Lowering CPI with Universal App Campaigns

Merkle | Periscopix have run Rigzone’s PPC activity for the past seven years, and our extensive Search structure combined with DSA and Remarketing campaigns means that we have have excellent coverage. 

There was, however, one black hole that eluded us and that was mobile


It was evident that a poor mobile site hindered our progress with mobile. Mobile users failed to engage well with the site and mobile traffic was eating up large portions of our budget, but with a negligible return. Failure to meet targets here meant that our only option was to add aggressive negative bid adjustments to our Search activity, dramatically reducing our presence on mobile.

As an agency, we know that the value of mobile is not necessarily clear in the KPIs that we would use to measure other activity. For recruitment, mobile is often the first step in a person’s journey to applying for a new job, representing a crucial research tool. We needed to ensure that Rigzone was visible in this initial step of the job hunt whilst limiting perceived wasted spend on tight budgets. As a result, we turned our attention to Universal App Campaigns (UAC). 


  • Create a strategy that increases brand presence on mobile globally and overcomes issues of a poor mobile site. 
  • Create cost-efficient campaigns with measurable returns that understand the value of mobile outside of our typical KPIs. 
  • Decrease our cost-per-install by 30%


With a new easy-to-use Android app that was vastly superior to Rigzone’s mobile site, UACs would allow us to drastically increase our reach across Search, GDN, YouTube and Google Play on mobile, whilst being able to adhere to strict budgets. 

Firstly, we began testing the UAC in the US, one of our key regions and one where we expected to see a higher level of competition in the app space. We then moved on to the UK before finally testing in countries in the Middle East and Australasia that Rigzone had highlighted to us as key to their business. 

UACs do not offer the same breadth of options in terms of optimisation as other campaign types, forcing us to be creative in the areas where we could make changes. We created ad text ideas in line with the Rigzone site copy and set the campaign to focus on acquiring new users. 

The key area that we could control was our target cost-per-install. To begin with we set this based on the agency’s previous experience with this campaign type. As we progressed with these campaigns across each region, we incrementally lowered each campaign’s target cost-per-install as we endeavoured to find the optimum level. 


Since launching in the US in June 2016, we are now live across seven countries. In our first month of running across all regions, our cost-per-install was £1.14 compared with last month where it was just 69p - a decrease of 39%. Overall we generated 19,849 app installs at a cost-per-install of just 79p.

Our overall average cost-per-click  was just 7p, significantly lower than any  other CPC’s across the rest of the account. 

Since launching in the US and adjusting our target CPI, over the course of seven months we have brought our CPI down by 59%.

"The mobile install campaign launched by Merkle | Periscopix was an eye opener for our Rigzone mobile strategy. Not only were we able to generate a high volume of installs at low cost but we also managed to achieve a very low average CPC. We are now looking forward to optimising our in-app traffic and conversions."

Emilie Holden, Digital Marketing Manager, Global Industry Group, DHI

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