Case Study

Varo Bank launched in 2017 with the mission to advance financial inclusion and opportunity for all. As the first consumer fintech to be granted a national bank charter in 2020, Varo brings the best of fintech into the regulated system – an all digital, mission-driven, FDIC insured bank that empowers people with the products and support they need to achieve financial resilience. Varo’s core product offerings include premium bank accounts that have no minimum balance requirement or monthly account fee, high-interest savings accounts, a credit building program and a suite of tech-first features to help people save and manage their money effortlessly.

Read on to learn how Tamar Kassoff, Sr. Director of User Acquisition at Varo Bank, and her team used multiple ironSource UA products, such as including on-device campaigns with Aura and running on offerwall campaigns with the ironSource network, to significantly increase their downloads and installs.

Working with ironSource’s growth solutions to power our UA

To drive continued cost-efficient and scalable growth, our team at Varo Bank needed to look beyond the traditional distribution channels. That’s why we started working with ironSource Aura and, later, the ironSource network to grow our UA activity and diversify our channel mix. 

Expanding our reach and optimizing our campaigns with Aura 

Looking to expand our user base and having heard about ironSource through trusted connections, we started running campaigns directly on devices with ironSource Aura in March 2020. Considering one of our main focuses is financial inclusivity, we valued how Aura would allow us to reach users across many different types of devices. 

At first, we targeted a relatively low CPA goal on only one of Aura’s on-device placements - the setup manager - which puts our app in front of new device owners as they unbox their phones for the first time. 

Eventually, seeing positive results scaling with ironSource Aura and hoping to reach more users, we began increasing our CPA goal and expanding into additional placements, including the preload placement and launch notifications. The preload placement puts our app directly on the device from the moment of activation, ensuring our app is at the top of users' minds when they need to bank from their phones. With launch notifications that encourage users to open our app for the first time, we’re able to meet users at relevant times when they’re likely to engage. 

Looking to further grow our Aura activity, we tested their scale optimizer in July 2021. We were able to leverage the optimizer’s machine learning algorithm to ensure we were reaching additional quality users that would likely download our app and convert into valuable customers. Considering we were doing manual optimization prior, this feature allowed our scale to really take off. 

Increasing our Aura downloads by 716% 

With Aura’s unique placements and the efficiency of the scale optimizer, we were able to increase our Aura downloads by 716% all while reaching our KPI goals. 

Overall, we saw strong results using ironSource Aura. That, coupled with the relationships we built with our account manager, encouraged us to start exploring more of ironSource’s growth solutions. While Aura helped us scale our downloads, our team at Varo Bank also needed a way to drive signups once users had installed the app.  


Aura Downloads

Driving a high volume of quality users with ironSource’s offerwall 

At first, we were only running in-app advertising campaigns via rewarded video and interstitials. While the video ads drove a high amount of installs, we wanted to improve our signup rate. That’s why ironSource suggested we run on offerwall campaigns, too. 

After running on the ironSource offerwall for some time, ​​we optimized further by targeting apps that converted the most amount of users into account holders, which ensured we were hitting our KPIs. 

We also participated in ironSource’s double credit promotion campaigns to help scale up even more over weekends and major holidays each month. With these special promotions, users received twice the usual amount of in-game currency for completing a task on the offerwall. Doing so increased traffic for our offerwall promotions, leading to more account signups. 

Increasing ironSource signups by over 500% 

Running on the offerwall drove a high volume of users that not only installed but engaged with our app through signups and beyond. Considering these were CPE campaigns, we were only paying for the completed event - the account signup - which means we stayed cost effective while also driving a high number of installs. 

From June to October, signups from our ironSource offerwall campaigns increased by over 500%. 

"Working with ironSource’s growth solutions - both Aura and the network - has allowed us to scale our UA activity tremendously"

- Tamar Kassoff, Sr. Director of User Acquisition at Varo Bank

We are grateful for the effort our AMs put into ensuring our account succeeds and we can tell that they’re extremely invested in our account. We look forward to continuing working together.


Offerwall signups

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