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Using the Pirates AARRR! + Bullseye Frameworks: Increasing your mobile app downloads

Vik Duggal
Vik Duggal
• 2 min read

Your business needs to significantly increase app downloads in order to hit revenue targets. Relying on organic growth and press mentions is unlikely to deliver the download volume you require.

YouTube is providing a nice amount of exposure as has influencer traffic in the past, but you need to measure whether it’s driving downloads and if those downloads are turning into paid users. If they are, then those strategies (building your YouTube channel, engaging influencers) could be a smart idea.

Advertising your app is another great way to drive more downloads. This is how the most successful apps in the world drive consistent downloads. The key is making sure that the cost per download is one that still allows you to hit a net revenue per download goal that supports your operating budget.

Your business needs to know what ad networks and campaign tactics (the combination of audience targeting settings, ad format types, and ad creatives). A marketing cost and performance model would provide this view. It would then allow you to project based on performance targets that can be used for making future projections.

In time, the projections can be derived from historical performance for more realistic projections. Building a cost model has three initial requirements:

  1. Identify the steps in the funnel for becoming a paid user (use the Pirates AARRR! framework)
  2. Identify what marketing channels you will use to build the plan (use the Bullseye framework for this)
  3. Perform tracking “leak test” to ensure data required for reporting is flowing from ad impression to paid user as expected.

Dave McClure’s Pirates ARRRR! Framework

Execute on a marketing cost and performance model by funnel step. I like this framework because it helps you think about the Buyer’s Journey with funnel elements that a business can zero in and focus on.

Gabriel Weinberg’s Bullseye Framework

Execute on a marketing cost and performance model by channel. This framework does wonders when thinking about about how to prioritize channels.

Combining Pirates ARRRR! + Bullseye Framework

Putting together the AARRR framework and the Bullseye Framework creates a spreadsheet similar to the one below. This can be filled out for both the target values to set your marketing goals. Additionally, using it to track the actual values will help you know where to focus your optimization efforts.

Discussion Items

  • Draft a bottoms up model to understand how to achieve the goals
  • Write down all the questions you have that are unanswered
  • Check out this resource: Cost Per Install Rates (2020)
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