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Mobile partnerships can be tricky when it comes to ensuring that a) app installs and conversions aren’t competing goals and b) the customer experience is always seamless and positive. The soaring use of apps and their ability to deliver better performance than mobile web make installs a vital aspect of the partnership payoff. For example, cart abandonment rates are abysmal on mobile web, 97%, whereas mobile app cart abandonment rates comes in at only 20%. Mobile web AOV is 29% lower than mobile app AOV. But at the end of the day, you want your partnership to deliver revenue, whether on web and/or app. The tricky part is that the app conversion funnel is different from that of the web world.

Installs are necessary but not sufficient

The app conversion funnel complicates the creation of perfectly smooth partnerships because the app itself may not yet be installed when the user is first engaged. As a result, the typical conversion funnel for a new user is “prefaced” to include the additional step of downloading the app. 

In a way, two conversion funnels are in play: one to convince users to download the app and another to convince users to finish a transaction in the app. But those goals need to be unified, because getting a user to download an app is never enough — you should always strive to drive some form of conversion within the app itself as part of any app acquisition campaign. 

Especially given the higher conversion performance of apps, anyone with a decent mobile app should be motivating mobile device users to download and transact on their app instead of their mobile website. For one thing, apps tend to have a better user experience than mobile web, thus the higher AOV and lower abandonment rates mentioned above. 

So how do you construct a mobile partnership that reaches those goals? One way is to make your terms work in your favor by designing contracts that incentivize not only installs but also drive in-app conversions (or vice versa).

Incentivizing app conversions 

It’s important to encourage your partners to funnel their valuable traffic into the app, where users are more likely to complete the desired action. How do you incentivize them in that direction? Unfortunately, many contracting solutions aren’t flexible enough to support the desired incentive structures to encourage this sort of behavior.

You’ll always want to design contracts that offer incentives to drive the in-app conversions — and not just ones that reward on app installs alone. Yes, you may want to still increase the install base od your app, thus improving your app’s standing in the app stores by incentivizing installs, but don’t ignore tracking and incentivizing that post-install conversion. It gives you the opportunity to transform those app installers into regular users of your app where they are likely to convert more, spend more, and return more frequently, lifting your average customer lifetime value (LTV).

Astute marketers set up contracting rules to pay their partners a greater percentage of revenue if the transaction occurs on the mobile app. This is a great strategy for driving app re-engagement with the hope of making users more frequent repeat app visitors.

With the right built-in incentives, you can go beyond CPI to fuel your mobile growth. Instead, you can focus on true value by paying partners for post-install conversion events like sales, travel bookings, or new subscriptions.

Facilitate conversions with deep linking

Of course, another way to ensure great conversion rates is to create a great user experience. Setting up deep linking with your partners creates a single link that sends users to the right place in-app or to the mobile web or app store if your app’s not installed. Deep linking into your app can boost conversion rates by 3x compared to mobile web, and with Impact’s TrueLink™, there’s no need for separate links for app and web — a single link works for both.

Get app-savvy and improve your mobile partnerships skills by diving deep into the ebook, Mobile partnerships: Your blue ocean of “app-ortunity,” or connect with a growth specialist at grow@impact.com.

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