MENLO PARK, CA: Gender is a major influence in predicting which users will engage with mobile apps after the install, with cost-per-action (CPA) and conversion rates varying significantly between men and women across some app categories.

Liftoff, a mobile app marketing and retargeting solution, analysed CPA and conversion rates across 22.5m installs and 550m post-install events during the first quarter across six app categories, including dating, finance, shopping, social, travel and utility.

It found that in shopping apps, women far outperformed men, with the cost to acquire a new customer who makes a first-time purchase much lower for women than men.

Females were 32% more likely to purchase, with a much higher install-to-first-purchase rate and significantly lower cost-per-purchase, at $144.50 for women versus $190.70 for men.

Women also outperformed men in social apps, with 36% more females sharing content, resulting in a much lower cost-per-first-time-share of $7.74 for women, versus $10.52 for men.

Financial apps emerged as the men's domain with males costing significantly less to acquire. Cost-per-install (CPI) for men was 15.25% lower than for women, with an even greater disparity in cost per registration at 16.3% less than women.

When it came to dating apps, men preferred to browse, while women took the plunge and bought. And, although attracting those women cost more, the ROI was greater in overall lifetime value.

Over half of men who installed a dating app created an account, compared to just over 40% of women, for a $5.19 registration CPA for men. 

The registration CPA for women was nearly 80% higher at $9.30, but women converted to paying subscribers 6% more than men, making them more valuable in terms of ROI.

"This data is extremely valuable in helping app marketers more accurately plan their budgets and maximise ROI from their mobile advertising campaigns," said Dennis Mink, vp/ marketing at Liftoff.

He argued that most app install campaigns failed to tell the whole story as the focus on installation did not take account of what happened afterwards.

"In order to be truly effective, campaigns must generate engagement in post-install events like registering, booking a room or making a purchase, to generate true ROI," he said.

"Otherwise, you could be paying way too much to acquire low-quality users."

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff