American Marketer


Effectively monitoring and analyzing mobile direct response campaigns

November 4, 2013

Alex Tsatkin is vice president of mobile at MediaWhiz



By Alex Tsatkin

Brands that get into performance-based direct response mobile marketing often run into a common issue: how to balance quality versus quantity in the mobile traffic they generate.

Many marketers are willing to pay a premium to maximize traffic volume that backs out to their campaigns goals. Achieving these goals can be challenging but attainable by closely monitoring and analyzing each element of the campaign.

Green-lighting all

Mobile encompasses many different traffic types, including incentivized, search, display, email and co-registration.

It is common for a brand first dipping its toes in mobile to make the mistake of acquiring only one type of inventory such as incentivized traffic. If this traffic does not perform well, or back out with high quality, some advertisers will dismiss mobile as not being effective for their business.

This is a big mistake. We have reached the point in the evolution of online marketing in which mobile is no longer a nice-to-have. It is a must-have for almost every advertiser.

As more digital inventory moves to mobile, it is important to try all mobile traffic types before writing off the entire medium.

Here are three things to keep in mind to ensure the effectiveness of your mobile performance marketing campaigns.

Track mobile-specific parameters

The first set of analytics you need to monitor when launching a mobile campaign is mobile-specific parameters. These include operating system, devices and carrier/ISP.

Once you grow your mobile efforts you will soon discover that traffic quality and performance can vary drastically by these parameters.

For example, you may notice that iPhones and Android devices yield different traffic quality depending on the offer, carrier and operating system. The next step at that point would be to adjust your pricing and differentiate traffic from the two platforms.

Do not skimp on mobile budgets

It is important to commit a large budget when testing the performance of any mobile campaign.

There are many variables that can affect mobile performance. Spread your mobile marketing efforts across all types of devices and channels to find patterns that provide the perfect balance of quality and pricing.

Gather statistically significant data across various mobile variables. Otherwise, you risk leaving a lot of money on the table by dismissing mobile campaigns.

Mobile traffic performs differently from desktop traffic

When trying mobile for the first time, many advertisers use existing channels to establish back-end metrics they are trying to hit.

For example, an advertiser may have a back-end conversion rate of 30 percent across all media channels for a cost-per-lead campaign.

If the advertiser does not reach a 30 percent conversion rate when testing mobile it may assume that mobile is a poor traffic source for its business. That is a mistake.

Effective monitoring and analysis of mobile campaigns requires the following elements to be in place: tracking the various mobile channels, analyzing mobile-specific data using analytics and gathering enough data to have actionable insights.

Once you have gathered your data you can adjust your CPA pricing for the various mobile variables to find the right pricing that will get you volume without sacrificing quality.

THE KEY TO success in performance-based mobile advertising is to understand that mobile will never perform the same as search, email, social or display traffic. It has its own performance and critical metrics that differ from traditional Web campaigns.

Marketers should approach mobile direct response advertising with the understanding that performance may look far different than traditional Web-based campaigns.

Alex Tsatkin is New York-based vice president of mobile at Matomy Media Group, a performance marketing company. Reach him at