HomeAdvisor on the Benefits of a Comprehensive LTV Model
My name is Cassandra Chernin and I was formerly Senior Digital Marketing Manager of Display & App at HomeAdvisor. After graduating from Boston University with a business degree, my career started at an e-commerce jewelry startup, Gemvara.com. I was put through an ‘unofficial’ rotating program where I learned all aspects of marketing including managing an affiliate program, retention email, SEM, radio, and offline but ultimately finished my time there running all digital marketing.
After Gemvara, I moved to Babbel, a language learning app headquartered in Berlin, running all US based digital marketing. I thought I’d remain in NYC, but I missed fresh air and trees so I made the move to Denver, Colorado where I started running display at HomeAdvisor. We started marketing the app three months after I joined and we’ve grown exponentially since.
HomeAdvisor is a direct response company so the transition from driving last click, same session conversions to driving a consumer (and an install) was a huge transition for us. The way we were able to get executive approval and buy in was by building out a simple but effective LTV model that focused on two key metrics.
Data can be overwhelming — building a model that is well thought out and comprehensive, but at the same time allows for flexibility, was our goal.
Now that we have a model in place, we’re able to understand LTV profitability within a week of testing a new partner. We’re able to give our partners goals that drive conversions versus a strict CPI goal and we’re able to diversify our acquisition strategy. Data is the most important part of user app acquisition but don’t let the data run you over – simplify it and make it helpful versus overwhelming.
With a flexible structure, we’re able to test different strategies with different objectives.
Creative has to be simple. If your message isn’t clear within the first 5 seconds of a user reading an ad, then it really doesn’t even matter if you’ve got them at the right time, in the right place, & you have the right user.
While sharing wins across different partners is helpful, don’t ever assume that something that worked on Facebook is going to work on app networks. When working with direct response, you always want to understand how you are paying for the user and that will drive the creative.
If I am paying CPC, I want the headline and image to clearly showcase the app’s value and get people excited about downloading before they click. If I’m paying on a CPI, my objectives change. I’m okay with driving a ton of interest clicks so my creative can be more click-baity and less value proposition focused. And always be testing – best practices don’t work for every company and for every business model.
There are endless opportunities with your app.
Number one, work closely with your product team to think about different ways to drive up conversions or give a specific subset of users a unique tailored experience. Understand how paid traffic differs from organic traffic and always continue working to make the paid traffic perform the same as organic.
Number two, don’t ever stop testing new partners. You never know if the next partner is going to be the win for your app, even if it wasn’t a win for other people.
Number three (and something I’ve been thinking a lot about) is don’t forget about users once they’ve installed and converted once. How can you get them to continually engage in your app if you aren’t an app that a user needs everyday? How can we go beyond push notifications to drive repeat use and engagement? And when it comes down to it, all of this should be driven by data. Work closely with your analysts and business intelligence team to get a really strong data structure in place.
THE LAST WORD
Data. Data. Data. I can’t say it enough. Data should drive every single action you take whether it’s finding a new target audience, testing creative, or defining success.