app marketing

5 best practices to crack Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance category

Are you looking to build up a high-LTV FinTech user base with Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance category? Check out the team's suggestions.

Finance apps are the go-to for millennials and genZ to manage their personal wealth management. Globally, fintech apps crossed 1.74 billion downloads last year. Popular apps with younger iPhone users like Cash App, Venmo, PayPal, Google Pay, Amex, Citi Mobile, and Chase Mobile all feature within the top 100 finance apps in the App Store. Q3 and Q4 are crucial for iOS finance app user acquisition. The festive spending and then the close of the financial year create a peak opportunity for fintech app developers to ramp up their Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance category.

Finance app user acquisition with Apple Search Ads

The ideal finance app persona is inclined to manage their finances on the go, has quite the aversion to carrying cash, and usually belongs to the high-disposable income segments of the population. iPhone users have an average annual income of USD 50,000 - USD 85,000, which is approximately 40% more than the median income of Android users. Naturally, their propensity to transact on finance apps is a lot more. Some of the App Store user categories who commonly engage with fintech apps are - digital payers, investors, debt deal hunters, budget trackers, small business owners, accountants, and users in shared housing to list a few. 

The bulk of the iPhone users are mainly within the 16-34 age group. Some of the finance-related user problems they are trying to solve via App Store finance apps are:

- Convenient cashless payment options

- Expense tracking, bill splitting among friends or in shared housing situations

- Credit card bill payments; digital cards

- Flexible investment options that mainly help to get started on the wealth management journey

- Loans for household agendas like home, car, weddings, childcare, and also small businesses

- On-the-go banking activities

- Digital wealth tracking - income, expense, investments, loans

Apple Search Ads benefits and challenges for finance app user acquisition

The main benefit to securing a strong Share of Voice (SoV) in the App Store for finance apps is to position your app in front of a high-quality audience who do have the means to transact on financial products and services on your app. Apple Search Ads also records over 60% conversion ratios on their ads, which makes the platform desirable for brands looking to boost their ROAS. The best part is when you are advertising your app on the App Store, you can create tailored messaging with Custom Product Pages

A few things to keep in mind when you are setting up your Apple Search Ads user acquisition goals for the finance category: 

  • Since the launch of ATT, Apple has taken extreme care in masking the user’s personal device IDs. So device level targeting is not an option to explore.
  • CAC can feel on the higher side during the learning stages of the campaign, but with a bit of time and effort, this can be reduced.
  • You have to work on creating personalized ads for each of your target audience groups.


5 best practices to maximize Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance category

Best practice 1: Do not underestimate local language Apple Search Ads keywords

Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance category will need robust keyword research and selection to get started. When you are starting out on Apple Search Ads paid campaigns, keep in mind that emerging markets like India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America are rapidly emerging as popular iPhone users. Therefore, begin with a multilingual approach. Even if the US and Europe are your primary target markets, prioritize a multiple-language iOS keyword strategy. At least 68 million US citizens are bilingual and speak languages like Arabic, Tagalog, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish. For Europe, 19 out of 44 countries are non-English and prioritize their native tongues for their mobile experiences. 

The best part is local language iOS keywords are usually low competition and therefore bid amounts can be controlled a lot more easily. 

Team suggestion: Get organized with your keyword categories from the very first day. Important keyword categories to research for finance app user acquisition in the App Store are brand keywords, generic category keywords, competitor keywords, long-tail search queries, low popularity but relevant search queries, native language keywords, and negative keywords that are absolutely irrelevant to your targeting.

Best practice 2: Address iOS finance app user problems directly in your App Store communications

Custom product pages or CPPs can be an excellent asset to drive Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance category. The beautiful thing about CPPs is how adaptable they are to your brand’s unique needs for audience communication. The iPhone finance app user has several sub-segments of personas. Some are looking for just convenience, and then there’s the other side of the spectrum where folks are seriously looking to streamline their overall wealth and assets.

Another important aspect of CPPs is that they are completely localizable, meaning you can edit and update each of the 35 CPPs available in different languages, color tonalities, and brand messaging.


Team suggestion: Group your CPPs to make tracking and asset readiness for campaigns an easy task. A few messaging format suggestions for finance app CPPs are: 

  • Region-based CPPs that highlight regional financial problems. E.g. in Indonesia physical financial institutions are challenging to navigate around, making online finance management a welcoming convenience for the citizens. 
  • Language-based product pages with your core brand proposition to be ready for discovery, brand, and category campaigns in different regions throughout the year.
  • Age and gender-based custom product pages. A teenager and young adult’s core problem for finance apps will be convenient payment, expense tracking, money transfers, and bill splitting versus an older user for whom priorities will be convenient banking, investment, insurance, and loan management. Similarly, men, women, and other genders have different priorities when drafting their financial goals.
  • Have a couple of CPPs dedicated to establishing why you are better than your competitors. 

Best practice 3: Problem-solving for diverse user profiles to power up your iOS user acquisition strategy

The truth is everyone needs a finance app which makes it important for Apple search ads user acquisition in the finance category. Most smartphone users have an average of 2.5 fintech apps, with millennials using almost 4 different apps. So brand collaborations are a good way to scale your app’s Share of Voice as well as a high-LTV user base. The in-app shoppers would probably love to try out finance apps that help with credit card payments or helps to track their shopping expenses. Gamers on the other hand would possibly love to explore finance apps that help them to save up for short-term goals like buying a new gaming phone, or a gaming console. Similarly, travelers and small business owners would be quite interested in exploring apps that make national and international money transfers and payments easy. Other categories of users who show a high propensity to engage with finance apps are music and entertainment app users, health and productivity app users, and utility app users.

For special edition campaigns like these, utilize the Today Tab and Search Tab that use data such as past installs or searches, to improve ad visibility of brand collaborations.

Team suggestion: When implementing a cross-targeting strategy, remember to craft your messaging around the audience’s primary passion. For example, if you are targeting travel app users, ensure your App Store ads talk about how your app can help them with finance management on the road. Similarly, shoppers focus on how with your app they can possibly save more on their shopping experiences. 

Best practice 4: Leverage seasonality to boost App Store ROAS for Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance

Considering the general economic issues that millennials and genZ are facing as they make it on their own, money management isn’t something this group focuses on every day. There are key moments in the calendar year when the conversation around finances takes priority in millennial and genZ social circles.

For instance, appraisal periods which usually coincide with the end and beginning of the financial years see a lot of new tax-saving investment planning and asset purchase decisions. For Apple Search Ads finance app user acquisition, this period can be utilized to boost app downloads for investment, insurance, and even loan apps. New Year is usually the time when responsible expense resolutions are made and can be a good time to push downloads for wallet and wealth tracker apps. App Store finance app seasonal user acquisition campaigns have recorded a 17% ROAS boost with 5X more installs during the period of Christmas to New Year. 

Team suggestion: Build some CPPs for standard, expected seasonal, and private milestone moments like the start of the new finance year, income tax return filing period, appraisal periods, festive and shopping season of Q3, New Year resolutions, higher education post-graduation, starting their first business, new parenthood, weddings, and first-time home buyers or investors.

Best practice 5: Prioritize full-funnel tracking from Day 1

We cannot stress this enough. A true picture of the campaign efficiency is possible only when the entire user journey - from lead origin to Lifetime Value - can be measured and mapped to all Apple Search Ads user acquisition activities. It is more important for finance apps because users are very choosy about who gets their personal wealth information. Therefore, understanding your champion users and how they interact with the brand pre and post-install is crucial to crafting a scaling strategy. 

At Newton, we help our partners integrate their Apple Search Ads campaign data to their MMP data on a single dashboard such that we can provide advertisers with a complete view of which keywords or ad groups are delivering maximum downloads and how these users are further performing for in-app transactions.

Team suggestion: If you are looking to get started on a full-funnel Apple Search Ads campaign measurement, team up with a partner who already has the tech set up. Trying to manually study the campaign and MMP data often leads to erroneous pattern identification, and of course, time time-consuming. In the days of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics, leverage Apple Search Ads campaign management platforms to create a strong tracking and optimization process.

Brand story: Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance category for credit card apps

OneCard is an Indian fintech brand that offers an RBI-approved metal credit card with its own app to track card activities. It is mainly geared to impress millennials and younger finance app users with a sense of exclusivity while helping them optimize day-to-day credit card usage responsibly.


OneCard is functioning in a competitive space with several highly trusted credit card players in the market. To build the brand’s Share of Voice, as well as user trust, the App Store finance app focused on brand and category campaigns to establish their brand proposition and why they have category leadership in the credit card app space. They also integrated their MMP to get a full-funnel view of lead performances in real-time. With insights from other Apple search ads user acquisition in finance category, the team built a custom targeting and scaling strategy for OneCard that helped achieve a 36% boost in conversion rates. Read the complete case study in this link. 

The healthy finance management craze is just about to begin. If you are looking to realign your strategies for Apple Search Ads user acquisition in finance category, or if you are just looking to explore what Apple Search Ads can do for your finance app’s scale, connect with Team Newton and we will be happy to help you in your app growth journey.



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