Grow.co, a forum for marketing professionals, hosted a panel debate last month on mobile Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Barron Ernst, Chief Product Officer at ShowMax, and Eduardo Henrique, Head of Global Expansion at PlayKids, joined mobile marketing professionals to discuss how best to use email, push, and in-app messaging in CRM campaigns.
Key highlights from the discussion
Q: What is the number one thing marketers should consider when putting together a mobile notification and retention strategy?
Barron: Identify ‘moments’ when customers will be most receptive to notifications. At ShowMax, a Naspers company, we use notifications within the first week of joining to encourage new customers to watch several episodes of a series. We know if they get hooked on a series they are much more likely to keep using the service.
Eduardo: Keep it simple. Split your customers into five or six clusters and create appropriate communications strategies for each. Make your communications genuinely useful for customers. At PlayKids we send Tuesday night bedtime book recommendations, a service that parents really appreciate.
Q: Which are the best platforms for notifications: web, mobile, or a combination of both?
Barron: It is usually unique to each business. Businesses should target the platforms where their customer base is most likely to receive and act on notifications. For some this will predominantly be web, for others it’ll be mobile.
Q: Which mobile marketing tactics should businesses use and when? Are there any tactics that pair best together?
Barron: Push is best for immediate notifications to bring users back to an app right away and to encourage them to take action. This could include flash sale notifications or critical updates. The same is true for in-app notifications.
For longer form content, such as newsletters or promotions, email is best. Of course, it’s also how you target customers who haven’t registered for push notifications. However, bear in mind that you run the risk of losing the email message to junk mail filters.
Q: How can businesses tell if a tactic isn’t working?
Barron: It’s essential to set baselines and monitor campaigns over time, as some tactics might take a while to work. Marketers should continually tweak and test the campaign. Refine things like copy, images and CTAs to see if they improve performance. Every change you make needs to be built on a measureable hypothesis.
Eduardo: I agree. It’s important to AB test everything and check uninstall rates, comparing results with previous initiatives. On Android you can find this information on the developer dashboard. There’s a close relationship between annoying pushes and uninstalls so it’s critical to keep communications useful and relevant.
Q: Excluding sales, to what extent can marketers tell whether mobile campaigns are leading to desired in-app behaviour?
Barron: If you’re using a popular platform, such as appboy or leanplum, you can use in-built metrics to understand the performance of a notification. Additionally, you should record campaign performance in your own marketing database. This is essential to the success of mobile CRM campaigns.
Eduardo: Don’t try to build complex segmentation and campaign strategies. Instead, focus on the basics. At PlayKids, we create emails and push notifications that complement our app. We then track the number of pushes that are opened.
Q: How do you manage app store reviews?
Barron: We’ve set up a team at ShowMax specifically to respond to reviews. When a bug is flagged the team works with our product and engineering teams to get it fixed and to communicate updates to customers. User reviews are excellent for direct customer feedback.
Eduardo: PlayKids has a dedicated Customer Happiness team that responds immediately to any negative reviews on Google Play, so we can fix any issues as soon as possible. We also answer tickets from customers in our platform using Zendesk to organise the process.
Barron Ernst is Chief Product Officer at ShowMax
Eduardo Henrique is Co-Founder of Movile & Head of Global Expansion at PlayKids