Published June 8, 2021

Five Ways that Smart Apps Lower CAC

Snap Kit was released worldwide in 2018. Since then, we have seen the ecosystem grow to over 1,000 developers building their apps on Snap Kit. Some of the early breakout successes included Hily and Squad. Squad ended up getting acquired by Twitter, and now the Squad team is there to help Twitter reach a new generation of users.

More recently, we have seen sendit rise to the top of the app store. According to App Annie, in September 2020 sendit reached the number 3 position among all iOS apps downloaded in the United States, and then spent two weeks as the most downloaded app in the lifestyle category. Sendit was only two years old at the time.

How did these apps knock it out of the park so quickly? The same way the world’s most successful apps grow their success metrics. The easiest way to grow efficiently is to keep your eye on CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost).

Customer Acquisition Cost, CAC

The cost of acquiring customers is hard to calculate. And acquiring customers is never easy, especially for apps where competition is fierce. Successful app makers watch their marketing and advertising spend and then monitor how that spend translates into downloads. It does not take long to realize that worrying about performance advertising and media spend is not enough.

Here are five ways to lower your CAC and drive more downloads.

Use Your Performancing Advertising Budget Efficiently

If your app’s audience is aligned with Gen Y or Gen Z demographics primarily, you can improve your targeting by running your ads only across the media that your target demographic consumes. Too often, performance advertising budgets are spent on misaligned inventory. Try entering into PMP (Private Market Place) deals with publishers directly or Supply Side Platforms (SSP) that can push your spend toward a tighter circle of ad inventory. For example, if your target is “Gen Z women in college who love casual gaming”, your SSP can help you ensure ad spend is directed to the most appropriate media.

And since CAC is all about the downloads, winning ad impressions is not enough. Publishers should focus on performance and completed calls-to-action, seeking ad platforms that monetize when downloads are completed.

Reduce Login Friction

We all have come across THAT app we once downloaded - and then never used because we never created an account! And so we deleted THAT app.

The easiest way to get new users and engage them is to make it possible to use your app without forcing an account creation. But that’s not really in the app publisher’s interest; there should be a fair exchange of value between user and publisher - a two way street. To lower friction, Snap recommends that you leverage existing accounts.

For example, if you have a great app targeting recent high school graduates, allow them to register with the social media accounts they use the most.

At Snap, we created Login Kit to make it easy for users to login to apps with their Snapchat account. We even made it possible for Snapchatters to bring their Bitmoji identity with them. Over time we discovered that this small convenience reduced friction significantly. Snapchatters trust how Snap treats user data and user privacy. So Snapchatters are more comfortable logging into new apps from their Snap account.

Don’t Forget About App Store Optimization (ASO)

Users are never more likely to download an app than when they are in the app store. This seems obvious but it’s surprising how many app makers forget about App Store Optimization.

ASO done well means that you are reading your app reviews, monitoring your downloads, and inserting the right keywords into an app’s description. Organic search results are extremely important in both Android and IOS worlds, so listen to user reviews and learn from their language when selecting your app’s keywords.

But, Paid Search can also help you ensure that your app is the top of every search result in the IOS app store. Take advantage of the fact that your competitors probably do ASO poorly.

Make Your Users Your Best Marketers

Your audience may love your product and they might want to recommend it to all their friends. Great products anticipate growth that is driven word-of-mouth and they build loops into the user experience which encourage virality. Virality is rarely accidental; it has to be encouraged.

For example, apps that use Creative Kit bring fun elements from Snap’s partners back into the Snap camera which can then be shared to Stories or as Snaps among friends. With Creative Kit, Snap lets users share lenses, stickers, and filters among other examples of fun content.

We encourage our partners to add Dynamic Lenses for Creative Kit to their app’s “Share to Snapchat” flow. Users can see their Snap camera update dynamically with contextual data like live scores, leaderboards, or the weather and more. Sharing content has never been more fun or easy. And when content is shared in Snapchat, there is a very strong chance that other Snapchatters will interact. A typical share is seen 120 times on Snapchat and users complete a CTA 7% of the time.

Get in the habit of A/B Testing - Everything!

Copy, creative, and the login experience can all be optimized. When you understand your target audience, start experimenting. Tweak the welcome screen. Tweak your email campaigns. Tweak your app descriptions in the app stores.

Your marketing communication should be fluid and flexible and constantly refined. You’ll eventually land somewhere that resounds well with your audience but...people and tastes change. So A/B Testing Everything must become part of the way your customer acquisition team operates.

Thank you!

We are excited by our developer community and cannot wait to see the next Squad or next Sendit emerge soon!

Please check out Snap Kit developer site when you have a moment. We’ve made it easy for developers to register their apps and review the documentation you need to get started right away.