Mobile app developers and SaaS companies have historically struggled to keep users engaged beyond the initial install.
In the past, they tested out various techniques to keep their users coming back, and more importantly, monetizing them into paying customers.
These techniques have included in-app rewards in exchange for watching advertisements, paying for boosts or additional lives, or limited time discounts on monthly subscriptions or in-game currency. (Think Pokemon Go.)
Fortunately, a more effective solution may be on the horizon in Amazon Moments.
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Rewarding Users with Amazon Moments
Last week, Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Moments, a cross-platform, self-service loyalty offering that allows marketers to provide both physical and digital rewards to their customers when they complete selected actions that drive revenue or engagement.
Delivered as an API, Amazon Moments allows marketers to create campaigns centered around specific user actions, which they refer to as “moments.” These moments can vary from watching a video, to daily visits, based on your industry or specific goals.
For example, if you’re a fitness app with both a free trial and a paid offering, you can offer a physical or digital reward for users when they upgrade to the paid version after the free trial ends.
You can also set up campaigns that boost engagement in the free trial phase, like a physical or digital reward if they complete four workouts in one week.
This makes users want to use the app more. The more they use the app, the more likely they’ll see the value in it, which can also drive more subscriptions after the free trial ends.
This format can be used for several different types of applications, from streaming services, mobile app games, restaurant apps, fashion, dating/social, project management apps, and so much more.
These rewards are tracked, managed, shipped, and delivered by Amazon, meaning marketers just need to simply set up the campaign and select the action, and Amazon does the rest of the heavy lifting.
Amazon Moments uses a Cost-Per-Action (CPA) model - meaning advertisers set a total spending limit for the campaign, and pay the selected CPA for each user only when they complete an action. This setup makes this relatively low-risk for marketers, since they only need to pay when a goal is met.
How Does it Work for Marketers & Advertisers?
One of the most attractive elements of Amazon Moments for advertisers is the ease of setup. Once the API is installed into the app, advertisers can follow three easy steps to set up their campaign, and Amazon takes care of the rest.
Campaigns can be run as Evergreen campaigns, which follow the “set it and forget it” mindset - (run until spending limit is reached) or built around specific events, like campaigns centered around boosting engagement for monthly challenges or tournaments.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to get started:
Step One: Select Your Moments
The first step would be to select the metrics that are important to your business goals, or what you’re trying to accomplish with your campaign.
To help advertisers understand the ways they can utilize Moments for their business, Amazon listed out 5 key solutions Moments can provide, and campaign ideas to reach their goals:
Increase Monetization (Create campaigns that offer rewards when users make in-app purchases or buy a subscription)
Drive Engagement (Offer rewards based on app engagement, such as offering a reward if they login to the app 3 times in a week, or complete monthly challenges for a reward)
Increase Subscriptions (Increase free-trial to subscriber rate by offering a reward if they purchase a one-month subscription)
Reduce Churn (Keep users engaged in the app by offering unique challenges when a user is showing signs of dropping off in exchange for a reward)
Win Back Payers (Retarget former paying customers with ads and app notifications, offering them a reward for re-engaging with the app)
Once you’ve determined your objective, you can select the specific actions that signal users are on the right track to complete these metrics.
These can vary based on your unique customer base - Amazon encourages advertisers to A/B test a few different scenarios to determine the right fit.
Step Two: Set Your Price
Amazon encourages advertisers to set a cost-per-action that is less than the lifetime value (LTV) of that customer segment. Doing so ensures brands are getting an ROI for their efforts - and not paying more in rewards than these actions are worth to the business's bottom line.
On their website, they recommend the following budget based on campaign goals:
For campaigns driving payer conversion, recommended CPA of 25% of a customers lifetime value
For campaigns driving engagement, recommended CPA of $5 or greater
For campaigns driving new app installs, CPA of $3 - $5
If you’re not sure of what budget to start off with, check out their ROI calculator to see what CPA is best based on your goals & campaign objectives.
Step Three: Choose Your Reward
Finally, you decide what you want your customers to receive in exchange for completing these actions.
Advertisers can choose between various physical or digital rewards for their campaigns. Physical rewards can include electronics, toys, clothing, or more. Digital rewards include discount codes or items, or Amazon credit that is immediately added to the users Amazon account.
Amazon does state that physical rewards tend to perform better than digital rewards, but encourages advertisers to A/B test both with their own audience to determine user preference.
Why Marketers Should Care
I’m excited for this launch for two reasons: one, as a marketer, it’s exciting to see a unique form of paid advertising rolled out by Amazon that is mutually beneficial for both the advertiser and the consumer.
Banner blindness is very real, and unlike most paid ad options, this one reaches beyond words on a screen.
Secondly, as a self-proclaimed phone game addict, I have spent countless hours (and shamefully, dollars) on games like Candy Crush and Cooking Dash, and you can bet I’ll be taking advantage of these real-life rewards in exchange for these actions I may not have otherwise completed.
From the consumer’s standpoint, if you’re seeing something you already want coupled with a real reward you can utilize outside of the app itself, it becomes a no-brainer to convert.
For marketers, Moments offers the unique opportunity to delight users while also boosting overall app engagement. Your users have downloaded your app or decided to get a free trial for a reason. This program simply gives them an added incentive to get to the next step. Due to the nature of the CPA model, it’s definitely worth testing out.
With Moments, Amazon has made it easy for mobile app developers to drive engagement and paying customers in a way that can facilitate long-lasting results for them, tackling their core pain points surrounding churn, upselling, and keeping users on the app for longer.