Success Story

PrivacyStar fuels growth with AdMob Network

PrivacyStar fuels growth with AdMob Network

PrivacyStar is the dream app for anyone tired of unwanted telemarketing calls. It’s a service for smartphone devices that lets you display your own personal “Do Not Disturb” sign, and it can automatically report privacy violations to the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). With over a million downloads since 2009, it has already blocked well over 120M calls and filed hundreds of thousands of “Do Not Call List” violations. The team, however, faced a challenge when it came to driving downloads. To solve this problem, PrivacyStar turned to Google Admob.

Determining how to be drive downloads

After launching, PrivacyStar quickly saw how challenging discovery and driving downloads could be. Early on they realized that their app would need a savvy marketing approach to drive usage and boost business profitability and growth. Because of its broad feature set and appeal for privacy-seekers crosses gender and socioeconomic boundaries, PrivacyStar took a horizontal marketing approach using desktop display and television advertising for promotion. While successful, this initial acquisition strategy resulted in relatively high cost-per-acquisition (CPA), with downloads costing upwards of $5.

“Our initial strategy was to test channels, drive downloads, and then model consumer usage behavior using data from Google Analytics,” says Josh Smith, chief operating officer and co-founder of PrivacyStar. “We soon realized that we needed to jumpstart the business by reaching more targeted users, so we decided to try ads delivered right on their smartphones.”

Doubling down on digital ads

Seeing the need to target their audience while on specific smartphone devices and slash CPA, Josh’s team focused on a strategy of display ads using AdMob. They wanted to reach users who would download the app directly from a select, highly customized set of ads placed within apps across the AdMob network. The goals were to keep CPA low and streamline customer on-boarding through complementary tactics such as shorter free trials.

“AdMob would allow us to reach highly targeted audiences across all our smartphone platforms and promote PrivacyStar within other mobile apps - AdMob’s formats are flexible and the reach is tremendous,” says Smith.

The team then began optimizing their advertising within other mobile apps on the AdMob network - informed by data from Google Analytics. App placements were limited to particular app categories to focus their audience, and those that didn’t meet the aggressive CPM targets were excluded. Within a month, cost per acquisition fell to less than $2, a fraction of what they were previously paying.

When we’ve tried to scale our mobile ads on other networks, the quality of the leads dropped. That’s not the case when we deploy on a large scale with AdMob. The two words I would use to describe AdMob are quality and scale

Jeff Stalnaker, CEO and Co-Founder, PrivacyStar

Analyzing and optimizing for growth

PrivacyStar has followed best practices through continuous testing and optimization. They use Analytics data to make decisions by tracking metrics on everything from creative, messaging, and demographics, to platform, ad network, carrier network, and more. “With the introduction of the mobile API in Google Analytics, we are able to truly target by device, carrier, network, and creative, giving us the insight we need to effectively manage our CPA,” Smith explains.

Using AdMob to improve return-on-ad spend and keeping a close eye on key performance indicators with Google Analytics, PrivacyStar has built a business that’s successful and poised for growth. “With AdMob, we have an effective CPA that allows us to grow and continue to deliver the highest quality of services possible focused on privacy, protection, and preference,”
says Stalnaker.

Interested in taking your monetization strategy to the next level? Request a consultation with one of our AdMob specialists today.