How a New, Seasonal Apple Search Ads Strategy Helped Planta Harvest a 335% Increase in Installs


year-on-year increase in installs (January to July)


increase in year-on-year ASA spend for same period

The Challenge

Planta is a (fantastic) example of an app solving a need and quickly ushering users towards the aha! moment, with slick CRM and eye-catching design. Quite simply, the Planta app identifies your house plants, then notifies you when it’s time to water, fertilize, mist, and clean. There’s also nifty features that diagnose plant diseases and recommend optimal light.

The plantcare category has proven fertile ground for new entrants to the market, with increased competition for Apple Search Ads (ASA) during high season. In light of this, Planta wanted to continue to acquire users and make sure that seasonal spikes in search volume were efficiently converted into growth. To do so, Planta approached Phiture to refresh user acquisition in the US market, while keeping the Return on Investment (ROI) up – and Cost Per Install down.

The Solution

We prepared our ground in the fallow months of November and December, ready for the growth season that begins in January when many users seek to change their plantcare habits. We prepared by exploring the plantcare category, closely observing Planta’s competitors, and identifying potential areas for improvement. We also started with low-hanging fruit, such as tweaking the campaign structure and expanding the keyword list and optimizing keyword performance.

Just like with plantcare, we knew that acquiring more users in an increasingly busy marketplace depended on finding the right ratio of multiple factors, and continuously tweaking them for success in light of the changing environment.

Phiture’s multi-faceted approach rested on expanding new campaign types, in particular Discovery and Probing campaigns. The aim of this was to expand our generic keyword list, which would reap a huge harvest in search volumes later.

At the same time, new Custom Product Pages (CPPs) highlighted different features of the app to appeal to new users, and we experimented with different ASA placements, such as the “Search Tab” and “Product Pages.” We knew from experience that CPPs were likely to lead to an extremely cost-efficient scaling of the campaigns.

Once we were convinced we had the right mix to seed growth, we scaled up. To ensure Cost Per Sale stayed within budget, we had open communication with our friends at Planta, with updates of blended targets and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of new users, informing our bidding strategy to keep our campaigns profitable. We also developed an automated report internally to check the lower funnel performance to make sure it was growing nicely.

Our 380% increase in year-on-year ASA spend for January to July was rewarded with a 335% year-on-year increase in installs for the same period.

The Results

The results of these US campaigns were tremendous. Our 380% increase in year-on-year ASA spend for January to July was rewarded with a 335% year-on-year increase in installs for the same period. The strategy of new campaign types and new ASA placements helped volumes, making the most of the seasonal growth. In particular it was the Generic campaigns that really contributed to the rapid growth, though the fertile mix of campaign types, placements, CPPs, automation rules, and continuous optimizations all played their part.

Even more impressive was keeping the Cost Per Install below target for the entire engagement, which was the result of continuous maintenance and careful bid optimization from our Performance Marketing Team.

To ensure long-lasting growth, at the end of the engagement we passed on all our learnings to Planta so future growth could be managed during their low season.

Planta’s mobile app offers individual care schedules and reminders for your plants, recommendations, step by step guides, identification, light meter and more.

Client: Planta
Services: Performance Marketing, Apple Search Ads
Project period: 2023