Choosing the Ideal Mobile User Acquisition Agency: 2024 Guide

Learn how to choose the best mobile user acquisition agency for your app and KPIs.
Lior Eldan 20 November 2023
Choosing the Ideal Mobile User Acquisition Agency: 2024 Guide

Originally published in August 2019 and updated in November 2023.

A mobile user acquisition agency is no longer a luxury but a necessity for businesses looking to succeed in the app market in 2023.

It’s one of the most frustrating feelings for app developers: you’ve created the most amazing product, yet barely anyone is using it. As the market gets more crowded, the need for expert assistance increases.

Enter mobile user acquisition agencies—the strategic partners who can help your app shine amidst the competition.

The app market landscape is a complex maze of shifting user behaviors and rapid technological advancements. Businesses are challenged to adapt swiftly or risk falling behind. User acquisition agencies are the guides that can help app owners navigate this maze, ensuring they stay ahead of the curve.

But don’t just take our word for it—let’s look at the numbers. According to the data, partnering with a mobile user acquisition agency can result in substantial increases in your app’s install rate—an essential metric for success.

This guide will provide you with comprehensive insights into choosing the right mobile user acquisition agency that aligns with your unique business goals. So, prepare to dive deep into the world of mobile user acquisition and discover how the right agency can propel your app to new heights.

What is a Mobile User Acquisition Agency?

The two biggest app stores, Apple App Store and Google Play, have nearly 5.5 million apps between them. Standing out from the crowd in such a saturated, highly competitive marketplace is difficult. This is before you have to deal with conversion difficulties once you do have the user’s (short-lived) attention. The staggering amount of competition has other implications, too. For example, if an app in a category is featured by Apple or is on a top 10 list, it makes it a whole lot harder to compete with.

Wouldn’t it be great if users organically found your app, installed it, and became lifetime fans? Unfortunately, this is very rarely the case. This is why user acquisition has become a key battleground for app owners.

A mobile user acquisition agency specializes in elevating the visibility and expanding the user base of mobile apps. These agencies craft and implement effective strategies that draw in potential users, engage them, and transform them into active app users. Their methods include targeted advertising, app store optimization (ASO), social media engagement, and content marketing, amongst other promotional tactics. Considering that all of these elements interplay to acquire the most users, this is an invaluable asset.

Mobile user acquisition agency

Benefits of Working With a Mobile User Acquisition Agency

  • ASO (App Store Optimization): ASO strategies have evolved. It’s no longer about stuffing keywords. Instead, it’s about creating compelling narratives that highlight your app’s unique value proposition. The first impression of your app directly influences acquisition rates, and a good agency understands how to optimize this.
  • User Reviews: Reviews significantly impact your app’s ranking in app store algorithms. Each positive review nudges your app higher in these rankings, increasing its visibility and user acquisition. An agency’s expertise is vital in managing and leveraging these reviews.
  • ASA (Apple Search Ads): Bidding on keywords to secure your app’s place at the top of Apple’s App Store search listings is a nuanced process. There’s no better way to stand out and reach the most users than gaining the top spot. An agency’s expert knowledge ensures effective utilization of resources for the best results. Remember, ASA is a complex world, and the wrong tactics can actually do more damage than good.
  • Industry Knowledge: Mobile user acquisition agencies have a deep understanding of the app market dynamics, which can provide you with a competitive edge.
  • Understanding Diverse Outreach Platforms: With the rise of a variety of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, engagement and install strategies need to adapt. An agency guides you through the unique creative strategies each channel demands and helps your brand adapt to the app stores’ ever-evolving algorithms.

How is Mobile User Acquisition Different from Web User Acquisition?

The primary difference between mobile and web user acquisition lies in attribution methods. Mobile user acquisition involves tracking users across various apps and platforms, which is more fragmented compared to web attribution. For example, the average CPI for iOS and Android apps in 2023 indicates a more complex mobile landscape, with iOS at $5.11 and Android at $4.61.

Mobile user acquisition, especially through an agency, offers distinct benefits over traditional web user acquisition From cost savings to quicker conversions, these can play a significant role in achieving targeted user acquisition metrics.

How is User Acquisition Measured?

“What can’t be measured, can’t be managed”. Thankfully, user acquisition can be accurately measured using some of the following success metrics:

Comparison Glossary
Cost Per Acquisition
Cost Per Install (installs can also come from web, but this is used as a metric for mobile not web)
Churn Rate
Daily Active Users (DAU) or Monthly Active Users (MAU)
Lifetime Value (LTV)
Conversion Rate

The metrics that you use will depend on your campaign goals. The best UA agency will help you decide on the right ones for your brand and campaign. With these critical metrics at your disposal, you can slice, dice, and use them to optimize and strategize.

Understanding Mobile User Acquisition


As a brand, it’s important to know where your users came from as well as where they stayed. For example, did they come from the web but stay in the app? If so, you’re going to want to retarget them within the app. In-app events allow for tracking users, and deep links help with retargeting and remarketing – they send a user to a specific location within an app, reducing the friction in the process.

A user who follows a deep link can be attributed to their original source. By contrast, web acquisition tracks events that come through pixels on website landing pages. Why is attribution important, anyway? Well, we need to know what campaigns are the most successful (measured by how many users can be attributed to them) so we can most efficiently and profitably strategize for the future. It reduces wasted finance and time and maximizes ROI and KPIs. An agency understands best how to overcome the UA challenges that attribution brings with it.

Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs)

MMPs are a huge part of mobile user acquisition that isn’t used for web acquisition. There’s a whole host of MMPs out there, and it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose.

  • Agencies have established relationships with the MMPs they work with to get the most out of their offerings and to keep on top of the dynamic industry. Trusted MMPs include AppsFlyer, Adjust, Branch, and Kochava.
  • AppsFlyer controls around 70% of the mobile market world, with Adjust holding around 15-20% and the others splitting the rest.

iOS vs. Android

A huge difference between web and mobile user acquisition is that web acquisition operates in one sphere, whereas mobile does not. With Android and iOS dominating the mobile landscape and offering two different approaches to mobile user acquisition, it could be said that the mobile version is slightly more complex.

With mobile you can choose between targeting Android or iOS users, so you need to start carefully and test the two against each other. You can’t just split every campaign 50/50 and expect to see the best results.

Every mobile campaign soft launch starts with an A/B test to see which users bring the most profit with the lowest acquisition costs. If Android users prove to be cheaper to acquire, you might choose to target them more. However, iOS users tend to be more valuable. If bringing value is your top priority, you may choose to target them more. It all depends on your goals and KPIs when considering which users to target.

This is precisely where a mobile user acquisition agency like Moburst can help you drive the best campaign results based on data-driven insights and a customized approach.


Cost Savings

With mobile user acquisition, it’s easier to target specific users. Instead of a “spray and pray” strategy, a targeted mobile user acquisition strategy allows you to market your app to the specific users for whom it’s relevant. From this, your other metrics will also spike. For example, engagement and retention will rise because you’re onboarding the perfect users from the outset, as opposed to users who have no desire or need for your app.

With performance marketing, you can target a CPA or similar metric and ensure that you’re achieving your goals by constantly evaluating against the metric. This is the perfect way to keep track of your campaign spending, too. What’s more, mobile user acquisition agencies are always using the best existing and new products on the market. Often, these are unattainable to publishers alone since they’re tens of thousands of dollars a year. You can’t realistically compete with the big guns without utilizing the same top products, so taking advantage of an agency’s resources can really benefit you without having to splash the cash yourself.

Quicker Conversions

Conversions are often immediate. Many times, a user sees an ad that speaks to them and downloads the app. Obviously, this is an oversimplification, but it’s certainly quicker than in many “traditional” industries. The flow often goes: Targeted ad —> app store search —> app store page —> install (if successful) or app store search —> app store page —> install (if successful).

Building a Mobile User Acquisition Strategy

Why use an agency to help with your strategy? In a nutshell, you’re able to draw from their experience, expertise, and depth of knowledge, not to mention their industry contacts. They have access to and expertise in using media technologies to target the right user at the right time in the right format.

It’s also worth knowing that most app owners choose this route. A top mobile user acquisition agency will formulate its campaign around the following tactics:

  1. Expertise and Access: Agencies are powerhouses of knowledge, with a deep understanding of mobile user behavior, market trends, and technological advancements. Their access to advanced tools and networks allows for precise targeting and effective campaign execution.
  2. Customized Strategy Development: Agencies don’t just execute campaigns; they craft personalized strategies that resonate with your target audience. This includes understanding user demographics, preferences, and behaviors to create campaigns that speak directly to potential users.
  3. Burst Campaigns for Visibility: Agencies employ burst campaigns to rapidly enhance your app’s visibility. This method propels your app to the top of app store charts, translating into increased organic downloads and heightened brand recognition.
  4. Journey Optimization: The user acquisition funnel is complex. A user typically has to go through a number of steps in order to become an active and engaged user: Impressions –> Clicks –> Installs –> Registered users –> Loyal users –> Paying users. Naturally, there will be drop-offs along the funnel, so a premium mobile user acquisition agency can streamline this journey, ensuring minimal drop-off and maximizing user engagement from the first impression to the loyal user stage.

Mobile User Acquisition Resources

Mobile user acquisition agencies leverage a mix of traditional and innovative resources to optimize acquisition:

  1. Advanced Social Media Strategies: Beyond regular advertising, agencies use data-driven insights by using MMP tools like AppTweak or Adjust to create compelling campaigns on platforms where your users are most active.
  2. Cutting-Edge Video Content: Agencies aren’t just about making engaging videos; they’re about creating stories that resonate with viewers, driving conversions.
  3. Web and Email Synergies: Utilizing the web for driving installs and crafting email campaigns that do more than just inform – they engage and convert.
  4. Influencer Collaborations and Native Advertising: Agencies know the power of influencers and how to effectively use native ads to create seamless user experiences that don’t feel like traditional advertising. Influencer marketing can also be used to drive a relevant audience to download an app. Positive and genuine reviews from a trusted and relevant type of influencer can introduce new users to your app and encourage installs.

Methods for Reaching Users

Agencies use an array of methods and platforms, each chosen for its unique ability to connect with different segments of your target audience:

  • Ad Networks: These connect advertisers and publishers in a supply-and-demand model for paid ads.
  • Real-Time Bidding/Exchanges: RTB allows media buyers to purchase ads on a per-impression basis. At a UA agency, media buyers use them to optimize multiple ad networks for the creation of advertising campaigns.
  • Video/Rich Media: Rich Media are digital ads with multiple features, including animation, audio, and video. They tend to have higher engagement levels than ad banners because of the different features at once.
  • Retargeting: it’s sometimes better value to invest in user retention and re-engage lapsed users rather than acquire entirely new ones.
  • Search: Apple Search Ads allow you to bump your app to the number one spot in the App Store search listing so that you reach more users.
  • Incentivized Advertising: These are platforms that reward users for their actions. The user performs a task and receives a reward, such as online money, encouraging them to engage with ads. There is naturally less opposition to ads when there’s an incentive for the user, too.

Working With a Full-Service Mobile Marketing Agency

Opting for a full-service mobile marketing agency like Moburst, offers a strategic alliance that encompasses every aspect of user acquisition, engagement and growth. These agencies bring an arsenal of advanced tools, innovative strategies, and a deep understanding of market dynamics to the table. They excel in creating tailored campaigns, from impactful social media initiatives to influential collaborations, all aimed at maximizing your app’s reach and resonance with its target audience. By partnering with such an agency, you’re not just launching an app – you’re positioning it for sustained success and leadership in a highly competitive digital ecosystem.

Lior Eldan
Lior Eldan is the Co-Founder & COO of Moburst. As an ASO and Mobile media expert, Lior mentors and supports startups, helping them develop and execute their mobile marketing strategies.
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