App Optimization Through Experimentation — Hannah Parvaz, Aperture

App Optimization Through Experimentation — Hannah Parvaz, Aperture

On the podcast: How to profitably scale performance marketing, hard vs soft activation, and why you should keep an extra close eye on your marketing spend in November.

On the podcast: How to profitably scale performance marketing, hard vs soft activation, and why you should keep an extra close eye on your marketing spend in November.

Top Takeaways

⬇️ To effectively scale your performance marketing, grasp your app's funnel from the top down. Start by honing in on app installs, enabling both you and the algorithms to learn. Progress down the funnel — optimizing for different app events as you go — but be prepared for corresponding budget hikes. Throughout this journey, continually test and iterate.

⏲️ Test your ATT prompt timing, starting with first app launch. While the ideal placement for an ATT prompt may vary per app, consider starting your tests with the prompt at first app launch. Surprisingly, this timing has shown minimal impact on sign-ups, trials, and conversions in some cases. Use this as a baseline for your own tests to find the most effective timing for your app.

🎨 Feed your always-on campaigns with rigorously tested ad creatives. Start with a control and multiple variants differing in one element. After identifying the best message, test it across various design formats. This iterative process builds a portfolio of effective creatives for your always-on campaigns, where you can, ideally, leave them untouched as you continue the testing process.

⏯️ For a clear view of product-market fit, track hard activations. These are meaningful actions — such as listening to multiple stories — that reveal user commitment. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a trial-start makes a user engaged. Use these insights to refine the user journey. Make it as easy as possible for users to reach the desired level of engagement.

🍂 Master the seasonal ad cycle: November is a tough month for ad spend, so pivot to awareness campaigns to navigate the rising costs. Come December, particularly after the 15th, you’ll find a rebound in favor of digital products as e-commerce spending drops. This period, often referred to as “Q5,” is also an excellent time to leverage gifting strategies and New Year messaging.

About Hannah Parvaz

👨‍💻 Founder of Aperture, a full-service growth partner making good companies better by helping them to change the world in a positive way.

💪 Hannah has helped hundreds of apps grow, and was previously recognized as a 5-star mentor at GrowthMentor, taking home both App Marketer of the Year and Consultant of the Year awards. She previously worked with learning app Uptime, narrated journalism app Curio, drink app DUSK, and music app DICE.

💡 “Every app is different: Everyone needs different levels of success, but also everyone has a slightly different strategy.”

👋 LinkedIn | X, formerly known as Twitter

Links & Resources

Check out Aperture

Hannah’s website

Interview with Hannah on Business of Apps

“Tips for Creating the Right Mindset for Business Growth” interview with Hannah Paravaz

“How to talk to your customers in order to make winning ads with Hannah Parvaz”

Episode Highlights

[2:01] Personal growth marketing: Former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said, “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” Hannah feels this is true of her professional trajectory — an encouraging reminder for everyone in the app space.

[5:02] Scaling performance marketing: The first question you need to ask is, How are you measuring what you’re scaling?

[8:25] The measure of success: Hannah recommends A/B testing and analytics to build out funnels.

[11:05] Post-ATT ad performance: Experimenting with creatives relies on specific goals and tests based on one control and multiple variants. Lots of experimentation and analysis are the keys.

[16:02] Conversations with customers: Android’s Google Play store isn’t quite as stringent as Apple’s App Store, but customers need to know how many trials and installs they’re aiming for in order to maximize the growth they need.

[18:17] Subscription focus: Hannah takes a blended perspective to subscription apps, looking at funnel steps and where the biggest opportunities are, then moving into product.

[20:52] Action hierarchy: Developers need to figure out how many first meaningful actions and core actions must take place for users to truly activate.

[25:31] Finger in the air: Tracking ROI in the early stages ****is a guessing game, but once reality matches expectations, the activation average always becomes clear.

[31:26] The blended perspective: Optimizing performance starts with looking at each channel in isolation and closely monitoring performance.

[34:31] All the leaves are brown: Halloween brings a curse that lasts throughout November — a tough season for marketers and advertisers. Costs skyrocket, then drop on December 1 for “Q5,” which lasts until the beginning of January.