Lessons from Jet.com

How to track, measure and analyze

Before launching a new app or a new marketing campaign, it is important to have all the right tracking in place to measure performance.

Start by figuring out how all your tools will work together since the mobile industry is actually quite fragmented. There are a lot of tools that work only for mobile app but don’t work across platforms (app and web). You can end up with fragmented data.  Think about your data infrastructure.

Make it easy for your team to access the data they need when they need it. Define clearly the metrics that matter most to your business. It must be easy to pull metrics and insights to evaluate performance. The metrics should be actionable.

Before starting with pay per install campaigns, take advantage of the free stuff. Some organic channels to consider:

1) Mobile web. Have app call outs through the experience. Jet partnered with Branch which allowed them to customize their banners and interstitials by audience and track these users post-install and deeplink users into relevant content they were viewing on the web before installing the app.

2) ASO. At the beginning, Jet had a lot of bad reviews that were order related not app related and they did not have a way to respond to these reviews. One solution is to add feedback buttons and help buttons all over the app to give customers a clear outlet for getting help. Also, add another one after the user has made a purchase prompting them to write a review. You can have a happy face and a sad face (you are giving your users two options). If they click on the happy face, take them to the App Store so they can write a review about your app. If they click on the sad face, take them to a feedback email so they can tell you what went wrong or what they don’t like.

With this strategy, Jet.com increased the number of stars on their App Store page from two to over four and also they saw big increment in the number of reviews left.

3) Email. Use email to prompt users to download the app. Send dedicated emails regularly with app specific offers, or specific features of your app.

Make sure your emails are deeplinked enabled to continually drive users to the app once they have the app installed.

Use push notifications to send personalized and relevant content. Be sure to always provide value.

Focus on scaling with turn-key networks when you start spending money on your marketing campaigns. Start with proven channels that allow you to test and learn quickly. Launching at a lot of networks at once is really difficult to manage when you have a small team.

Jet.com started with Facebook and they put together a 90-day testing plan to learn as much as possible about best audiences, creatives, landing pages. Once they have enough data to see that it was working well, they implemented the same formula to other networks like Google, Twitter, Apple.

Before you scaling quickly, it is important to understand incrementality.

Focus on incrementality. Once you start scaling, make sure you have a very clear understanding of the relationship between organic and paid activities. Watch out for marketing tactics that might cannibalize a lot of your organic traffic. Pay attention to how your paid marketing affects organic activity.

Keep an eye on marginal spend especially if you are scaling very quickly. Understand the incremental impact of each dollar you are investing.

Segmenting your audience

It is important to acquire users that are going to use your app often. How you figure out who they are?

When Jet launched, they cast a wide net to gather as much data as possible since they did not know who their audience was.

After gathering millions of customers, they analyzed who they best customers were. Once you know who your best customers are, it is the moment to position your brand towards your most loyal audience.

How do you attract these customers? With audience segmentation, you can take the group of most loyal customers and break it down into smaller audiences.

Jet best customers were moms in their 30s and 40s. Instead of going after the new mom segment on Facebook ( a very expensive group to target), they took the data and divided it up by category: a group of high-value pet buyers, a group of high-value baby buyers. Then, they created lookalike audiences on Facebook, one for pet buyers and one for baby buyers with specific creatives that drove users to a specific App Store listing, and after they installed the app, they were deeplinked into a targeted page that bypass the home page.

Lessons from Duolingo

Lessons on growing the app organically

Lesson 1. How to acquire new users with no budget (how to be found)

  • If you can make PR effectively you can get in front of millions of people. It is important to track the traffic that your PR efforts bring to your app.
  • Develop relationships with someone at Google Play or iTunes to figure out how to get featured on the app stores since it’s an excellent way to gain visibility.
  • ASO. The Duolingo growth team pays attention especially to two things:
    • Screenshots. Since Google Play allows A/B testing, you can test different screenshots versions and see which ones convert better
    • The short description
  • SEO. There are some small things you can do that can make a huge difference, like having relevant terms people are searching for in your URLs, titles, and content. On the content part, Duolingo has subpages with specific content to target people who are trying to learn a specific language. The user landing on that page knows exactly what the purpose of the app is.
  • Targeted marketing efforts. Look for specific groups within your audience that can help you spread the word. For Duolingo, they focus some of their efforts on targeting teachers since they have access to many students that can be interested in installing the app.
  • Social media. With social media, it is hard to measure direct traffic from your social media efforts to your site. For example, you can have a lot of user interaction with the content you post on sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but not see even a little spike of traffic to your site. This happens because people don’t leave a social network to go to your site. Social media is great to create awareness and get people talking about your brand and your app and spread the word among their friends and colleagues.

Lesson 2. Activating and retaining users with A/B testing

At Duolingo they test everything from what the best way to learn a language is to their mascot’s tears.

You’ll see that people don’t like change and sometimes what they say and what they do are two different things. You’ll make changes on your website and on your app, and they’ll hate them and probably be very loud about it. Just look at your metrics and see what % of retention you have before making or ignoring a change.

Examples of successful A/B tests done by Duolingo that can be applied to almost every app:

Activation

“Delayed” sing-up. One version asked the user to sign-up immediately. If you want to learn a language you have to sign-up to use the app.

The other version let people use the app and learn a couple of lessons before being asked to sign-up. This second version increased their DAU (Daily Activation Users) by 12%.

Letting users choose “later”. In order to save their progress users need to create a Duolingo profile. In one version they showed two buttons. One red button to “Discard my progress” and a yellow button to “Create profile”. Then they tried a different version where instead of the red button they showed a white button with the text “Later”. This second version got +10% DAU on Android and +4% on the web.

Retention

Help users create a habit.If a user wants to learn a language is really important that they create the habit os using the app every day. You need to design your app and also your notifications in a way that assist the user in creating the habit of opening the app every day and take the lessons. For example, when using Duolingo you can choose your goal per day and maintain a streak which is the number of consecutive days they go to Duolingo.

Playing hard to get. Don’t give users all the content at once. Make them wait and come back later.

Improve notifications. Optimize notifications as much as you can. Duolingo saw an increase of  5% DAUs just by rewriting their copy and changing a word here and there or just the tone.

Lesson 3. Focus is key

Since there are so many things you can change in your app or in your marketing, you need to learn to prioritize and focus. One way to do this is by asking yourself how many uses can you affect by making a specific change. Focus on the beginning of the channel or on the things that affect a larger number of users. And then, by making that change, how much do you honestly think you’ll improve.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. This applies to everything from marketing to app improvements. Look at the metrics and see what they are telling you.