TextNow optimises ad creative
to drive growth.

Texting and calling app increases customer acquisition with Apple Search Ads, attracting new users with up to 10 per cent higher lifetime value than new users from other platforms.


  • Grow iOS user base efficiently.
  • Increase conversions and retention to drive positive ROI.


  • Structure account to stay competitive.
  • Optimise ad creative for relevancy.


  • Grew customer base with an average of 60,000 downloads a month from Apple Search Ads.
  • Drove 20% lower average cost per acquisition than other advertising platforms.

TextNow attracts more valuable customers.

Based in Ontario, TextNow Inc. is a texting and calling app that offers people a free phone number and voicemail when they register. After finding early success in 2009 through word of mouth, the app is now popular with a broad range of iPhone users including teens and small business owners. Improving user retention is a top business objective for TextNow, which has an in-app ads business model.

“We’ve tested dozens of channels to find more of the right iOS customers who will stay engaged. But it’s difficult to find cost-effective solutions. That’s why Apple Search Ads has become critical to our business. It delivers strong volume and a higher quality of downloads. That’s the balance we need to drive positive return on investment and grow our business,” shares Tyler Cooper, Head of User Acquisition.

Optimise to attract the right audience.

TextNow leveraged Creative Sets to optimise ad creative and find the best performing combination of app previews and screenshots from its App Store product page. Instead of relying on the default ads shown by Apple Search Ads, the app selected specific creative assets in different orders and also aligned each set to top performing keyword campaigns. To maximise relevancy for prospective customers searching on the App Store, the ad creative highlighted popular app features like unlimited texting and calling, ringtones and a free phone number.

“We are very excited about Creative Sets as an optimisation tool. You can place ad creative in front of customers that aligns exactly with their searches on the App Store. Creative Sets creates a highly relevant, contextual experience for prospective customers,” says Cooper.

With minimal time and effort, TextNow improved conversion rates with Creative Sets. TextNow plans to continue optimising creative to drive performance, showing different creative combinations for key audience segments like younger users and small business professionals.

Improve performance with relevancy.

TextNow focuses on Apple Search Ads campaigns with category keywords related to key app features like “free calling”, “free texting” and “free phone number”. Competitor campaigns help improve app discoverability for users searching for similar apps.

“Our core audience is going to the App Store and searching for a utility. That means when we focus on search terms related to the functionality of our features, we see better performance. Customers may be searching for apps similar to ours but discover our features better meet their needs. Our competitor campaigns have a low cost per acquisition because people do some comparison shopping on the App Store,” says Cooper.

Apple Search Ads is TextNow’s largest iOS acquisition platform, driving an average of 60,000 downloads per month with an average cost per acquisition that is 20 per cent lower than other advertising platforms. Most importantly, TextNow attracts customers on Apple Search Ads with up to 10 per cent higher lifetime value compared to new users from other platforms. Return on investment is also 20 per cent higher with Apple Search Ads. Additionally, key conversion metrics like registration and call rates as well as retention rates for new customers acquired through Apple Search Ads are better than users who download the app organically.

“With most channels, you see dramatically different results from paid versus organic. But with Apple Search Ads, the opposite is true. No other platform consistently delivers new users who match the quality of users from organic downloads. That’s why when I allocate budget every month, I set up Apple Search Ads campaigns first. Whatever is left over goes to other platforms,” says Cooper.

Creative Sets creates a highly relevant, contextual experience for prospective customers.

Tyler Cooper, TextNow

Company Snapshot

  • TextNow Inc.
  • Social Networking category
  • Founded in 2009
  • Based in Waterloo,
    Ontario, Canada
  • 100 employees
  • App Store rating of 4+