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5 A/B tests you should run to increase revenue for your mobile game

Date

29/04/2022

Written by

Airnow

Any mobile game developer worth their salt knows that regularly updating their games is a crucial way of ensuring that those games are the best they can be for players.

But how do you know what you need to update? And how can you tell what’s working, and what isn’t?

The answer is through A/B testing.

A/B testing is a randomized experiment which tests multiple variants against the current creative asset. This allows you to compare the effectiveness of various design elements, such as accompanying text to an image, the difference in colors or the target audience selected. The possibilities are endless. A/B testing gives you reliable, scientific feedback to back up your choices, rather than just relying on your gut feeling. Just ensure that you have a large enough cohort for testing so you do not make changes based on too small of a set of users.

That’s what makes A/B testing one of the most influential experiments you can run, not only in terms of improving your mobile game performance, but boosting your mobile game sales and in-game revenue too.

Perfecting your strategy can make all the difference when it comes to improving the vital indicators of a good game: retention, engagement and monetization. So here are 5 top tips from our Insights team to make your A/B testing strategies as effective as possible.

1. Make sure you split test impact on customer experience

The majority of mobile games are free-to-play (F2P) so you’ll most likely rely on a good deal of your revenue generation through ads. Rather than just firing out all those ads at the same time, you can A/B test how they fare in different locations or how often you show an interstitial ad, and see how this impacts retention. The winning placement is the one where your retention is the same, whether or not the ads are present.

Alongside ad placement, you can also test the type of ad formats that players find the least interruptive to their gameplay, helping them maintain interest in your game for longer.

2. Test the new ad network

Looking for higher fill rates and even higher eCPMs (Effective cost per thousand impressions)? The best way to go about this is to integrate as many ad networks as possible to increase the amount of competition in your inventory. By adding a new network and testing it out, you can see whether the ad network will cause any technical issues and whether the benefits that it brings are worthwhile.

The most important network to look for when A/B testing a new ad network is ARPDAU.

ARPDAU refers to Average Revenue Per Daily Active User, and it’s the greatest indicator of whether your monetization is working well - whether that’s revenue generated through ads, IAPs, or both. Aside from ARPDAU, we also recommend that you follow other key metrics such as eCPM, engagement rate, and retention.

3. Remember, it’s all about timing

When it comes to monetization, whether that's through push notifications, reward ads, interstitial ads or any other ad format, timing is crucial.

In order to make sure you get the timing of your ads right, you should start A/B testing this variable during the soft launch of a game. This helps you to find out exactly which type of ads should be shown to users (and at what frequency) in order to maximize engagement. By striking the perfect balance, users will be more likely to have longer play sessions and, in turn, boost your revenue.

Testing the frequency and amount of times an ad can be seen by a user in a particular session is known as ‘capping’ and ‘pacing’.

4. A/B test your videos

A/B testing video offers you many elements to play with and in a much more different way than static ad testing. Video is an incredible medium for storytelling that can quickly connect with players. It’s also an excellent way to market your game. So why wouldn’t you use it? And, more importantly, why wouldn’t you test it when you do to make sure it’s the best it possibly can be?

Using split testing, you can analyze the various storytelling techniques of your video to see which type is the most effective for your game. Sometimes, a skillfully put together animation can be a much clearer representation of your game than just the standard gameplay itself.

5. Test banner refresh rate

We all know that implementing banner ads to your mobile game ensures that every user will be monetized, not just those that engage with rewarded ads. But in order to get the optimum performance from your banners, it is essential to A/B test the refresh rate.

In general, the cost-benefit analysis goes something like this: the faster the refresh rate, the more impressions you will get. However, this comes at the cost of the probability that the user will not understand the ad content, or that the user’s gameplay will feel more obstructed. Refreshing too often can also cause the banner ad to have trouble loading.

The solution?

Try testing whether lengthening the banner rate positively impacts your monetization. Users may be more likely to engage and click on the ads, but the impressions may be less. Using A/B testing, you can find out where the sweet spot lies for the length of your banner ads between positive user experience and maximizing revenue.

Conclusion

If you're not leveraging A/B testing for monetization purposes, it's about time you started. To improve your KPIs, it’s a wise move to test everything you can - and these 5 tips are just the start.

If you want to find out more about A/B testing, don’t hesitate to get in contact with a member of our team, or you can find out more about Airnow Data’s products and services on our website: https://airnowdata.com/.

This blog post was written with the help of our partners, Lab Cave, a mobile game publishing and ASO specialists company based in Madrid. Check out some of their awesome services, including A/B testing and much much more.