willing to install an app doesn’t guarantee they will use it consistently, or at all. Industry experience has shown us that when users are looking for an app, they often download two or three options that do similar things and end up using the one that best meets their needs. 

This means that, more often than not, your app marketing campaigns will need to be consistently optimized to drive a high volume of installs and guarantee adequate adoption.

What is CPI Marketing?

Mobile cost per install (CPI) is a common pricing model most widely used by mobile marketers running user acquisition campaigns. This simple metric represents the cost of acquiring new mobile app installs. App marketers only pay affiliate partners once a desired user has installed the app.

Why Run a CPI Affiliate Marketing Campaign? 

Since mobile marketers only pay a partner’s commission once a user installs the app, the cost per install pricing model tends to be more cost-effective than other non performance-based campaign types. Most importantly, however, app marketers can identify and target specialized market segments, ensuring their advertising dollars are spent only on acquiring optimal users.  

The Reason CPI is So Important to App Install Marketing

CPI is one of the only mobile marketing models used to acquire new users at scale. Other common mobile acquisition pricing models like CPE, focus solely on post-install activity like account registrations or in-app purchases. Utilizing a well thought out CPI strategy allows for a larger volume of user acquisition, especially with specific targeting criteria in mind, such as channel, user geolocation, and operating system, among others.

Calculating CPI

By dividing the total amount spent on advertising by the total number of new mobile app installs, marketers can determine the cost of acquiring a new user over the course of their CPI campaign. For example, if your six-month campaign ended with $3,000 spent for app install ads and 900 new installs, your cost per install would be $3.33. The calculation is CPI = $3,000/900 = $3.33. 

Getting the Best from CPI

Performance marketing often appears to have its own language. Understanding the various mobile user acquisition pricing models and how they apply to your mobile marketing goals can ultimately benefit your business and ROI. 

  • Cost Per Install (CPI) is an opportunity for growth marketers seeking user adoption as their primary concern. 
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is purely transactional and fits marketers looking for immediate revenue generation.
  • Cost Per Engagement (CPE) is all about goal driven metrics post install.

To learn how Perform[cb] can help create the best user acquisition campaign strategy for your app, contact our team of mobile marketing experts today.