How does PPI work for app marketing?

In short, PPI – which stands for pay-per-install – works by using advertising during the installation process. Each time you present a third-party offer that is accepted by your customers, you earn money.

How Does PPI Work for App Marketing?

It’s simple: PPI turns the installation process into an advertising funnel. You can take advantage of this funnel to advertise other products to earn revenue. You can also promote your own product through other advertisers’ installers.

Developers hand-craft the installation funnel and the way offers are presented, so it makes sense for other developers and software publishers to use PPI to promote their own products…and make money off them.

But why not just use in-app ads, donations, or other forms of advertising? Here are a few reasons.

Why Is PPI Better for App Monetization?

You monetize the download and installation, not the app engagement. When you use in-app ads, you are earning money based on how much users interact and engage with your app. If your app is downloaded once and never used again, you’re stuck with an app that isn’t making you money.

You have full control over ads that appear. When you run in-app ads from certain networks, you have little to no control over which ads appear. Algorithms auto-optimize the ads for you, and sometimes present ads that have very little relevance and value for your users. On the other hand, PPI advertising lets you choose which offers are presented and exactly how they appear.

You can continue monetizing over the long term. At first glance, monetizing the installation may seem like a one-shot deal. But if you update your product regularly, you simply need to ask your users to download and install the latest version for new benefits and features. This, of course, means you’ve got another opportunity to monetize the installation.

Each conversion earns more. Click-throughs for in-app ads can vary, and they aren’t always that great. A few cents here and there requires a lot of traffic to make real money. But imagine earning $1 or more each time an offer is accepted. The exact numbers vary, of course, but you have power over your ads and your own revenue stream.

A Few Tips for Earning Money with Your PPI Program

PPI advertising is a great way to earn money, but a few common mistakes can hinder your revenue stream. Here are a few tips for boosting your bottom line and earning more:

Analytics are provided for a reason – use them. Analytics are incorporated into the best installer programs. Not only will they tell you how many downloads you are getting, but you’ll also find out how much money you’re making, when people are abandoning the installation, and more. Learn what works and what doesn’t.

Split-test. Split-testing functionality is included in industry-leading solutions such as InstallFuel. Together with analytics, you’ll be able to optimize and improve your installation funnel, which will boost your bottom line and give you insight into your customers’ needs. Things to test include new offers, opt-in versus opt-out methods, copywriting, images, and button colors.

Require a new download with each update. Each time you update your software, request that users download the updated version of your program. Each new download means a new installation and more ads.

Incorporate other monetization strategies. In-app advertising, free trials, and in-app purchases are just a few other ways you can monetize your software. Since PPI monetizes the installation process, you’ll only earn revenue when customers proceed through the installer. To monetize engagement, test other methods.

Customize the installer for your users. Where do your users live and what do they look for in a product? To earn the most money, you’ll need to profile them and find out details such as location, economic status, interests, and so on. Choose your PPI offers based on this information.

Customize the installer for your brand. Any long-term business needs to be branded. If you aren’t branded already, have a designer come up with a logo and color scheme for your company, then incorporate that into the installer. Bootstrappers will be able to find affordable options on outsourcing websites or graphics marketplaces, such as Envato.

Pay to promote your own products. Growth is a vital part of every company’s long-term business plan. Pay to advertise your own product through the same network. Monetization is, of course, the top priority for any developer, but without an expanding user base, you won’t be able to grow as a business.


PPI app marketing and monetization is one effective monetization strategy for developers, but it is not the only one. For more detailed information and more comprehensive monetization solutions, consider a monetization platform