How ZiMAD Acquires High Quality Mobile Gamers with Liftoff and Appsflyer

By Trace Ronning | August 25, 2016

Acquiring high-quality users at scale is not easy or simple. In the case of ZiMAD, they wanted to drive new installs with a strong 90-day retention rate for their Magic Jigsaw Puzzles iOS app.

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The Challenge

Founded in 2009, ZiMAD is a mobile gaming studio based in San Francisco. ZiMAD’s unique approach brings revolutionary concepts and ideas to life while redefining conventional mobile gaming. But like many mobile game publishers, acquiring high quality users at scale can be a challenge.


ZiMAD was already using AppsFlyer for their mobile attribution and marketing analytics, which made partnering with Liftoff a breeze. Using pre-configured integrations, ZiMAD synced their AppsFlyer user-engagement data with Liftoff. We then used their customer engagement data to build initial lookalike profiles of ZiMAD’s most active Magic Jigsaw Puzzles players on iOS. This multi-dimensional profile used an array of identifying key characteristics such as user behavior trends and related apps installed.

Liftoff then A/B tested several creatives across native, banner, interstitial and playable ads. We optimized each campaign to improve retention rates, lower their CPI and increase user engagement (total puzzles completed per user). Thanks to the AppsFlyer integration, Liftoff received automated real-time postbacks as users engaged with the campaign and the app. In turn, our machine learning system used this data to optimize our user targeting and ad impression bidding in real-time, acquiring players with higher retention rates at ZiMAD’s target CPI.


Within 6 months of launching the campaign, Liftoff delivered over 21 million highly targeted ad impressions, 82 ad creative A/B tests, a significant volume of game plays and increased 90-day user retention. The results were impressive. Liftoff’s impression-to-install rate improved by 590%, a result of extensive creative A/B testing and careful optimization. At the same time, ZiMAD’s average monthly installs increased by 315%. To top it all off, more than 15% of puzzle solvers acquired by Liftoff remained active after 90 days.

Increased Budget, Increased Scale

Because Liftoff-driven users had such high retention rates, ZiMAD increased their ad spend on Liftoff campaigns by 5x. By continuously syncing their user engagement data via AppsFlyer, ZiMAD provided Liftoff with fresh, real-time data for ongoing campaign optimization. This allowed us to scale these campaigns. At one point, 50% of Magic Jigsaw Puzzles’ monthly app opens came from Liftoff-acquired users.

Liftoff’s success with Magic Jigsaw Puzzles on iOS led ZiMAD to expand their user acquisition efforts to Android, as well as new Liftoff campaigns for four additional game titles.

“Liftoff is one of our premium partners, consistently meeting or exceeding our quality and scale performance goals. Furthermore, Liftoff’s deep integration with AppsFlyer has made our user acquisition more efficient and more scalable, with very little effort needed. Liftoff consistently meet or exceeds our performance goals and deliver high quality mobile users at scale.” – Olga Ivanova, Mobile Marketing Manager, ZiMAD

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