Happy Color

Customers get creative. Happy Color boosts acquisition.

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

The Results

No. 1 top-performing channel in the US 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 compared with new users.

The Challenge

As a top colouring app, Happy Color faced growing challenges from new competitors around the world. To maintain their leading position and drive growth in new markets, the team at X-Flow turned to Apple Search Ads. They focused on new users initially but quickly uncovered the value of re-engaging 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, optimise our bidding easily and drive acquisition that we know will always be of a high quality.

Julia Sotnik,
User Acquisition Team Lead at X‑FLow

The Solution

Drive new user growth with relevant keywords.

To capture the right audience, the team at X-Flow initially structured their account with discovery, brand, category and competitive campaigns. Discovery campaigns increased reach and identified new, relevant keywords beyond core search terms, such as "colour by number free". Brand campaigns with Exact Match keywords capitalised on high-intent searches for the name of the app. Competitive and category campaigns using Broad Match keywords helped to 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 Julia Sotnik, User Acquisition Team Lead. “You can quickly improve share of voice and drive incremental, high-quality traffic.”

Optimise 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 maximise efficiency. Adjusting bids on the best performing search terms helped to increase both impressions and conversions.

“In the US, Apple Search Ads became our most cost-efficient platform and always delivers high-quality acquisition of engaged users,” said Sotnik. “After optimising for performance, 80 per cent 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 per cent while driving the same return on investment. Returning users were key to that growth. Re-download campaigns showed these users had 150 per cent higher tap-through rates compared with 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 re-engaged former users around these new features and learnt how valuable re-downloads are for our business.”

Company snapshot

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