As mobile marketers fine-tune their strategies and campaigns for 2017, one of the best pieces of advice I can offer is to embrace the best of what they learned from their 2016 holiday campaigns.

Clearly, mobile marketers did something right over the holidays. Cyber Monday 2016 set a record with $3 billion in online sales, of which a whopping $1 billion came from the mobile channel. Marketers’ investments in optimizing, testing, retargeting and analyzing their mobile campaigns obviously struck a chord with millions of connected shoppers.

If it worked for your 2016 Holiday marketing campaign, put it to use in 2017

Emboldened by this kind of success, mobile marketers should leverage 2016’s data, insights and experiences for their 2017 campaigns and initiatives. A healthy assessment starts with key questions, including:

  • What worked over the holidays?
  • What worked best?
  • What didn’t work…and why?
  • Which key data points about shopper behaviors, message content, messaging timing, user experiences, transactions and preferences can be internalized and applied across 2017’s campaigns, promotions and initiatives?
  • How can the marketing team improve its impact, performance and effectiveness, based on what it has accomplished in the recent past?

The data-driven answers to those questions can inform your brand’s best practices for 2017, and the resulting insights can be applied strategically to further boost campaign results. Because consumer engagement is such a critical component of mobile marketing success, it’s important to pay special attention to key tactics, including new-user onboarding and opt-in permissions.

A few suggestions to get you started:

  • Optimize the onboarding experience: Downloading an app is only the first step in what should be a long and sustained customer-to-brand relationship – a relationship that grows only if the customer takes the next step and actually uses, returns to and engages with it regularly. For new customers, the first five minutes with a new app must be enjoyable and intuitive. A user-friendly interface, streamlined sign-up flow and clear in-app instructions are crucial to an enjoyable and successful onboarding experience. Learn the finer points of onboarding and first-time user experiences in The Swrve Guide to Onboarding and First-Time User Experience.
  • Use data to understand customers, improve messaging and encourage engagement: Ding, a Swrve client that provides prepaid mobile phone credits to customers around the globe, relies on data and metrics to encourage new customer to engage and interact with its app once they’ve downloaded it. Ding averages 2,000-3,000 new app downloads a day, and 65% of its three million monthly transactions occur on mobile devices. The company found great success in a push notification campaign that sent targeted, relevant messages and offers to specifically identified groups of new users based on location– Indians living in Dubai, for example, or Cubans living in Miami. Find the Ding testimonial video in our Customer Showcase section, and learn how clients use analytics, A/B testing and optimized messaging to boost engagement and rely on data to gauge and inform success.
  • Approach opt-in permissions wisely: Encouraging users to opt-in to ongoing engagement with a brand is critical for building a customer base and for ensuring continued app use. As such, the opt-in decision-making process should keep the consumer in mind. Apps can be designed to phase in various levels of permissions and opt-ins so that users don’t feel overwhelmed from the start. Messages and choices can be presented in context, or surrounded with explanations and helpful information so that customers know what they’re agreeing to (e.g., push notifications, turn on location services). Some opt-in choices can be visual rather than text-based to add variety to the user flow. Our onboarding guide also lays out helpful tips for improving the opt-in process.

As new marketing challenges and opportunities present themselves in the coming months, don’t forget to dip into the knowledge base you’ve acquired and campaign successes of the recent past. Both can provide hard data and tactical reassurances to drive even more mobile marketing success in 2017.