The elements of a sales-boosting, high ROI mobile marketing promo campaign

A person today, on average, spends 3 to 4 hours a day on their smartphone, and checks their phone every 8.6 minutes. If you’re a marketer, this means that your mobile audience is now really large. And, with most of your audience having 50 apps on their smartphones on average, and receiving close to 85 notifications and 120 emails per day, it is now more difficult than ever to get the attention of your target user.

In this highly competitive space, promo codes and discounts i.e offer marketing campaigns can help with engaging customers as well as standing out among competitors. We’re aware of the debate about the long term effectiveness of promos and deals; so we wrote an entire blog article explaining how promotion marketing can boost retention, but if you need more convincing, here’s some science for you.

So what is an offer marketing campaign?

Offer marketing involves offering value based incentives to customers to drive sales. Offers can be in the form of discounts on the entire cart amount, cash back on a purchase, cost reduction of a particular product or even BOGO (buy one get one) offers.

How do I send out my offers?

Push notifications and text notifications are the most exploited mobile marketing channels, and although they do help with engagement and retention, they work only if they’re used with a data driven, personalised marketing strategy. But there’s also more to mobile marketing than just sending out push and text notifications at regular intervals.

Here are some other less commonly explored mobile marketing channels:

Email:

Good old email listed as a mobile marketing channel might seem confusing, but this study by Google shows that more than 70% users check their email on mobile. Optimizing your email marketing efforts for mobile, is therefore a no-brainer.

QR Codes:

These are not as widely used, but are a great way to drive inbound interest in conjunction with your offline marketing efforts. If you run ad campaigns for your mobile app, add a QR code to download your app or one that’s deep linked to a conversion optimized app page.

In-App Banners:

These work well with push notifications to increase it’s overall effectiveness. Set an in-app banner containing more information about your push offer and then send out a push notification. Make your push notification all about driving clicks and leading user’s onto your app. This means having your push notification contain the bare minimum details about your offer while you add the rest of the information, terms and conditions and any other details in the in-app banner.

How do I plan my offer marketing campaign?

  1. The goal of your campaign

We’ve frequently seen offer marketing campaigns being run without a specific campaign goal being targeted. This is due to a fairly common thought that handing out discounts to users in bulk analogous to flash sales in a store will drive overall sales. And this strategy sure works, but, flash sales are great for driving sales and not revenue. So if you don’t have an unlimited budget and want to spend wisely, fixing a goal is the inescapable first step.

How do you define the specifics of a marketing campaign goal?

You might think, ‘increasing retention’ is a campaign goal but retention by itself isn’t a metric which can be directly attributed to a marketing campaign. Increasing retention is more likely your business goal which must be translated into a campaign goal.

If improving retention is your business goal, first define retention for your business. Not every business has the same retention definition. One of the ways to figure out how to calculate retention for your product/service is to figure out it’s average purchase frequency. Classify users with a purchase frequency lower than this value as churned or at a high risk of churn.

If your average purchase frequency is much lower than the product’s natural usage frequency, then you’ve got some product level changes to consider before you invest time and money into offer marketing.

Here’s a simple example: You are a milk delivery business. You analyse your user data and figure out that on average, your customers order milk once in 3 days on average. So customers who have at least one order in every 3 day interval are retained customers, and those who don’t, have probably churned. So if you wanted to increase your retention rates, your marketing campaign goal would be to try to get every user within your campaign to place at least one order in the next 3 days.

2. The right audience for your campaign

Every customer has different spending habits with varying engagement behaviour and responsiveness to marketing actions. Targeting every user individually isn’t humanly possible (or maybe it is — Check out MARS) , but you can use data to segment users based on their personas. Craft separate offers and marketing actions for different segments to get the most out of your campaign. If you haven’t quite mastered personas yet, begin by creating segments of new users, active users, dormant users and power users based on purchase history and time on the platform.

3. How long to run your campaign

This would depend on your goals and also your budget. If your retention goals and current campaign conversion rate require you to run a 30 day campaign but it doesn’t fit into your budget, what do you do? Optimize your spend and narrow down the number of users you’re sending out marketing actions to. Run a short duration, highly specific test campaign, track your metrics, make improvements and restart the campaign to give you a better conversion rate.

4. Creating the right offer for your customers

The fact exists that there is no one size fits all strategy for a promotional offer. But the good news is that you can optimize your offers to get the best results.

Optimize those promo codes

Promo codes by themselves might seem like a very insignificant and un-optimizable factor within your marketing campaign but promo codes can be leveraged to spark emotions and drive purchases by creating psychological effects. A lot of successful businesses have used their codes to enable brand awareness, credibility and create an association of trust for the long term.

Experiment

The secret to a successful offer marketing strategy is figuring out what works best for you, and then exploiting it to it’s limit. Create multiple promo codes with various combinations of discount variables — discount %, maximum discount amount, minimum cart value on which it’s applicable. These can also be personalised by running several product specific offer campaigns and finding out which segment responds best to which campaign. Run multiple experiments, and find the best result to save time and effort for your future campaigns.

Also check out our detailed definitive guide to creating irresistible offers for your customers.

5. Drafting high converting marketing copy

A marketing copy has 3 main components: The title or headline, the body and the CTA; each with a specific purpose.

Use your title/subject line to grab attention

The first thing a user sees when hit with a marketing action, has the power to drive open rates/click rates. These are the push notification titles and email subject lines. This is no different from a website, where the headline constitutes 2% of the words on the page while being 90% responsible for the click rate of the page.

Push notifications have title and body fields. Make your titles short and compelling. Include expressions that drive curiosity and maybe an emoji.

For emails, to begin with, make your subject lines shorter. Mobile inboxes display subject lines up to 38 characters so condensed persuasive subject lines work best. A useful hack that we’ve discovered is drafting subject lines typed entirely in small case. At a first glance, these make emails seem like they’re from someone in your close circle and drive open rates. The ultimate click rate though is determined by the content within your email so don’t ignore that.

Include the offer details in the body

Make your content concise. It must have only the necessary information about your offer and nothing more. You don’t want the user receiving your message to be confused by all the content. This is especially easy to overlook while running email based campaigns. If you think you’ve got a piece of content like a snippet or a news update that despite its irrelevance to the offer, has the ability to be a catalyst for conversion within your email, include it but design your email in such a way that the most important content stands out the most.

Create a compelling Call to Action

The CTA has one purpose. It must tell the user EXACTLY what to do. Most CTAs today are click buttons. Needless to say clicking a button isn’t what is going to drive your sales. It’s the action that’s enabled by clicking that button. So tell the user what action they’re taking when they click that CTA button.

How do I execute my campaign?

You’ve set your goal, fixed your budget, found the set of customers you want to target and created your optimized marketing copy. Most of your work is likely done, at this point, and now there’s just one thing left to do — monitor your campaign.

Pick the metrics that you expect will be directly affected by this campaign, and measure them at frequent intervals. We’d suggest tracking at least once a day. Although if you’re sending out marketing actions more frequently, you should probably be tracking more often. Make tracking metrics a part of your routine during a campaign. Along with monitoring the metrics, be prepared for dynamic campaign changes. It’s likely your campaign will do fine, with all the planning you’ve done. However, in the event some unexpected results show up, be prepared to modify things accordingly.

If you aren’t really sure how certain actions and offers are likely to perform, experiment. A/B tests for this purpose are pretty simple to carry out. If you’ve got an offer or notification title you’re not confident about, pick two variations of the element in question, send one to half of your users; and send the other to the other half. Let the campaign run long enough for the results to be statistically significant and then send the winning variation to everyone.

You can A/B test most things within a marketing campaign, right from the time of send of your marketing actions to the colour of your CTA button. Several experiments of various elements over multiple campaigns will give you data driven insight into what works and what doesn’t and will help each subsequent offer marketing campaign improve and yield better results than the previous.

Do you frequently run offer campaigns and wish there was a way to send each of your customers an offer worth just the right amount to get them to convert and transact with your business? We think you’d like MARS. If you’d like to try it out sign up here to become an early adopter.