App Promotion Summit: 5 Key Takeaways
More than 2,000 app marketers showed up to this year’s virtual App Promotion Summit USA. Featuring 50+ speakers over four days, the agenda was packed with expert-led sessions on the latest industry insights, best practices, and growth strategies. Common themes throughout focused on the consumer subscription economy, how to optimize spend with segmentation and personalization, best practices for testing, and how to build repeatable outcomes. Here are five compelling highlights from the event.
Consumer subscriptions take center stage
Subscription services are on the rise and consumers are showing an increasing willingness to pay if they have a great experience with your product. Nico Wittenborn, investor at Adjacent, decided to focus on consumer subscriptions over SaaS because consumer companies can have a much higher growth curve. With consumer behavior trends and the growing subscription app ecosystem, Nico believes something bigger is happening here and we are only at the beginning of a massive opportunity.
The case for a subscription business model is clear. Retaining cohorts is much more cost-effective than paid user acquisition (UA), which isn’t very controllable; it’s best if companies don’t solely depend on UA for growth. Instead, the focus should be on creating such amazing experiences for customers that they tell their friends and family — and they continue to subscribe to your service.
Know your cohorts
Retention isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Users can be placed into persona cohorts that provide actionable behavioral insights that help build retention momentum at scale. Seth Miller, Founder and CEO at Rapchat, shares how to analyze cohorts by segmenting engagement data and how to turn these insights into repeatable outcomes.
Start by looking at your top users. How did they find you? How did they navigate your platform? What did their engagement activity look like during the first day, week, month? Break down important milestones, or specific actions they took, to understand what drives retention.
Next, analyze persona cohorts who miss these milestones and try to understand why. From acquisition and engagement tactics to unique persona attributes, it’s important to gather a comprehensive view of cohort experiences. Use these insights to run tests that encourage more engagement behaviors that mirror the retention success of your top users. Repeat this process across different points in the lifecycle to replicate retention behavior at scale.
Subscription success requires cross-team collaboration
Subscription services are all about creating experiences that customers love. To do this effectively, the multidimensional elements of the experience and each point of engagement needs to be optimized. Belén Battaglini, Growth Consultant and In-App Expert at Phiture, recommends involving people from various teams in your company to participate in brainstorming.
From data experts to localization and design gurus, each person brings a unique perspective and skill that can enhance collaboration and help inform initiatives. It’s important to think of yourself as part of the whole and to build open feedback loops. The insights and data collected from your campaigns benefit other teams and vice versa. Optimize this collaboration by establishing processes that allow you to continue building on shared insights with each test or launch. This type of collaboration is the key to delivering an exceptional customer experience that drives subscription retention and growth.
Create personalized lifecycle paths
Segmented and personalized experiences are critical to successfully attract, engage, and retain customers. Nicole Chin, Head of Marketing at Mindvalley, shares how she did this and mapped it to lifecycle paths to increase retention by 50%.
Growth can be engineered to ensure success.
Nicole shares, “growth can be engineered to ensure success.” To do this, it’s important to understand the different points of engagement and what users experience as they flow from install to onboarding and beyond. Also, consider the different entry points as they map to your ideal customer lifecycle and how you can segment by persona. What kind of flow should users experience when they enter the lifecycle through point A vs. point B? What persona characteristics do you know about users based on how they found you and where they are at in their lifecycle?
Use these insights to test and iterate for optimization. This approach is a best practice, and it’s incredibly powerful when you’re working with a smaller advertising budget or you’ve hit a plateau or dip in top of funnel traffic. Personalization and segmentation strategies help optimize spend so you get the most out of each marketing dollar.
Enhance dynamic experiences with implicit feedback
Dynamic user experiences help to drive engagement and retention. It requires an understanding of who your users are, what they expect from your app, and how to create personalized experiences that excite. Han Cho, App Product Leader at Etsy, shares the two concepts of personalization they use to create dynamic experiences for customers.
#1 Explicit feedback
Customers provide explicit feedback at different points in the customer journey. It can be part of the onboarding experience, with prompts that ask for personalization input. Etsy asks about style and category preferences as part of their onboarding flow. Another opportunity to gather explicit feedback is to send out a survey to gather insights that can help enhance the overall customer experience.
#2 Implicit feedback
Implicit feedback is sometimes overlooked, but equally important to understand when creating the best experience for customers. Get implicit insights by looking at what users are clicking on, in what order, how they navigate within the app, and items they add to their cart. Don’t forget to also pay attention to what customers do not interact with.
Nick Beck, Director of Product at K Health, adds that it’s also important to pay attention to non-monetary engagement events in order to truly understand the user lifecycle. For example, if your app is designed to solve a specific problem, then an uninstall isn’t necessarily bad because it might signal that the customer found a solution by using your app. Rather, it’s more important to focus on creating the best engagement experience so that you’re top of mind when customers need your service again.
One way that K Health does this is to ensure they deliver an experience that establishes trust. They always provide context when asking for any personal information to help customers feel safe and comfortable during the process. Lastly, for any information or feedback that you ask of customers, make sure there is a direct purpose and use for it. If the information isn’t going to be used, cut it from any prompts to reduce any possible friction in the customer experience.
Visit App Promotion Summit for updates on upcoming events.