Accelerate Helps Education Website Hit Aggressive UA Goals with App-To-Web

American Student Assistance (ASA) is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Boston, MA that helps students make informed decisions in their education and career goals. Founded in 1956, ASA has impacted millions of students through its extensive resources and online tools.

Zoe Radner, Media Manager at ASA, explains how Liftoff Accelerate’s app-to-web campaign optimized ASA’s mobile web performance and reached new teens who used their site,, to plan for their future after graduation.

The Challenge

Bringing career options to students world-wide

As a Media Manager with ASA, I am part of a team trying to revolutionize education. This includes how kids get career-ready and prepare for life after high school. To that end, ASA is in the process of rolling out several digital products designed to help kids discover and learn about their career options. The tool we have on the market now is I manage acquisition campaigning and targeting, and my goal is to maximize the number of 13- to 18-year-olds visiting the site. We plan to impact 11.7 million students by the end of 2022.

Most of our marketing efforts focus on paid social and search platforms, but given the high volume of new users we need to meet our goals, we had to expand our media mix. That is when we reached out to Accelerate about running an app-to-web campaign.

The solution

App-to-web traffic that helps us scale

We knew 95% of our site traffic came from mobile devices, so we eliminated our desktop inventory. Within mobile, we found that under-18s spent most of their time in apps and not web browsers. We had previously worked with Liftoff Creative Studio, so we knew that in-app traffic offered higher-quality inventory than mobile web alone. 

The inclusion of app-to-web with Accelerate was really a no-brainer. Accelerate had the expertise we needed to target teens within apps and drive them to our mobile website. They produce premium ad creatives that help capture audience attention. 

Accelerate also had “dead zone” technology that eliminates accidental clicks, so we knew we were not going to get unintentional click-throughs the way we do on mobile web banner ads.

We started by launching playable creatives on a CPA model, optimizing for our age-gate submission event (enter birthday) to capture more intentional users who visited our site. While the playable ads drove a lot of engagement, we could not scale with them as quickly as we wanted. We worked with Creative Studio to address this and added full-screen video and interstitial creatives into the mix. Soon, our campaign was driving the traffic we needed , and performance improved.

The results

Growth through ML, and more time to innovate

The app-to-web campaigns with Accelerate have been incredibly successful.

Our benchmark CPA is under $1.00—a pretty aggressive goal. A CPA of $1.50 or less is difficult since we were asking for birthdays.

When we first launched the app-to-web campaigns, our initial CPAs were in the $10-15 range. My first instinct was to make major campaign changes—drop certain platforms or cut out underperforming creatives—but the Accelerate team reassured us that there was a machine-learning mechanism at play. We agreed to let the models continue their course and saw campaign performance increase significantly. Both our Android and iOS campaigns fell into the $1.00-$1.50 CPA range.

Working with Liftoff makes these app-to-web campaigns easy to run. Other platforms use machine learning and auto-optimize for your goals, but it always involves interventions from our team. Accelerate is the exception. With Accelerate, we experienced a consistency in day-to-day performance we have not experienced across other platforms.

Because of the Accelerate app-to-web campaigns, I have more time to test and learn with other platforms that need a little more human touch. I can continue scaling and expanding our media mix because we are delivering consistent, strong CPAs. 

If you rely on mobile web inventory to meet your user acquisition goals, I recommend giving Accelerate app-to-web a try. Depending on your needs, apps could be where you will find your target audience–especially if you’re chasing Gen Z attention.