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Debora Paladino,

Creative Lead,

Admiral Media,

Oct 17, 2023

User Acquisition Mistakes: Insights from a 26 Million EUR Spent

User acquisition in the world of digital marketing can be a daunting and intricate task. With ever-evolving strategies, platforms, and data to consider, even experienced marketers can make costly mistakes. To shed light on this complex landscape, our Performance Marketing Director Pablo Perez, shared his insights together with John Koetsi, the host of Singular’s “Growth Masterminds”. 


How to avoid Rookie mistakes in User Acquisition

During the interview, Pablo shared a wealth of knowledge about the most common and detrimental user acquisition mistakes. Here is how to avoid them and a breakdown of each:

  • Diversify Across Multiple Ad Platforms: Overreliance on a single advertising channel, such as Google Ads or TikTok, can be risky. Diversifying your ad platforms allows you to compare performance and mitigate losses if one platform underperforms.
  • iOS Spend Shouldn’t Be Reduced: Despite tracking limitations introduced by Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT), iOS remains a high-performing platform. Cutting budgets here can lead to missed opportunities.
  • Meet SKAN Minimum Thresholds: Failing to meet SKAN (SKAdNetwork) minimum thresholds can limit data availability. However, this challenge is solvable with the right strategy and tools, like SKAN Advanced Analytics.
  • Consistently Test Creatives: Continuous testing of ad creatives, copy, and CTAs is vital. It helps identify what resonates with your audience and ensures you’re not missing out on optimization opportunities.
  • Have a Creative Testing Approach: Testing is essential, but having a structured testing approach with clear methodologies and objectives is even more critical. It enables meaningful comparisons between different tests.

pablo-expert-photo“By testing, you can actually identify which opportunities you can find out there.”

– Pablo Perez Gonzales, Performance Marketing Director @ Admiral


  • Align Ad Messaging with Core Value Proposition: Misleading or off-brand ad messaging can lead to high customer acquisition costs (CAC) and poor retention. Ensure your ads align with your app’s core value proposition.
  • Don’t Over-Boost Underperforming Campaigns: Boosting underperforming campaigns without addressing underlying issues can lead to inaccurate data interpretation and poor decision-making.
  • Don’t Keep Poor-Performing Creatives Running: Decision-making should be data-driven. If an ad creative consistently underperforms, it’s better to change it than hope for a miracle.

pablo-expert-photo“You need to actually take care of your campaigns, check the numbers, analyze what are the number of installs you’re getting on a daily basis.”

– Pablo Perez Gonzales, Performance Marketing Director @ Admiral


  • Pay Attention to Ad Placement Data: Not all ad placements are the same. Understanding where your ads perform best is crucial for optimizing your campaigns.
  • Rely on Multiple Data Sources: In-platform reporting is valuable, but it’s not the whole picture. Utilize multiple data sources, including Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs), to gain a comprehensive understanding of your campaigns.
  • Consider Retention and Churn Rates: Collaboration between the product and marketing teams is essential. Acquiring users who don’t convert or are retained for a short time can be costly.
  • Analyze App Uninstalls: App uninstalls can provide valuable feedback. Understanding when and why users uninstall your app can inform creative strategies and design decisions.
  • Leverage Synergies Between UA and ASO: User acquisition (UA) and app store optimization (ASO) go hand in hand. Understanding their synergies can help you allocate your budget more effectively.
  • Recognize the Power of ASO: A well-optimized app store listing page is a critical component of user acquisition. It should align with your marketing strategy, language, and creativity.
  • Analyze User Ratings and Feedback: User ratings and reviews can significantly impact your app’s ranking and conversion rates. Regularly monitoring and responding to user feedback is essential.

To conclude

User acquisition is undoubtedly a challenging endeavor, but with the right insights and strategies, marketers can avoid common pitfalls. The interview with Pablo Gonzales serves as a valuable resource for those looking to optimize their user acquisition campaigns. By learning from the 15 worst mistakes outlined in the interview, marketers can navigate this complex landscape more effectively and achieve better results.

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