Mobile Retargeting for the 21st Century

Apr 02, 2013 3:19 PM  By

What was once considered an old marketing tactic has now become hip again. When it comes to mobile retargeting, it’s all about persistence.

Remember back in the 1990’s when it seemed like on a weekly basis an AOL free trial offer was waiting for you in your mailbox? In a recent article in VentureBeat, Brendan O’Kane, CEO of OtherLevels and contributing writer to Multichannel Merchant, looked at the old school tactic in the 1990’s and found that marketers can still take a page out of the AOL playbook.

AOLAs O’Kane points out, if the first disk (and later CD) mailed to a resident did not result in a sign up for the internet provider, AOL sent another disk, and then another disk, and another. While O’Kane said the marketing tactic cost AOL $300 million to deploy between 1992 and 2002, it worked and turned “fledgling Internet provider – whose membership boomed from 200,000 to 25 million during the same period – into an online media powerhouse.”

The tactic by AOL is similar to the push notifications, SMS, MMS, mobile email and in-app alerts and promotions users receive now in an effort by marketers to create a presence in the mobile world, according to O’Kane. This is a smart move by marketers, O’Kane said, since “data subscriptions are expected to reach 9.3 billion over the next five years.”

Today, the best approach for marketers looking to engage consumers with their product, O’Kane said, is to first look at the metrics in your campaign. Research the number of messages that were sent, how many were opened, the time it was opened, open results, purchases and social shares.

The next step, O’Kane said, is to put those metrics to good use and “design messages that will prompt your customers to buy….” This would require using A/B splits tests in order to see which message was the most successful in driving conversions, according to the article.

Now for those who have yet to buy, it doesn’t mean game over, O’Kane said. “Keep retargeting non-converters, using what you learn about them from previous rounds of messages to make the next even more likely to elicit a conversion.” This could include, he said, follow-up messages to keep them engaged and possibly increasing potential ROI, just like AOL used to do.