The team behind BGNmobi — which provides a smarter, faster, and more secure mobile device experience with a wide range of security and utility apps — isn’t running short on ideas. In fact, it has too many projects on its plate.
“There are always good ideas that are waiting for implementation,” says Burak Göncü, Founder and CEO of BGNmobi. “We released our first app in 2011, but our to-do list is still growing infinitely.”
To help it set priorities, the global developer decided it needed to better understand its 10M active users on App Locker, DNS Changer, and other apps. It wanted to identify the needs of both paying and non-paying users and figure out ways to monetize the experience of non-paying users.
BGNmobi decided to use Firebase Remote Config to experiment with different AdMob ad formats. Remote Config gives developers the ability to dynamically control, change, and optimize the look and behavior of their app without releasing a new version. It increased revenue by 60% and introduced premium content to non-paying users with rewarded ads without any negative impact on retention.
Learning more about its 10M active users
Since BGNmobi had been working with Google for some time, it knew that AdMob and Firebase were the tools it needed to learn more about its users.
“We use Firebase to understand our audience and improve the user experience,” says Göncü.
When it realized it had too many new ideas to optimize their apps, the BGNmobi team decided it needed to understand what its users wanted most. With Firebase Remote Config, it could test its ideas on small, random segments of users and then measure the impact on key KPIs, including retention and revenue. Sometimes a new feature might raise one KPI and lower another, so BGNmobi had to prioritize the target KPIs before starting the test and validate performance metrics before releasing the feature or change to its global users. It could also test different types of ad formats and analyze how they could affect conversion, engagement, revenue and other KPIs across their apps.
Testing results with strong increases in ad revenue
From the start, BGNmobi had been using native ads in AppLocker. It wanted to validate the performance of native ads against other AdMob ad formats. Since native ads and banner ads look and function in a similar way, BGNmobi didn't expect to see an impact on retention. That’s why it chose ad revenue as its test KPI. It used Firebase Remote Config to conduct a four-week experiment where half its global users saw native ads and the other half saw banner ads. The result was an impressive 60% increase in ad revenue with banner ads.
"It was a big surprise for us," says Göncü. "Generally, native ads are known as higher performers than banner ads."
Göncü attributed the test’s success to the banner ad format’s faster load time on their AppLocker's lock screen. The average show time of the lock screen is about four seconds, so load time is crucial, especially on older smartphones.
After that initial success, BGNmobi implemented a test with app open ads, again with 50% of its global user base. It saw its ad revenue increase by 15% while maintaining its retention rate at the same level. It now uses app open ads in seven of its eight apps.
The developer then focused on non-paying users on its DNS Charger app. When they closed the subscription screen, half of global users were shown rewarded ads offering them free use of the app and its premium features for a limited time. The other half did not receive the offer.
“Without affecting our retention rate, the rewarded ads increased our overall revenue by up to 5%,” says Göncü. “This is both ad and subscription revenue combined.”
With Google AdMob and Firebase, we want to expand our ecosystem to reach the next 10M active users.
Founder and CEO, BGNmobi,
Reaching our next 10M active users
Göncü says his team will expand its use of AdMob, Firebase Remote Config and other Firebase products. He says understanding customers is the key to fueling future growth.
“With Google AdMob and Firebase,” says Göncü, “we want to expand our ecosystem to reach the next 10M active users.”