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40% CVR Organically by Aligning your ASO to a new App’s Theme

– Spades Success

How to boost your organic growth by aligning the ASO (App Store Optimization) strategy with the User Acquisition campaigns and new branding and product theme. 

The Success

"Spades: Classic Card Game" not only redefined its presence in a saturated market but also achieved substantial organic growth through Appodeal’s innovative ASO strategy. By adopting a unique and resonant theme, coupled with rigorous A/B testing, the game significantly surpassed industry standards for user engagement and conversion rates.
CVR Global
Before Appodeal
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On Day-30
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On Day-60
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On Day-90
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These metrics not only surpass industry norms but also demonstrate the potential of a well-executed organic growth strategy. They are a testament to the power of Appodeal’s Growth Platform, showing just how much can be accomplished when creativity meets data-driven precision. 
Read on to see how strategic changes brought about remarkable growth and sustained success, setting a new benchmark for others in the industry.

The Challenge

For studios like NewPubCo, getting noticed in the crowded mobile card game market is tough. Despite its engaging gameplay, "Spades: Classic Card Game" struggled to attract and retain players because it blended in with numerous similar games.
To stand out among the rest, the growth team decided to revamp the game's brand and strategy. For that, they created a whole new positioning revolving around the gangster theme to set the game apart. This redesign of the game would not only affect the product itself but also all the other marketing and growth activities: from user acquisition to ASO (app store optimization), community engagement, and influencer collaborations were aligned under this new strategy.

A cohesive user experience, from UA to ASO:

The budget allocated to these massive campaigns was significant, so NewPubCo had to ensure that every aspect of the campaign was cohesive and impactful.
It was important that the game offered a consistent experience from the ads to the app itself. By using the same creative style in the ads and on the app store, we ensured that players would recognize and connect with the game right from the start. This consistency helps turn viewers into players and keeps them engaged.
This straightforward and focused approach allowed Spades to establish a distinct presence in the market, promising not just to draw attention but also to build a loyal player base.

The Solution

Measurable Improvements on ASO from A/B Testing

To enhance "Spades: Classic Card Game" 's visibility and appeal on the Google Play Store, we conducted a series of eight-week A/B tests in emerging markets that resembled our target audience. 
These tests weren't applied all at once; instead, we methodically tested icons first (in our second attempt at redesign), followed by screenshots, and finally the short description (SD). This phased approach helped determine what resonated best with our target audience. 
By splitting the audience and carefully monitoring their responses, we were able to make informed decisions about the most effective changes to implement. Here we show some of the most relevant A/B tests that performed better.

Icons: Capturing Attention with the First Click

The first A/B test focused on the game's icon, a key factor in attracting initial interest.
We tested three different icons: the original and two gangster-theme adaptations.
Icons #1Icons #2Icons #3
The third icon generated a higher increase in click-through rate and installs, clearly standing out as the winner. This change alone helped to draw more potential players by making a strong first impression.

Screenshots: Enhancing Visual Appeal

Next, we tested different feature graphics, which serve as the first visual element users see when they visit the app's page if a video is not present. 
By experimenting with various thematic graphics that aligned with our "gangsta" style, we aimed to captivate users instantly.
The screenshots above performed better than the other alternatives. The dynamic imagery and bold colors improved conversion rates by almost +10% (compared to the original screenshots).
Screenshot #1Screenshot #2Screenshot #3

Short Descriptions: Fine-Tuning the Message

The short description of the app is crucial for communicating the game’s essence briefly and effectively. 
Again, we tested three variants of the description: the original, a new version with a rhythmic gangsta flair, and a third that was more straightforward.

Original Short Description:

Learn to play Spades in a speed card game against AI players, offline or online.

Winner Short Description:

Learn the tricks, and play Spades offline – no Wifi? Spades always feels right.
The version that resonated the most was more rhythmic and playful, boosting the conversion rate significantly, up to a +30% CVR compared to the alternatives. The right words aligned with the bold gangster theme we committed can make a big impact.

Extra: There’s no one-size-fits-all solution

While we generally applied the "gangsta" theme across most markets, we tailored our approach in specific regions based on initial test results. For instance, in India and Russia, we tested the new gangsta-themed icon against more classic, simple spades icons. 
Surprisingly, the classic icons outperformed the new theme in these regions. As a result, we maintained the traditional icon in India, where it continued to perform well. This decision was driven by the need to optimize resource use and manage creatives efficiently across varying geographic locations without sacrificing the impact of our overall strategy.

The Results

The previous A/B tests displayed in “The Solution” section confirmed the effectiveness of the new "out of the box" theme while showing how minor changes can lead to major improvements in app visibility and user engagement. 
Following the implementation of our meticulously crafted theme and strategic A/B tests, "Spades: Classic Card Game" saw a significant lift in conversion rates (CVR) in the United States, one of our primary markets. Initially, the CVR rose to 31% after the first month, and by the end of the second month, it climbed to almost 37%. This level of performance was sustained over the subsequent months, reaching peaks of over 40% CVR, which is markedly higher than the 25% median CVR of competitors in the same category.
Our focus was on enhancing the app's visibility and appeal through targeted ASO improvements, without the direct influence of paid marketing efforts during this period.
By implementing these changes, "Spades: Classic Card Game" has become less reliant on the unpredictable performance of individual ad networks and has gained more control over its growth and revenue potential. This strategic approach to ASO has set the stage for sustained success in a competitive market.
Spades Game

Spades: Classic Card Game

NewPubCo's Spades is a captivating word game that keeps players glued to their screens. Designed with engaging gameplay mechanics and appealing aesthetics, it caters to a diverse demographic, primarily women and men aged 45 and above.
Spades is loved by users in the United States, where it has gained massive popularity, but its appeal spans various international markets.
Vlad Gurgov Video
Vlad Gurgov, NewPubCo

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