Comment & Opinion

7 steps to avoid for mobile marketing automation heaven

Tapjoy’s Shannon Jessup shows the way

7 steps to avoid for mobile marketing automation heaven

Shannon Jessup is the senior vice president of partnerships for Tapjoy, a Personalized Monetization Platform whose mission is to help freemium mobile app publishers maximize their revenue.

The premise of mobile marketing automation is that it is supposed to help app developers do their jobs better, faster and more easily.

By enabling marketers and app developers to automate the delivery of targeted, relevant and timely messages to thousands or even millions of users on a one-to-one basis, the end goal of mobile marketing automation is to lift an app’s KPIs.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.

The tools and technologies that empower mobile marketing automation are only as good as the marketers that use them, and since the tools themselves are still relatively new to the market, there is a natural and expected learning curve in getting the best results from them.

No matter how reliable the technology itself is, marketers are going to make mistakes, and results aren’t always going to be as expected. When mistakes aren’t caught in time, marketing automation can even cause an app’s KPIs to move in the wrong direction.

The good news is, these mistakes can usually be corrected fairly easily. The first step is simply knowing what went wrong. To that end, we’ll provide the top mistakes many app developers make when carrying out a mobile marketing automation strategy.

Click here to view the list »
  • 1 Poorly defined user segments

    In any engagement, retention or monetization campaign, the most effective results come when marketers are able to send the right message to the right user at the right time. When any one of those three variables is not tuned correctly, the whole campaign can fall apart.

    So the first question that must be asked when an automated campaign fails to achieve its goals is whether it was being sent to the right segment of users in the first place.

    In most cases, segments are too broadly defined. A good rule of thumb is to be as specific as possible when targeting to ensure that the vision of one-to-one marketing is as close to reality as possible.

  • 2 Ineffective content or offers

    Content is the key driver of successful marketing automation. The right content, delivered on time and on target, will capture your user’s attention and compel them to take action.

    The wrong content, however, will not only fail to generate interest but could even damage your relationships if users start to feel as if you’re not listening to their needs or addressing their interests.

    There are many forms your content could take, from IAP promotions designed to increase revenue to app tips designed to increase engagement. The key is to make sure the content is useful, interesting or actionable-or preferably a combination of all three.

  • 3 Bad timing

    Why do telemarketers always seem to call just when we sit down for dinner? No matter how relevant or interesting their pitch is, we are almost always irritated when that happens.

    Mobile marketers must consider the timing of their messages as well - not only the time of day (especially for push notifications), but the timing of what is happening in the app at that moment.

    Within just about every app there are certain moments that make the most sense to deliver a contextually relevant message, such as moments of failure, success, pause, opportunity and more. When marketers try to serve messages during inopportune times, they run the risk of disrupting and thereby annoying their users.

  • 4 Using the wrong channel

    As a mobile marketer, there are essentially three channels of communication at your disposal: push notifications, in-app messages, and email.

    Each channel has its own strengths and befits certain types of messages depending on their objectives.

    • In-app messages can reach users in real-time as they actively engage with the app and are best used for contextually relevant engagement or monetization messages.
    • Push notifications are able to reach users outside of the app and can help engage lapsed customers or notify users of important app updates or events.
    • Email can be a valuable tool for reaching users who have not opted-in to push. If your message isn’t getting the right response, it might be getting sent through the wrong channel.

  • 5 Being too pushy

    Just because your goal is to get users to make an in-app payment (or monetize in some other way), it doesn’t mean that every marketing campaign should be geared towards an IAP.

    With marketing automation, your main goal should be to nurture relationships with your users and drive engagement to the point where they actually want to make an in-app payment as opposed to being “forced” into it.

    Sending messages that urge them to make an IAP at practically every turn will only wear them out and have the opposite affect of what you intended. But providing valuable messages that help improve their experience will increase retention and loyalty and ultimately stands a better chance of leading to a payment down the road.

  • 6 Failure to analyze data

    Analytics and automation go hand in hand. The insights gleaned from studying your user’s behaviors and in-app activities will dictate the types of marketing automation campaigns you deliver.

    But too many marketers make the mistake of simply assuming they understand their users and know what they want, without actually using analytics to confirm their theories. This can have dangerous repercussions on user relationships, especially if the marketer starts sending users irrelevant or untargeted messages.

    By tapping into app analytics and really getting to know your users, you’ll know what types of marketing campaigns are likely to resonate with them most.

  • 7 Setting it and forgetting it

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that just because something worked the first time, it will continue to work well into the future.

    One of the worst mistakes you can make when managing a mobile marketing automation campaign is taking the “automation” part a little too far.

    “Automation” doesn’t mean that you can simply set it and forget it. All marketing automation campaigns still require a certain level of manual oversight.

    If your campaigns have been on autopilot for too long, it’s time to consider updating the copy, offer, message, targeting, timing or creative to keep the campaign fresh and make sure it’s working as effectively as it should be.

    While mobile marketing automation can be a very powerful way to improve your user engagement, retention and monetization efforts, it is not a panacea for poor marketing.

    There are no substitutes or shortcuts for proper planning. By avoiding the common pitfalls described above, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most from your mobile marketing automation campaigns. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.