A recent study revealed that the average cost per acquired mobile user is $4.50 which reflects the increasingly competitive mobile app marketplace. However, with intelligent data collection and analysis, as well as appropriate marketing tools to ensure a consistent message across channels, we can certainly minimize those costs.

We live in a customer relationship era. Consumers have more leverage than ever before and it’s the relationship your brand has with them that will determine your success. Additionally, customers want you to meet them where they are located. This means that the channels you use to reach them are distributed across a variety of platforms, such as email, SMS, push, and display ad networks.

Using data to dynamically update campaigns

Fortunately, there are data-forward ways to leverage this opportunity– not only to lower your acquisition and engagement costs, but also to solidify your messaging across channels. With a customer data platform (Segment), an email/push tool (Iterable), and a retargeting platform (AdRoll), we can be intelligent about when and how to engage with customers at various points of their buying journey.

As an example, let’s use a fictitious app that delivers $5 artisanal toast on demand called Toastmates. For customers who have registered, but haven’t bought a single item, the marketing team can use this strategy to lower costs.

  1. Implement tracking of key events (e.g. “Item Added to Cart”, “Checkout Completed”) into app with Segment
  2. Enable Iterable, AdRoll on Segment’s platform
  3. In Iterable, send a push or email to customers who meet the conditions where “Item Added to Cart” is true and “Checkout Completed” is false
  4. Segment’s SDK will automatically collect events such as “Push Notification Sent” and “Push Notification Opened”
  5. In AdRoll, create a retargeting campaign for customers who meet the conditions of abandoning a shopping card and “Push Notification Opened” or “Email Opened” is false

Since the data flowing through all of these tools is consistent, it gives their marketing team flexible control to make narrower segments (e.g. customers who have opened the email, but did not click through the deep link that’ll open the app) with more targeted messaging (e.g. “Here is a $2 coupon!”).

And this is just the beginning. You can measure the engagement on each channel to adjust the messaging. Or take a look at what the LTV of each channel is and figure out how much to cap the AdRoll retargeting campaign. Or throw Facebook Ads on top of that.

What next?

The most successful companies are both rigorous in their event tracking, thoughtful in their personalized messaging, and constantly experimenting with their messaging.

The underlying principles that can inspire further similar marketing use cases are as follows:

  • Data, data, and more data: Data is knowledge and knowledge is power. The more you know about your users — how they hear about your app, their demographic information, how they’re using your app — the more you can divide your user base into segments with defined needs. Those needs can inform how, when, and what to message them to re-engage or activate them.
  • Users don’t just hang out in your app: There are dozens of channels to get your message in front of mobile users — email, push notifications, SMS, paid display advertising, Adwords, and advertorials such as the one you’re reading right now. Therefore, the right marketing mix will include a variety of channels that are specific to your business and will change over time.
  • Users want value, now: When on their phones, users are goal-oriented. Your app should deliver value immediately, which you can achieve by providing a personalized experience depending on the user’s data.

Andy Jiang is a developer advocate at Segment, a customer data platform developers and analysts love because of its elegant APIs and extensive partner ecosystem. He writes about using data to create delightful customer experiences that drive business growth. Follow him on Twitter at @andyjiang for product updates and lame jokes.

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