5 Tips for Measuring In-App Messaging and Push Messaging Campaigns

In-app messaging and push messaging can be powerful tools to re-engage latent users and drive your app users further down key conversion funnels. These mobile marketing techniques can be very valuable for customers and businesses alike. They introduce consumers to key features in the app that they would find valuable, or keep an app they have downloaded top of mind. For businesses, this is beneficial because it increases user retention.

But without proper measurement, app user engagement campaigns are little more than a shot in the dark. This results in wasted efforts and unfocused marketing activities that could actually alienate users. To prevent this, here are five tips for measuring your app user engagement campaigns so you know what's working and what's not, and can build your app user engagement strategy accordingly.


1. Think Beyond App Opens

Let’s say a department store with an iPhone app is launching a push messaging campaign to promote a highly sought-after new line of handbags. For this promotion, the retailer will send push messages to those who have previously shown interest in handbags for 20% off their first in-app purchase. The goal is to pique their interest and subsequently drive in-app purchases of the handbags.

The retailer runs an A/B test, sending at least two versions of the campaign to significant samples of its target audience to see which message yields more conversions:

AB test push message example

20% of those customers who received Message A took the first step and opened the app while 15% of those who received Message B took the same action.

At first glance, it seems that Message A wins the contest, because of its higher open rate. But the contest is not over yet; the end goal is for users to make an in-app purchase. If you were only tracking app opens from this campaign, you would continue to invest in Message A – which may actually have a lower conversion rate to in-app purchase than Message B. Because of this unknown, it’s critical to look at the full picture. This brings us to the next tip: defining and measuring conversions.


2. Define Conversions for Your Brand

Have a clear goal in mind with your campaign. Like all good marketing, app marketing should start with your short and long-term goals in mind, and the metrics you pay the most attention to will be dependent on those prioritized goals. Are you looking to drive in-app purchases, or are you looking to increase users' time spent in the app? Understand this so you know what success looks like from your campaigns.


3. Improve Impressions and Clicks

We now know it’s important to think beyond app opens and to track conversions. But between the point of app open and the point of conversion there is a great deal of opportunity for optimization. There are many ways that you might be able to improve user experience between app opens and conversions, including troubleshooting the following:

Low Impressions - If your metrics indicate low impressions, you need to broaden the reach of your campaign. In particular:

  • If your in-app messaging campaign is triggered by app opens, think about driving more app opens through a push messaging campaign.
  • If your push messaging campaign is seeing low impressions, it is likely a case of low monthly active users (MAUs) and you may want to crank up your mobile app user acquisition efforts.
  • If your campaign is triggered by an in-app event, you need to evaluate whether or not the audience, which could be relatively small, is achieving a sufficient conversion rate and lifetime value (LTV) to validate the campaign. If not, you may want to redirect your efforts to larger segments.

Low Click Through Rate (CTR) – If your metrics indicate a low click through rate, consider the following:

  • Design performance: Does the ad creative on your in-app message show up blurry or warped on certain devices or operating systems? This may require further investigation.
  • Ad copy: The text, and even the translation to other languages, could potentially be improved to more clearly nudge users towards a call to action.

Once you have your campaign up and running, A/B test your copy and creative to drive more clicks and conversions. Similar to other marketing channels like banner ads, landing pages and email, simple ad copy tests like comparing the effectiveness of “Buy Now” versus “Checkout” on conversion buttons can deliver major results.


4. Evaluate How Your Campaign “Ages”

Watch how interest in your campaign trends over time. An initial spark of interest and conversions may happen in the beginning of your campaign, especially for in-app messaging campaigns triggered by app opens. But once less frequent app users begin to see the campaign, clicks may trail off after a few weeks, indicating that it might be time for a refresh. This mobile content management may seem simple, but can have a huge impact on your app's end goal.


5. Tie Campaigns to LTV

Finally, the most effective way to know if a campaign is successful is to compare the lifetime value of app users who were impacted by the campaign against those who did not. In your analytics, you can set a value for every subscription, product purchase, ad view, or time spent in app. Create an event for “Seen In-App Message” with an attribute for the specific campaign. When reviewing your lifetime value report, filter the report with this information to evaluate whether your app engagement strategy is translating into long-term value for your brand.

According to Comscore, investment in mobile marketing is expected to grow by 38% over the next five years. With more brands involved in the space, this means there is more competition for users' attention in a crowded market. To rise above the noise, you need a strong foundation of data and insights to formulate your app strategy. To guide their app strategy, conversions and lifetime value are the key metrics brands should pay attention to.

How are you measuring your app marketing campaigns? Tell us what’s worked best for you in the comments!


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