What is (CPE) cost per engagement?

Cost per engagement, or CPE, is a pricing model used in mobile user acquisition campaigns in which app advertisers choose a post-install event and only pay for users who engage in that specific event.That means initial impressions and actions are free, but once a user reaches a specific in-app milestone, the advertiser incurs a cost. In this pricing model, advertisers ensure they’re getting something in return for their ad spend. It’s considered a low-risk way strategy: Either a user engages with the ad (mission accomplished!) or doesn’t (you don’t pay).

User acquisition managers increasingly turn to Cost Per Engagement (CPE) to ensure user quality and maximize return on ad spend. In cost per engagement advertising, the event can be defined in a number of ways, such as playing to specific levels, registering for an account, completing an in-app demo, and completing a specific challenge.

CPE = advertising cost / engagements

Rewarded CPE Campaigns

To incentivize user actions and maximize ad budget, CPE campaigns typically use a rewarded model. However, some ad networks and DSPs charge on an impression basis (CPM) and use machine learning to hit engagement objectives. In such cases, advertisers can set targets or ceilings for CPE, but they will still be charged for impressions, regardless of whether they result in the desired engagement. This model can still be very effective, but usually for low-friction engagements, such as registering for an in-app account. Rewarded CPE is the best option if your goal is to drive deeper funnel engagements, such as completing key game levels.

Rewarded CPE campaigns are typically delivered to audiences via in-app mobile offerwalls. The mobile gaming space is home to some of the most successful CPE campaigns ever run. The reason CPE works so well in mobile games is because they are a natural environment for rewarded ads. Rewarded Cost Per Engagement provides users with virtual currency in return for engagement, increasing the odds of interaction.

Is it possible to target multiple events in one ad campaign?

Yes, app advertisers can leverage Multi-Reward Engagements for CPE to target multiple in-app milestones. The benefit of the Multi-Reward format is that it encourages deeper user engagement with progressively greater rewards. This offer type is particularly effective for RPG, strategy, and casino games that get the most value from deeply invested users though we do see casual apps and idle clickers get the most value from the format when milestones are selected strategically.

What are the benefits of CPE advertising?

Performance-based pricing. Cost Per Engagement campaigns ensure that advertisers don’t blow their budget on ads that never gain any traction with their intended audiences. New users are required to interact with their app before being charged — if they simply install and don’t engage, the advertiser doesn’t have to pay. Because every user is more than an install, advertisers are also insulated from some types of mobile ad fraud, including organic poaching.

Promotes user choice. The app market is incredibly crowded, and quality users are increasingly harder to come by. Rewarded in-app engagements are opt-in, which means users self-select and engage only with the offers that interest them.

Guaranteed ad engagement. Putting ads for your gaming app in front of users who like mobile games emphasizes your app’s value upfront, increasing the likelihood of long-term retention.

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