The concept of automation deserves more overt praise because it has been nothing short of revolutionary for many industries. Automation (particularly smart app marketing automation) can be a time-saving, revenue-maximizing, and happiness-eliciting addition to your mobile marketing plan.
In this article, we’ll review exactly what app marketing automation is, dismantle the biggest hesitation to employ it, and present five use cases where app marketing automation actually works better than human effort. Don’t fear the bot; marry your human intelligence with rapid powers of execution to make a dream app marketing team.
Let’s start with the basics and clarify what app marketing automation actually means. Contrary to mainstream beliefs, app marketing automation does not do your marketing for you; it helps you scale your efforts. To quote Bill Gates, “Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.” Marketing automation is like a car and app marketers are the drivers. Sure, you could walk to your destination, but a car will help you get there faster and make it a smoother journey because it does all the heavy lifting of climbing terrain, while you steer the direction it goes.
The biggest hesitation app marketers have when it comes to employing automation is the fear that they will come across as a mechanical, impersonal brand on the world’s most personal marketing medium – the smartphone. However, it is possible to personalize your app’s marketing automation strategies to cater to different user segments. Here’s how:
1. Group your app users together based on common attributes and behaviors
2. Create customized offers that appeals to each group
3. Set up a series of push and in-app messages that will communicate the offers to each group in a timely manner
4. Turn on “auto-enrollment” so that new users that develop these important characteristics are promptly added to the relevant app marketing campaigns
Automation works to improve your app’s marketing because it links messages together to allow you to deliver connected and clear (not disjointed) offers. It also allows you to nurture your users down key conversion paths (thus increasing revenue) and spares you the headache of manually creating hundreds of campaigns (thus saving time).
Now, let’s look at some examples where app marketing automation really shines.
App marketing automation can be successful in all parts of your marketing strategy from top-of-the-funnel new user acquisition tactics, to middle-of-the-funnel engagement ones, to helping you achieve bottom-of-the-funnel conversion goals. Below, we outline five scenarios where you can use automation to enhance your app’s marketing and user experience.
The first milestone that app marketers care about after someone downloads their app is when a new user completes the set-up or registration process. Many apps require configuration or sign-in before people can start using all of its features, but why should only app marketers celebrate the completion of these important initial steps?
If you build an automated “Welcome” or “Congratulations” campaign, you can warmly greet new users and let them know they’re ready to start using your app. For example, Umano congratulates users on completing the set-up process and outlines what they can expect or do next.
Goal: Make a great first impression and showcase the features new users can now fully use to motivate interaction.
Signing up for new things can be a hassle, and sometimes, app users exit an app without finishing the set up process. This is where app marketers can harness the power of automated push campaigns to send a friendly reminder to new users that they still need to complete registration. Push messages can be triggered when a new user only has one or two remaining steps that need to be completed and these notifications can highlight the benefits that await once registration is complete.
Goal: With this automated push message, app marketers want to drive latent users back to the app and convince them of the value of signing up/in.
After someone has downloaded your app and configured their settings, marketers need to focus on getting them delightfully hooked on your app. Downloads are only the first step to monetization – loyal users and power users are what make an app sticky and successful.
One way to continually and painlessly nurture your app users is to build an automated push messaging campaign that alerts people of interesting things happening inside your app (while they are not actively using it). In other words, push notifications can be set up to keep latent users informed of cool things they are missing out on as a means to draw them back into your app. For example, CBS automatically alerts people that a show they favorited has a new episode available in their app.
Goal: Share customized updates about things occurring in your app to re-engage users.
Have you heard of the saying, “People want what they can’t have?” This is the basis for our next use-case. Another way to keep people interacting with your app is to gate some of its features, which can only be unlocked if they complete a certain activity. To demonstrate, check out how Waze sends users an in-app message when they try to access certain reports. Waze does an excellent job of teasing users with a preview of the gated report and clearly outlines what people need to do in-app to use this functionality.
Goal: With this automated in-app message, mobile marketers can set engagement goals for users by restricting access to certain features until they hit an activity threshold.
Finally, both push and in-app messaging can be automated to deliver a coupon to users that added an item to their shopping cart, but never checked out. If the app user added an item to their cart and then left the app before making a purchase, app marketers can set up an automated push campaign to send these users a discount code. Conversely, if an app user landed on the checkout screen and then navigated to a different part of the app, mobile marketers can set up an automated in-app campaign to give these users a special promotion.
Goal: Give users who are about to take an important in-app action an added incentive to complete the conversion event.
The perfect scenarios in which to use app marketing automation are situations that occur regularly and frequently (like when you get a new user or when someone falls out of a conversion funnel). App marketing automation is not designed to be a one-time mechanization of your mobile marketing efforts. On the contrary, good and “humanized” marketing automation evolves with your app users and changes according to your app marketing goals.
If we return to the car analogy, think about how automobile manufacturers adjust their production lines and recalibrate their bots when a new vehicle comes out to better suit their drivers’ needs. The best type of marketing automation centers around the human at the receiving end of the messages and works to delight him or her in a faster, more personalized, and more efficient manner than is manually possible.
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