Happy Color app icon

Happy Color

Customers get creative.
Happy Color boosts acquisition.

Happy Color ad on the App Store
X-Flow’s color-by-numbers game offers a soothing creative outlet on mobile. With Apple Search Ads, the Happy Color app drove growth among both new and former players while improving efficiency
and engagement.

The Results

#1 performing channel in the U.S. for cost-per-install (CPI).
10x growth in installs over two years.
50% additional increase in installs by including all users.
150% higher engagement (tap-through rate) for returning users than new users.

The Challenge

As a top coloring app, Happy Color faced growing challenges from new competitors around the world. To maintain their leadership position and drive growth in new markets, the team at X-Flow turned to Apple Search Ads. They initially focused on new users but quickly uncovered the value of reengaging former players with the app’s improved features.

As one of our top partners, Apple Search Ads helps us connect with the most relevant audiences, optimize our bidding easily, and drive acquisition that we know will always be high quality.

The Solution

Drive new user growth with relevant keywords.

To capture the right audience, the team at X-Flow initially structured their account by discovery, brand, category, and competitive campaigns. Discovery campaigns increased reach and identified new, relevant keywords beyond core search terms like color by number free. Brand campaigns with exact match capitalized on high-intent searches for the name of the app. Competitive and category campaigns using broad match helped increase awareness with casual gamers interested in similar apps.
“With Apple Search Ads, it’s easy to start acquisition campaigns and increase visibility of your app with just a few clicks,” says X-Flow User Acquisition Team Lead Julia Sotnik. “You can quickly improve Impression share and drive incremental, quality traffic.”

Optimize with performance insights.

Using the Campaigns dashboard, the X-Flow team closely monitored Apple Search Ads performance at the keyword level. They specifically tracked impressions, tap-through rate, conversion rate, and cost-per-acquisition to maximize efficiency. Adjusting bids on the best performing search terms helped increase both impressions and conversions.
“In the U.S., Apple Search Ads became our most cost-efficient platform and always delivers high-quality acquisition of engaged users,” said Sotnik. “After optimizing for performance, 80 percent of our traffic comes from brand terms and functional keywords in exact match. The rest are driven by discovery, competitive, and category campaigns.”

Expand reach to lapsed customers.

The X-Flow team initially focused their Apple Search Ads investment on acquiring new users. However, by eventually broadening their audience type to all users, they were able to increase installs by 50 percent while driving the same return on investment. Returning users were key to that growth. Redownload campaigns showed these users had 150 percent higher tap-through rates than new users.
“Since we launched, the quality of pictures on our app has evolved significantly and we’ve added exclusive content from major entertainment franchises,” says Sotnik. “With Apple Search Ads, we efficiently reengaged former users around these new features and learned how valuable redownloads are to our business.”

Company Snapshot

  • Happy Color
  • Games category
  • Launched in 2018
  • Based in London, UK
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