The Most Important Mobile Metrics

While most organizations are struggling to accurately measure ROI and create a 360-degree view of the customer, may I suggest that mobile marketers need to focus on a key metric: the “quit rate.”

  • For SMS subscribers, this is the number of stops in response to a campaign.
  • For push notifications, the number of application deletes that results from a send.
  • For mobile sites, the number of people who leave to go to the full site. (You should always have an option to go to the full site for those who don’t find what they’re looking for on your mobile site.)
  • For Facebook, the number of unlikes that results from a new post or practice. (While you may consider Facebook to be a social channel, more than a third of users are on mobile devices and changes may cause users to rebel against marketing intrusions.)

Hey Debbie Downer, you may be thinking, we are in the business of making money, and perhaps you’d like to go to my boss to report failure rather than revenue?

OK, don’t tell your boss, but follow your quit rates closely. Here’s why.


Consider the Advertising Aggravation Continuum. At one end are media that are impersonal: print ads, direct mail, banner ads. Ads in these media have a very low aggravation factor. You can quickly flip past them, toss them, ignore them. In the middle of the spectrum are radio and TV. Ads are slightly more aggravating and consumers seek to reduce or eliminate them via satellite radio, pre-recorded music, and DVRs. At the most aggravating end of the spectrum are email and telemarketing. We all remember what happened to telemarketing, right? Aggravated itself right out of business.

Mobile marketing is the most personal channel to date, so marketers must consider the aggravation factor. What could be more personal than the device that is yours alone and carried with you everywhere you go? A phone has very limited real estate, so consumers will be far more careful about what they allow in.

Brands that make it into the consumer’s inner circle must fight to stay there, hence the need to understand what causes them to quit.

Are your SMS offers and push notifications compelling and are the timing and frequency right? When customers leave your mobile site for the main site, what content do they seek? Are certain Facebook posts followed by a lot of unlikes?

Monitoring these quit rates will help you fine-tune your mobile marketing efforts and not only build your audience but also build your brand. As Andy Sernovitz says, “URUE: You are your user experience.” When a customer decides to delete you from their inner circle, they’ve had a bad experience with your brand. And that’s what makes the quit rate the most important mobile metric.

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