Bubble Pop!

Players find a new favourite game. Bubble Pop! uncovers new insights in the US.

To drive expansion of its classic bubble shooter game in the US, Korean publisher and developer Bitmango wanted to capitalise on App Store intent. Armed with insights from Apple Search Ads, Bubble Pop! Puzzle Game Legend increased reach, retention and revenue.

The Results

5.7X increase in daily US installs in a year.
24% higher Day 7 retention compared with similar platforms in the US.
2X higher lifetime value compared with players from similar platforms in the US.
33% higher average revenue per user in the US compared with similar platforms.

The Challenge

In a crowded, mature gaming market such as the US, the Bitmango team needed to boost app discovery to expand their fan base and increase revenue. Driving high-quality acquisition requires reaching gamers actively looking for similar boredom-busting games. Another key business objective for the Bubble Pop! publisher: measuring their acquisition campaigns accurately and tracking efficiency beyond the initial download.

We reached more engaged and loyal players in the US with Apple Search Ads. They have better retention rates and 2x higher lifetime value compared with players from other ad platforms.

So-Hyun Choi,
Business Development Manager at Bitmango

The Solution

Drive acquisition by improving keyword coverage.

The Bitmango team launched discovery campaigns with Apple Search Ads, using Search Match to uncover new, relevant search terms in the US. They actively moved high-performing keywords to Exact Match for brand, category and competitive campaigns. With this keyword strategy, the team scaled awareness to the broadest possible audience.

“We discovered casual gamers on the App Store don’t search for specific apps but instead consider apps that generally meet their needs,” says So-Hyun Choi, Business Development Manager at Bitmango. “Keywords related to similar apps unexpectedly drove high install volume and retention rates. The US players we acquired with Apple Search Ads also had higher lifetime value.”

Optimise bidding to capture the right audience.

To refine their understanding of the US market even further, the Bitmango team actively tracked campaign performance at the keyword level. They adjusted bidding on top-performing keywords, helping them drive install volume as well as efficiency.

“It’s important to increase our customer base at a low cost, but it’s more important to get the right players. When we found the keywords with high tap-through rates and high conversion rates, we increased our maximum target cost per tap on these terms. This optimisation helped us attract users who were a better fit for our app,” says So‑Hyun Choi.

Maximise efficiency by monitoring retention.

To ensure that they were tracking post-install efficiency accurately, the Bitmango team specifically analysed retention performance at the keyword level. The team found that Apple Search Ads drove a 24 per cent higher retention of players seven days after they'd installed the app compared with users from other platforms in the US. Based on these insights, they increased bids aggressively on the search terms that drove the highest retention.

“With this approach, we increased downloads significantly in the US and were able to re-calculate long-term value from these players. In fact, we found players acquired through Apple Search Ads had 2x higher lifetime value than users from other ad platforms,” says So‑Hyun Choi.

Company snapshot

  • Bitmango
  • Games category
  • Launched in 2011
  • Based in Pangyo, South Korea