app, app marketing, app mobile

App Conversion Rate Optimization Case Study #1

CircleOf is a family caregiving app launched in 2018 through the Cisco Hyper-Innovation Living Lab that helps people organize, communicate, and collaborate around managing care for a loved one dealing with a sudden diagnosis, disability, or chronic/terminal illness.


The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic created an increased need for these types of services, which led to early success as CircleOf responded to the public’s desire for a digital solution to coordinate care for loved ones.

Features of the app include task management, calendar integration, messaging, video calling, and notifications, all of which help caregivers collaborate to provide better, smoother care to their loved one.


The CircleOf app was able to achieve very good results and garner consistent positive reviews from customers, especially during the pandemic’s peaks.


However, as Covid case numbers began to decrease, the company struggled to maintain benchmarks for new installs and registrations. CircleOf was disappointed that the CPA/CPI remained high over time (especially through the website), despite their efforts at lowering it.

The company, unsure whether to continue to focus on the website to drive traffic to the app or go for direct app traffic, turned to Happy Marketing in October, 2021 for help crafting a more strategic marketing plan.


Happy Marketing began with an extensive analysis of the target audience and the user funnel.  We devised a holistic omnichannel approach, placing equal focus on driving traffic to the website and the app. We also established solid media traffic, which had been lacking, and deployed advanced targeting methods to reach the ideal customers.


Leveraging early data from this new strategy, we confirmed our theory that acquiring customers through search engine traffic was not cost effective. CircleOf’s product was not relevant as an answer to customers’ search queries, which led to poor ROI for our website marketing efforts.


Based on this data, we shifted over to a more app-centric approach with the goal  of optimizing the first app impression using our MMP. We continued to use the website for SEO and to build CircleOf’s authority, but focused our marketing efforts almost exclusively on App Store Optimization and direct app traffic.

As part of this new strategy, we used A/B testing for our ads and devoted resources to improving the onboarding experience for customers. Together, these tactics streamlined the customer acquisition process and improved retention.


This app-centric approach clearly paid off. After 6 months of working with Happy Marketing, CircleOf saw the following results:

We were able to drive more media and organic traffic to the app, achieving sharp increases in downloads, registrations, and monthly active users (retention), while decreasing both the CPI and CPA. We also hit the primary KPI of 10,000 monthly downloads a full month earlier than forecast. And the best part? We did all this with a monthly ad spend that was 17.6% lower.

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