You've Conquered App Analytics. What comes next?

Customer drawingBuilding a mobile app is a significant achievement for any brand – it shows that you take the evolution of user consumption and purchasing habits seriously. Similarly, investing in app analytics is a crucial next step in mobile success. Tracking what’s happening naturally in your app and identifying usage patterns gives you a deeper understanding of what’s successful and what needs work. Now that you’ve invested in app analytics, the next step is to use those analytics to fuel mobile marketing.

Today, there’s a 60% chance the users who don’t come back to your app within seven days will never return. That gives developers and marketers a small window to wow users and create loyalty. Unfortunately, you can’t capture these users using app analytics; you need corresponding marketing programs to make sure they come back again and again. Because if you’re not using app marketing to keep users coming back, tracking your analytics doesn't matter much.


Analytics Are a Means to Improve Your App

Tracking your key metrics, viewing organic usage patterns, and learning more about your app users is hugely important for your brand. But to what end? Analytics serve as the foundation upon which to improve your app, and truly have little value when not used to improve app ROI. You may have a stellar app product, but what sets your app apart from the 800,000 other in the App Store? Instead of building the minimal valuable product, reach higher to build the minimal desirable product.

With the right program, you can turn insights on app user behavior, demographics, and more into targeted mobile app marketing campaigns to boost usage, convert users, and increase mobile revenue. Your app can become a true revenue tool, instead of a nice-to-have, using analytics as the basis for growth.


Why You Should Invest in App Marketing

why you should invest in app marketingAnalytics can show you what’s working and what’s not within your app, but how do you fix the things that aren’t resonating with users, and, even worse, turning them away? Of course UI updates, design changes, and content tweaks are a portion of improving your app for users over time. These updates, however, will have slow results, and even with them in place, you will hit your user retention ceiling quickly.

What does this mean, exactly? It means that you will only be able to attract and engage a certain percentage of users over time, without ever significantly moving the needle on that number. Mobile users have a lot of options; just because they are spending more time in-apps year over year doesn’t mean that they are spending that time in your app. Marketing can help not only engage these users, but can accelerate the process for a faster ROI with A/B testing and easy-to-test campaigns and features.

Your app needs to demonstrate clear benefit, as part of the value proposition, but also over time through personalized, targeted campaigns that engage users long-term and improve your customer lifetime value (LTV).

Think of it this way: chances are you’re not using web analytics just to track visitor behavior. Maybe in 2007 that was the case, but now, those analytics inform marketing programs via your website, email marketing, and social media. Mobile is a piece of this bigger puzzle. It’s not a stand-alone channel that can be measured but not utilized; otherwise you’re missing out on improving your app ROI.


Using Your Analytics to Inform Marketing Campaigns

Your analytics are a wealth of knowledge about your app users: their in-app behavior, devices, locations, session lengths, usage over time, and lifetime value. You might think that only companies who use their apps to sell products have enough incentive to invest in marketing. But it’s not just mCommerce apps that can run marketing and see worthwhile improvements. In fact, your conversion goal can be more in line with re-engaging users and improving session length than necessarily prompting a purchase.

For media apps, campaigns with push or in-app messaging can work to hit a target conversion goal, such as gaining more subscribers. In this vertical, the most common challenge for apps is to convert passive users to active subscribers. Without the right incentive, those who casually view content on your app won’t pay to subscribe for access to your best features and articles. It’s here that a tactic like push messaging offers a great way to convert users to paying subscribers, and to save the app experience from being tainted.

By sending unsubscribed users a push message for X% off a subscription for a limited time only, you can, at best, turn many passive users into active ones, or, at worst, re-engage some latent users who may have ignored your content for a while. At one end of the spectrum, you improve user retention, and on the other, your app makes you more money.

Using app analytics to inform marketing campaigns


Validating the App Marketing Purchase

It seems like there are endless numbers of marketing tools available today, and often, selling the idea of adding yet another can seem more work than it’s worth. But in truth, with the right tool you will see a financial return. Here are a few steps to creating credibility to invest in app marketing:

  • Examine existing data around mobile app usage trends to confirm that without marketing your brand stands to risk survival and growth. Knowing where the industry is heading will set you up with some solid evidence for the importance of incorporating app marketing into your mobile strategy. Look also at the different marketing channels you currently embrace: is there room for cross-channel strategies? Determine how much your overall marketing would benefit from additional legwork on the mobile side.
  • Choose a tool that incorporates both app analytics and marketing, so all of your efforts are tracked and run through the same system, eliminating the potential for data errors and retaining all information in one spot. When you have a central location for all of your mobile initiatives, you will get the most accurate insights available and create the most efficient process possible for yourself. It will also eliminate time spend and the possibility of human error if multiple team members are tasked with overseeing the analytics.
  • Work with your marketing platform providers or mobile experts to calculate the ROI of app marketing. Identify the cost of the platform, the types of campaigns you can run, the ease of use and capabilities, and finally, the revenue you stand to gain from app marketing. Test out different variables and potentials for different campaigns to determine the margin of error. Knowing the ROI before green-lighting the project is key to setting yourself up for success.

Once you have proven data, a trusted vendor, and an ROI plan, you have the ammunition necessary to determine the value of investing in app marketing.

Download the Beginner's Guide to App Analytics by Localytics  

Top photo by 10ch / CC BY