Forget app installs: how your agency or brand can use app-to-web to acquire high-value customers.

The TLDR: you don’t need an app or app installs to drive performance.

Why should your agency or brand consider adding app-to-web conversion to your marketing mix in 2023? Levi Matkins, CEO at LifeStreet offers tips on a low-friction but high performance trick that marketers may be missing out on. 

The mobile landscape is always changing and that change brings constant evolution. Over the last three years, privacy restrictions have transformed the way mobile marketers can successfully optimise and scale mobile ad campaigns. In the face of a more complex multi touch mobile landscape, marketers have found new ways to drive performance. One way is through app-to-web conversion flows, a strategy that adds a mobile web touchpoint to a typical in-app advertising conversion flow.

How app-to-web conversion works

In a traditional in-app conversion flow, a user sees an in-app ad, taps it and downloads an app to take a desired action, such as completing a registration or making a purchase. In contrast, in an app-to-web conversion flow, a user sees an in-app ad, taps it and is taken to a mobile web page to undertake a desired action. Typically, the in-app ad shown is an incentivized offer that rewards a user for completing a task. For example, a user playing a mobile game might be served a rewarded ad offering a cash prize in exchange for completing a survey. 

Because app-to-web conversion does not require a user to download an app before completing a desired action, it presents a low friction experience for the user. For agencies and brands looking to unlock new inventory, this can be a highly viable growth strategy.

Why your agency or brand should consider an app-to-web conversion flow

1. You don’t need an app to drive value with this strategy

The beauty of app-to-web conversion is that your agency or brand doesn’t need an app to use it. In this way, app-to-web expands the quality and variety of inventory available to performance marketers looking to tap into the mobile ecosystem.

This is not to say that marketers with their own app can’t use app-to-web to incentivize actions (for example, a subscription app can use a mobile web touchpoint to drive free trial sign ups); however, we’ve typically seen this conversion flow used by performance marketing agencies that don’t have their own app but still want to leverage app inventory to drive performance for clients. 

2. You don’t have to pay app store fees 

No app, no app store fees. Because app-to-web forgoes an app download touchpoint, you can run a campaign and cut down App Store fees by 15%-30%. This cost efficiency is especially attractive in today’s economic climate as inflation and tightening budgets contribute to a higher cost of advertising. 

3. You don’t need a user’s IDFA to measure your results

With an app-to-web campaign, you can flow users directly from an in-app ad to an owned mobile site. This enables highly-accurate, real-time attribution of users. This is a boon in a post-IDFA world in which full-funnel measurability and visibility is increasingly hard to capture when it comes to advertising to iOS users.

Additional benefits of web-to-app conversion

Expanded reach 

Not every mobile user in the world wants to download more apps on their smartphone. In fact, the average individual has 80+ apps on their mobile device but only engages with 9 of them on a daily basis. With so many apps downloaded already, it’s understandable that a user might be hesitant to install yet another app on their device. This is where mobile web acquisition campaigns like app-to-web emerge as a highly viable growth strategy. Your brand or agency can capture users that might otherwise drop off in a conversion flow when prompted to download an app. This unlocks new pockets of traffic and makes your product more accessible to all users; not just those who are most likely to download another app.

Enhanced retention

Retention, or keeping your customers engaged after they’ve subscribed to your service or purchased your product, is a pivotal part of driving lifetime value (LTV). One way to keep a new customer engaged is to provide an in-depth understanding of a product or service’s benefits and offerings. With app-to-web, you have more flexibility to build out an onboarding journey that lets a new customer really get to know your product. As an example — your agency could build a mobile landing page explaining a product’s value proposition so that when a user taps on a rewarded ad to accept their offer, they can also learn more about the brand before they register or take a survey. Furthermore, a mobile web landing page can be used to capture emails for future promotions and retargeted communications. 

New year, new strategies

In today’s uncertain economy, it’s critical to invest in strategies that cut down on costs without cutting down on quality. With an app-to-web conversion flow, you can cost-effectively unlock new pockets of customers while still leveraging the technology and innovation of programmatic in-app advertising to drive performance. 

By Levi Matkins