ASO & Organic Traffic 9 min read  - March 14, 2023

Cutting Ad Budgets without sacrificing UA Quality

Mobile app and game studios must be strategic in their ad budget planning to ensure they are not sacrificing quality user growth...

In today's fast-paced digital world, mobile apps have become an essential part of everyday life for many people. From social media to online shopping and gaming, there's an app for almost everything.

As a result, mobile studios are investing heavily in user acquisition to tap into their audiences. However, creating a successful mobile business requires more than just a great app. You also need a solid marketing strategy to reach and engage your target audience. One of the most critical elements of this strategy is advertising.

Advertising plays a crucial role in driving user acquisition and engagement for mobile apps. It's also one of the biggest expenses for app developers and marketers. With increasing competition, the cost of advertising is going up, making it challenging to balance ad spending with user growth and engagement.

The goal is to reach a large number of potential users while still maintaining the highest return on investment (ROI). To achieve this, businesses must be strategic in their approach to advertising, focusing on the most effective channels while cutting back on those that are less effective.

In this article, we'll explore strategies for cutting ad budgets without sacrificing the quality of user acquisition campaigns.


  1. Understand your Target Audience
  2. Analyze your Ad Performance
  3. Quality over Quantity
  4. Remarketing
  5. Optimizing Ad Creatives
  6. Influencer Marketing
  7. Monitor, Adjust & Iterate
  8. Follow Best Practices

1. Understand Your Target Audience

When it comes to mobile apps and games, understanding your target audience is crucial for creating a successful ad campaign.


Knowing who your users are and what they need will help you determine the best channels for reaching them.

How to Understand your Target Audience?

Here are a few ways to better understand your target audience for these types of products:

  1. Demographic Data: Collect information about your target audience's age, gender, location, education, and income level. This will give you a good idea of who your target audience is and what their interests and needs are.
  2. User Behavior: Analyze the behavior of your current users. Look at how often they use your app, what features they engage with the most, and how long they spend using it. This information can help you tailor your ads to specific segments of your target audience.
  3. Psychographic Data: Study the values, attitudes, and personality traits of your target audience. This information can help you create ads that resonate with your audience's values and lifestyle.
  4. App Store Data: Take advantage of the data available in app store listings. Review the user reviews and ratings to get an understanding of what users like and dislike about similar apps.

By combining this information, you can create a profile of your target audience and use that information to create ads that are more likely to engage and convert them into paying users.

Monitoring your target audience

It is also important to continuously monitor and update your understanding of your target audience. As consumer behavior changes over time, your target audience may evolve, so it is essential to regularly reassess and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, it is important to segment them into different groups based on their behaviors and preferences. This allows you to create more personalized and relevant ads for each group, increasing their engagement and the chances of conversion.

By understanding your target audience, using tools to gather information, segmenting your audience, and continuously monitoring their behavior, you can create ads that effectively engage and convert your target audience.

This way, you will finally be able to adjust your ad campaigns to improve their performance over time.

2. Analyze your UA Ad Performance

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, it's time to analyze your ad performance.

Analyzing ad performance is crucial in determining the success of your advertising efforts. By monitoring key metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on investment (ROI), you can get a clear picture of which ads are performing well and which ones are not.


One of the key benefits of analyzing ad performance is that it allows you to make data-driven decisions about your ad spend. By identifying which ads are generating the most engagement and conversions, you can optimize your ad budget to focus on those that are producing the best results. This helps you to cut your ad budget without sacrificing the quality of your user acquisition campaigns.

Understand your Metrics & Goals

To effectively analyze ad performance, it's important to have a clear understanding of your goals and metrics. This may involve setting up tracking and measurement systems that capture key performance indicators and provide you with detailed insights into your ad campaign.

Once you have a clear understanding of your ad performance, you can use this information to make informed decisions about your ad strategy. For example, if a particular ad is not generating the desired results, you can adjust its targeting, messaging, or creative elements to see if it improves performance.

By regularly analyzing ad performance, you can make data-driven decisions that optimize your ad budget, and ensure that your advertising efforts generate the best possible results.

3. Focus on Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to mobile advertising, sometimes quality is more important than quantity.

Focusing on quality over quantity in ad campaigns is crucial for cutting ad budgets without sacrificing the quality of your user acquisition campaigns. High-quality ads can be more effective in engaging users, even with a smaller ad budget.

Rather than spreading your advertising budget across multiple channels, focus on the channels providing the best results. This will help you maximize your ROI while also reducing your overall advertising costs.

This way, you can reduce your ad budget while still achieving the user growth and engagement you desire. Remember to prioritize relevance, clarity, and visual appeal when developing your ad campaign to ensure success.

4. Use Remarketing

Remarketing is a powerful tool for reaching users who have already shown an interest in your product or service.

Remarketing is a powerful technique that can help increase user engagement and retention in mobile apps and games. It involves reaching out to users who have already interacted with your app or game in some way, such as downloading it, making a purchase, or simply visiting the app store page. By targeting these users, you can improve the chances of retaining them as active users and encourage them to continue engaging with your app or game.


Push Notifications

One way to implement remarketing in mobile apps and games is through push notifications. Push notifications can remind users about the app or game and offer them incentives, such as rewards or exclusive content, to encourage them to re-engage.

For example, if a user hasn't used a mobile game for a few days, a push notification could be sent with a message like "Come back and play to earn a special prize."

Targeted Ads

Another way to use remarketing in mobile apps and games is through targeted ads. For example, if a user has abandoned an app or game mid-level, targeted ads could be displayed to remind them about the app and entice them to come back and complete the level. By using targeted ads, you can ensure that your advertising budget is being spent on users who are most likely to re-engage with your app or game.

Control your Timing

Another important aspect of remarketing in mobile apps and games is timing. It's important to send push notifications and remarketing ads at the right time, such as when a user is most likely to be engaged and have time to re-engage with your app or game. For example, if your app or game is primarily used during the evening, you may want to send push notifications or display ads in the evenings when users are more likely to have time to engage with your app.

By reaching out to users who have already shown interest in your app or game, you can improve the chances of retaining them as active users and encourage them to continue engaging with your app.

Through targeted ads, and timing your remarketing efforts effectively, you can maximize the impact of your remarketing efforts and achieve your goals for user engagement and retention.

5. Optimize Ad Creatives

Another way to maximize the impact of your advertising budget is by optimizing your ad creatives.

Optimizing ad creatives is an important aspect of cutting ad budgets without sacrificing your user acquisition campaigns. Ad creatives refer to the visual and text components of an advertisement. When these components are not optimized, it can result in low engagement, low conversion rates and, ultimately, low return on investment (ROI).


Steps to optimize ad creatives:

  1. Test different ad formats - Experiment with different ad formats such as interstitials, banners, rewarded videos, and native ads to see which ones perform best for your target audience.
  2. Use high-quality visuals - Ensure that your ad creatives have high-quality visuals that are eye-catching and relevant to the target audience.
  3. Keep the messaging clear and concise - Keep the messaging in your ad creatives clear and concise so that it is easy for the target audience to understand and take action.
  4. Use emotional appeals - Emotional appeals have been shown to be effective in boosting engagement and conversion rates. Consider incorporating emotional appeals in your ad creatives to tap into the emotional connection of your target audience.
  5. Personalize the ad creatives - Personalizing the ad creatives by using the target audience's location, interests, or behavior can increase engagement and conversion rates.

By following these tips and continuously monitoring and adjusting the ad creatives, you can optimize your ad spend and achieve quality UA campaigns. Regular testing and optimization of ad creatives can help to increase the ROI on your ad budget and drive better results for your business.

6. Utilize Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a cost-effective way to reach a large audience and drive user engagement. By partnering with influencers with a large following in your target market, you can leverage their reach to promote your app.

In other articles, we have already covered some tips for game studios that want to start working with influencers, and even some of the worst mistakes of influencer marketing from mobile game studios.

Influencer marketing can be a more cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising channels, especially if you choose influencers who are a good fit for your product or service.


7. Monitor, Adjust & Iterate

To ensure the best return on investment for ad spend, it's important to continuously monitor and adjust campaigns. Data-driven insights and analysis of ad performance can highlight areas for improvement and inform optimization decisions. This can involve tweaking targeting, testing different creatives, or making changes to bid strategy.

One key aspect of monitoring ad performance is tracking the right metrics. The most important metrics will vary depending on the goals of each campaign, but common metrics to consider include cost per acquisition, return on ad spend, and the user LTV (life time value).

Use the data to make informed decisions

Once data is collected, it's important to use it to make informed decisions.

 For example, if a particular targeting strategy is driving high acquisition costs, it may be time to try a different approach. On the other hand, if a creative element is performing particularly well, it may be wise to double down and create similar creative for other campaigns.

It's also important to avoid getting too fixated on short-term performance. User acquisition is just one piece of the puzzle – user retention and lifetime value are just as important, if not more so. As such, it's important to keep the bigger picture in mind and make decisions that will drive long-term success, even if they have a temporary impact on short-term performance.


Monitoring and adjusting ad campaigns is a crucial part of ensuring that ad budgets are being used effectively and efficiently. By tracking the right metrics, making informed decisions, and keeping the long-term in mind, businesses can cut ad budgets without sacrificing the quality of their user acquisition campaigns.

8. Cutting Ad Budgets while maintaining the quality of your UA Campaigns

In conclusion, mobile app and game studios must be strategic in their ad budget planning to ensure they are not sacrificing quality user growth.

By focusing on quality over quantity, optimizing ad creatives, analyzing ad performance, understanding the target audience, and utilizing remarketing techniques, mobile studios can effectively reduce ad spend while still acquiring high-value users.

Follow these best practices to attract high-quality users and keep them engaged, and you will find your way to long-term success and growth.

As the competition in the mobile app and game market continues to increase, it's important for developers to stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions about their ad budget to ensure they are getting the best return on investment.

It is important to continuously monitor and adjust ad strategies to ensure optimal performance and return on investment. By taking a data-driven approach to advertising, mobile app, and game developers can successfully grow their user base without sacrificing their bottom line.

Holiday Season Mobile In-App Ad eCPM Report '23

Written by Mobe Growth, app agency specializing in mobile marketing and user acquisition. Our goal is to help our clients achieve sustainable growth through effective and innovative user acquisition strategies, and to be at the forefront of the rapidly evolving mobile gaming market.
Guest Author
Guest Author
Featured Professionals in the Mobile Gaming & Ad-Tech Industry
Monetization Desktop Column BlogBanner

Growth 5 min read

How to Generate Positive App Reviews and Ad Revenue: Part I

There are over 4.2M apps available in the App Store and Google Play combined with hundreds of thousands more ready for download on other platforms. Making your app known and securing a loyal audience base with solid revenue coming in can feel like insurmountable tasks.

Growth 5 min read

Marc Llobet
Marc Llobet

Interviews + Q&A 6 min read

Meet Ryan Morrison, the Legal Superhero Fighting for Game Dev Rights

Indie developers fight an uphill battle, often devoting spare hours to development after full-time day jobs, or quitting a steady income to stake it all on a dream. When you add issues like trademark infringement, confusing contracts, and the big players bearing down on the little guys

Interviews + Q&A 6 min read

Marc Llobet
Marc Llobet