This sponsored post is produced by Localytics.

As much as marketers may wish otherwise, mobile and web have some important differences that come into play when you start analyzing user data. Simply put, the rise of mobile app usage has led to an overhaul in the traditional metrics marketers measure. So while the rules for engagement have been thoroughly defined for the web world, that criterion doesn’t directly translate to the mobile world.

One similarity, however, is the importance of conversions on both the web and in apps. In web marketing, a conversion typically means getting a lead to self-identify on a conversion event, and to then move him through a funnel from lead, to sales qualified lead, to an eventual purchase. In app marketing, conversions are more about moving the user through the app to one “ultimate” in-app action.

What does this mean, exactly? Here are three things you need to know when comparing web and app conversions, and what each means for your marketing.                                                         


Web conversion is based on accessing an offer

When we think of inbound marketing today, typically a conversion is considered to take place when a visitor fills out a form to access some kind of offer such as downloading an eBook, registering for a webinar, signing up for an event, or entering their information for a contest. The first conversion is about gaining that prospects’ information and creating a lead. Many marketers today concentrate their efforts on creating attractive offers that will motivate a visitor to give up that information.

App conversion is based on completing an event

App conversions are defined by when a user completes an event in-app. No information is shared; just an event— or action— is completed such as adding items to a cart, clicking on an ad, reading an article, inviting a friend, playing a game, or viewing a video.  The events are determined by your goals, and depending on your app type, you can have a number of important conversion events. In-app, marketers want to concentrate on identifying key events and improving the number of conversions on each.


Web conversions further qualify a lead

Once a web lead has converted, the job is on the marketer to provide additional educational or product-related information and further qualify and nurture him through the inbound funnel. The goal is to create a quality relationship built on value, resources, and knowledge that results in a sale that’s beneficial to both brand and customer. In this sense, web conversions start at the point of finding and identifying a potential customer and evolving that relationship into an educated partnership.

App conversions move a user through a defined path

However, because app conversions are based on in-app events, the goal is instead to move a user through a defined path. That path is your funnel, and each event in it is a separate conversion. Take for example the common eCommerce funnel: the purchasing process. In these purchase conversion steps, a user is viewing shopping categories, getting to search results, then looking at items, adding them to their cart, entering the address and credit card information, confirmation, and/or actually checking out. Instead of working to move a lead through the inbound funnel, mobile marketers need to optimize the flow of this in-app funnel, and move a user from step to step — without dropping out, which happens frequently between the “added item to cart” and “completed checkout” conversion events.


Web conversions rely on email marketing

A key tactic in inbound marketing nurturing is using automated email marketing to send new and relevant information to your leads. Using emails, you can send different content at different points along the prospect’s journey according to what they’ll find most useful, when. Email marketing allows inbound marketers to construct a flow of information that better informs your lead, offering the kind of content they’re looking for at that moment.

App conversions rely on push and in-app messaging

App conversions rely on similar tactics: push and in-app messaging. No matter how well-designed or optimized your funnel is, there’s still a significant chance that a large percentage of users will drop off between events instead of converting. To keep users converting, mobile marketers use targeted (and automated) messaging campaigns.

Push messages can re-engage users who have fallen out of a funnel and exited the app completely, using timely reminders or even special discounts (Example: “Wait! You left something in your cart — check out now and receive free shipping”). In-app messaging can also target users who have left the funnel but are viewing other screens in your app (Example: “New stories every day. Articles that matter. Subscribe now and get your first week free”).


Learn more about effective push and in-app messaging. Download Localytic’s ebook: How to Create Truly Awesome In-app and Push Messaging Content

Put your inbound foot forward

While the two channels are distinct, when it comes to app marketing, there’s a lot that can be borrowed from inbound marketing. Treating web and app users with respect and optimizing for conversions by bettering their experience is the key to creating long-lasting relationships. For more on how to take inbound marketing lessons and transition them to creating an engaging app, read our latest blog post.

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