Not Another Mobile Growth Story

Just kidding — it is.

After SummitSync’s co-founders attended hundreds of events and conferences over their careers, they kept running into the same problem conference after conference, year after year. They spent hours upon hours filtering through attendee lists, messaging people on LinkedIn, and setting up landing pages to try and book qualified meetings at these events. After setting meetings, it was a mess of spreadsheets and calendar invites shared between sales and marketing teams.

That’s why they created SummitSync, a professional networking app that helps event attendees discover, connect, and meet other relevant attendees in person.

Within SummitSync, users can join specific events to see who else is attending, chat with them, and schedule in-person meetings at various events.

So, when the SummitSync team heard of Branch, it was a no-brainer for them to introduce this technology to our users and potential users. Users find us mostly through event specific outreach, whether that be ads, social media, or our blog. Whenever they clicked the link they were dropped directly into that event within the mobile app or to an event specific landing page if on desktop.

P.S. We’re about to announce some HUGE news. If you want to get a sneak peek on how we’re solving productivity for sales and marketing teams at events, head over here.

How all marketing + sales teams feel trying to book meetings at events *before* SummitSync.

The Mobile Growth Story

What’s the actual mobile growth story here? Be patient — we haven’t even talked about ME yet.

When I joined the SummitSync team has Head of Growth in February, they had just finished a Google Adwords campaign where they used Branch links for the Consumer Electronic Show (CES). This ad campaign would become the basis of my strategy over the next several periods to measure KPIs against.

In this campaign, they were only using one advertising channel (Google Adwords) and were paying for that outreach at an average of $0.38 per click.

That sounds like a pretty decent CPC, right?

Yeah…But, if you’re in the mobile world you know that clicks and installs are shit. They mean nothing if your users aren’t retained. You might also understand the woes of the startup world, where any dollar saved is golden.

You might even understand the struggle of being a growth team of one.

And as a growth team of one in a top accelerator program in New York City, I knew I had one shot, one opportunity…

And I knew I was in for a marathon not a sprint when I set out to go from a paid acquisition strategy to an organic acquisition strategy. I wanted us to be able to focus more time (and $$$) on retaining users and building an even better product so it was imperative to switch to an organic strategy.

After a week or so of research, I started an organic (UNPAID!) social media and inbound content strategy that focused on acquiring users for specific events using Branch deep links to direct users to exactly the content they desire within SummitSync.

It Works

I launched this strategy mid February and by mid March we were hitting 72% of the click volume our paid advertising efforts in January generated. I knew we were onto something and double downed on my social media efforts while reducing content creation.

Six weeks later, when I was reviewing the second stretch of this organic strategy, we hit the EUREKA moment! We were now generating over 100% of the click volume of our previous paid advertising efforts for free using social media and inbound content.

In the next six week period, I was able to maintain the number of unpaid clicks while reducing the volume of outreach which allowed the team more time to focus on the retention of these recently acquired users (which is another post for another time).

Yeah but, what’s the secret sauce?

Well, I’m not going to give away allllllll the secret sauce of the strategy, but I will give you this hint: Twitter isn’t dead. Twitter wasn’t the only channel used to increase organic social impressions by over 179% from January to April, but it was definitely our most active channel.

When I started at SummitSync, I honestly thought that our blog would generate more buzz than our social media efforts. I was wrong; and that’s okay. I analyzed what was working, followed the 80/20 rule, and put more effort into social.

Conclusion

We went from using a single Branch deep link in December and January backed with paid advertising to consistently using over 50+ links every month in organic outreach. By diversifying our strategy across social and upping the capacity to which we were utilizing Branch’s deep linking technology, we were able to halt paid ad efforts thus saving on average $0.38 per click by producing equal organic results all while optimizing our install to event joined conversion rate by 51%.

I’d love to hear your mobile growth story! Comment yours below and I’ll be sure to check it out.

This post was prepared as an entry in the Mobile Growth Stories Challenge Promotion sponsored by Branch Metrics, Inc. Visit https://branch.io/stories-challenge/ for more information.


I think mentioned this earlier but… SummitSync is now transitioning from a mobile-first professional networking tool to a platform for sales and marketing teams to book more efficient meetings while measuring their ROI at events and conferences. We’re cooking up some amazing new features for everyone and you can get a sneak peek here.