Introducing Adobe Target for Mobile Apps: Transform Downloads into Valuable User Experiences

Over the past five Summits, the mobile conversation has changed from “Mobile – how do we begin?” to “We’ve gone mobile – how do we make it stick?” Mobile has become essential to your customer journey and, in many cases, is the life line—and, most importantly, you’ve been convinced and have jumped into the mobile conversation head first. You’ve worked with your teams to build mobile web experiences, evaluated if an app makes sense, and, in the end, built one (or several) out. You monitor downloads and usage. You look for patterns of success, whether that’s a completed in-app purchase or booking, a financial transaction, or more articles read. But, just like you do on your site, you ask: How can we make this app better? How can we get users to engage more? Now what?

The answer? Optimization—important to the mobile app lifecycle that my colleague Matt Asay writes about this week.

I can guarantee this isn’t the first time you’ve heard that answer but, now that we’re a few years in, it’s time to embrace it. Optimization is key to establishing and nurturing your customers throughout their mobile journeys.

Acquiring the app user is the first hurdle. It undoubtedly starts on the mobile web, with the consumer’s arrival, often through social or search. Maybe it’s the first mobile visit, or a few visits in, but there’s the critical moment where you can influence a casual visitor and turn him into a valuable customer by driving him to your app. A/B…N testing your smart banner approach can determine the right experience to influence app installs, but then comes the real app challenge: enticing him to stick around.

Unsure where to start tackling this one? The following optimization strategies are essential to delivering the best experience that increases app engagement and loyalty. And with new Adobe Target innovations for mobile apps highlighted in each, optimizing those critical interactions from app download to app user loyalty is possible.

1. Test to onboard users
You’ve done lots of work to get that download, but now is not the time to celebrate. Onboarding a user is usually about account set up for repeat engagement—you’re asking for things like login information, account or content preferences, setup tutorials, permission to use location or contacts, notification settings. You’re asking them for personal information that you will likely, in some way, use for experience relevance thereafter. So test.

Think about the onboarding experiences you’ve had – what did you like, or what didn’t you like, about them? With Adobe Target for mobile apps, you can A/B test screen layouts, specific design elements and content to determine what experience gets the user over this hurdle most successfully. Need to optimize this hurdle quickly? Try Auto-Allocate: this new feature allows you to automatically allocate traffic to each experience variation in a test, and start shifting traffic to the “winning” experience for faster, larger conversion lift (in this case, more onboarded users). It’s a Bayesian technique that allows you to take advantage of automation even earlier in the game.

2. Optimize to monetize
Now it’s time to test and personalize the app experience in an effort to keep engagement constant and progressing to conversion. What’s the goal? Whether you need to drive them to purchase a product, call for service, check in to a location, or share an article, optimization is key to meeting your business goals. If you’re a retailer, test the critical steps of your customer’s journey to a purchase, such as the app homepage content and design, the checkout flow, or even the CTA on your product detail page. Testing something as simple as the size of a “Buy Now” button can make a huge impact on sales.

Start targeting to tailor the app experience for better engagement and conversion. From here, get contextual by creating targeted campaigns that take advantage of mobile characteristics and technologies like geo-location and beacons to deliver relevant in-app messages or push notifications. Then analyze impact and test again to refine the personalized experience for ultimate success. And when you’re done? Give our new Personalized Recommendations a try. Automatically suggest content and cross-sell additional products based on in-app behaviors.

3. Optimize to re-engage
But it’s inevitable – you’ll have users that linger or simply stop using your app. How do you bring them back?

First, identify where that click wall exists then optimize for re-engagement. Adobe makes it easy to discover those journey gems that need a little bit of help with one unified lightweight SDK for Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target. Today, we’re excited to announce a mobile marketer’s dream integration: Adobe Analytics Enhanced Segmentation & Reporting.

With this innovation for mobile apps, you can share and select specific segments discovered and created in Analytics for testing and targeting activities. Any of your activities including targeted messaging and personalized recommendations can be set to optimize for an out-of-the-box mobile lifecycle metric, a custom created success metric, or any Analytics success metric. What’s more, an automatic bidirectional feed allows you and your mobile analysts to keep a pulse on optimization success in your respective dashboards. Imagine that—you’ll never have to fight over which data is accurate again!

If a user abandoned your app, but returned to your mobile site, test a smart banner campaign, including the various elements in it such as CTA button, text size, background color and images. If your app requires authentication, then you know who they are. Remind them about the app via email. Incent them with relevant offers or recommended items or content, or even a “Hey, we’ve missed you.” But test the copy and email components to see what gets them to return. Even try a push notification or location-triggered message, but test the copy for effectiveness, then test the frequency to avoid the “one-time-too-many” cliff—there’s nothing worse than being that annoying ding on the phone.

It’s a lot of optimization opportunity, but with good cause—mobile is big. Mobile is now. Mobile optimization is necessary to make mobile work for your business and your customers. With Adobe Target, you can optimize to engage your app user from the start of his or her journey to the very end, and have them re-engage again.