App marketing isn’t a set it and forget it project, and often, you’ll find that the best campaigns come from previous, perhaps failed, efforts.

App marketing isn’t just an ongoing effort, but a multi-channel one, too, and should act as a piece of your overall brand marketing plan. Creating a holistic, thoughtful approach to messaging means better app usage analytics, more engaged users and higher mCommerce revenue. And, just as importantly, the user will feel that he or she is getting the best experience possible.

A/B Testing

Personalization is a big part of evolving in-app and push messaging campaigns, but it really comes into play when A/B testing your marketing. 

If you’re comfortable testing web pages, then A/B testing of app content will be the easiest marketing transition, with the most to gain in terms of functionality.

Testing mobile apps has historically been more complicated than testing a website or an email, but thanks to automated platforms, mobile app marketers now have the opportunity to run A/B tests quickly and easily with immediate, actionable insights.

Testing mobile apps has historically been more complicated than testing a website or an email.

For example, an eCommerce app can improve its checkout process by testing buttons, icons, colors, and screen layout to see which design funnels more users to a completed purchase, and ultimately which testing group has higher lifetime value. Every funnel has some minor or major bottleneck, and A/B testing can expedite the process of improving the user flow, driving  results in real time.

While the web world focuses on alternating visual features to find more conversions, apps add the ability to test around events or actions users take on particular screens. Events provide more qualitative user information because users can be grouped by events, and tracked throughout other app interactions.

A/B testing also comes in handy when experimenting with push and in-app messaging campaigns. Determining what content, offer, and context works best within these campaigns by running A/B tests sets you up for success, giving you the ability to build effective marketing over time.

Tracking Campaign Success

As we’ve covered, within campaigns, you can track key events, or actions, highlighting which triggered events are most important to your app. This could mean improving the number of articles read in your news app, or prompting users to purchase using an app-specific coupon code in your mCommerce app.

You can engage the right user at the right time by leveraging customized user segments to create personalized app messaging campaigns. And in using analytical insights and A/B testing, you’ll be able to see greater return on your app as a whole, creating loyalty and greater LTV. 

Here are the three metrics you’ll want to track in any app marketing campaign:

1. Impressions

Impressions are the number of eyes that hit your campaign prior to triggering the desired event. For example, impressions for a push message campaign would refer to the number of users who saw your push notification before either clicking it or swiping it away.

If you see low impressions, it means that you need to broaden the reach of your campaign. In particular:

  • If your in-app messaging campaign is triggered by app opens, think about driving more app opens through a push messaging campaign.
  • If your push messaging campaign is seeing low impressions, it could be the result of low monthly active users (MAUs) and you may want to crank up your mobile app user acquisition efforts. Alternatively, you may have many users who have opted out of push. In this case, consider emphasizing the value of push notifications to users during their onboarding session before prompting the iOS permission screen request.
  • If your campaign is triggered by an in-app event, you need to evaluate whether or not the audience, which could be relatively small, is achieving a sufficient conversion rate and LTV to validate the campaign. If not, you may want to redirect your efforts to larger segments.

2. Click Through Rate (CTR)

Click-through rate is the percent of users who click through to your desired action upon seeing your message. For push messages, CTR would measure the number of users who click a push message and are then taken inside the app. For an in-app message, CTR might refer to the number of users who click your in-app offer for a promo code providing 20% off a user’s next purchase.

Having a high CTR sets your campaign in motion; it signals the interest a user shows in the offer and the action he or she takes to move forward in that funnel. CTRs are dependent on ad creative and copy, design, and displays on different devices and operating systems.

If your metrics indicate a low click through rate, consider the following:

  • Design performance: Does the ad creative on your in-app message show up blurry or warped on certain devices or operating systems? This may require further investigation.
  • Ad copy: The text, and even the translation to other languages, could potentially be improved to more clearly nudge users towards a call to action.

A/B testing your copy and creative can drive more clicks, and subsequently, more conversions. Similar to other marketing channels like banner ads, landing pages and email, simple ad copy tests like comparing the effectiveness of “Buy Now” versus “Checkout” on conversion buttons can deliver major results.

3. Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is the percentage of individuals in a given campaign who complete your desired goal. Different apps will define conversions differently - for mCommerce apps, a conversion is usually a product purchase, while media apps may define a conversion as watching a video or reading an article. 

Conversion rate is a standard, across-the-board metric, but within app marketing campaigns you can customize what your conversion action is and measure multiple per campaign, including checkouts, downloads, and others. You can set up 3-4 conversions within a campaign, and analyze screenflow, drop off metrics, and completion rate to measure success.

Most of your app marketing efforts are going to come down to conversion rate, as it is the primary goal of any app campaign. It will help you decide which offer and messaging channel is most successful, and lend credibility to your A/B testing efforts.

Experiment Within Your Data

Experimenting is half the fun when it comes to app marketing. While use cases we’ve outlined here are fantastic idea starters, the best concepts for your app marketing campaigns will come from your own data. 

Analytics should drive your campaigns, whether you’re tracking what in-app features are popular among your users, or what segments of users are more engaged (or less engaged). By doing this, you’ll be able to deliver campaigns that help your users achieve their objectives with your app. This will help you hit your goals.

Measure Long-Term ROI and LTV

We’ve touched on this already, but now is the time to emphasize it: the best app marketing is judged based on ROI and user LTV over time. Jumping to immediate conclusions, disregarding audience segments, and giving up on certain campaigns because they don’t yield immediate results is a mistake. 

While it’s easy to get caught up in user engagement data that tracks the occurrence of specific events in your app, LTV is arguably the definitive metric when it comes to getting a broad-level view of your app’s success and improvement over time. The more you see LTV increase, the more successful your app is.