How to evaluate a mobile user engagement platform?

Sunil Thomas
Feb 9, 2016 · 4 min read

The mobile app landscape is evolving daily, creating real-time customer expectations. Caught in the hailstorm, mobile app developers and marketers must quickly adapt. That’s why picking the right user-engagement platform couldn’t be more critical to success.

Here are 5 factors to consider in selecting a mobile engagement platform:

1. Real-time

The rapid adoption of mobile devices and apps has put a premium on real-time. Every time a user performs an activity in your app, their context changes. Something that was relevant seconds ago, may no longer be. Use always-on data to:

  • analyze user behavior, and
  • design relevant, engaging experiences that are contextual

Take advantage of that fleeting mobile moment, and understand when a user is most likely to react to a message you send.

2. Powerful User Segmentation

Segmentation is essential for mobile success. Without it you’re just spamming users with irrelevant content. There are 2 important aspects of powerful segmentation:

  • Completeness: Means that every piece of data that you store on a user’s profile is available for segmentation — be it their demographic profile, transaction history, geographic location, or even the time of their activity.
  • Interactivity: Means the segmentation tools are interactive in nature — return back with results within seconds or even milliseconds after your query — irrespective of the size of your data.

Completeness and Interactivity encourage exploration. Exploration leads to discovery of better user segments. Finally, the better your user segments are, the better you can interact and engage with those users in personal, timely and relevant ways.

3. Notifications Triggered by User Actions and User In-Action

Timing a mobile message is critical. It was okay for an email that responded to yesterday’s information and delivered something to your inbox today; but that same one day delay in a mobile push notification increasingly means a lost customer likely to your competition.

In order to send messages most likely to be acted upon, your user engagement platform must have the ability to trigger messages based on a user action and probably even more importantly on a user in-action (failing to perform a subsequent action like buying something in their cart) within your app.

Examples of user action triggered messages for a restaurant listing and reviews app include:

  • Thank your user seconds after she has rated and reviewed a particular restaurant.
  • On a user’s 10th review, send her a relevant coupon or other loyalty award.

Examples of user in-action triggered messages for an ecommerce app include:

  • Send a discount coupon via push notification to a user who added an item to their cart, but didn’t purchase within the next 15 minutes.
  • Send a reminder push notification or email to someone who’s launched your app for the first time and searched 3 times in that session but didn’t add anything to their cart within the next 15 minutes.

In many cases the CTR for such campaigns can go as high as 25%. The more you can experiment with these kind of triggered use-cases, the better your user engagement will become over time.

4. Notifications Triggered by a Future Event

Sometimes you want to send a message to a user at a future date. These messages are also triggered notifications but tied to a future date.

A few examples to explain this include:

  • If a user books a flight ticket 4 weeks in the future, the ability to trigger a message 2 days before the date of their flight is critical (say, to remind them to check-in or make sure their frequent flyer number has been updated).
  • If you book a movie ticket 2 days in the future, you might trigger a push notification a few hours before the movie and offer a discount coupon for a restaurant in the same mall. Or offer an interactive notification 30 minutes after the movie ends to get a quick rating.

5. Personalized messages

In the real world, everyone loves the feeling of being recognized, being treated as an individual. To deliver effective mobile messaging campaigns, it is important to appreciate the power of personalized messages.

There’s typically an order of magnitude difference in messages that use:

  • The user’s first name — Hi Tom
  • The names and images of actual products viewed — the New Balance Vazee Rush Running Shoe you added to cart is now on sale
  • The restaurant you have reviewed — share your review for the Union Square Cafe, NYC with your friends on Twitter

Compare those messages to generic ones that don’t include any specific details about your user or her actions within your app.

If you’re doing all the above in your user engagement platform, you are off to a great start engaging users with personalized, timely and relevant messages. If not, come see us at CleverTap to learn how.

Sunil Thomas

Written by

Cofounder & CEO CleverTap . Previously CTO Network18, Infospace . San Francisco, Mumbai, Seattle . Husband, dad of twins, love my food and my drinks!

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