Do apps feel the love on Valentine’s Day?

Originally appearing on Retail Tech News — Co-written by James Haslam, Senior Content Manager at Adjust and Florencia Vago, Marketing Manager at Jampp

Marketers with an eye for seasonal trends always want to know how to make the most of certain holidays. Special dates almost always see usage spikes as people turn to their phones to make the most of the celebration with food, trips, and presents to name a few.

So, how do people use apps during Valentine’s day? While the impact of Valentine’s Day on Travel apps is a little harder to measure (as most users will book trips ahead of time), other verticals show palpable results depending on locale.

In our study, we looked at three different countries: the U.S., U.K. and Germany, with data that compared Android and iOS performance for Food & Drink apps. This category is made up of food delivery apps, and restaurant discovery — even cookbooks.

Valentine’s Day: A holiday for food lovers

In the U.S., both Adjust and Jampp saw an increase in sessions (the measure of user’s opening an app) of about 5% on Valentine’s Day — representing a small but potent opportunity to reach out to users ready to eat out — or enjoy a romantic meal together at home.

In Germany, Jampp found that the impact of Valentine’s Day triggers a 32% increase of in-app revenue events compared to other Wednesdays in the month (the comparison for measuring uplift).

The graph evidences the weekend spikes, typical for the vertical — with Saturdays the most popular day of the week. Looking more closely, the rise of activity during Valentine’s Day is visibly higher than activity on other Wednesdays of the month.

There is even more of a pronounced effect in the U.K. On Valentine’s Day, Adjust saw a huge upswing in activity, with a 40% rise in iOS sessions and 44% in Android sessions. The jump is highly visible — equalling weekend traffic in the region.

This U.K. increase can also be seen in terms of revenue. Jampp recorded a revenue increase of 41% (in relation to other Wednesdays) on the day, a massive increase on the norm.

There are two possible explanations for this: either couples like to celebrate with a meal, either in or out — or singles perhaps prefer to make themselves feel better with their favorite food to go dishes or food delivery at home. Whatever the reason, Valentine’s Day is more pronounced here than elsewhere — at least suggesting that different regions celebrate, well, differently.

What does this mean for app marketers?

This particular holiday offers a great opportunity for advertisers to capture users’ high intent, with apparently little to no additional cost per impression. While most holidays and special dates see peaks in effective cost-per-mille (or, eCPM), this is not the case for Valentine’s day.

Source: Aggregated data from Jampp’s Integrated Exchanges

Best Practices for Holiday Ads

How can mobile marketers capitalize on high activity holidays and special dates?

  • Don’t wait until the actual date! Start retargeting one to two weeks before the holiday. As people start thinking about it, to capture early intent and gather insights to target each user with the most relevant message.
  • Relevant Message: Create more than one theme-set. Ad rotation is key during this period: app usage increases over these dates, ad rotations will help keep users more engaged, as well as providing more data to better understand user behavior.

For example: during Valentine’s Day, some marketers created different sets for Couples and Singles, which can also generate more insights.

  • Don’t go all in: Images and colors are the ad components that have the most significant impact on CTR. Alternatively, elements such as font style and font size barely move the needle. Each “holiday”/special date has icons and colors that advertisers can leverage for easy recognition.

For example: simply using a Valentine’s Day palette (mainly pinks and reds) can help an ad stand out from general/current ads, grabbing the user’s attention. Showing ads related to current dates/events shows the up-to-dateness and the relevance of the product and directly targets the needs of the users.

  • Relevance is Key: Make sure to have another ad set ready to go live as soon as the date is over.

Wrapping Up

Holidays and special dates don’t impact every region in the same way. Some places even celebrate it on different days: Brazil celebrates “Dia Dos Namorados” / “Lovers day” on June 12th in addition to celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 14th. Japan also has a second celebration on March 14th, known as ‘White Day’.

That said, running retargeting campaigns for special dates is worth a try. In Germany and the U.K., app marketers found Valentine’s Day offered an opportunity to capture high intent at no additional cost per impression.

Our Methodology

The data for this post covers January and February of 2018 app activity in Germany, United Kingdom and the United States.

The post analyzes aggregate data from Android and iOS food apps (both restaurant discovery apps and food delivery apps) from Adjust’s and Jampp’s platform. Multiple apps and their associated monetization events have been analyzed and aggregated to produce this data. The data does not reflect the usage pattern of any single app.

Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Wednesday last year, Adjust and Jampp compared sessions of every Wednesday in the studied period to find out how much in-app activity increased.

About Adjust

Adjust is the industry leader in mobile measurement and fraud prevention. The globally operating company provides high-quality analytics, measurement and fraud prevention solutions for mobile app marketers worldwide, enabling them to make smarter, faster marketing decisions.

About Jampp

Jampp is a leading growth platform for the on-demand economy. The company combines behavioral data with predictive and programmatic technology to generate revenue for advertisers by showing personal, relevant ads that inspire consumers to install and purchase within apps.