In the first post, we reviewed the motivations of mobile app users acquired through incentivized channels, the risks inherent in using these channels, and how to maximize install volume through bid management. It makes sense to now focus on activating as many of these users as possible, effectively turning a low cost, low quality acquisition channel into a low cost, high quality one.

Incentivize the right actions

Using Dave McClure’s famed “Pirate Metrics,” as an example, most advertisers focus their incentivized budgets purely on driving acquisition. However, the focus should be on acquiring new users and activating them.

Pirate metrics chart

By incentivizing offer wall users to perform tasks beyond the initial install, you’re in effect paying only a little more per user to get a much more engaged user, while capturing valuable information like email addresses, Facebook ID, or even phone number that can be used to market to them at a later time.

All too often marketers, focused on their app store rank, stop at incentivizing a user to install their app when there are even more meaningful downstream actions that can be incentivized. Rarely is the number of installs or the cost-per-install a primary key performance indicator (KPI) for seasoned mobile marketers, so incentivize your incentivized users to do something more with your app and move them into the activation category. Be it an in-app sign-up, an in-game event, or even a first purchase (depending on the size and frequency of the purchase,) many of the aforementioned offer wall providers are willing to negotiate a cost-per-action or cost-per-engagement beyond the initial install.

Make a big first impression

Start by recognizing that if you’re using incentivized media to acquire users by way of install, users from these channels will be instructed to install and subsequently open your app in order to record their action as a “first install.” It’s at this point that they receive their incentive from their offer wall of choice (Fyber, TapJoy, etc,) and they are no longer obligated to keep the app on their device.

Simply because you’ve acquired them at this point does not mean that you’ve adequately activated them. But because the user must open the app at least once, you can use this opportunity to make a big first impression on them and provide a reason as to why they should remain your customer.

You could create a custom welcome message that’s served specifically to new users from incentivized channels, speaking to the “serendipitous” way they found your app upon their first and (likely) only open. Since you know these users respond to incentives, you could also incentivize them with an immediate credit for selecting your app from their offer wall of choice.

Retarget, retarget, retarget

Once a user installs your app from an offer wall (or any other source for that matter), you’ll have the opportunity to retarget them in a variety of different ways. The most common method is by using the platform-specific “advertising ID” present on every device (ID for Advertisers on Apple devices and Google ID on Android devices.)

By aggregating a list of these IDs and uploading them to a third party platform like Facebook or Twitter, you can re-message every user that has installed your app previously, even if they have yet to signup as a customer or uninstall your app. There are also a myriad of specialty retargeting platforms like TapCommerce and Drawbridge that can leverage inventory sources outside of social media for even greater reach, using the same aforementioned IDs.

Twitter audience manager

Twitter audience manager

Regardless of platform, the key to retargeting is to use relevant messaging. If a user has merely installed and opened the app previously, tell them more about why they should signup or continue using it. If they’ve signed up and haven’t returned since, offer them an incentive to purchase or tell them why they need to return your app. In this way you can continue moving these users down the funnel from the acquisition and perhaps even activation phase to the retention and revenue phase.

Win them back

Similar to mobile retargeting, there’s also an opportunity to re-message to these same users with “win-back” campaigns, designed specifically to reach churned users across other media aside from mobile. Being that these users were incentivized to install your app in the first place, a large portion of them will churn. That’s a given. But pursuant to incentivizing the “right” actions, by capturing an e-mail address or phone number, you’re able to further customize messaging to these individuals through email, push notifications, or even SMS.

Similar to our discussion on retargeting, acknowledging that these users came to your product through an offer wall is important. It will provide you the opportunity once more to explain why they should seriously consider using your app even if that wasn’t in their initial consideration. It’s up you to add relevancy and value to your messaging simultaneously to bring back an otherwise disengaged user and make them a valuable one.

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