Ever wonder why users may not make it to your final conversion goal? It might help to take a look at your marketing funnel. The marketing funnel represents the customer journey from the awareness stage all the way to the final purchase. A “leaky” funnel refers to a situation in which there are significant inefficiencies or weaknesses at various stages of your marketing and sales process that result in potential customers dropping out or not converting as they move through the funnel. Up to 80% of leads can slip through the cracks of a marketing funnel, resulting in significant lost sales opportunities.
Here, we outline the stages of the mobile marketing funnel and how app marketers can fix leaks that are holding them back from building a loyal and engaged user base that drives consistent ROI.
What is a Mobile Marketing Funnel?
The marketing funnel represents the customer or user journey. It begins at the awareness stage of a product or service and ends with the user taking a desired action, such as making a purchase or downloading an app. Ideally, this funnel should guide potential customers smoothly through each stage. There are different variations of the marketing funnel stages but in mobile, there are five main stages: impression, click, download, retention and engagement.
The top of the mobile marketing funnel is the impression stage. This is where potential customers become aware of a brand, product, or service. In this stage, consumers first learn about an app and evaluate whether or not they are interested in it. Impressions include many different means of making users aware of an app such as a banner, interstitial or native ad served on another mobile platform. Other impressions could be via a post on social media or a blog/website.
To generate quality impressions, app marketers should develop targeted marketing campaigns that are geared toward people who may be interested in the product. Serving ads on platforms that their target audience currently uses helps drive awareness quickly among the right audience.
This is the second stage in the discovery phase and is a crucial step toward converting loyal users. If app marketers utilize deep linking, when a user clicks the ad, they will be forwarded to the app’s product page on the app store. This is the first voluntary action a user performs in their app marketing journey and it indicates they have a basic level of interest in the app and want to learn more about it.
Having a powerful call to action (CTA) is crucial for generating clicks as users will be more inclined to download the app if there is a specific call in place. For example, offering a free month trial to new users or a boost in rewards will motivate users to download the app quickly.
The download stage also represents the conversion phase of the mobile marketing funnel. When users arrive on the product page via clicks, they receive a lot more information about the app, such as the app description, screenshots, videos, ratings and reviews. They will then evaluate whether the app is worth downloading or if they should move on. If they think the app has value, they will convert from potential to actual users.
Having a freemium model is an easy way to convert users from simply clicking the ad to downloading the app. Freemium means that a user can interact with the app without having to subscribe or pay for it in any way. This creates a low barrier to entry for the consumer and increases downloads. Companies using the freemium model can have up to 50% lower customer acquisition costs than using a regular subscription model.
Now that the user has successfully downloaded the app, retention is the most important component to focus on. App marketers should have a re-engagement strategy in place before starting a marketing campaign so that when users hit this step of the funnel, they are re-engaged quickly. In some cases, retargeting users beyond seven days since their last touchpoint is already too late to make an impact. By showcasing relevant and personalized ads to users who have already shown interest or downloaded the app, marketers can drive them to open the app and engage with specific actions. This can lead to increased app usage, session duration, and overall engagement.
Having engaged users is an app marketer’s secret to success. Users who re-enter the app may increase the total number of active users, but if the overall goal is to have paying and consistent users then engaging them is extremely important. App marketers want users who are engaged at a deeper level. Depending on the app, many different actions can qualify for engagement. These include using the app for longer periods and more frequently, interacting with other users and spending money on in-app purchases or other products in the app.
Fixing a Leaky Funnel
A mobile marketing funnel drives users to the end goal of engaging and staying loyal within an app. If a marketing funnel is leaky, it means that brands are losing potential users at various stages of this journey. This can happen due to various reasons including lack of awareness, poor engagement and ineffective conversion tactics.
Below we have an example of how quickly users can churn at different stages of the mobile marketing funnel:
It’s imperative that mobile marketers keep users interested at each level of the funnel. Having 100,000 impressions can widdle down to just over 100 engaged users very quickly if there are leaks in the funnel. Fixing the marketing funnel involves pinpointing the leaks, heightening the user experience and increasing re-engagement activity.
Pinpointing the Leaks
In order to fix the leak in a funnel, marketers need to understand where they are losing potential users. Pinpointing leaks requires a certain amount of user data and tracking their movements along the funnel across various user sessions. App marketers should evaluate the final actions users commonly take before dropping out of the funnel.
For example, if there are a significant number of users dropping off after the download phase of the funnel, there might be issues with the app itself or the way consumers are being asked to sign up for subscriptions. Based on this information, marketers can iterate on their strategy to tighten up the funnel to mitigate user churn.
Heighten the User Experience
A confusing or frustrating user experience can cause leads to abandon the funnel. Making sure that the app is easy to download and navigate is important to limit user drop off. Using the freemium model example, letting users try out an app and explore its capabilities for free before they have to commit is a great way to attract customers. Then, once the free trial is up, users will be more inclined to pay for the app than if they had to pay upfront.
Additionally, apps that are crowded with ads are unappealing to new users. Utilizing ads that are unobtrusive, eye-catching and motivating for the user will limit drop off. There needs to be a reason the user is watching or interacting with the app. Rewarded video ads, for example, are one of the most popular ad formats for mobile games. Around 70% of users prefer this type of advertisement to other forms of in-app advertising.
Increase Re-engagement Activity
Lastly, to fix a leaky mobile marketing funnel, it’s imperative to have a re-engagement strategy in place. There are six stages where users could fall out of the funnel. This means that in order to truly fix the leaks, retention strategies need to be in place from the start. The average app loses 77% of its daily active users within the first 3 days after install. Retargeting campaigns help remind users of rewards or exciting activities they can interact with if they return to the app.
Retargeting campaigns also allow app marketers to adapt to the nonlinear user journey by staying connected with users at different stages. By showing them relevant ads based on their previous interactions, marketers can guide them through the mobile marketing funnel smoothly.
Takeaways of Fixing the Leaky Mobile Marketing Funnel
Up to 80% of leads can slip through the cracks of a marketing funnel, resulting in significant lost sales opportunities. It’s imperative to make sure that the mobile marketing funnel is airtight to mitigate any user drop off. Fixing the marketing funnel involves pinpointing the leaks, heightening the user experience and increasing re-engagement activity.
- Pinpointing the Leaks: Pinpointing leaks requires a certain amount of user data and tracking users’ movements along your funnel across sessions. App marketers should evaluate users’ final actions before dropping out of the funnel.
- Heighten the User Experience: A confusing or frustrating user experience can cause leads to abandon the funnel. Making sure that your app is easy to download and navigate is an important step to limit user drop off.
- Increase Re-engagement Activity: The average app loses 77% of its daily active users within the first 3 days after install. Retargeting campaigns help remind users of rewards or experiences they can revisit if they return to the app.
Want to analyze where your users are dropping off? YouAppi’s team of growth members is here to help! Meet with one of our growth experts today for a complimentary analysis of your app's user journey.