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What does a successful business look like?
It means more than revenue and brand recognition. It means staying power: through market peaks and valleys, across established and emerging markets, and spanning decades. It means attracting engaged customers who purchase frequently, tell others about the service, and stay loyal to your brand.
But what happens when a crisis hits like the one we’re experiencing now — with individuals, businesses, and leaders all reeling from a topsy-turvy market and global economic uncertainty?
Suddenly, 2020 business plans are obsolete. Projected Q2 and beyond is looking very different than expected for most verticals, and marketing budgets are taking a hit as many businesses cut costs wherever possible.
Now is the time for mobile brands to shore up their business strategies to ensure they can succeed in any economic climate. And this is how: by obsessing over customer data, making smart revenue decisions, and prioritizing customer retention above all else.
A customer-centric mindset is always important, but when the economy is in flux staying close to your customers is imperative. You must be able to pivot on a dime to understand and deliver what your customers want moment-to-moment, seize opportunities, and quickly course correct.
With so much uncertainty around the coming months, more mobile brands are throwing set strategies out the window and embracing real-time marketing. The ability to react instantly to world events and customer needs poses a major advantage and allows brands to build personalized marketing campaigns that show empathy for their customers and connect to their immediate context.
The only way to do that is to keep a close eye on numbers: analyze key metrics and watch real-time behavioral trends so you can be as responsive as possible to shifting customer interests. (Here are the 5 analytics reports we recommend watching right now.)
Monitor your conversion rates, CLV, campaign CTRs, A/B test results, and customer retention. Track session length and frequency trends to understand patterns in app engagement and user behavior. Watch your cohorts and RFM segments for insights into the health of your user base.
In times like these, you can’t rely on guesswork and gut feelings. Every decision must be rooted in customer data.
When belts get tightened, the first things to feel the pinch are typically external vendors and tools. When evaluating your tech stack, ensure you’re accounting for the Total Cost of Ownership to ensure you’re using the right platform and getting the most out of your solution. Look for all-in-one tools that offer both customer analytics and engagement, and have strong partnerships that eliminate hidden costs like charges for each push notification or email sent.
As revenue projections change, marketers have to find creative ways to attract more customers with fewer resources. Make every dollar spent on acquisition go further by focusing on attracting the right customers and driving up your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), or the amount of profit you expect to earn over the span of your relationship with an average customer.
Why is a high CLV so crucial for a healthy business? By improving the frequency and amount that each user spends with your app, the profitability of each user goes up.
CLTV is important because it helps you figure out how much an average customer is worth to your company. Aside from helping you understand how much your brand and your app are worth, knowing your CLTV can help you determine how much you can afford to spend on acquiring new users without losing money. And it gives you a data-driven way to decide whether you should be focusing on attracting new audiences or shift your efforts to upsell and encourage repeat purchases with your current customers.
Here are three ways to improve your CLV:
One in four mobile apps are abandoned after just one launch.* Getting your user onboarding flow just right is the difference between exponential churn and exponential user growth.
Create a great first impression — and boost retention — by keeping the onboarding process simple and demonstrating value as fast as possible.
Whether your onboarding flow is a product walkthrough, new user registration, or feature carousel, keep the focus on benefits, not features. Only ask for essential personal details and permissions, and stick to the key features and UI elements that are absolutely necessary to help users experience the app’s value.
Improving CLV means increasing the number and frequency of conversions on your app. To do that, you need to understand how customers navigate your app and move through different conversion points. Funnel analysis will pinpoint where users are dropping off so you can plug those holes and encourage more conversions. It’s a tool that will help you answer questions like:
For example, say only 35% of customers who start the checkout process finish it. With funnel analysis, you discover that almost all of them drop off on the page for entering shipping information. You dig a little deeper to find a bug that’s preventing people with apartment numbers from entering their address properly, resulting in frustrating error messages.
Fixing these friction points doesn’t just improve conversions and CLV — it also improves the customer experience, driving up long-term retention rates.
Keep customers engaged for the long-term and encourage them to bring in new users cheaply through word-of-mouth.
Loyalty programs keep your best customers engaged with your brand and reinforce your relationship by providing a positive experience with each interaction. It’s why your preferred coffee shop or burrito stand offers a punch card — doesn’t it feel great to get your favorite food for free?
Plus, by incentivizing users who already like your product to recommend it to others, you can rapidly expand your user base and provide powerful social proof to prospective users.
Referred users are 4x more likely to make a purchase. They have 16% higher LTV and 37% higher retention rates than non-referred users.*
Build interest in your referral program through email reminders, or use in-app messages to catch users’ attention and give them a quick way to share their unique referral link.
In any economic climate, the only way to grow your business is to prioritize retention.
For mobile brands, retention means more than just keeping your app installed on a customer’s device: it means delivering value at every opportunity so that those customers engage meaningfully with your brand and complete the key conversions that matter most for your business.
Here are four proven ways brands can master the art of retaining mobile customers — no matter the economic climate.
Demonstrate value by delivering the right message at the right time in exactly the right place. Do that successfully, and your campaigns feel less like marketing fluff and more like an enhancement of your users’ lives.
36% of customers commit to a brand because of personalized experiences.* Whether it’s recommending a new TV show, sending price drop notifications on a saved airfare search, or offering discounts on a favorite designer, users expect apps to deliver personalized content that improves their lives.
In order to create messaging and offers that are specific to each user’s needs, you’ll need to understand who they are and what they want. Find a marketing tool that goes beyond simple demographics to analyze real-time usage patterns, psychographics, user intent, and more, to give you actionable insights on each user. Tools that incorporate sentiment analysis can also help you design messaging campaigns that resonate emotionally with each user to deepen their connection with your brand.
The Acknowledgement-Interest-Conversion framework, which we co-created with our partners at Phiture, helps app marketers deliver value by understanding how users engage with their brand and which in-app activities lead to conversion.
It functions as a pyramid, with the bottom layer as Acknowledgement. These are users who launch your app occasionally and perhaps visit your website but don’t engage with you beyond that surface level.
Interested users make up the middle of the pyramid, and go a step further to engage with you: they perform a key in-app action like conducting a search, listening to a song, or uploading a photo.
Finally, at the top of the pyramid are Converted users. These are customers who have made a purchase, subscribed to your service, registered a profile — whatever a conversion means for your app or category.
By breaking your user base into these three major groups, you can better understand what each one needs from your brand and improve their customer experience. You wouldn’t push a user who is only aware of you to jump straight to a conversion, for instance. Instead, you can encourage them to transition from Awareness to Interest by completing key actions and developing habits around your product.
In order to deliver the experience that today’s consumers expect, you need the right tools. First, you need customer segmentation tools that group your customers in meaningful ways (not just demographics) so that you can customize every communication to be relevant to the recipient.
You also need engagement tools that deliver marketing campaigns with surgical precision and continuously feed campaign data back into your analytics software so you can improve or pivot your efforts.
Instead of investing in separate tools for each of these functions, find a single solution that offers them all in one best-in-class platform. You’ll be better equipped to act on customer and campaign data. And you’ll be able to keep your martech stack lean by dealing with a single vendor, contract, and support team.
No matter what business you’re in, your brand is affected by this global health crisis. Now is the time for sustainable growth strategies that nurture customer loyalty and make your business more resilient to market fluctuations. By being ruthlessly data-driven, staying connected to your customers, and demonstrating value at every opportunity, you can turn app users into lifelong customers and build a brand that lasts.
See how today’s top brands use CleverTap to drive long-term growth and retention