Keeping Up with ASO Updates Impacting App Store Optimization in 2019
3 great apps that take content marketing seriously  

How to outperform your competitors by tracking LTV throughout Cross-Promoted Gaming Portfolios

Guest Contributor

By Makoto Taguchi

While paid user acquisition is crucial for games of all genres (read more about its effect on hyper-casual games here), cross promotion is an effective way to retain and monetize users beyond their initial entry into your portfolio. With the help of Tenjin many publishers have already taken advantage of building in-house cross-promotional tools. Not surprisingly, hyper-casual publishers picked it up first (we generally see that they are the most innovative ones in the industry).  


Here’s why everyone is investing in the cross-promotion:

  • Unlike other UA channels, cross-promotion is free
  • Brand loyalty and genre similarities mean that cross-promoted user quality tends to be better than average
  • Cross-promotion creates a network effect
  • By showing ads in their apps developers increase the risk of churn. With cross-promotion, developers decrease this risk across their portfolio. The more apps that are on the device, the more likely users are to come back and be monetized again.


With that said, cross-promotion is still something that very few publishers are properly measuring. Much like a good game, Cross-promotion is easy to learn, but hard to master. Here’s how developers can get a handle on the value of their cross-promotion efforts.


How many games in your portfolio do users play?


One of the first things that developers will need to know to understand the value of cross-promotion is the number of portfolio titles their users interact with.


This is relatively easy to calculate if you have access to raw user-level data in your data warehouse. Just query how many unique device IDs are spotted within different apps across your portfolio. If you don’t have your own data warehouse, we’d suggest using Tenjin DataVault (for details please contact We will also provide you with success modules to help guide you through these calculations in a few easy steps.


Calculating LTV inclusive of cross-promotion


Usually, the simplified version of the cross-promotional framework looks something like this..


Images of simplified version of the cross-promotional framework


Step 1: Users come from paid/organic UA sources to App A

Step 2: Users are cross-promoted to either app B, C or D

Step 3: Users are cross-promoted to other apps in the portfolio

Because the user will generate ad revenue in each app they download and install after app A, their total LTV across the portfolio will be higher than their LTV of app A alone.


If it was that simple, calculating LTV for a user’s activity across a portfolio would simply be the sum of all LTVs in the path of the user:


LTV(total) = LTV(A) + LTV(B) + LTV(C)...


However, user behavior is hard to predict. A user may stop playing your apps after installing app A and another will install 2 of 4 apps in a given portfolio. Understanding user behavior in such an active network requires access to user-level data. Developers not only need to search for unique device IDs across multiple apps but also combine the resulting revenue, taking into account each campaign (cross-promotional + UA campaign), that was triggered during the user journey.


Once you’re finished with that you will be able to build LTV cohorts and calculate ROI across the portfolio, which can be an extremely valuable insight. Handled properly, it allows marketers and developers to scale their UA activity by increasing bids while still preserving their original margins.


We’ve only scratched the surface of how to use cross-promotional activities to your advantage, and there’s a lot more to explore.


Questions like:

  • When should you start showing cross-promotional ads?
  • What users should you cross-promote?
  • What should a proper cross-promotion framework look like?
  • How can cross-promotion be managed programmatically?


At Tenjin, our customer success team is dedicated to helping our clients answer all of these questions and more. If you would like to learn more, or if you have a different question regarding cross-promotion, feel free to send us an email at


Makoto Taguchi is Tenjin's Head of Sales in APAC.  Thanks for his extensive User Acquisition experience, he is leading Tenjin's Customer Success efforts in educating clients about best practices for ad revenue based apps and subscription apps. You can find Makoto on LinkedIn.