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News Corp.'s Kidspot increases app engagement 87.5pc with precise messaging

Melbourne-based site Kidspot recently discovered the power of tone in messaging, with less folksy, more serious messages yielding higher open rates and conversion to content rates.

Founded in 2005 and later acquired by News Corporation, Kidspot provides information and tools for Australian moms and was looking to increase user engagement with BumpWatch, its application that helps women conceive by tracking their most fertile times of the month. Kidspot worked with OtherLevels to boost engagement with BumpWatch.

?At launch, Kidspot?s BumpWatch app sent push notifications messages as a way to interact with users, addressing the process of pregnancy in a ?folksy? tone with fairly casual language, including references to ?baby bumps? and enquiries as to how ?junior? was doing,? said Len Shneyder, marketing manager at OtherLevels, San Francisco.

?While reception to the app ? and to the push notifications meant to keep mother engaged ? was positive, the company was sure that engagement could be stronger,? he said.

Bump watch
The BumpWatch app helps women increase their chances of becoming pregnant by calculating probable ovulation dates. It also lets expectant moms keep track of milestones throughout their pregnancy.

When Kidspot created the app, it began sending push notifications to interact with users. The notifications tended to use a ?folksy? tone with casual language that referred to ?baby bumps? and ?junior.?

In an effort to increase engagement, Kidspot decided to test new messaging techniques to better interact with users. The company ran A/B split testing with OtherLevels to see which messaging delivered the highest value and ROI.

Kidspot switched up word count, time of day and other variables. The results showed that tone was a key factor, with less folksy more serious messages yielding higher open rates and conversion to content rates.

In terms of length, Kidspot tested messages from 60 to 100 to 160 character lengths, with shorter messages tending to be more successful. The wording of calls-to-action were also tested with phrases such as ?Let?s find out!? and ?Find out more? versus ?Read our 10 tips,? with ?Let?s find out? proving to be the most compelling.

Targeted messages
One specific example was targeting women trying to get pregnant. Kidspot sent these women one of three messages: ?It?s almost your fertile time - happy baby making! Visit BumpWatch to learn more,? ?Your body is preparing to become pregnant. It?s time to get busy baby-making!? or ?It?s almost your fertile time - read our 10 tips to boost your fertility.?

The first message was most successful with a lift rate of 198 percent.

For women in later stages of pregnancy, Kidspot tested these two messages: ?Some important milestones for baby?s brain this week. What else has changed? Let?s find out!? and ?Your baby can still do somersaults but it?s getting cramped in your belly, so he?s starting to move into the birth position. Find out more.?

The first one was more successful here, achieving a 230 percent lift rate as well as a 200 percent lift of users maneuvering through the navigation screen of the app.

For women in their 30th week, Kidspot sent one of two messages: ?From this week, your baby?s fine lanugo hair may begin to disappear. Why? Let?s find out? and ?Week 30 Congratulations! You?re in your third trimester. Baby is now laying down body fat and growing hair and nails. Lovely! Find out more.?

The first one was more successful with a 308 percent lift and a 125 percent navigation page lift.

?Kidspot's objective was to increase user engagement with the BumpWatch app with the expectation that women who downloaded it would follow the push notifications' prompts more often and spend more time within the app,? Mr. Shneyder said.

?Longer app engagement also increases monetization opportunities, in this case the likelihood that the user will click on an invitation from a brand partner such as Huggies to visit its Web site and join its Mums to Be Club,? he said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York