When the lead conversion rate on mobile drops suddenly after a solid amount of time, or if your ad campaigns cannot gain traction and bring in new leads in the first place – it’s a good time to start worrying about your lead conversion rate. 

There could be numerous reasons for such a decrease, ranging from simple issues of workflow optimisation to the effect of negative global trends, but you’ll need to figure out precisely which ones are behind your specific case. 

Wrong audience targeting and low-quality traffic 

A problem that plagues marketers across all industries is wrong or ill-considered targeting. The lack of understanding of the customer results in focusing on an audience that doesn’t have an interest in your product or offer – and that, obviously, means low conversion rates.

In order to be accurate and avoid wastage, you need to research your audience’s demographics, location and interests. Gathering specific data about the interaction of customers with your apps and ads is essential for understanding dynamics and for course-correcting your campaigns. Failure to use that information entails inflated advertising budgets and poor ROI. 

Mobile marketers should also avoid investing in low-quality incentive traffic (unless it’s a particular goal). These users tend to arrive only to get a benefit or special feature from another app, rather than having an active interest in it, and most likely will leave the moment they get what they want.

Instead, make sure that the traffic that you’re buying is going to bring you high-quality leads that have the potential to convert. It doesn’t matter if you use self-serve mobile advertising platforms or managed services, it’s always possible to make a choice of the type of traffic you’re receiving; focus on the ones that bring the most benefit. 

Product quality and lacking monetisation techniques 

If you observe the majority of leads not converting into customers or users leave after installing your app, this might be a clear sign of a problem. Always pay attention to the quality of product and the customer service for good conversion and retention rates.  

For mobile marketers, it means committing to the top-most quality of the mobile application. All bugs and crashes should be eliminated, and the UI optimised to meet the users’ expectations. 

However, even ensuring the perfect app quality is not enough; users will not return even to the most amazing application if you don’t give them a reason. Think through the retention strategies that will let you monetise your app, such as rewards for achieving certain levels increase motivation to return. Not all users will be ready to make in-app purchases, which is why reward-based advertising is a good alternative. For example, give a game asset after a user has watched a video ad. 

SimCity: Build It from EA Games can be considered a great example of maintaining retention rates. The creators constantly release updates for the game, adding new content to interest users to come back. At the same time, not all the premium content is up for a purchase – users can randomly access it after watching video ads.

No remarketing strategy 

Another reason why leads don’t convert could be the lack of a remarketing strategy. Potential customers arrive at your website, mobile app, online store or interact with your brand in social networks, and then they leave – if there’s no action on your part, they’ll never return. 

With all the remarketing tools available, not having a strategy for keeping the retention high is hard to justify. One option is to start a targeted advertising campaign, showing ads that invite users back to your website and remind them about an abandoned cart or an unfinished purchase. Segmentation of the visitors by the level of engagement (visited a site, put product in a cart, etc.) can help reach the users when they are most likely to buy. 

Creating a mailing list is another solution; by sending out special offers, discounts, coupons or simply reminding your users about their interaction with your brand can help to make them come back. 

For mobile marketers, setting push notifications for an app is another essential remarketing strategy. These messages appear on the user’s device and remind them about an app, inducing to visit it again and take action, make an in-app purchase or check out a new feature. 

Running non-exclusive ad campaigns in ad networks 

One of the problems that advertisers can get themselves into is connected with running non-exclusive ad campaigns which result in poor conversion rates.

For mobile marketers, it means putting ads in multiple ad networks and making their offers available for just anybody. Their promotion partners can enhance this effect, which means that too many people start to buy the offer from each other. 

Eventually, the price of the campaign decreases and the publishers are not motivated to pick it up. When there are too many counterparts in the campaign, there often occurs undisclosed re-brokering. And in the end, the advertiser doesn’t know where the ads are displayed and whether the audience is actually interested in viewing them.

If non-exclusive ad campaigns can’t gain traction it is time to start worrying about the lead conversion rates you are getting by running them. If you use a tracking system, check if everything works.

Fraudulent leads 

The problem of online fraud has become global. Fraudulent users can aim at accessing your product online without ever paying, depleting your ad spend to give an advantage to your competitors or falsifying the traffic volume and clicks to get paid more for advertising. 

The swindlers don’t hesitate to provide fake identity information, including credit cards, which looks credible at a first sight. But of course, those ‘leads’ will never convert into customers. 

Mobile marketers should be on the look-out for fraud 24/7 to avoid low quality or fake traffic. Those working by CPM (cost per mile) payment model run the risk of never being viewed by real users. Fraudsters can also fake clicks for the CPC (cost per click) model. However, this should not scare you away from working with CPM and CPC partners – it only means you should put more time and effort into finding the right partners, whom you can trust.

As for the CPI (cost per install) model, swindlers can manipulate the system to believe that an app was installed when it wasn’t; make bots and human farms install the app, or provide installs to the non-target audience. In each case, the leads acquired will have no value and will not convert into users. 

According to IAB reports, mobile ad fraud has cost $1.3 billion to advertisers worldwide in 2015. For both mobile and desktop traffic, 70% of this cost is attributed to CPC and 30% to the CPM pricing models. As for the CPI model, AppsFlyer’s research states that only this year the advertisers will lose up to $350 million because of mobile app install and engaging fraud.

Final thoughts 

Among the numerous reasons that can cause drops in the lead conversion rates, it is important to locate the ones that are relevant to your business. After you have figured out the which problems you need to tackle, it will be much more easy to improve your marketing strategy.