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What is CPI

What Is CPI? Cost Per Install

Today’s blog is about CPI (Cost Per Install). After reading the blog, you will have a comprehensive understanding of CPI. For that, let’s start with the most common question:

What Is the Cost Per Install (CPI)?

CPI is a pricing model that helps you determine how much it costs to acquire someone to install your app. You pay the advertiser network only when a mobile user installs your app by clicking on the advertisement; this is what CPI represents.

CPI Formula

Imagine a scenario where you spend $300 on an advertisement for your app, and 100  mobile users install your app after clicking on the advertisement. Now use the formula mentioned above:

Here, your CPI (Cost Per Install) is $3. Defining the cost for each user who downloaded your app through your advertisement. Now let’s move on to the second important question of when to use CPI.

When Should You Use Cost Per Install (CPI)?

CPI is like a measuring tape for mobile app marketing. As we have discussed previously, it helps advertisers know if they’re getting what they paid for. Here are a few points on when you should use CPI:

1.   New or Old App

  • If you’re trying to get people to download your new or old app, CPI can help you see how much it costs you to get each new user.
  • It’s useful when you try to get many people to download your app quickly.

2.   Budget-Friendly

  • CPI lets you only pay for genuine downloads, not just clicks or views, which helps you manage your budget.
  • This way, you won’t waste money on ads that don’t get you downloads and will save money.

3.   Comparing

  • CPI makes it easy to compare different ads and platforms.
  • With CPI, you can find out which ads work best and which marketing strategy is better.
The next part of the blog is as important as the rest. We will discuss the CPI vs CPA.


CPA (Cost Per Action) is a type of advertising in which advertisers pay publishers only when certain user activity is achieved. It was chosen over CPI because CPA includes post-install actions that demonstrate user involvement and worth, and advertisers are paid only when these actions are performed.

To know why CPI is important despite other marketing metrics. Stay with me!

Why Is Cost Per Install (CPI) an Important Marketing Metric?

CPI stands out as a user-friendly metric providing advertisers with a precise gauge of their ad campaign’s effectiveness in driving installations.

What sets CPI apart is its cost-effectiveness letting advertisers allocate their budgets judiciously while directly measuring the impact of their ad expenditure on tangible app installations in the essence of CPI.
CPI is a powerful metric for publishers to optimize app promotion. You all found out why it is vital, so what more to know is the advantages and disadvantages of CPI.

Cost Per Install (CPI) Advantages for Publishers

Cost Per Install is an impressive pricing model because even when experts feel like its days are over, publishers still use it. I bring two advantages and two disadvantages of CPI for publishers.

1. Higher Ad Unit Value

CPI’s major advantage for publishers is that users will use the app in the long run. Automatically makes it more valuable. Cost Per Install may cost more than other pricing models, but the more you spend, the more revenue you create in the long run. One of the reasons publishers are ready to invest in CPI.

2. Advertiser Relationships

To have a successful CPI campaign the publisher-advertiser bond must be strong. The advertiser invests a lot of resources into the CPI campaign to make it creative, effective, and successful. Over time, both publishers and advertisers benefit from this everlasting bond.

Cost Per Install (CPI) Disadvantages for Publishers

1. It's Difficult to Predict Revenue

The focus of the CPI campaign is on Ads and the installation process. This is because many factors affect CPI, like the type of app and user intent. It is harder to predict revenue in the long run for CPI.

2. It takes Some Effort

To make this campaign effective, it requires a joint effort from both the marketing team and the publisher.
If both parties don’t work hard enough, it won’t work.

How Do You Choose the Right CPI Ad Network?

The ad network is what connects publishers and advertisers. You need to find the perfect candidate for yourself and make your CPI campaign a reality.

Having a highly effective ad network can help you achieve your goals faster. To choose the right CPI ad network, you need to check both of these factors below:

1. Provide High-Quality Traffic 

Targeting the right audience and finding the right websites to post the ad is very important. The more relevance there is between both of these, the more high-quality traffic. This helps both publishers and advertisers.

CPI will be most useful in the right place for ads and users. Choose the Ad network that guarantees high-quality traffic for your app.

2. Monitor for Fraud

Ad fraud involves deceiving advertisers and publishers by falsifying the number of clicks and displays of online advertisements.
This manipulation can be done by competitors or fraudulent publishers using automated bot traffic to generate false clicks, in turn increasing the advertiser’s revenue and rewarding the publisher with an advertising fee. It is essential to join an ad network that knows how to protect you.

Please take a look at my other guides about cost per millecost per action and cost per Click. These guides provide more information on Google metrics all in one place. I hope you find them helpful.

Final Thoughts!

The fact remains that CPI is an excellent pricing model with great features. Although some might disagree with it, no one can deny the fact that it remains one of the top Google marketing metrics. If you want an easy-to-use marketing metric that is mobile-friendly, choose CPI.

I hope you found the information you needed regarding Cost Per install (CPI). If you want to discover another marketing metric, you should check out the other blogs on the website.

Syeda Sana Fatima

Crafting Words, Weaving Worlds, Passionate content writer, crafting engaging narratives, and optimizing for online success.

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