Measuring Your Mobile Campaigns Beyond the Open Rate

May 20, 2013 3:22 PM  By

emailIncreasingly recognizing the need to be where consumers are, many multichannel merchants are rushing to roll out mobile campaigns, with mobile marketing budgets increasing overall as a result. Yet mobile marketing is still underfunded: according to a recent presentation by Forrester’s senior mobile analyst, Julie Ask, 58% of marketers are spending less than $1 million a year on mobile.

Looking at this in a positive light, it means there is plenty of room to grow – and with that a growing need to measure the effectiveness of mobile marketing messages, an issue explored at length in a recent whitepaper called The Mobile Messaging Opportunity.

Here’s an example: let’s say a national department store with mobile apps for iOS and Android is launching a mobile messaging campaign to promote a sought-after new designer fragrance. For this particular promotion, the retailer will send push notifications to advise app users they’ve received a 20%-off mobile coupon.

The retailer runs an A/B split test – sending at least two versions of one push message to significant samples of its target audience to see which message yields more conversions:

  • Push Notification Message A: This week only! Save 20% on Roberto Rococo’s Amore Pazzo 3.3oz size with this coupon!
  • Push Notification Message B: Present this coupon for 20% off on Roberto Rococo’s Amore Pazzo 3.3oz size till Sunday only!

In this case, 40% of those customers who received Message A took the first step and opened it, while 30% of those who received Message B took the same action.

At first glance, it seems that Message A wins the contest, because of its higher open rate. However, not all customers who open a message go on to take the action a retailer wants them to take – be it a social share, loyalty program sign-up or a sale.

The Conversion Rate, Not the Open Rate: A True Measure of Message Effectiveness

To know what makes a mobile message truly effective, it’s necessary to look at what happens after the customer opens it. With this in mind, let’s return to our hypothetical retailer’s A/B test results.

When the retailer looks beyond the open rate, it sees that, for every 100,000 of those who opened Message A, 20,000 went on to buy a 3.3-ounce bottle of Amore Pazzo – a conversion rate of 20%

But when it looks at the results for Message B, it sees that, for every 100,000 customers who received and opened that message, 30,000 converted by redeeming the coupon and purchasing the fragrance. That’s a 30% conversion rate.

These numbers show that Message B wins – because it drove a higher percentage of those who saw it to make a purchase. The retailer then pushes this message out to its whole target audience, including Message A recipients, scoring even more conversions from that group.

Using the results of this test as a guide, the retailer retargets customers who still haven’t converted,  adjusting the message to make it more enticing and drive even further engagement and sales.

Knowing how many customers are opening your mobile messages is important but knowing which messages are enticing more customers to buy is paramount. Mobile messaging analytics, however, is far more than just open and conversion rates.

Action Analytics: Metrics That Truly Shed Light on Mobile Consumer Behavior

Depending on the complexity of a mobile marketing campaign delivered through SMS, MMS, mobile email, push notification or through in-app content such as alerts and promotions, what customers do between opening the message and completing the actual conversion reveals a lot about their preferences.

These metrics are examples of the deep granular data known as action analytics: measurement that links individual message copy or other elements to particular goals such as registrations, social shares and purchases – and lets marketers act in real time to adjust messages for optimum effectiveness.

With the mobile field becoming ever more crowded, it’s necessary for marketers to go beyond the open rate in order to stand out from the competition. By showing exactly how customers are interacting with messages down to individual taps and swipes, action analytics can help marketers craft memorable campaigns that go the extra mile into maximum relevance and long-lasting ROI.