How Mobile Marketing Automation Can Help You Increase Engagement

By: Kaan Bingol

Mobile Marketing Automation (MMA) uses data to communicate with shoppers in the right way at the right time, and it can be key element to improve your customer engagement.

We all know mobile presence is crucial for every industry with the number of smartphone users forecast to grow from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019 in addition to the increasing smartphone penetration rates. With these significant numbers, it is important to prioritize a mobile marketing strategy to increase customer engagement- well actually it is a necessity.

Recently we have been all hearing about Big Data, Mobile Marketing, and Customer Engagement being used together and they collectively add value to a successful mobile marketing strategy, which is a continuous process.

We started to elaborate this process and the relation between these components by firstly explaining Segmentation, Targeting and Retargeting on our previous article.

This article will look at how to use Mobile Marketing Automation to increase your customer engagement.

What is Mobile Marketing Automation?

Mobile Marketing Automation involves a wide range of technologies and approaches with the goal of improving customer engagement by utilizing customer data.  The main steps/goals in this process are:

  • Gaining insights about customers
  • Building an engagement scoring system according to customer information
  • Creating a targeted marketing strategy based on customer roles and lifecycles and
  • Building automated campaigns and analysis

The logic of Mobile Marketing Automation is similar to Traditional Marketing Automation aiming to set a goal and build a scenario in which a particular event automatically activates a personalized message.

The difference is, you can improve customer engagement with many amazing additional capabilities such as reaching the customers in all touch-points (mobile sites, web, mobile apps, and even in the physical world), real-time engagement and analysis and location based messaging to name a few.

MMA enables you
to gain insight as to how your customers interact digitally with your brand throughout their entire lifecycle so that you can deliver the right messaging at the right time for your segmented customers.  

Being able to communicate to your customers’ mobile devices anytime, no matter what they are doing is a privilege; therefore the use of mobile devices enriches localization during MMA. Let’s see the smart rules that marketers can apply in Automated Campaigns:

  • Location/ Proximity: With GPS, geolocation/geofencing, and Beacon technologies, marketers can reach their customers based on a consumer’s physical location seamlessly across the mobile web and within a native mobile app.

  • Customer Behaviour: Marketers can trigger appropriately curated content and messaging dynamically based on actions taken by the customer across their website, within native app, on social media and even in-store or on-premise.
  • Customer Stage: Customer lifecycle have various stages such as loyal customers, first time visitors, customers interested in specific products etc. MMA messages can be mapped to any customer buying cycle or funnel.
  • Sequencing: MMA enables you to string various types of automated content  (push notifications, in-app messages, web prompts, SMS, e-mail etc.), so you can send the right message at the right time to the right device.
  • Throttling: Customers are tired of receiving too many messages at irrelevant situations. Throttling allows you to optimize message delivery over a period of time so that consumers don’t get overwhelmed and ensures a great experience with relevant content at the perfect time.

You need to take into consideration that these smart rules should be applied carefully with the right targeting strategy. Poorly targeted MMA will disturb your customers or it might cause them to ignore your brand.

For example: a restaurant sending push notifications about a breakfast deal to customers passing by at three o’clock will cause a bad brand perception, or sending irrelevant product promotions to customers that are not interested in those products will cause annoyance.

So it is important that you use your additional data points (purchase history, time of day, weather, social media behaviour) wisely and apply the smart rules accordingly.

Mobile Marketing Automation in Practice

Let’s take a look ın which cases you can use MMA and the most popular uses in ecommerce with some numbers:

a. Mobile marketing scenarios and examples

Automated Campaigns respond to specific user behaviours or inactivity, therefore they improve the message effectiveness through personalization and good timing. So we can easily say that, mobile marketing automation is a powerful resource to increase revenue.

You can use automated campaigns to increase Retention and Engagement in two scenarios;

  • Catch your customers when they intend to do something (when they are active)
  • Catch their inactivity before they disappear (when they are inactive)

Catch their Activity: In this scenario, you should focus on the most important users’ activity depending on your industry and business. It might be monitoring every time they open your app or communicating when they visit a product detail page.

Automated campaigns help you catch your customers after they take specific actions at specific times.  Some examples of automated campaigns triggered by customers’ activities in ecommerce are:

  • Sending them a questionnaire 5 minutes after they call the call center.
  • Asking them to give you a rating 3 days after they make their first purchase.
  • Sending them a warm welcome message and a coupon 1 day after they install the app.
  • Showing them the perfect matching shoes 3 minutes after they add a skirt to their basket

Catch their Inactivity: This scenario is suitable both for achieving engagement and retention. You may want to engage the users further by promoting a feature that they haven’t used for a while, or you may want to reengage them when they stop showing up. Here are some examples of automated campaigns triggered by customers’ inactivity:

  • Sending them a message when they don’t open the app for two weeks
  • Presenting a special offer when they don’t purchase anything for a month
  • Sending persuasive win-back e-mails the moment a user uninstalls your app
  • Offering them interesting news or videos when they have been idle for a month
  • Sending them a free delivery option if they do not place an order for their shopping cart for an hour etc

b. The most common MMA examples in numbers

Below you can see the most effective and powerful MMA examples that we experiment with our ecommerce customers. 

Increasing Engagement

The most popular scenarios for increasing engagement are:

  1. Sending a promotional notification after 1 day, when a user installs an app and doesnt log in. E.g. ‘Complete your Log In and get a 15% discount on your first purchase’.

The opening rate of these messages are 12.5 % with a purchase rate of 3,7%.

  1. Sending an attractive message when a user doesn’t open the app for a period. E.g.: ‘Hi, it has been 15 days! We missed you and you have missed these discounts while you were away. Take a peak at what’s new this week!’

The opening rate of these messages are 3,9 % with a purchase rate of 0,5%.

Increasing Conversion

The most popular automation scenario our ecommerce customers prefer for increasing engagement is ‘abandoned cart’ by far. In this scenario, we integrate into our customers’ order systems in order to be able to see their web purchase data. An abandoned cart example would be: ‘Oops! You forgot an item in your shopping cart. But don’t worry we saved it for you!’

Usually the opening rate of these messages are 12 % with a purchase rate of 18%.

When you consider an ordinary Push Notification Campaign receives an open rate of 3,17% (depending on the sector), we can easily say that mobile marketing automation considerably increases conversion and engagement.  Also according to Digital Doughnut, companies that invest in marketing automation solutions see 70% faster sales cycle times.

And what about Retention?

In reference to an infographic by Invesp, it costs 5 times
as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. And, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70%, while the probability of selling to a new customer is 5–20%.

An effective marketing automation strategy can play an important role in increasing retention in parallel with conversion and engagement, which also avoids you having to spend a lot of money on customer acquisition.

Never Underestimate Measuring your Campaigns: Analytics and A/B Testing

You will never fully understand how effective your MMA strategy is without trying different approaches to your segments and measure your users’ behaviours, especially in real-time.

Once you measure the valuable metrics (app installs, uninstalls, user responses, usage, session periods, open rates and clickthrough rates etc.) of your previous campaigns, and set up multiple variations; the results will lead you to finding opportunities in increasing engagement.

Data Integration

Last but not least, make sure you provide a user experience consistent between all your channels (mobile, web, physical shops), systems (CRM, Order Systems, E-commerce Systems, POS and Payment Systems etc.) and customer devices in order to interact with your customers regardless of which channel they use.


In mobile, seconds count. With mobile marketing automation you can understand user behaviour and act on it by delivering targeted, context-specific and meaningful messages in real-time. Your MMA strategy can play a vital role and competitive edge engaging with your customers.


By: Kaan Bingol - CEO at Netmera


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