Cost-per-install (CPI) is a mobile-specific advertising model aimed at driving up download numbers and getting your app to more users. On the surface, it offers an attractive formula — advertisers pay only when users download their product — but it's just one of many available options, and it has its pros and cons.
So what is cost-per-install advertising, and when is it the right choice for you?
With the CPI model, ad placement is geared toward one goal — to drive downloads of the advertiser's app. CPI is contrasted by the CPM (cost-per-mille) model, where advertisers pay for every 1,000 impressions the ad receives, and CPC (cost-per-click), where the number of click-throughs determines the payment.
Because downloading and installing an app is more labor-intensive than viewing or clicking an ad, CPI rates are higher than CPM or CPC rates. In return, ad networks are incentivized to deliver results and strategically place your ad where it will obtain the best conversion rates.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean CPI campaigns are more effective.
The most significant benefit to cost-per-app-installation marketing is its clarity. Advertisers appreciate paying only for ads that get results — actual installs are a clear, measurable metric that generates buy-in from executives and management. As well, more installs can increase your ranking in Google Play and the Apple App Store, creating organic growth for your product.
The downside to CPI advertising is that it doesn't tell you how people are using your app. Ultimately, installing an app is simple — many people will download a product, use it once and delete it if it doesn't meet their needs. A one-time installation doesn't necessarily translate to loyalty or additional purchases.
Is a cost-per-install campaign ultimately worth it? The answer depends on several factors. First and more importantly, you need a great product. If you have an app that's well-designed, intuitive and genuinely useful, it's much easier to turn downloads into long-term loyalty.
Beyond that, the key to success with CPI is to pay attention to the metrics and make sure your app is reaching the right audiences. Ad networks have a vested interest in this, but it's your responsibility to stay on top of things and plan your marketing accordingly.
Wve Labs provides end-to-end design and marketing services across all mobile platforms. We offer CPI app marketing services as well as alternatives such as CPC, app store optimization and more.
We were founded in 2015 with the goal of being the premiere boutique app developer in the country. We do this by offering a comprehensive selection of services and a flexible model that recognizes that no two of our clients are the same.
Let us work with you to drive your success — use our contact form to get in touch with us, and we'd be happy to schedule a meeting at your convenience.