A strategic data collection plan can provide valuable insights regarding the way people use your app, which is instrumental in improving user experience, marketing actions and app monetization.
For any app marketing strategy to succeed you need 3 things:
- A great app
- An understanding of how people use it (or a usage funnel).
- The ability to target users based on their behaviour
All three require an effective App Data Collection Plan, so where do advertisers usually go wrong?
- Not tracking post-install events
Acquiring new users is only the beginning of an effective app marketing strategy. Over 80% of users stop using the app after 6 months. The challenge today is to drive engagement and in-app conversions. Without tracking post-install events (like app opens, purchases, etc.), advertisers miss out on the opportunity to understand which sources of traffic produce the most engaged users, as well as re-engaging people based on their in-app activity.
- Not identifying the key event and success benchmark
You can track every step the user takes inside the app, but key events are the in-app actions you optimize for. It is important to define and benchmark the key conversion events. Without a clear success metric, marketers have no way of knowing the real cost and return of their ad spend. If unsure of the ideal benchmark, advertisers should consider starting with a soft launch campaign.
- Only tracking the key event
Focusing only on the final key event reduces insights and volume potential. Yes, purchases are important (and normally the ultimate goal) but what leads to a purchase? Is it people opening the app a lot? Product searches? Initial steps or events, such as “App Opens” can serve as indicators of potential quality converting traffic and re-engagement opportunities. If you are tracking “add-to-cart” as well as “successful purchase”, then you may identify a segment of users which are one step short of completing the conversion path and can be targeted to follow through.
- Not establishing an Event Funnel
An event funnel is a key element in a successful data collection strategy. Simply put, the event funnel or conversion path is the set of steps, tracked as events, that a user completes in order to reach the key conversion. Basically, it’s a “map” of what people do inside an app.
It is an effective way to calculate specific event rates, and detect the point in the conversion path where users drop-off.
- Not setting time-goals for conversion completion
After establishing the order in which events take place, it’s important to estimate how long an average user should take from one conversion to the next. Ideally, how long does each conversion take? Compare this approximation with the time users actually spend on conversions. Are there any steps that take longer than intended? Identifying “stuck” users will enable you to target them specifically, to lead them along the remaining steps.
- Not using the event data to evaluate and improve UX
Where are drop-offs occurring? Which steps take longer to complete? Why are users stuck in that particular step? Is the “add to cart button” too hard to find? Are you asking too many questions during the sign-up process? This information enables retargeting strategies, but it is also an opportunity to identify possible issues and think up feature improvements. The flow from screen to screen should be seamless, this can be done by ensuring the app user user is guided to take specific actions inside the app.
- Problematic Event and Parameter Names
Event parameters provide additional granularity on the properties of an event. App marketing campaigns generate enormous amounts of data. Abstract or over-technical names create unnecessary (and costly) confusion and slow the analysis and reporting process.
- Not aligning events with device ID (from the beginning)
If the correct alignment between events and identified users is not ensured, the collected data loses value/relevance. To avoid this, it’s best to identify all installs and in-app events from Android with Google Advertising ID and all installs and in-app events from iOS with Apple IFA.
If done from the beginning, the resulting database will prove to be an invaluable asset when setting up Retargeting campaigns.
- Not accounting for Privacy Regulations
An app’s functionality, target audience, the location(s) where it is available, and the type of data are some of the factors that determine which privacy regulations apply, for instance: most apps collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) which requires explicit consent. It’s best to inform the user of the data needed for the app to function, and get his/ her consent upon installation or registration.
- Not forwarding event data to your marketer
Without event data, your Mobile App Marketer can’t optimize for post-install conversions. This is an expensive mistake, if your app marketer can’t focus on targeting relevant users you are not making the most of your advertising spend. Moreover, you are missing the opportunity to gain additional insights into your user base.
This article is based on Jampp’s free eBook “5 Steps to Master App Data Collection”.