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mobile marketing metrics

Classic and Advanced Mobile Marketing Metrics to Prioritize

Regardless of your brand’s industry or business model, successful marketing measurement is easier said than done. A 2023 research study by the Content Marketing Institute found that the top challenge B2C marketers face when measuring content performance is the difficulty integrating and correlating data across multiple platforms.

This is especially true as marketers expand into mobile channels, like SMS/MMS, mobile push, and in-app notifications. Adding more channels can make measurement more complex, and the rapidly evolving mobile landscape, in particular, is impacted by ongoing privacy updates and regulations. The loops that get thrown marketers’ ways are enough to dissuade 18% from measuring content performance at all.

So what’s a new mobile marketer to do? It can be tempting to abandon key performance indicators (KPIs) and rely on gut instinct alone, but with the right mobile marketing metrics and modern technologies making data activation possible, you can learn what’s working and what’s not, and also understand your customers on a much deeper, more meaningful level.

Keep reading for classic mobile marketing metrics to get started, as well as more advanced metrics when you’re ready to take your campaign measurement up a notch.

If you want to become your team’s resident expert on all things mobile, be sure to grab your copy of The Savvy Marketer’s Guide to Building a Stellar SMS Strategy.

Welcome and Onboarding

Classic metrics: App downloads, bounce rates, and mobile channel opt-ins
Advanced metrics: Referral sources and completion rates of user profiles and preferences

Mobile marketers pay a lot of mind to their welcome and onboarding campaigns, and rightfully so: apps lose nearly 80 percent of their daily active users within just three days. There aren’t second chances for bad first impressions.

The mobile marketing metrics that are most critical at this initial lifecycle stage involve understanding how many customers are picking up what you’re putting down, so to speak. That means tracking app downloads, bounce rates, and opt-in rates for each mobile channel to know exactly how many new users are interested in engaging with your brand.

That said, nothing ruins a conversation faster than monologuing. Odds are, you don’t know enough about your new mobile users to send highly personalized messages (yet), so it’s essential to collect zero-party data straight from the source by asking customers to share more about themselves. Make sure you’re measuring completion rates of users’ profiles and preferences, as well as tracking referral sources using “How did you hear about us?” surveys. SMS is the best mobile channel for two-way conversations with customers.

To learn more about encouraging opt-ins and optimizing ROI, check out this go-to guide for SMS marketing.

Bravo captures zero-party data - mobile marketing metrics

TV network Bravo uses an SMS welcome campaign to learn users’ favorite shows.

Nurture and Loyalty

Classic metrics: Message engagement rates and mobile-attributed purchase frequency, average order value, or paid subscription conversion rate
Advanced metrics: Referral program enrollment and app review rate

Nurture campaigns encompass any message you send to existing users to foster affinity, and once they become your top fans, loyalty campaigns celebrate and cater to them. As two sides of the same coin, they’re both designed to increase your brand’s relevance to the point where checking in becomes a regular habit for customers.

Message engagement rates will be the most obvious mobile marketing metrics for these campaigns, as well as your brand’s core revenue-focused KPIs, whether they be mobile-attributed purchase frequency, average order value, or paid subscription conversion rate.

Although it’s important to keep your brand top-of-mind with current customers, don’t forget to use these campaigns to expand your reach to new audiences. After all, your VIPs are most likely to recruit their social circles, so measuring referral program enrollment, app review rate, and other mobile marketing metrics around influence can create exponential network effects.

Few industries know the powers of habit formation and social proof quite like mobile gaming, so consider how gamification strategies can level up your customer engagement.


Classic metrics: Cart conversion rates
Advanced metrics: Channel and send time optimization

Mobile channels are valuable because they give customers more accessible methods to complete their purchases. But their double-edged sword is that they also offer infinitely more opportunities for distraction: American mobile phone shoppers had the highest cart abandonment rate at 80.5%, compared to desktop shoppers at 67.8%.

You’ll want to measure conversion rates to determine how well your abandonment campaigns are doing at collecting lost carts. But advanced mobile marketing metrics that can move the needle are channel and send time optimization, which identify where and when to send reminders to generate the most revenue.

One caveat, however, is not to abandon all common sense with your abandonment campaigns. Consumers are savvy, and once they learn a brand sends discounts and other incentives when carts are abandoned, they’ll only continue the practice—and tell all their friends to do the same.

For more abandonment campaign advice, check out our tips on how to unify carts across channels and orchestrate peak harmonization.

Asos sends abandoned cart push

U.K. online retailer ASOS reminds shoppers of abandoned carts via mobile push.

Re-engagement and Winback

Classic metrics: Unsubscribe rates and customer churn
Advanced metrics: Cross-channel reactivation rates and last activity

Even the most beloved brands struggle to retain customers, but you can’t fix a leaky bucket if you don’t know how much you’re losing in the first place. Unsubscribe rates and customer churn are natural mobile marketing metrics to analyze first, but the best-case scenario would be to prevent opt-outs and signoffs before they happen.

The benefit of mobile marketing is the increased likelihood of reactivating users by enlisting the use of multiple channels. If someone unsubscribes from email but still accepts texts or push notifications, not all hope is lost.

Make sure you’re measuring reactivation rates across all channels, as well as when users were last active to avoid the dreaded breakup message.

For more ways to get tactical when combating subscriber churn, we’ve got you covered.

Measure Mobile Marketing Metrics With Iterable

Whether you’re setting benchmarks for your app launch or looking to uplevel your brand’s effectiveness at reaching audiences wherever they are, the KPIs you prioritize will set the tone for your team and the content they create.

And the first step to achieving your goals is to have the right tools at your disposal, ensuring you can track your progress throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

As a unified customer engagement platform, Iterable makes it easy to measure mobile marketing metrics across SMS/MMS, mobile push, in-app and more—all in one place.

To learn how your brand can measure smarter and message better, request a demo of Iterable today.

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