On December 7, 2021, Apple has fully released two long-awaited features for App Store Optimization (ASO), User Acquisition (UA), and mobile marketing experts around the world. Read more here:
In this guide, we’re going to thoroughly look into Custom Product Pages, talking about strategy, processes, and more in order to leverage their full potential.
Why should you care about Custom Product Pages?
Custom Product Pages provide mobile marketers or user acquisition professionals the ability to create different product pages for different audiences for the first time ever on the App Store.
In the 2022 reality, we’ve experienced two drastic shifts:
- Targeting capabilities are significantly harder as Apple has de-facto deprecated the IDFA.
- The ability to measure the performance of paid UA campaigns by ROAS has also been significantly hurt (especially with self-attributing-networks such as Facebook.) The final frontier where this is possible is via ad networks that still engage in Fingerprinting, a practice that Apple is most likely to ban (vehemently) very soon.
Custom Product Pages allow you to direct paid UA traffic (or other owned media traffic such as email, cross-promotion from your other apps, etc.) to Custom Product Pages, maximizing conversion rates from them via messaging and creatives.
In this new world where the responsibility to reach a quality audience has passed from the ad network to marketers, most UA teams are now thinking about paid contextual funnels as a way to reach their highest-quality users, which could look like this:
When you identify the contextual funnels that drive to your app the most traffic, installs, retention, and in-app purchases or in-app advertising revenues, it’s possible to maximize conversion rates and growth from funnels by using better creatives and messaging for that audience segment.
If in the past you had to use your default product page which aimed at the lowest-common denominator for all your audience segments, or was tailored to influence one specific segment to install at the expense of others, now you can implement the perfect creatives & messaging for your top funnels.
Achieving success with CPPs will mean higher volumes of installs, levels of retention, and revenues that you can attribute to your marketing efforts.
The really cool thing about CPPs is: they allow the measuring of impressions, downloads, redownloads, retention, average proceedings per paying users, and sales, tying them to the marketing effort (like a paid UA campaign) that was deployed to drive traffic to that product page.
This means some of the visibility you had in the IDFA era is being returned to you in terms of measuring and reporting on the success of UA efforts.
What is a Custom Product Page strategy?
Now you understand the value of CPPs and how they drive value to you as a mobile marketer (helping you over-deliver on your KPIs instead of relying on poor conversion rates from the default App Store product page).
A CPP strategy is much more than just metadata changes on the App Store. It’s a paid audience growth strategy which in simple words is: the most efficient way to achieve the goal of maximizing your paid audience growth for your apps and games.
This strategy, at a high-level, has a few steps:
- Segment your paid audience contextually to understand who these audiences are that drive most of the value to your app.
- Research these audience segments through the context they come from, and develop hypotheses to what would motivate them the most to install.
- Translate these hypotheses to Custom Product Page ideas (with tailored screenshots and app preview videos.)
- Deploy new CPPs to your top funnels and monitor their performance (over-time and vs. the previous performance in the period when that traffic reached the default product page.)
- Test CPPs by deploying a CPP testing technology (like the one Storemaven has developed.)
- Iterate on Custom Product Pages by continuously testing and monitoring your paid UA funnel performance and reacting to changes in performance in real-time.
How to segment your audience and find Custom Product Page opportunities?
In order to achieve the first step of the strategy, you must analyze the sources from which your paid UA traffic is landing on your App Store product page. This means looking at the individual apps and games driving that traffic, then grouping them by context.
Let’s define context for a sec.
Source apps (or sub-publishers) are driving traffic to your ad because you purchase ad inventory on ad networks that work with these sub-publishers to serve ads to their users. There is a ton you can learn from analyzing and studying this data when you’re grouping sub-publishers. The groups should be based on the type of audience and their motivations that play/use that type of game or app.
While there are a few smart things you can learn about your audience by grouping sub-publishers based on App Store category (such as puzzle), there are way more learnings when you understand that within that puzzle category you’re getting 70% of your downloads from solitaire games, 20% from poker games, and 10% from tile-puzzles.
Each one of these groups within the puzzle category has a completely different audience that plays games for different motivations. These audiences would have different parts/value promises of your game/app motivating them to install. For example, the Solitaire audience that’s looking for single-player mental challenges and the poker players looking for excitement and big wins.)
The way you would market your game for these two audiences is completely different.
So, context is essentially learning about who an audience is, what motivated them to respond to your ads, and what would motivate them to install your product by looking at the contextual group that the sub-publisher came from belongs to.
Segmenting your paid UA audience by context is a very challenging, data-heavy, task that requires a lot of data engineering. Not to mention an intelligent taxonomy of the real group a sub-publisher belongs to (and not just their high-level App Store category.)
Luckily, the Storemaven team has developed just that. We call it Funnel Analytics.
How to develop hypotheses, turn them into designs, and deploy CPPs?
You’ve segmented the audience and identified your top opportunities (which could be based on sales, retention, downloads, or anything else your company and team marked as an objective.) Now you need to develop a few hypotheses for what would be the right creatives and messaging to convert the Solitaire players or the Poker players.
This requires an understanding of App Store behavior, what worked for similar audiences in the past, best practices for designing App Store creatives, and audience and competitor research.
You can read more about the testing methodology we came up with on our ‘Ultimate Test Series’.
How to improve Custom Product Page conversion rates?
Another important element that would drive your strategy is testing your Custom Product Pages to prove or disprove your hypothesis.
Let’s say you have one hypothesis: the Poker players will convert more when shown a product page that focuses on your game’s daily awards and bonuses mechanic. Your second hypothesis: they would actually convert more when shown a page showcasing your PvP mechanic and its social play aspects.
Although Apple released Product Page Optimization, the App Store capability to run A/B tests natively (with more than a few limitations) works only on your default product page, not on Custom Product Pages.
There are a few possible methodologies to test CPPs by applying unique data-science-driven models on the performance data of each Custom Product Page and how it performs for the same audience.
I’m excited to share that the Storemaven team has managed to crack all the challenges that come from testing Custom Product Pages natively. Learn more about it here.