CPI is a common term that is used in the Publishing space which stands for “Cost Per Install” , this is a universally established Metric and is usually displayed on every ad platform you decide to use.
Most commonly publishers will look at their CPI, ROAS and LTV to make the important decision whether to continue to run their ad campaign, scale the ad campaigns or kill the ad campaigns. The UA testing cycle can get rather tedious and i rather not get into the weeds with this.
In this post, i would like to focus in on the 2 different UA acquisition strategies that are used in this space to make for a profitable product.
CPI and ROAS
Fundamentally you want your ROAS to be over 135% consistently, this is due to Apple and Google taking their 30% share meaning your Ad campaigns need to over achieve than to pay back.
So for this strategy, you look at your Cost Per Install, let’s say for this example its $1, you’re hoping that your ROAS gets to $1.35 after X amount of days.
Based on the type of game you are making your pay back period for ROAS can be anywhere from 100% in 1 Day, which is what the hypercasual space is experiencing (currently) or you look at hardcore RPG games that have about 10% - 25% 1 Day ROAS and hope to see a payback within 240 or 360 days. Usually the RPG space stretches out the payback period as these types of games have deep meta systems which is correlated with longer engagement.
eCPI vs ROAS
The “e” stands for Effective, and what this means is that your Effective Cost Per Install will factor in your organics as well. So to look at this strategy you look at your Paid to Organic user split in your DNU and effectively reduce the cost of your CPI in relation to your Organics.
So let’s just say your organics to paid ratio is 50%. So with the eCPI strategy you are assuming that for every 1 player you purchase, that player brings in 50% of another user. Therefore you can assume that CPI is half the cost of its true value because you’re effectively buying 1.5 users for the price of 1.
Based on your Paid vs Organic split this can reduce your CPI significantly meaning your ROAS targets can be more achievable.
Using the above Example, if CPI is $1 and your Paid to Organic Ratio is 50% than you can assume that after $0.75 you’re at 75% ROAS.
Note: Utilizing this strategy will require you to have constant eyes on the DNU split of Organics to Paid and can be tough to manage but yet a means for an ROI positive method to your product