Search the website

5 Things That Scare Mobile Marketers – And How to Avoid Them

As the “spooky” season approaches, let’s admit that it’s not only ghouls and hauntings that will be keeping mobile marketers awake at night … Doing mobile marketing right involves a lot of spinning plates - drop one, and the ripple effects can have a frightening after-effect.

Posted in

In this article, we take a closer look at the scariest factors when it comes to nailing your mobile marketing campaigns. Jump in, face your fears, and exercise these demons once and for all!

Download the guide: Mobile Marketing 101


The Fear: If your churn rate has been keeping you up at night, you’re not alone; the average mobile app loses almost 77% of Daily Active Users (DAUs) within the first 72 hours of installation. Fearful, indeed.

The Fix: Every mobile app is different, so each will require its own approach to mitigating churn. There are several key areas that every mobile marketer will want to look at to ensure they’re minimizing risk and keeping their fears at bay:

  • Ensure you’re delivering a friction-free onboarding experience. If a new user has to work hard at this stage, they’re unlikely to stay around for the long haul
  • Personalize,  personalize, personalize – whenever and wherever you can. We all want to feel special, and if customers don’t feel valued by your brand, they’re sure to look elsewhere.
  • Always be focused on delivering valuable, relevant content that compels engagement and keeps your audience close – it helps build trust.
  • Reward your customers, and they’ll reward you with their loyalty.
  • Identify where the leaks are! Is there a point in the onboarding process that sees users quickly abandoning the process? Is there an unclear CTA on key conversion screens? Are you sending out too many push notifications (or not enough)? Your analytics platform is key to identifying what and where the issues are so that you can work quickly to fix them.

Manual segmentation 

The Fear: For mobile app marketers not yet on board with automation, manual data segmentation is a scary, all-consuming, time-and-resource-eating activity that can suck the joy out of what should typically be a fun job. Thing is, manual segmentation:

  • Uses up a lot of precious resources
  • Is prone to human error
  • Makes it hard to maintain consistency
  • And makes it impossible to market effectively.

The Fix: If you invest in an analytics platform that rapidly and automatically segments your user base, you can finally ditch the overwhelming long hours, late nights, and unnerving uncertainty. With the right tools and data at your fingertips, you can start shipping mobile campaigns that elevate your core metrics by enabling you to reach specific users with specific needs at key points in their customer journey – and set your mobile app on the path to profitable, long-term growth. 

We’ve written a lot about segmentation, and we highly recommend doing a bit of research before you get started. But to kick off, we recommend 5 segmentation routes that are sure to do the trick:

  • Demographic: based on age, gender, occupation, income, etc.
  • Psychographic: based on user interests, lifestyle, values, beliefs, hobbies, etc.
  • Geographic:  (becoming increasingly crucial with the growth of proximity marketing) – based on city, state, neighborhood, country, etc.
  • Behavior-based; based on user activity, session frequency and length, browsing activities, average purchase value, etc.
  • and technographic: based on preferred  mobile devices, technologies and software, etc.

Bottom line? Automated segmentation of your customers will make it far easier for you to reach them  at the best possible moment with the optimum message – something manual segmentation simply cannot do.

Lack of user visibility

The Fear: Not being able to pinpoint where users came from, what they did when they got to your app, why they downloaded it, and ultimately, where they ended up can make a mobile marketer’s blood run cold. Because if you can’t get a complete view of the customer journey, you can’t expect to deliver campaigns that consistently convert. 

The Fix: ‘Mobile attribution’ – by tracking user events, and gleaning deep insights into how your audience behaves along each stage of their journey, you’ll be able to optimize almost every element of your mobile app. From onboarding to CTAs to support to screen layout, you can find ways that keep users close to keep your app one step ahead of the competition.

How, you ask? With a robust, powerful analytics tool that provides your team with a 360 view of user data. A platform that works with a ‘multi-touch attribution’ model is your best bet to accurately measure the impact of each customer journey touch point. This model continuously updates itself to reflect any changes in user behavior and measures itself against the baseline behavior of your customers. With these rich, deep insights at your fingertips, you’ll be able to deliver an app that people love.

Being blocked

The Fear: As an app user, you know the script . Your smartphone pings, someone wants your attention – your boss, your rideshare, your parole officer (just kidding!) – but you’ve been here before, and it turns out to be another irrelevant push message from the bank you hear from once a year, offering you $5 for referring a friend. It’s the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back, and you block any further messages. 

Mobile marketers rightly dread being blocked by users, but if you find yourself on a user’s blacklist, there’s usually one reason that rises above the rest  – you  neglected to put personalization at the heart of your marketing efforts. 

The Fix: We’ve written a lot about personalization, simply because it’s so critical to app success. For starters, and to ensure you avoid the big block again, here are our top 5 tweaks to focus on for your next campaign:

  1. Make it relevant. Customers want content and offers that make them feel special, which means using segmentation to reach each individual user with content that counts.
  2. Make it valuable. Time-sensitive coupons, personal in-store offers when I’m nearby, compelling rewards for referring a friend … campaigns must add value to the lives of customers in some way.
  3. Get your timing right. Almost no one wants a push message at 4 am.
  4. And get noticed. More on that below.

Being boring!

The Fear: We’re probably  all afraid of being boring. In the world of mobile apps, it’s something you can ill afford when every app out there is doing its darndest to grab – and keep – consumer attention. 

There are many ways to ensure your campaigns avoid being tossed in the Boring Bin – personalization being the obvious solution – but here we want to focus on on rich media and gamification. 

The Fix: Successful app gamification can do wonders for increasing app engagement. Presenting users with challenges that could earn them ‘prizes’ such as rewards points and discounts, or encouraging competition between app users with a call-to-action and rewarding the best ones with offers to redeem in-store. These are examples that can go a long way to elevate the user experience and give them a reason to engage with your app (and better yet, keep coming back to it).  

Another highly effective way of bypassing boring is by spicing up your campaigns with rich media. Rich formats have the potential to skyrocket engagement rates by a massive 25% – hardly surprising when you consider our obsession with TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Long and short? If you’re not already using rich media regularly throughout your campaigns, it’s time to get started. Images,  emojis, video, audio, and GIFs, alongside interactive app features, offer engagement opportunities that go way beyond the blandness of a standard text link … and you can wave bye-bye to boring for good!

See? It’s not so scary after all to tweak your strategy and be mindful of what has the potential to send customers running away in fear. By following these guidelines, you’re sure to dominate the mobile space and keep your customers coming back to your app.

Published on
Posted in

Bob Lawson

Bob Lawson is Director of Mobile Offerings at Optimove. He joined Optimove early in 2022, when it acquired Kumulos, the company he co-founded. Kumulos was a market-leading Mobile and Web Messaging Platform serving a broad range of industries. Bob has spent more than 18 years in technology, particularly Mobile MarTech. He has held commercially facing roles in start-ups, scale-ups, and large enterprise businesses, particularly in Mobile Technology. Before working in the Tech space, he spent 15 years in Financial Services, most recently as Marketing Director of one of Europe’s largest Fund Management Companies.