According to research by Smart Insights, people spend 89% of their time on mobile applications. The mobile app market is growing rapidly, and competition is growing along with it as well. As a result, it becomes more and more difficult to attract and retain users. Therefore, it is necessary for app developers to use each and every opportunity to improve the app – including marketing automation.
Automation refers to using special programs and scripts that will automatically lead the user through each stage of the sales funnel, from installing the app to the target action (purchase or subscription). In other words, it is a convenient way to solve repetitive marketing tasks.
With the help of automation, you can configure several communication scenarios inside the app depending on the user path map and increase sales with the same amount of traffic.
Mobile marketing automation includes:
- data collection
- user segmentation based on the collected data
- personalized communication
- hypothesis testing.
Automation helps to build individual relationships with each user, even if there are millions of them, depending on user characteristics:
- For frequent users – resell the app and show new features
- For first-time users – onboard them and show the key values of the product
- For churning users – re-engage them with push notifications or emails with bonuses and discounts.
Mobile marketing automation increases engagement, retention, conversion, and, as a result, in-app sales. Let’s go through the key reasons why you need to automate marketing within your app.
Reason #1: Segmentation of Users
Thanks to automation, you can segment the audience into groups depending on the characteristics of users and marketing goals. Users are segmented both by device type and by more complex parameters, such as registration date, frequency of visits, geography, number of purchases or views, etc. Segmentation is needed to personalize the user experience in the future, i.e. build communication with each audience more individually.
Reason #2: Personalized In-App Communication
Personalization means both contacting the user by name when sending the in-app messages and offering them products or functions based on their past actions and information about this segment. Automated personalization increases engagement, reduces churn, and makes it possible to create a unique user experience.
Reason #3: Testing Automation
Data collection and segmentation allows you to analyze the behavior of different user groups and test the hypotheses on communication with them at different stages of the funnel. You can find out which form of communication collects more targeted actions, such as conversion to purchase, subscription renewal, transition to a new stage of onboarding, etc.
Automated A/B testing helps to determine the most efficient types of in-app communication. You can launch two types of pop-ups, push notifications, or chat messages with different offers and visuals and check which one converts better.
Reason #4: Automated Engagement and Retention Campaigns
No one has yet managed to build trusting and long-term relationships with customers overnight. User engagement and retention is an ongoing task, even after the first contact with the brand. Retention is an extremely important metric that directly affects monetization. This is the percentage of users who continue to log in to your application after a certain number of days.
To engage and retain users, you can create a loyalty program and reward the most active customers by offering special discounts and exclusive offers. As a result, the users will come back.
Lead identification will help you to recognize such customers. By combining tagging, scoring, and segmentation, you can focus on the most loyal and valuable customers. Then you can send a very targeted offer that the customers will not be able to refuse. To complete this task, you can apply a ready-made automation template and edit it as needed.
Reason #5: Automated Re-Engagement of Inactive Users
Re-engaging a user who has already installed the application and activated it is easier than attracting a new one. Here are some ways of automation that can help you re-engage users:
- Send push notifications by segment. If you feel that the users are forgetting about you, send a push notification that they will definitely see on the phone screen.
- Send messages and pop-ups when the user is in the app (in-app messaging). If the user does not understand how to use your app and which value it brings, they will leave. Don’t let them go! Accompany them with small tips, notifications about the launch of a new feature, or suggestions for improving the current processes. Use automated chat messages to engage your users in a conversation. Such timely support will relieve the user’s anxiety and encourage sales.
Reason #6: Onboarding Automation
The first thing users encounter after installing most apps is onboarding – a collection of materials that teach the basic functions of the app.
According to a survey by Сlutch.co, about half of users download apps just to try them out. Besides, 77% of users abandon the app during the first three days after installing it. These sad statistics show that there is not much time to win the user’s attention. Therefore, onboarding is the first and very important way to interact with users.
The main tasks of onboarding are as follows:
- convey the value to the user
- show the benefits of the app
- lead the user to the target action
- help the user with the registration
- show the value of the paid version.
Onboarding should be short, crisp and clear. Do not try to tell about all functions of the app – the user will still not remember anything. It’s enough to show them 3-4 screens with a clear title and a clear picture. Do not overload users with tips. You already know their path, so you can configure messages with prompts to appear at the right time.
Automated onboarding allows you to collect valuable data that you can then analyze and use for segmentation to increase the sales.
Reason #7: Increased Lifetime Value (LTV)
CAC, CTR, churn, the number of conversions, and other metrics can give a certain idea of the marketing efforts efficiency. However, from a financial point of view, they are indicative only together with LTV – the total profit that the company received from one client for the entire time of working with them.
Calculation of LTV will help you to know exactly which channels bring you the best (profitable) customers. Understanding the efficiency of each channel to attract customers will help to redistribute the marketing budget and therefore understand how much you can spend on attracting or retaining a client.
The Bottom Line
Mobile marketing automation is a way to lead the user through each stage of the sales funnel to achieve the desired result, such as purchase or subscription. The key reasons to implement automation within your app are as follows:
- segmentation of users
- personalized in-app communication
- testing automation
- automated engagement and retention campaigns
- automated re-engagement of inactive users
- user onboarding automation
- increased lifetime value.
Anastasia Khomych is a content marketing manager at GetSocial, an all-in-one solution to empower mobile app marketing and product teams with growth tools to maximize user acquisition, engagement, and retention.