What is CPI?
If you are an affiliate marketer or want to start making money with affiliate partnerships online and via mobile channels, you have probably already heard the CPI acronym used in reference to advertising your products or promotions through mobile apps.
CPI stands for cost per install (sometimes called PPI/pay per install instead), and is a method of purchasing advertising targeted to mobile users, which is very cost effective for affiliates because you only pay for the advert shown if a mobile user installs or downloads your offer or software.
There are a huge number of cost per install networks that offer different types of incentives and packages to mobile affiliates – so if you are wondering how to find the best cost per install networks, how to become a pay per install affiliate, or if you want to get started with affiliate ad networks for mobile devices, this article will explain the basics of pay per install advertising.
How is CPI calculated?
Before you choose and start working with a CPI mobile network to promote your affiliate offers to mobile users, you should first learn how to find CPI, or the CPI cost to you for each successful download or install that your ad network partners achieve for you.
This helps you to compare different CPI marketing approaches, and work out which will be the most cost-effective for you, which doesn’t always mean using the cheapest CPI deals on offer!
So, how do you calculate CPI? To calculate CPI, divide your total ad expenditure by the number of installs you achieve, to get your cost per install calculation.
Every time your ad network or mobile advertising partner achieves a download or installation of your app from one of their users, you pay them a set fee for the acquisition. The cost per install is the cost charged to you by the mobile advertising traffic network for every acquisition you achieve, and an acquisition is classed as an installation of your mobile app.
The CPI cost for different mobile advertising networks can be very variable, and it is important for CPI affiliates to find the right balance between an affordable ad spend that will result in an appropriate net profit for you, and spending enough to ensure that your mobile ad network partners work to promote your installations because it is worthwhile for them too.
When you promote your affiliate products or service with CPI for mobile, your app is advertised within other apps and mobile websites that mobile browsers are exposed to as they navigate online using their phone or tablet. Your potential prospects may see your app promoted or offered as a free download to opt into or opt out of when downloading another app, which allows you to piggyback the success of popular mobile websites and app downloads, to entice prospects to choose your app as well.
The definition of CPI
The term “CPI” is used for a variety of different things in a marketing context, including cost per impression as well as cost per install. The definition of CPI when used to mean “cost per install” is “the cost to you for each installation of your app achieved by a third-party advertising network or another external promotion platform.”
When you are browsing pay per install sites and CPI affiliate networks for mobile, the first thing you need to do is make sure that they are referring to cost per install and not cost per impression, to ensure that you understand the payment model and how much your ads will cost you!
Promoting your affiliate website and special offers via mobile is one of the most profitable and usually, cost-effective ways to get new customers, because of the ways in which people use their phones and tablets for entertainment and to find things that they like on-the-go.
Whilst most internet users today are very wary of accepting free downloads and supplementary offers from websites, mobile offers and how they are promoted are still very “young” in terms of visitor perception and functionality, which means that it is usually easier to achieve an installation or download on mobile than it is on desktop devices.
Cost per install ad networks
There is a large number of different CPI or PPI pay per install networks that work with affiliates to promote and achieve installations for affiliate mobile apps and offers, and knowing how to choose the best one for you can be confusing.
Whilst pay per install sites mean that you don’t make any payment for your ads unless they generate an acquisition, there is no point wasting time using a service that can’t achieve installations for you, or that charges an overly high price for the installations that they do achieve!
Pay per install affiliate program works best, and is most effective, when you work with a cost per install network that serves and promotes offers, products and services that complement yours, and so, are likely to appeal to the same audience that will be willing to buy from you.
CPI offers targeted to match the needs and wants of the platform’s users will of course result in better conversions than simply taking a scattergun approach to CPI links, and hoping that a few people will accept your installation.
The more you pay per install, or the higher the cost per install, the more work your CPI ad network will put into promoting your app, and trying to achieve conversions. Finding the right balance – between an affordable cost per install and a payment floor that will still result in acquisitions – is the key to successful CPI marketing for mobile network affiliates.