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Successfully Leveraging Paid Growth Channels to Find Success in International Markets

Since 2010, the AllTrails app has helped users “explore the outdoors with the largest collection of detailed, hand-curated trail maps.” AllTrails is a highly successful app, and has historically driven user acquisition through their strong SEO infrastructure; you can Google almost any trail, and AllTrails is likely to be the first or second link!

In 2015, CEO Ron Schneidermann joined and decided to accelerate AllTrails’ steady organic growth through paid media, specifically in international markets. He engaged Bamboo and tasked us with building a replicable playbook for new market expansion.

In order to build a successful and efficient expansion strategy, we prioritized international markets to determine how much we were willing to pay to acquire new customers in each country.

We started with markets that had low volume of organic users, and therefore a low volume of user-generated trail data. We theorized that if we could drive users to the app, we could start the process below, triggering the organic flywheel effect where new users were coming in, unprompted by media.

The key to this market prioritization was answering the question: when does the organic flywheel start, and we begin seeing an increase of organic registrations in that segment?












We often find ourselves rewriting our marketing strategy while approaching different international markets. During AllTrail’s international expansion, we continue to create a unified network of global users who share a passion for the outdoors.


111% increase in international media spend

The resulting boost in global users drove an increase in listed trails and user reviews, which in turn helps define AllTrails as the #1 hiking app in the world.

Scaled in 8 new markets

In addition to the United States, AllTrails’ new market growth expanded to Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Germany- Broadening the app’s global diversity of users, trails, and terrain.

17% decrease in cost per net new user

While advertisers typically see an increase in CPA while scaling at this rate, Bamboo was able to push a 17% decrease in cost per new user registrations year over year. This was accomplished through continuous creative testing, audience optimization, and omnichannel placements.