Blog: How to Master the LTV Metric for your Mobile Game Read the post

Turns out Tinder and Chartboost have a few things in common.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, we’ve been thinking about the place where people speak today’s love language: the online dating world. While Chartboost doesn’t have an algorithm for compatibility or promise to introduce you to “the one” in the conventional sense, it does provide a space where you can build a relationship with another mobile game developer — through the Direct Deals Marketplace. As with dating sites, you create a profile, join groups and browse potential matches. And, just like on, say, OkCupid, the way you find the best match depends on some important etiquette.

Here are a few tips from the pros to create a lasting mobile game love connection:

1. Paint a Realistic Picture
We all know this person: the one who bears little-to-no resemblance to their profile photo in real life. Representing yourself genuinely is important when it comes to Direct Deals, says Chartboost’s Director of Business Development Christine Lee. This means listing and updating all of your apps on your profile, as well as clearly stating what kind of deal you’re interested in making.

2. Polish Your Profile
Make your assets visible to potential suitors by creating the best possible presentation. Pull your best reports — and make sure they’re clean, professional and easy to read. This stuff matters! According to Jameel Khalfan of San Francisco-based Pocket Gems, “If you have limited time or money, working with other developers is the best course of action [for your business] … It will help you connect and meet with other developers and is also the best way to find people to play your game.”

3. Honesty is the Best Policy
Like any relationship, the best mobile game developer partnerships are those that involve transparency and communication. It’s important to say when something’s not working — and to give one another a chance to adjust. Mitch Crossley of Dallas-based Game Circus says his favorite partnerships have frank, open dialogue; when a deal isn’t working, he says, both sides are upfront and contact one another before simply switching it off.

4. Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
So you’re into a more outgoing person and tend to overlook the shy, silent type? Don’t be so quick to dismiss someone because you don’t think they fit into a certain category. Often, says Lee, the best partnerships come out of the less obvious pairs. After a few deals, it turns out that they were meant for one another all along. “Sometimes a developer may think the direct deal isn’t a good audience fit,” she says, “but really the direct deal campaign can perform very well — they just have to try and test to see the actual performance.” Use network data to identify less obvious matches.

5. Hold On to Your Cards
It’s rarely a good idea to say “I love you” on the first date. Same goes for Direct Deals: Don’t put all of your cards on the table right away. Many mobile game developers and publishers say “yes” to the first deal that comes their way, says Lee. But it’s better for both sides if you take your time to be sure you’re happy with the terms, negotiate and ask for what you need.

When you do find a match, the trick is to keep the relationship mutually beneficial. Crossley says it takes trial and error, but eventually you learn what kind of partner is the best fit. He, for one, prefers partners who have a similarly casual vibe and don’t rattle off a lot of overly “business-y” jargon. “You try to find companies that are similar to yours through working with a lot of different people in the space … and [some] pop up as the kind of people you can work with,” he says.

Which is only slightly more difficult than swiping right.

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