Why You Should Leverage Desktop to Boost Your Mobile App’s Success in 2021

Image credits: Plann on Unsplash

Given that our name begins with “App”, we are still very much in the business of promoting apps and helping our clients reach their mobile advertising KPIs. We know that we live in a mobile-first world. However, we also recognize that the digital advertising landscape is complex and always shifting. 

Today, we clearly see that brands and companies who expand their reach beyond mobile and employ an omni-channel approach are more successful in achieving their goals. So we think it’s instrumental to be able to help our partners run campaigns on both mobile and desktop. 

This is why at Apptrust, we have opened up our inventory to include Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) on top of Cost-Per-Install (CPI) and Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) payout models. This means that if you’re an app focused on mobile traffic, you can boost efforts by combining it with desktop products – and optimize for users on both of these channels. 

Find out why it might be time to consider a different approach to mobile-only campaigns (yes, even if you are a mobile app) and discover the benefits of adding desktop as an additional format.

The CPL Model Explained and Its Benefits

In the CPL (Cost-Per-Lead) performance marketing model, the advertiser pays a fixed price for each lead that is generated by driving traffic to a website. With CPL, the ultimate goal is to collect leads aka data (such as email addresses) from potential consumers and target users. An advertiser pays the publisher only when a specific predetermined action is performed: for example, if the ad is clicked by a user and a lead or conversion is created – hence why it’s cost-per-lead. 

Traffic sources that tend to work best with CPL include: email traffic (promoting newsletter sign-ups or subscriptions to your database or database you buy); desktop traffic via display or social ads, and to convert your mobile WiFi traffic. CPL is a model that strikes a balance for publishers and advertisers risks. The key is finding the traffic or angle that can provide a high volume of leads that convert.

At Apptrust we focus on different verticals. Our portfolio includes finance offers, as well as insurance, VPN and anti-virus.

Why it’s time to look outside of mobile-only performance marketing campaigns 

  • Multiple touchpoints are better than one to reach new users

It’s a mobile-first world, with mobile share at 55% (which has risen during Covid-19 – read more in our report), desktop at nearly 42% and tablet at almost 3% (Statcounter).

While the desktop/mobile split is significant, consumers own more than one device. Today consumers use an average of almost six touch-points, compared to two-three in the past. They move more quickly between channels and devices and expect to see a consistent message across.

So if you want to reach more new users or consumers, even as an app, the best practice is to diversify your marketing mix. By opening your advertising to different channels and targeting users across multiple devices, you also have access to a higher inventory of ad placements to work with. 

A 2020 survey by PFL found that marketers who use 4-6 channels in their multichannel campaigns report the best response rates. They saw that integrated, branded, and personalized direct mail are the most effective channels for reaching target audiences. 

Data is also key. Data accuracy, understanding audience needs, and branding are the top multichannel success factors. 

  • You can increase brand engagement by leveraging the purchase funnel

You know the saying: “Never put your eggs in one basket”? It certainly applies here. The more points-of-contact you offer to users, the more likely it is that they can convert or purchase. 

Advertising across multiple devices increases brand engagement (Yahoo! Research). Engagement with your brand and ad depends on the device used and the user’s position in the purchase funnel. 

Channel diversity is more effective for the early impressions than for the late impressions – so, a good tip would be to adjust your performance marketing strategy by serving a high volume of ads to your target users across multiple devices while they are high in your purchase funnel, and lower the volume as they move down it. You should also create ads for different ads for people in different stages of the funnel.

To succeed: spread efforts across different channels to target the right users, on the right device and at the right time. 

  • By accessing more data you can target users better

Image credits: Joseph Frank on Unsplash

Diversity in your performance marketing campaign set-up is important for data. To reach consumers effectively, you have to learn about their behavior – what motivates them to purchase your product or service? 

By gathering data from different devices, you are able to understand your target users better – thus, you can segment your user base in a number of different ways, tailoring your messaging and offers by channel.

Access to multi-channel data empowers you to choose how to balance inventory, meet users where they are and provide the best service.This point is especially relevant after the iOS 15 IDFA rollout – the limited transparency on Apple mobile devices is likely to make attribution more difficult. So it’s advisable for app and mobile advertisers to look at alternative data sources.

To conclude: by centralizing comprehensive data from all your sources and channels with the help of a trusted mobile partner like Apptrust, you can offer a more complete and integrated omni-channel experience to your users, to boost your ROI. 

  • CPL online campaigns benefit specific app verticals

As we shared earlier on our blog, the finance app sector is booming. The financial vertical includes bank, loan, insurance.

Desktop is a format that is well suited for this vertical. With offers from insurance and financial loans and debt, there is never a shortage of high converting offers. Our advice for advertisers in this vertical is to work with a trusted partner agency that has a strong understanding of the traffic and campaigns they can provide, and that already have affiliates who have experience with promoting finance and insurance offers, because working with high-quality traffic is essential for campaign success.

Services like VPN and anti-virus also perform well on desktop, dating, and eCommerce too – with 46% of retail executives in 2020 increasing their investment in omni-channel retail, when compared to prior to COVID-19 (BigCommerce and Retail Dive).


The performance marketing industry is shifting to a more holistic, omni-channel model. 

In 2021, consumers can access products or services via an app on their mobile smartphone – or with a desktop computer, tablet, and laptop. Everything is hyper-connected, so brand consistency is more important than ever before. 

Zendesk shared that 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience. Marketers must provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device.

Successful mobile advertising campaigns benefit from parallel campaign execution across multiple devices including desktop/PCs, and in the right channels. Targeting the right customers through the right channels by creating compelling ads will help you increase the ROI.

By increasing the point-of-contact and creating different ads for desktop and mobile, you will stay in your target audience’s mind, increasing the click-through rate as a result. By measuring your ad performance, you’ll know what to optimize in order to boost the success rate of your omni-channel campaigns.

Want to run joint campaigns on mobile and desktop, but don’t know where to start?

By working with a trusted partner who can help you diversify your marketing mix by adding new devices and formats to your campaign, you can scale and achieve your performance marketing goals. Contact us now at partners@apptrust.io for more info.

Author: Elizabeth Marchetti