How understanding traffic quality proves incentivized traffic is MORE valuable than organic

On September 8, 2011

The W3i team has been working closely to analyze and understand the REAL value of users based on traffic source. We measured lifetime value (LTV) based on a series of retention and monetization metrics and together we found that traffic source plays a huge role in quality, no real surprise there…but what was more interesting is that some pockets of incentivized traffic actually performed better than overall organic traffic. This discovery provides a counter to the popular argument that incentivized traffic is not worth the same as organic or non-incentivized. This gives credibility and validity to incentivized traffic. When a developer and distribution network understands traffic source, real value can be provided through incented installs. We hope this data will help educate platform providers and mobile app media buyers on the importance of understanding real value variable forms of marketing including incentivized application installs. If we are intelligent on our media buys, we can find pockets of profitable and valuable incentivized installs. How do we know this? Check the numbers below on one of W3i’s apps.

Day 30 Retention vs. Traffic Source:

We looked at day 30 retention rates per traffic source for one or our burst campaigns with a popular game application. We also calculated the volume per traffic source and assigned a color to indicate which application that traffic was coming from. As you can see below, the top paid volume source produced the 2nd best 30 day retention rate. However, the second top paid volume source performed the worst! Clearly the second top paid traffic source did not produce a positive return for the buy!

Revenue per 1000 users vs. traffic source:

In addition to retention we also looked at average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) per 1000 over a determined time frame. While we couldn’t disclose the specific traffic source each source is represent by its own letter. As you can see, revenue per user is dramatically impacted depending on traffic source.

Organic vs. incentivized source:

When comparing overall organic traffic to incented traffic, we found pockets of incentivized traffic are actually more valuable than organic traffic. Take a peek below at our calculations comparing the top RPDAU sources compared to all overall organic sources.

So what does all of this mean?

As a Media Buyer, you should do your homework! Work with an application distribution partner such as W3i to help you acquire users effectively and remember not all traffic is the same when it comes to incentive installs. Finally, don’t underestimate the value of incent traffic. If you are smart and work with the right partner you just might find pockets of highly profitable, high performing incentivized traffic.