Liftoff says many new app users rush to buy or register

A large chunk of users with newly-installed mobile apps will take an action — like making a purchase or registering — within the first two hours of installation.

“That’s the first thing that jumps out” from data released today by mobile marketer Liftoff, VP of marketing Dennis Mink told me. This is the first time the Menlo Park, Calif-based company has released its internal stats on user actions after app installation.

A quarter of dating app users, for instance, will subscribe within the first two hours after installation, and the next 50 percent within 17 hours. Eighty-seven percent of finance app consumers register within two hours, while a third of travel app users make a reservation within two hours.


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This can be useful data for a marketer trying to target the right users for app install campaigns. Such a marketer might, for instance, pay a company like Liftoff $20 for each post-install user who takes a first action, like making a reservation. In the recent VB Insight report on mobile user acquisition, VentureBeat VP of research John Koetsier argued that the more common cost-per-install pricing may not be the best deal for app publishers.

Liftoff specializes in app install campaigns, but it only gets paid for users taking a first action of some kind, not per install. It maintains user profiles, so it can help marketers figure out what types of users are more likely to convert.

The newly released data paints several user patterns.

For example, half of everyone who will eventually buy something on a newly installed ecommerce app will do so in the first 21 hours after installation. And the next 40 percent of those who will eventually buy something will do so within about 15 days.

But the universe of these users is a fraction of those who actually install the shopping app, since only 2.2 percent will make that first purchase.

Eighty-six percent of women who install a shopping app will create an account, but only about 63 percent of men will. Overall, nearly three quarters of users — 72.5 percent — who install a shopping app will create an account.

Women are a good bet for marketers, according to Liftoff. It takes about $144 to get a female shopper to install a shopping app and make a purchase, but $190 for men.

Liftoff doesn’t conduct push notifications or in-app messaging, so it didn’t factor this into the conversion rates. Mink acknowledged to me that “push notifications can be a factor,” but added that very few of his company’s customers are sending notifications or messaging to users within those hot first two hours after installation.

He estimated that perhaps 40 percent of Liftoff’s customers are using push notifications and/or retargeting (messaging or ads outside that installed app) past the first day, when it could impact the later converters.

Given this data, Liftoff recommends that app makers streamline the registration process to its bare essential, so as to encourage action as close to installation as possible.

The data came from more than 11,000 first-time purchases by users who had installed an app following an app-install campaign. Seventy percent were U.S.-based, and the rest came from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Fifteen percent of the conversion data occurred on tablets, and the rest on smartphones.