Acquiring a mobile user is cause for celebration. But what happens after the install? Every brand that wants to win on mobile needs to think about how to turn people who simply download the app into valuable users, customers and brand advocates. Enter mobile marketing automation.
An effective mobile marketing automation strategy centers on four primary business objectives: retaining users, monetizing them, leveraging them to grow your existing user base, and giving them a great brand experience along the way. In this lesson, we’ll show you how mobile marketing automation can be a vehicle to achieving these goals.
Goal #1: Retention
Retaining mobile users means claiming their interest. In a world where 22% of apps are abandoned after just one open, retention is an important metric of success. It means that your app has risen above all those apps that people downloaded out of a passing curiosity and then forgot about the next day.
Where does mobile marketing automation come in? It’s a system designed to help you increase the number of people who actually make time for your app in their busy days: active users. It helps you send personalized, well-timed messages to users who have different relationships with your app, driving them to become more engaged with your brand. A retention strategy centers on three core user segments:
1. For new users, it means catching them at the right moments to show them why your app is valuable and what features they should get excited about. A great mobile marketing automation strategy leverages what you know about each user’s behavior and preferences to send messages that initiate and inspire a habit of use.
2. Passerby users never came back to your app after that very first install. This segment of users represents a large portion of your paid acquisition spend, and engaging them means making the most of these acquisition campaigns. Passersby need to be prompted to re-evaluate the value of your service and sending them a well-timed message about why they’d find your app useful is a great way to do so.
3. Dormant users were once active but have not engaged with your brand lately. They represent some of your most valuable users. It’s likely that you have more information about users in this group, and the right mobile marketing automation strategy can help you leverage their past preferences and actions to win back their attention.
Goal #2: Monetization
Once your users are happily engaged, the next step is to monetize them. Here, mobile marketing automation can take its understanding of your users and guide them down the conversion funnel. Your mobile marketing automation strategy should include campaigns that prompt users to take key valuable actions. For example:
1. Craft campaigns that drive users to take the key actions that you know to be correlated with conversion. In this case, an e-commerce brand might strategically prompt users to register, knowing this is a barrier to making a first purchase.
2. Craft campaigns that prompt users to tell you more about themselves, and use the information they provide to send them more targeted communications in the future. For example, a marketplace app might prompt an engaged buyer to follow specific sellers, so they can be prompted when their seller of choice lists new items.
3. Craft campaigns that capitalize on a user’s intent and provide the nudge necessary to drive the conversion. Cart abandonment and registration completion incentives are two great examples.
Goal #3: Grow Your Existing User Base
Your most engaged users should be a megaphone for your brand, as they are a critical source of recommendations for your product or service. Organically acquired users are the most valuable type of new users — from both a cost of acquisition and user lifetime value perspective. You can amplify this group by leveraging your existing top users. Here’s how a mobile marketing automation strategy can leverage your super users to help you grow:
1. Validate your top users and inspire them to share your product on social. LinkedIn did just that by congratulating their top 1%, 5%, and 10% of users—the campaign led to 82,000 social shares and hundreds of thousands of organic app downloads.
2. Ask users to rate your app after they’re successfully completed an action. You’ve just proven your value to them; now it’s time to ride the wave. A mobile ticketing app that asks for a rating after a customer books an event is one great example.
3. Encourage users to invite friends after they’ve passed an engagement milestone. When a user invites a friend, they are actively making a recommendation and putting their good name on the line. By tracking the actions that your users have taken, you can pinpoint the moment when they are enthusiastic enough about your brand to make an invite. For example, a media app might prompt users to share an article with friends after they have been active for one month and have read at least 10 pieces of content.
Goal #4: Improve User Experience
The final business goal that a mobile marketing automation system can help you fulfill is giving your users a great experience. There are millions of apps out there demanding people’s attention; a memorable brand experience can separate winners from wannabes. Mobile is always on and travels with you. The rise of mobile means people are more sensitive to communications than ever before, so your brand must be in tune with your customers’ lifestyles, habits, and preferences.
Getting people’s attention doesn’t mean sending more messages. Instead, send them messages at a convenient time. Make it relevant by referring to a personal preference. Surprise and delight them by knowing the context they’re in. In the mobile age, a great brand experience is like any good conversation: it’s not about talking more, it’s about understanding the other person’s interests and making it flow as smoothly as possible.
What does this mean for me?
At the end of the day, mobile presents a collection of valuable moments that can set customers on the path to conversion, whether it’s logging in, passing a location, adding an item to their shopping cart, or another action. Customer engagement and conversion are the business goals—and mobile marketing automation provides the tactical program to accomplish it. As for the mobile marketer? It’s up to you to recognize these moments and devise a strategy around them. We’ll talk about that in our next post. Stay tuned!