Liftoff UA Campaign Increases Activations 297% for Ibotta’s Unique Shopping App

Shopping app developer increased app installs 134%

The ChallengeIbotta, headquartered in Colorado, contacted Liftoff to run a user acquisition campaign for their unique cash back app on iOS in the United States. The Ibotta rewards app allows users to get cash back on everyday purchases and save money with online offers. Their goal was to increase activations, i.e. new users trying the app for the first time.

The SolutionPrior to launching the campaign, Liftoff analyzed the Ibotta app user flow to better understand how users engage with the app. Ibotta sent postbacks to Liftoff from AppsFlyer, a leading mobile app tracking & attribution analytics platform. For thorough campaign tracking and optimization, the most relevant postback events sent to Liftoff included: Install > Registration > Activation.

The Liftoff creative team worked with Ibotta to design numerous creative and copy tests using banners, interstitials and native ads. In one case, we took the best performing interactive creative and changed the main message from “Cash Back” to a more active verb. Other tests included displaying branded vs non-branded products and testing background colors.

Once the campaign setup was complete, Liftoff began testing and optimizing bids with the goal of increasing activations triggered by users making purchases. The Liftoff machine learning (ML) platform optimized bids using lookalike audiences with a high likelihood of installing, registering and activating with Ibotta once a purchase was complete.

Liftoff has become so much more than just another network partner. They’ve become an extension of the Ibotta team, understanding our KPIs and working to achieve our business objectives. They are marketers at heart and use data metrics in constant pursuit of improvement.Matt Rome, Marketing Associate – User Acquisition, Ibotta

The Results

With rigorous testing and optimizations over the life of the campaign, the campaign proved extremely successful. Once enough data was collected, the Liftoff ML platform successfully identified and targeted users most likely to convert in deep funnel events.

Much of the campaign’s success can be attributed to ongoing copy and creative test iterations. For example, a minor win included a 3% win based on updating the best performing “Cash Back” message to a more active verb. Another win came when comparing a non-branded drink image against a branded one. The branded image outperformed the non-branded one by 51%.

In another revealing native test, we compared a high-performing message vs a new message. The new message proved more enticing for users which displayed a higher dollar amount. For this reason, it outperformed the previous version by a massive 185%.

With a combination of our ML platform’s look alike audience targeting and ad testing by our creative team, huge gains resulted.

  • App installs increased 134%
  • Activations increased 297%
  • ITA increased 70%

With a long run of ongoing wins, Ibotta scaled up further, increasing the average daily spend 5.7x while also exploring re-engagement campaigns with Liftoff.


Ibotta is a mobile technology company that enables users to earn cash back on in-store and mobile purchases with receipt and/or purchase verification.

  • Founded in 2011
  • HQ Denver, CO