Scale ad-impressions in hyper-casual games by +30% with push notifications

+22% ad impression per user
+18% better weekly growth

About Tallest Tree

Tallest Tree is an 2D arcade game in which players control a beaver and help it climb the tallest tree. The game features smooth gameplay, colorful visuals, and a goal to make the planet greener. The game also allows players to plant real trees by leveling up, buying items in-game or watching video advertisements.


Creating a successful casual game is not that simple. Dev studios usually play around with a lot of different variations of metadata, reward mechanics, graphics and game guidelines. Most of the gamedev studios republish the game after iterations of changes to figure out what approach would reach the desirable d1/d7 Retention metric.

Recently we spoke with several people from the industry, and here is their opinion:

Up to 70% of the projects fail at the beginning of the low budget testing cycle without ever getting published on a volume

Says Ivan from Tenjin

The Hyper Casual market is now transitioning from mid/small size studios to big publishers, because they have the resources to test multiple features over and over

Says Nick from PlayCore

What's the problem of achieving a good retention rate?

Long cycle of testing new approaches at scale

Sufficient budget to sustain several tests

Competitiveness of the market. For user it's easier to download

Every successful game publisher tries to stick with trend genre making category rank overwhelmed with similar mechanics. Today's trend — races.

For example now it's a huge trend for Casual Idle games, this type can still not be very expensive to develop, but it produces 2-5 times more d1-d7 in Retention.

Usually gamedev studios do not really care about push notifications as they assume that it couldn't increase Retention or Earnings performance drastically, but it's a completely wrong assumption.

We have the following statements from research, where we asked users about their attention to push notifications:

Push notifications right after Onboarding help keep the novelty effect “barrier”, which makes users try to accomplish Onboarding, or 1st levels in another time

Notifications related to game mechanics as tips are helpful to make user more involved and learn certain tips and tricks

Notifying users about how much progress they’ve already accomplished makes them feel motivated to continue playing

All these and other campaigns could drastically increase Retention Rates — ad impressions and earnings from “mediations” or in-app purchases.

How we applied these lessons to hyper casual games

  1. Connected nGrow to Google Firebase, which is a no code integration with push_token stored in it.
  2. Reviewed the game funnel, and analyzed which event sequences made users loyal and high LTV frequency players. We found an interesting connection between Gear Store (Helmet Store) usage and retention rates which helped us to target the game’s audience more strategically.
  3. Created several smart push-campaigns for each step of the sequence
  4. Using Chat GPT3, created 20 text options describing each funnel step of the game and tips around it

Run nGrow smart campaigns with observation metrics on a dashboard. That’s right, each “customer” has its own dashboard with related metrics. For Tallest Tree it was important to track d1, d3, d7 Retention with some AdMob Related Metrics — like interstitial ad shows and “completations.”

Firstly, the PlayCore team started with a small volume of paid acquisition and cared a lot about ANR's and Crash Rates, so the condition wouldn’t exceed crash rates, compared to push notification free build.