Whether your key conversion point is when a user registers, completes a profile, signs up for a subscription or reserves a seat, it’s increasingly critical for mobile marketers to look beyond the install and optimize their conversion funnel for cost-effective user acquisition and growth. And, once this funnel is optimized, that’s when marketers can step on the gas and truly focus on scaling customer acquisition.

Yet, getting started with optimizing your user acquisition funnel can seem like an overly daunting task – where to start? Which conversion points are the most important to focus on first? What are the best ways to measure and test improvements? But, improving your conversion funnel is critical for driving bottom line revenue.

jonheadshot-460x360“While you may have some intuition about it, it’s important to go into the optimization process without too many preconceptions and then let the data tell you,” says Jon Michaeli, EVP of Marketing & Business Development at Medisafe. “Try something, then test, test, test, and optimize. It’s less about setting benchmarks and goals, and more about seeing what the data tells you — truly committing to analytics and data-driven decision making.”

Medisafe provides a mobile health app for iOS and Android that helps patients stay on top of all their medications. More than just a pill organizer, Medisafe makes it easy to adhere to the most complicated medication schedules, enables care collaboration between a patient, their loved ones and physicians, and delivers content, resources and interventions personalized to specific conditions and situations.

Jon is focused on growing awareness and adoption for Medisafe’s platform among consumers, which now engages almost 2.5 million users, hundreds of thousands of whom are active. Here he shares how marketers can adopt the following key concepts to best approach optimizing their app conversion funnel each step of the way:

TACTIC 1: Finding holes in the leaky bucket

In a perfect world, the conversion rate from the first day a user installs your app to completing their first critical action would be 100%. Since virtually no company can claim a perfect conversion rate, it’s important to start by looking at the data for each step in the funnel, then see what the data tells you about where users are falling out.

“Lowering the barrier to convert installs into engagement is really important. Streamlining the flow at each step in order to reduce friction,” says Michaeli. “That’s why we don’t require people to register or sign up from day one. It’s like asking someone to marry you before you start dating. Since we are a mobile health app, our users are asking themselves, ‘How does it work? Can I trust this company with my private information?’ Some want to know it works for one medication before they commit time to entering all that information.”

For many apps, the biggest leak in the funnel is at the point of registration. Asking users to register first and try later, when users want to see and engage with an app before signing up, produces significant dropoff. Lengthy registration and checkout processes are also a primary drop out point from the funnel. As Michaeli notes, you must identify which information is critical to have, what you may be able to get from sources other than the user, and what can wait until later, will be very valuable in the optimization process.

TACTIC 2: Leveraging post install actions to develop segments

Once you’ve identified and alleviated the major friction points in your conversion funnel, you’ll want to devise a plan for testing a variety of messages and creative in your ads and on your app store pages. Once again this is an optimization process, since different copy and visuals can work with different audiences. While one approach is to create cohorts of users preemptively (e.g. lead source or channel, demographics, device type, use case, etc.) to fine tune targeting and CPA goals. However, Michaeli also emphasizes creating segments based upon actions users take inside your app. This allows you to take actionable follow up steps to re-engage such as retargeting ads so that the messaging is more aligned with where the user dropped off post install.

“Users who haven’t registered can still use Medisafe. It’s our responsibility to provide value and to earn their trust,” said Jon. “For instance, when unregistered users add their first medication, we immediately send them useful content tailored to their situation and/or condition, like an instructional video on why and how to take their medications. The more information they share, the more personalized we can make the experience.”

Michaeli continued, “One of our most important post-install actions is when a user adds a ‘Med-Friend,’ someone who serves as your support system and watches over your care. Now the user is accountable not only to him/herself, but also a loved one, so this increases engagement and retention.”

TACTIC 3: Never stop testing

“The need to test never ends. We listen to feedback from our users in our Beta community, track and analyze every action take in app, and constantly A/B test up and down the funnel to improve the experience. The approach should be holistic; acknowledge that there are a multitude of inputs that go into acquiring and highly engaging your users, from selecting channels and creative to reach your target personas, to removing speed bumps, to iterating on your features to best serve users’ needs. Then methodically and scientifically apply the learnings so you improve each and every day.”

As a mobile marketer, the priority is often filling up the top of the funnel with quality app installs. But as Michaeli has exemplified here, focusing on optimizing your conversion funnel is not only incredibly powerful, it’s essential to reaching your acquisition goals.

TACTIC 4: Value Exchange

At Medisafe, Jon emphasizes creating “surprise and delight” types of moments through their app, which in turn, leads to greater stickiness and brand loyalty. For instance, if a user has hypertension, the app may serve up content showing how to reduce their blood pressure. The focus is on providing value to the user based on data already known about them – without asking the user to jump through hoops. The result is automatic, curated content designed for the user that create a more personalized experience.

As a mobile marketer, the priority is often filling up the top of the funnel with quality app installs. But as Michaeli has exemplified here, focusing on optimizing your conversion funnel is not only incredibly powerful, it’s essential to reaching your acquisition goals.

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