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The 6 Keys To Flawless Internal Cross Promotions

Cross promotions are unique in that they can do serious harm to your performance metrics if handled improperly. Preventing this requires a few special considerations. Following these 6 steps will ensure you're able to maximize Internal Cross Promotion ROI

David Vaghari, Blogger

February 16, 2017

6 Min Read

Veteran mobile publishers know internal cross promotion can be an effective way of driving installs and engagement across their portfolios at little to no cost.  For anyone less familiar, internal cross promotions are essentially in-house ad campaigns designed to drive traffic from one first-party digital product to another. Thanks to their unimpeachable ROI ratio, they’ve remained one of the most highly-utilized digital marketing tools in the industry.

Cross promotions are, however, unique in that they can do serious harm to your performance metrics if handled improperly. Promoting products to users who already engage with the target product is a good way to accelerate churn. Worse still is the potential to cannibalize what would have otherwise been valuable users by pushing them into another, lower-performing product.

Preventing this requires a few special considerations. Below are the 6 keys to a flawlessly executed internal cross promotion.


  1. Segment By LTV

Users have a finite amount of time to spend in mobile applications every day. Your primary objective when running an internal cross promotion is to ensure that your users spend their time in the titles that monetize them most effectively. Use LTV and other spending behaviors to target users that are unlikely to continue spending in their current title. Keep in mind that the criteria used to target these users will be unique to every application. Let’s say for example, you have an app where the average lifetime spend of a user is $50 dollars and the average spender spends once a week.  Based on this information alone the following recommendation would be made:

User Data


User no longer gets value out of IAPs.


User gets value from the product and may continue spending.


User gets value, but not enough to monetize.


User behaviors are unknown and represent potential value.




  1. Consider Monetization Strategy

Keep in mind the existing in-app economy for each of your applications as well as the strategy for enticing users to convert on IAPs or Ads. Some of your applications may have an ad centric monetization strategy, which would be ideal for users that have demonstrated engagement with ads in the past. Avoid promoting ad-focused titles to spenders in applications with complex virtual economies that entice users to make regular in-app purchases. By moving them to an app where the monetization strategy is not focused on IAP, which has been proven to be an effective monetization strategy for this user, you are effectively cannibalizing them.


  1. Target Device Language, Not Country

Novice marketers often make the mistake of running geographically targeted campaigns that leverage content localized to an area’s most widely-spoken language. While it might make sense at first, consider the fact that more than a billion people travel internationally every year, to say nothing of the sizable expat communities living across the globe. In our experience, the percentage of mobile users in geographic regions that don’t match their first language is significant enough that localized creative should target device language, not geographic data, to ensure higher campaign performance.


  1. A/B Test Your Creatives

If you’re going to be delivering thousands of impressions, it’s worth putting your creative through a few rounds of multivariate split testing. Sorting out which headline, body copy, image/video, and call-to-action work best for your target audience will pay dividends indefinitely. If you’re limited on resources, keep in mind that there’s nothing saying A/B tests need to be complex. Just ask your creative team for an alternative edit that highlights a different set of features and put one up against the other for a statistically significant number of impressions. Most mobile marketing suites like Upsight will let you push the winner to all targeted users with a single click.


  1. Don’t Advertise Applications Users Already Have

Given that users can only have one instance of an app on their device at a time, marketers will want to avoid promoting titles that are already installed. There are two ways to do this: The easiest method is to partner with a marketing platform like Upsight that supports real time campaign suppression, which will detect the presence of existing first-party applications on a device and block any campaigns promoting it. The other option is to manually pull a list of device IDs for current users and set up negative targeting. If you choose the latter, make sure to update your list regularly to ensure minimal overlap.


  1. Prioritize Genre Relevance

Internal cross promotion campaigns get the best results when they target the users most likely to pay attention. While data only ever grants us a limited understanding of our users, the most telling bit of information you have is what app they’re already in. Chances are if they’re ready to be targeted for cross-promotion, they’re looking for more of the same, which is why cross promotions between games of a similar genre are most effective. If you’re looking to pump traffic into a new title but are short on time, prioritize cross promoting titles of a similar genre to get things moving fast.


For more mobile publishing insights, follow us on Twitter at @GetUpsight or visit us at www.upsight.com

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