The Seven Deadly Sins Of Mobile Marketing

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As a Mobile Marketing expert, Grégoire Mercier, the co-founder of Addict Mobile, has noticed over the years how important it is to carefully craft your Mobile Marketing campaigns. Grégoire analyzes the seven most common mistakes and offers tips on how to avoid them and help your app succeed.


  1. Neglecting your ASO in app stores

In order to enhance your visibility in App Stores, it is important to understand that App Store Optimization is a must. App store ranking algorithms are based on three distinct criteria:

  • the number of downloads over a 24- or 72-hour period;
  • retention (the number of times your app was accessed, the duration of each session…);
  • the average user rating of your app as well as the number of reviews.

So, how can one improve one’s ASO performance in order to maximize conversion?

If you rank too low in an App Store, whether it’s Google Play or Apple Store, below the top 5–6 results in keyword search, users are unlikely to discover your app. This is why you must never neglect your ASO, since this amounts to cutting yourself off from a segment of your potential users.

Thanks to optimization, App Stores will rank your app favorably. However, ASO alone is not enough to put your app at the top. App Store algorithms factor in other criteria of an app’s success, such as the number of downloads. Securing a meaningful volume of downloads is key to kick-starting your app and maximizing the returns.

All optimization is done at the acquisition stage. With every purchased install, your app climbs a notch higher in the rankings. The better your app’s ranking, the more likely mobile users will be to download it, which in turn drives your organic downloads. Users tend to trust a frequently downloaded app more than a little-known one.

  1. Not using the right tracking solution

Integrating a tracking SDK into your app is key to running a successful mobile acquisition campaign and driving your ROI.

Neutrality, dependability & connectivity are the main criteria to take into account when choosing your tracking tools:

  • Neutrality: it is better to go with neutral companies specializing in tracking in order to avoid data bias.
  • Dependability: prioritize road-tested bug-free tracking tools with experience in dealing with large volumes and offering access to multiple acquisition channels and dependable data.
  • Connectivity: the tracking tools you choose must be connected to multiple sources (ad production, video production, social networking, affiliated networks, incentivized networking…). Mobile acquisition is much more fragmented than the desktop equivalent.
  1. Not designing your ads for the mobile environment

One of the most common errors in mobile marketing is failing to adapt your ads to the mobile environment.

For a successful campaign, follow these few simple rules:

Adapt your formats

In the mobile market, changing screen sizes force advertisers to adapt their visuals accordingly. Although stretching seems the obvious compatibility solution, it risks making the ad illegible and distorted, thus undermining the credibility of your message. It is therefore important that each visual be adapted to the different mobile screen sizes. The graphic designer’s job can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if you are developing international ads that require multiple translations and adaptations, but it is well worth the trouble.

Adapt your content to the format

Mobile screens are objectively smaller than computer screens. And so the content of your ad must be made to fit the mobile format. Your focus should be on conveying key information without losing sight of the main objectives of the ad by carefully choosing your catchphrases.

When you run global campaigns, you must adapt your ads to the local culture. An ad that works well, for example, in Germany, may leave French mobile users cold.

Create a compelling CTA button

Optimizing your CTA (call to action) is an essential ingredient to high conversion rates. A compelling CTA button is how mobile users download your app. Simply choosing an appealing color and typography will make the button pop on the screen and maximize its effectiveness. Don’t hesitate to do a trial run!

  1. Not exploring other acquisition sources

It is important that you diversify your mobile marketing strategies to boost your download numbers. Above all, you mustn’t rely on the same sources as you do in your desktop campaigns. A common error is using only DPS and Google AdWords in order to emulate your web acquisition. In reality, the mobile sector comes with its own wealth of sources, and each source has its own mechanisms.

To acquire traffic at the lowest cost and to increase your downloads, as an advertiser you must diversify your acquisition sources. However, you must also balance other factors, such as the risk of oversaturation or market price increases.

By putting all your eggs in one basket, you may miss out on some opportunities.

  1. Focusing exclusively on app installs & global figures

Data crunching, or data analysis, is Addict Mobile’s core expertise.

In the mobile sector, some advertisers risk focusing too heavily on app installs, while forgetting other KPIs essential to running a successful mobile marketing campaign. Failing to see beyond the global averages and to break them down, may lead to misinterpreting users’ behavior. Performance should be analyzed according to the type of device, the geographic region, the OS, etc… Retention and monetization are much more relevant than downloads.

This is why maximizing monetization per user is a stepping-stone to a successful mobile marketing campaign. In order to conduct an effective acquisition campaign and build a solid user base, monetization per user must exceed the cost of user acquisition.

  1. Forgetting to optimize & to run A/B testing

Run A/B testing and optimizing

Without optimization and re-targeting, an acquisition campaign would quickly become obsolete. A/B testing helps you to hone your ads for the target audience. It is common practice to create 10 to 15 visuals for a single campaign. Each visual is then tested against different pools of users in order to select the best one and create a more targeted campaign.

Regularly refresh your visuals

Lastly, you must refresh your visuals on a regular basis, every two or three weeks, in order to keep users engaged, spark their curiosity, and keep up with the seasons (special promotions, Christmas, current trends…). Similarly, never forget to update your visuals in App Stores: they are your storefront and the trademark of your company.

Designing visuals that are adapted to, and optimized for, the mobile environment will help guarantee a high conversion rate: visuals have a direct impact on the ROI of a mobile marketing campaign.

  1. Analyzing app usage based on short-term CPA

Mobile users are tougher to acquire than desktop users. In fact, there is a lot more hassle associated with mobile downloads.

To start with, internet connection issues are a major impediment to downloading over mobile networks. Next, CTA (call to action) downloading involves an extra action on the part of the mobile user, which may hinder acquisition. Finally, App Stores, with their download pages and user reviews, require that the user make yet another choice (download the app or not after having read the app description). However, once the app has been installed, it becomes a permanent bookmark in the user’s phone. They may revisit it whenever they like (place orders, shop, etc…). The app then becomes a potent loyalty-building tool.

The mobile environment thus calls for a far-sighted, long-term vision. App usage analytics matter as much as monetization: short-term CPA is not the most important indicator. You need to focus on retention and loyalty-building in order to evaluate user quality.


In order to maximize mobile customer acquisition, there are steps not to be skipped. In a constantly evolving mobile market, you must run a carefully planned campaign. For best results, avoid the seven deadly sins of mobile marketing and (1) use app store optimization; (2) select tracking tools best suited to your needs; (3) tailor your ads to the mobile environment; (4) diversify your acquisition channels; (5) focus on user monetization over global averages; (6) run A/B testing and vary your content; and (7) focus on retention and building loyalty.