Facebook Ads Mobile App Case Study

February 10, 2019


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Facebook Ads


CASE STUDY: 0 – 750 Mobile App Downloads with $1k

Launching the Test Campaigns:

This is a case study done by Aces Media where we took a clients app from 0-750 downloads with $1,000 in ad spend.

Starting out we launched 10 different ad sets to see which audiences were reacting to the offer.

The intentions of these initial campaigns was to gather enough initial data to create custom audiences out of.

This way we could be sure that whoever we run the app download offer to is going to be interested.

Although, some of the best performing ad sets came from straight interest targeting and LAAs.

Once we started to get a good amount of downloads, (around 100), we cut out the ad sets that weren’t working.

Here’s an example:

We had some ad sets performing at $2+ CPA and others at a much cheaper price.

Overall, we were averaging a $1.22 CPA which is good so we started to capitalize on the audiences that were working.

Given that our target CPA is $2, we had a lot of room to test which is crucial.

In this case study we were working with a set budget of around $50/day.  

If done with a scalable budget we would have duplicated the cheapest ad sets and narrowed the targeting.

Another good way to lower the CPA is to improve your ad copy and the structure of your offer.  

We started with about 8 different ads with varying ad copy and creative.

After we reached 250 downloads it was clear that across all ad sets, 3 of the ads were generating much better results than the others.

So, we cut out 5 of the ad sets and started focusing solely on the ad sets to drive more conversions.


When we first launched the campaigns, our goal was to get as many downloads as we can below $2 each.

So starting out, there were 10 different ad sets that were very broad targeted audiences.

Meaning we were targeting men and women, ages 18-65+.

Then about every 3 days we would go in and check the breakdowns of each ad set.

If there was anything standing out, like an age group or placement with a super cheap CPA, we would duplicate it and test only that audience to see if it gives us a better result.

Every time we did this the CPA of the new ad set ended up being much lower than the original.


At this point we are starting to gather a lot of good data that we can now use to expand our marketing efforts.

For example, we created a custom conversion that was ‘Mobile App Purchases’ and anyone who downloads the app and purchases a subscription in the app is a very high valued customer.

When you upload a list of your highest CLV customers to Facebook, the LAAs you get will usually be hyper profitable.

In this case, we had gathered over 100 mobile app purchases and made an LAA out of it to receive a CPA of $0.84 which was exceptionally lower than our target.

Aces Media

If you are ever at the stage where you are running profitable campaigns but the CPP or CPA starts to creep up, test every different type of LAAs.

Something we like to say at Aces Media is, ‘test like a mad scientist.’

We say this because you never know when you are going to find a hyper profitable audience unless you test it.

Keep in mind, don’t go too crazy if you are on a tight budget.  

Just stick to what is working and try to narrow your targeting as best as possible.

TIP: If you have been advertising a product heavily and have already maxed out a lot of your LAAs, you can try visiting your ‘Ads Reporting’ and filter by Country or State and usually find some pretty profitable places, haha. (Shoutout to Facebook)


So at this point we are at 502 downloads with an average of $1.23 per download and $619 spent.

That is a pretty good ROAS (return on ad spend) considering the subscription price for this specific app.

At this moment, we are running all but 3 ad sets that are LAAs (lookalike audiences) and only manual bidding on one of the ad sets just to test it.

Usually we would only start manual bidding if we had a much bigger daily budget but it never hurts to test.

Fast forward to 650+ downloads and we have started to duplicate the LAAs and narrow the audiences by age.

After using the Breakdown tool in Ads Manager we were able to determine people who were age 35 or older, were much more interested in the app.

This helped us to maintain a very low CPA of $1.34.

We let those new campaigns run for 3-4 days now and we have finally hit our goal.

Mobile App Downloads: 755

Avg. Price Per Download: $1.39

Total Ad Spend: $1,047.44

As we continue running this campaign we are going to start really doubling down on retargeting and new lookalike audiences.

If you would like Aces Media to handle your Facebook ads, contact us today!

After the Campaign Matured:

Aces Media

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2 Responses to Facebook Ads Mobile App Case Study

  1. Kelsey N.

    This is by far one of the best Facebook ads mobile app case studies I’ve ever seen. Most people do not show the exact numbers from start to finish, and exactly the steps they took along the way to optimize the campaigns. I’m very impressed. You guys just gained a new subscriber 🙂

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