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Incentivised downloads is a form of app marketing that rewards customers for carrying out certain actions, or in this case, for downloading certain applications. It’s certainly not a new marketing practise in the app market, but despite being around for quite some time, there’s still a lot of talk about the true effectiveness behind incentivised downloads.

There are a lot of misconceptions behind just how effective incentivised downloads are, but more studies are starting to prove that there is definitely at least some value behind incent driven marketing strategies.

Cost Per Download – Incent Vs Non-Incent

flurry-promotThe first thing to look at are the individual costs associated with an incent based marketing campaign, and a non-incent based campaign. Typically, non-incent based campaigns can lead your cost per download to be as high as $2.96, which is historically expensive. Incent based marketing campaigns can lead to much lower costs. In fact, according to Fiksu’s recent study, an incent based campaign brought in 13,699 new users from a $10,000 budget, which equals to $0.73 per user.

However, it’s not all positive news for campaigns based on incentivised downloads. The same study suggests that although non-incent marketing returns a much higher CPI, the value of customers from a non-incent campaign may be worth more than it’s polar opposite.

Around 57% of customers from Fiksu’s non-incent campaigns converted to loyal app users, whilst a much smaller 24% was noted for incent campaigns. This huge gap is most likely because after app users have received their reward for downloading an app, they are unlikely to use it again, unless more rewards are offered. Non-incent campaigns will pick up more customers that are solely interested in the application that is being marketed.

Still, with such low cost per download, an incent based campaign isn’t entirely a waste of money. In fact, according to Fiksu’s study, for every $10,000 spent, 3,287 customers converted to loyal app users from the incent based campaigns, whilst the non-incent campaigns only pulled in an average of 3,378 altogether, of which only 57% converted to loyal app users.

Finding the Best of Both Worlds

If you’re trying to find out whether to pitch for a non-incent campaign or an incent based marketing strategy, you’re doing it all wrong. You can have the best of both worlds, and reap in the high user loyalty rates from other marketing campaigns, whilst boosting total downloads and improving app store rank from your incent-based efforts.

Reward based campaigns can be a great way to exponentially boost your download count in a quick time span, whilst other marketing strategies will be better at picking up loyal customers slowly and surely along the way. Both sides of the fence offer different incentives, but you don’t have to situate yourself on either side, but can inside sit comfortably in the middle.

Mixing Both to Make the Best App Marketing Cocktail

You may actually find that your application benefits the most from a well planned infusion of reward based campaigns and non-incent based strategies. Reward based campaigns can bring in a ‘burst’ of traffic that can then help to improve any long sustaining marketing efforts you already have in place.

The key is to offer a decent enough reward to encourage users to download your app, but not so much that it impacts your revenue in a negative fashion. If you offer virtual goods or currency, then a good reward would be inline with your in-app purchases to make sure you’re not offering too much to new players or app users.

Reward based campaigns like this can also be used to retain app users that may have lost interest in your application, and also to reach out to new users through social networking.

Overall, incent driven marketing campaigns do work well, however they perform the best when placed alongside other steady marketing strategies. Creating a good mix of marketing tactics will help you to climb the app charts and increase your downloads through organic app search, whilst still gaining a loyal app user base.

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