AllTrails scales to
new markets in record time.

The popular hiking app launched, tested and refined its campaigns
at a global scale, growing weekly downloads by 119 per cent in under six months.


  • Accelerate new download growth.
  • Identify efficient ways to scale globally.
  • Optimise ad creative and App Store listing.


  • Drive organic growth by applying paid search lessons.
  • Prioritise markets for app localisation.
  • Use Creative Sets to test and optimise messaging quickly.


  • 119 per cent growth in global weekly downloads in six months.
  • Customers from Apple Search Ads were 32 per cent more likely to convert than users from similar platforms.
  • 8 per cent higher ROAS relative to similar channels.

A top hiking app sets its sights on
breaking new ground.

One of the most trusted outdoor platforms in the world, AllTrails has reached over 50 million people across 150 countries with hand-curated trail maps, photos, reviews and user recordings. With sights set on reaching more customers globally, the team at AllTrails looked to customer acquisition agency ShyftUp to help supplement organic growth. They started with Apple Search Ads.

Going global with actionable insights.

US-based AllTrails was initially only available in English, but the team soon realised that localisation was key to building a global audience. Disciplined and data-driven, AllTrails ran small-scale test campaigns with Apple Search Ads to determine which markets presented the biggest opportunities. “We noticed that certain parts of Europe showed higher user engagement than others, so we prioritised markets such as France, Belgium and Germany,” says Ron Schneidermann, CEO of AllTrails. From there, customer acquisition grew 119 per cent within six months of running Apple Search Ads campaigns. Performance was particularly strong in French- and German-speaking markets, where installs grew by over 11x in eight months.

To further optimise ad creative and bidding strategy, ShyftUp turned to Creative Sets. “Apple Search Ads helps us move faster than other advertising platforms. We don’t have to produce multiple asset formats for every creative change or test. Minimising this kind of ‘busy work’ allows us to scale faster and drive great results in less time,” says Levent Sapci, founder and CEO at AllTrails’ agency ShyftUp.

Scale organic growth.

Understanding the link between paid search and organic growth, ShyftUp used insights from test campaigns to inform refinement of the AllTrails App Store product page, including its metadata and app description. This positively impacted their organic App Store presence. “Apple Search Ads allowed us to start with a strategic hypothesis and leverage tools to understand if we were on the right track. Channel performance was reliable and helped us garner insights which we applied to App Store optimisation efforts simultaneously,” says Sapci. “As an agency, this now serves as a model for how we develop all our clients’ campaign strategies. For AllTrails, Apple Search Ads now drives nine per cent of all new global downloads.”

A cost-effective approach to gain high-value customers.

As a subscription business model, AllTrails views trial conversion and customer lifetime value as key performance indicators. According to Schneidermann, users acquired through Apple Search Ads have shown a 32 per cent higher likelihood to convert to AllTrails Pro, the paid version of the app. ShyftUp’s Sapci agrees, “We have yet to find a better solution when it comes to cost-effective customer acquisition. The overall return on ad spend for AllTrails campaigns has been eight per cent better than other paid user acquisition channels.”

Thanks to their success with acquisition and ongoing optimisation, the AllTrails team plans to continue driving growth with Apple Search Ads. “Apple Search Ads helped us determine which markets were our biggest opportunities and attract new, more engaged customers,” Schneidermann says.

Apple Search Ads helped us determine which markets were our biggest opportunities and attract new, more engaged customers.

Ron Schneidermann, AllTrails

Company snapshot

  • AllTrails
  • Health and Fitness category
  • Founded in 2010
  • Based in San Francisco, California