Cindy Wu

Q&A with Cindy Wu

By Meghna Narayan | November 12, 2019

Tell us about the apps you currently manage.

I manage the Curious suite of apps, which includes the namesake Curious learning platform, and two word games: Word Genius and Word Chill

We like to think of Curious as a gamified education app. The platform offers thousands of video lessons on any topic under the sun. Our goal is to teach users something new everyday while offering incentives, such as earning a learning streak, to keep them motivated.  

Word Chill and Word Genius, on the other hand, puts an educational spin on classic word games. Word Chill is an exciting, new word scramble puzzle game, and Word Genius is a unique twist on the crossword puzzle, where users solve challenging clueless crosswords. After every puzzle we display fun facts on the theme. 

How did you get started in mobile app marketing?

Similar to many people, I landed in the industry by chance. Originally, I started off in finance where I was options trading and running models. It never really felt like the right place for me. Being surrounded by so many innovative tech companies in the Bay Area, I made up my mind to finally give back to education and work in tech. 

After reaching out to various companies, I connected with the folks at Curious. They told me about their mission and what they were trying to accomplish. As a numbers-based person, I felt my skills would be an excellent fit. So when I joined Curious, I was responsible for marketing, user acquisition and running analytics. 

What qualities do you think are the most important for app marketers to have and why?

Be curious. It sounds cliché coming from somebody that works at, but I have found it to be so effective to continuously ask questions in your career. When it comes to partners, get to know their background and where they are showcasing your app. Ask questions to figure out if campaigns are effective or not. 

What do you consider the number one biggest challenge in app marketing?

Mapping out multi-touch attribution models down the marketing funnel is one of our biggest challenges. It requires a lot of decision making around how much weight you put on the last touch versus the first touch and how that changes your model down funnel. 

What are your thoughts about mentorship and mobile app marketing?

It is a resource that greatly helps to grow your skills. Having a constant support system of peers to talk to, like the Mobile Heroes community, has been incredible for discussing best practices and new strategies. It has also been exciting and cutting edge in many ways as well. 

On the mentorship side, having someone who has a ton of experience in your field can provide a lot of guidance.

What strategies have worked the best to convert installs into engaged app users? 

We have found that predictable content releases motivates users to come back regularly. For example, with Curious, we publish a daily Curio Cabinet (curated, fun facts on various topics). Users have come to expect a Curio every day and look forward to opening the app to read it – some have written in to say it is as routine as their morning coffee! Similarly with Word Genius and Word Chill, we have seen upticks in engagement on days we release new levels. Hooks such as daily puzzles and rewards also work really well.

In the past year, what is one tip that you can share which made the biggest performance improvement with UA or re-engagement for your apps?

For us, marketing and analytics go hand in hand. It is optimal to work closely with your data teams to find out how campaigns are performing. Working on analytics allows me to see how different channels are performing down the funnel and how well users are engaging with the product. 

What has been your priority in 2019 regarding mobile app marketing?

To grow our user base and increase engagement, and of course create new games as well.  

What advice can you offer to help marketers combat mobile app fraud?

Know your partners, understand your data and trust your gut instinct. If a number looks too good to be true, spend time investigating why. Be very clear and transparent with your partners on the status.

What resources would you recommend to other mobile app marketers?

I really enjoy the Mobile Heroes Community. Being on the Slack channel is awesome. I feel as if every mobile marketer is here right now.

How have you utilized the Mobile Heroes Community?

I utilize it for multiple purposes. One is to get answers to questions. Although I do not post much, I often read about what other marketers are going through and what they have to say. Being able to reach out to peers in the industry has been extremely helpful.

It is amazing to come across similar faces at events and a few months down the road meet in person one on one. Coming from a smaller marketing team, I do not always have the other marketers on my team to bounce ideas off of. To be able to do that with other people in the industry is so useful and has been a huge career boost.

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