Braze Categories


Glossary

By Team Braze Feb 10 2019

Table of Contents


A/B Testing

\ˈā\ \ˈbē\ \ˈtes-tiŋ\

TL:DR

A/B testing allows marketers to compare two versions of a message (or other asset) to assess which variant performs best.

DEFINITION

A/B testing is a type of testing that makes it possible to test one variable within a given customer message, app, or website, among other assets. This kind of testing is often contrasted with multivariate testing, which allows you to test more than two message variants.

A/B testing can be used by marketers to determine which version of a push notification, email, or other customer message will drive the most conversions or other engagement metric. For instance, you might compare two email message variants to see which version of the subject line performs best

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Using A/B testing, we were able to determine that our World Emoji Day push notification got higher conversions when it included an emoji in the text—who knew?”

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>Application Programming Interface (API)

\ˌa-plə-ˈkā-shən\ \ˈprō-ˌgram\-miŋ\ \ˈin-tər-ˌfās\

TL:DR

APIs are tools and directions for developers to build and interface software applications.

DEFINITION

An API is a set of tools and directions to connect software. It’s often used to share information between programs to better connect databases or technologies. An API provides the guidance and assistance that a developer should need to interface two systems. APIs can open up possibilities for user experiences and consolidation of user data.

Often, we need CRMs to interface with other databases to provide for a more robust experience. API capabilities are important to ask about when setting up or selecting your CRM, or running campaigns with dynamic (auto-populated) content. Marketers should work with their developers to ensure they have the documentation needed to run the campaigns and reports a brand will want.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“With this weather API, we’ll be able to personalize our messaging to reflect the actual weather conditions in the users’ local area.”

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Application Programming Interface (API)

\ˌa-plə-ˈkā-shən\ \ˈprō-ˌgram\-miŋ\ \ˈin-tər-ˌfās\

TL:DR

APIs are tools and directions for developers to build and interface software applications.

DEFINITION

An API is a set of tools and directions to connect software. It’s often used to share information between programs to better connect databases or technologies. An API provides the guidance and assistance that a developer should need to interface two systems. APIs can open up possibilities for user experiences and consolidation of user data.

Often, we need CRMs to interface with other databases to provide for a more robust experience. API capabilities are important to ask about when setting up or selecting your CRM, or running campaigns with dynamic (auto-populated) content. Marketers should work with their developers to ensure they have the documentation needed to run the campaigns and reports a brand will want.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“With this weather API, we’ll be able to personalize our messaging to reflect the actual weather conditions in the users’ local area.”

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Control Group

\kən-ˈtrōl\ \ˈgrüp\

TL:DR

A control group is a segment in a test that continues to receive marketing with no change, so that you can compare results with a segment that is receiving a new campaign, channel outreach, etc.

DEFINITION

A control group is a group of users in a test that do not experience the tested variable, and therefore help to create a comparison data set to measure results. If you want to start working with a new channel, or approaching users in a new way, your control group would continue to receive normal marketing, not the new channel or approach. If you see an increase in conversions that’s statistically significant for the tested group, compared to the control group, you can assume that your new approach was effective. However, if there is no significant difference between conversions for the two groups, you may want to try a new approach, because you can’t conclude that the new tactic made a difference.

It’s important that control groups are made up of similar demographics as the rest of your users (so that you don’t accidentally have mostly women in your control group, for example, which adds another variable to the mix that you’re not trying to test). You should also set a hypothesis before you start and focus on a single variable to test, to make the results as easy to understand as possible.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“To test how push notifications enhanced our onboarding campaign, we kept a control group (who received everything but the new push notifications) and that made it much easier to see the great effect the notifications had on the tested group.”

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Conversion

\kən-ˈvər-zhən\

TL:DR

A conversion is a completed action by a customer—such as a purchase—that a brand is working to encourage.

DEFINITION

A conversion occurs when a brand successfully encourages a customer to carry out a particular desired action. That could be making a purchase, clicking on a digital ad, opening an app, signing up for a newsletter, or any number of other possible goals. Brands commonly rely on advertising and customer outreach channels (such as email and push notifications) to drive conversions as part of their larger engagement, retention, and monetization strategies. By tracking conversions, brands can gain a better understanding of what factors influence their customers’ behavior, as well as how members of their audience are progressing along their customer journey.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Because our brand makes its money through in-app advertising instead of purchases, the conversion we focus on the most is app opens.”

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Cross-Channel Messaging

\ ˈkrȯs \ ˈcha-nᵊl \ˈme-sijiŋ /

TL:DR

This approach to customer engagement uses multiple messaging channels—think push notifications, email, etc.—in tandem to reach customers effectively across a variety of communication touch-points

DEFINITION

When a brand sends customer communications using more than one messaging channel in a coordinated way, that’s known as cross-channel messaging. This approach has been shown to result in stronger levels of engagement than using a single channel, and is an increasingly large part of modern customer outreach.


When a marketer employs a cross-channel strategy, they’re using email, push notifications, in-app messages, and whatever other traditional and contemporary methods they can, in a smart combination, to reach users wherever they are (without overdoing it). To get cross-channel marketing right, it’s essential that all arms of an organization communicate and collaborate, even distinct teams with different goals and priorities.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“There’s a big difference between knowing that a cross-channel strategy is smart business and understanding just how much adding a second marketing channel can boost engagement.”

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Customer Behavior

\ˈkəs-tə-mər\ \bi-ˈhā-vyər\

TL:DR

Customer behaviors are user actions that can be tracked and analyzed to improve marketing efforts.

DEFINITION

Customer behavior refers to any action that a customer takes related to your company, but as marketers, we are particularly interested in actions that we can track and learn from to build relationships. In the mobile world, these behaviors usually indicate some form of engagement, such as views, downloads, opt ins, or purchases.

It’s valuable to know what kinds of customer behavior data your CRM can collect, how you can target particular behaviors to inform your strategies, and which behaviors indicate that you’ve reached a goal. If your goal is “increasing engagement one month after download,” you might want to focus on how your efforts impact app opens, activity levels, or responses to offers in push notifications. Some of the most valuable information can be about what time of day people are most responsive and what forms of outreach are intriguing enough for them to click to learn more. The information you gather can help you improve segmentation, personalization, and increase the likelihood that you’ll reach the right person, with the right message, at the right time.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“I’m glad we tracked those re-permission customer behaviors—now we have a much better sense of what triggers could lead up to an opt-in after onboarding.”

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Customer Engagement

\ˈkəs-tə-mər\ \in-ˈgāj-mənt\

TL:DR

Customer engagement refers to the interactions that members of your audience have with your brand, whether online or in person.

DEFINITION

Customer engagement occurs when a customer interacts with a particular brand. That can include opening an app, visiting a website, commenting on a social media post, reading an email, tapping on a push notification, or stopping by a brick and mortar store. Many brands use customer outreach—via email, push notifications, in-app messages, social postings, and other channels—to encourage more consistent engagement among members of their audience. Customer engagement is often tracked by brands in order to help them understand whether their campaigns and brand message are resonating and to give them insight into whether a given customer or audience segment is in danger of churning.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Customer engagement was a problem for us until we started sending personalized emails and push notifications to people who hadn’t visited our website or app in the last week.”

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Customer Events / Attributes

\ˈkəs-tə-mər\ \i-ˈvents\ \ˈa-trə-ˌbyüts\

TL:DR

Customer events and attributes are data collected by a CRM on behaviors and user information that can be used to personalize outreach.

DEFINITION

Customer events and attributes are collected by your CRM and can be used to develop segments or personalized content. Events include behavioral information about engagement and usage: number of sessions, when a message was last received, most recent purchase, etc. Attributes are data points about the user: their name, age, location, gender, favorite item, etc. Combined, this information can help you develop relevant campaigns and build relationships with customers.

This information can be used to highlight items users are more likely to be interested in, at times when they are more likely to respond, in their prefered channel. By monitoring this data, you can begin to see trends that indicate steps to greater engagement, and begin segmented campaigns to guide more users down that path. Capturing the data in your CRM is the first step, and once you have the information, you have nearly endless possibilities to personalize your outreach. But it’s important to be intentional. It will help to avoid creepy messaging if you always use it to provide value to users and help them understand how data was collected (such as asking them to complete a profile or fill out a preference center).

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Since we track a number of important customer events and attributes, we can always segment our new campaigns appropriately, so our customers are always getting a personalized experience.”

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Customer Journey

/ˈkəstəmər/ /ˈjərnē/

TL:DR

This term describes the full process a customer—or potential customer—goes through from the moment they become aware of your brand, until they convert into a purchasing customer or a loyal long-term user.

DEFINITION

In days of yore, customers could be tracked through a traditional funnel that almost always followed a model of awareness > interest > desire > and action. The advent of new tech, and changing business goals, have made this process—known as a customer journey—vastly more nuanced and complicated.

Today’s customer journey isn’t a direct trajectory, and it also isn’t about one purchase and bye-bye. The path a user takes through their experience of your service or brand can still be tidily summed up into different stages, but these stages exist in no particular order. The modern digital customer journey typically touches on: loyalty > activity > lapsing engagement > and sometimes inactivity. These new stages vary from person to person, and while customers may touch on all four, they’ll rarely happen in this order every time. Nor is it necessarily predictable from user to user. It’s important to understand your typical customer journey, to have ideas about your ideal customer journey, and to have systems in place to track and capture a user’s attention at each stage.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“For most companies, today’s customer journey isn’t a straight line—and it’s not about getting people to make a single purchase, either.”

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Customer Permissions

\ˈkəs-tə-mər\ \pər-ˈmi-shənz\

TL:DR

Customer permissions are requests—for personal information, device access, and more—that brands make of members of their audience.

DEFINITION

Customer permissions are requests that a brand makes of its customers in connection with a mobile app or website. These requests can be for access to customer data (such as their location or their contacts), authorization to send push notifications, emails, or other messages, or to access elements of their smartphone or tablet, such as the device’s camera. Because customer permissions impact whether marketers can send certain kinds of messages and the extent to which they can gather nuanced customer data and include personalization in their outreach, customer permissions are a major element in modern marketing strategies.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“It’s really hard to craft best-in-class messaging campaigns without a campaign permissions strategy in place—after all, you can’t personalize push notifications if customer don’t opt in to push and don’t give you access to personal data that you can include in your copy.”

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Customer Relationship Management [System] (CRM)

\ˈkəs-tə-mər\ \-shən-ˌship\ \ˈma-nij-mənt\

TL:DR

A tool, software, or platform to help you effectively manage customer relationships and preferences.

DEFINITION

A CRM is a technology tool or platform used to track customer information and help marketers guide customer journeys. CRMs collect information on campaign interactions and results for all your users to support campaign reporting and planning. There are a wide variety of services out there and none are built quite the same, so in searching for a CRM, companies should focus on key functionalities needed.

CRMs have recently become integrated with automated marketing messaging systems, meaning marketers can act on their CRM data to send new messages and campaigns. Properly set up and monitored, a robust CRM can aggregate performance stats for groups of users to inform marketing strategies with regard to timing, design, history, trends, devices, channels, and other preferences. The data collected in a CRM can inform highly personalized campaigns.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Now that we have a CRM that can manage a variety of user data, we can finally personalize messages for our non-local sports fans.”

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Customer Retention

\ˈkəs-tə-mər\ \ri-ˈten(t)-shən\

TL:DR

Customer retention rates measure how many customers a company holds onto over a given period of time.

DEFINITION

Customer retention is a metric that refers to the number of customers that continue to engage with a brand following their first interaction. Retention is usually measured over a period of time—for instance, how many new customers in a given cohort or group continued to engage two months later?—and can be expressed in raw numbers (your brand retained 300 customers for one year) or percentages (your brand had a six-month customer retention rate of 20%). Customer retention is an especially significant concern on mobile, due to the high cost of acquiring each new customer and the low retention rates seen by most apps, leading many brands to use personalized outreach and other tools to boost their retention rates.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“The whole marketing team started getting nervous when our three-month customer retention rate dropped below 25%.”

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Deep Linking

\ˈdēp\ \ˈliŋ\ˈkiŋ\

TL:DR

Deep linking connects a message with a targeted piece of content within a website or mobile app, so that users are directed to their next action or engagement.

DEFINITION

A deep link takes you to a specific web page or content within an app. If you're sending a push notification about a deal on a particular item, you’ll want that link to go to a specific product listing or News Feed Card in the app. This linking allows you to improve relevancy by sending users straight to their interests. Deep linking can also provide more information on install attributions for your acquisition efforts.

While it's easy to share web URLs, there's no such system for apps, which are all structured differently. You'll need a specific solution to handle your deep linking and ensure users end up in the right place. You can set up a basic URL scheme, which works a lot like a URL, but only if the user already had your app installed. Newer deferred and contextual links can determine whether to go to the app (if installed) or the app store for download. These systems may need to be added to your existing setup, but it's well worth the investment to provide a much more valuable, efficient, and relevant experience.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“We saw conversions increase dramatically when we started using deep linking—users were no longer left on a generic app page after opening a promotional notification.”

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Email

\ˈē-ˌmāl\

TL:DR

Email is a mobile messaging channel preferred for longer or richer content messages.

DEFINITION

Email is a key channel for mobile marketing. Since many consumers today have email on their phones and tablets, messages need to be developed for their functionality and appearance on a variety of devices. Marketers use Email Service Providers (ESPs) to send messages to their sometimes very large email subscriber lists and to manage the reputation of an IP address. This helps ensure that emails are delivered and can actually be read by users. Issues like spam reports or high bounce rates can reduce the likelihood of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) accepting the email domain and can stop messages from being delivered.

Emails are a great channel for instances when you want richer content with greater depth compared with a push notification or text message. Many people also expect and prefer to receive certain messages, like transactional messages, by email so they can store and reference receipts and confirmations later. While there are many aspects of email you can test and improve upon as you refine your email strategy and send more campaigns, some of the most important are having intriguing subject lines and making sure your brand and voice carries into the email, so that you can continue building relationships with users.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Transactional emails, like payment confirmations, can sometimes get overlooked once the automation is set up, but they’re actually a great opportunity to feature additional value for users.”

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Email Reputation / Deliverability

\ˈē-ˌmāl\ \ˌre-pyə-ˈtā-shən\ \di-ˈli-v(ə-)rə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

TL:DR

Email reputation and deliverability are determined by ISPs which are more likely to deliver emails to their clients if they trust the sending IP and domain, based on previous engagement with quality emails.

DEFINITION

Effective delivery of the emails you send is directly related to your IP address and domain reputation. If they score well (usually the result of consistent sending and no spam reports), ISPs will trust your reputation and place your email in the recipient inbox, rather than sending it to the spam or junk folder. Any spam reports can damage your reputation (not to mention your bottom line if you're out of compliance with spam laws) so it’s essential to keep your lists clean and your content valuable.

There are tools you can use to help improve reputation, but it’s important to think long-term. Double opt-ins can ensure subscribers are real users who want to receive your content and will be less likely to mark your email as spam. Building or improving a reputation can be achieved through IP warming: start by sending emails to a small and engaged group, and then slowly grow your numbers (keeping open and click rates high). Sunsetting policies to remove disengaged email addresses can help ensure that your list is only made up of interested users and helps you avoid the accidental spam traps that might be developed from old email addresses. Taking these steps and monitoring your sender score should keep your deliverability healthy.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Paying attention to email reputation and deliverability can help ensure that your subscribers actually get the chance to see and read your emails.”

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Exception Events

\ik-ˈsep-shən\ \i-ˈvents\

TL:DR

Exception events are user actions that stop triggered messages because they indicate that the user has already reached the desired goal.

DEFINITION

In a triggered message campaign, exception events are the actions that users take that indicate they have already reached the desired goal, and as a result they do not receive the triggered message. For example, when setting up a reminder message to trigger when users fail to update their profile, you would want to indicate that if they come back a little later and actually complete the profile (exception event) they should not receive the reminder. This works together with a message delay to allow for a little time to complete actions before the triggered message is sent. Exception events help to make sure the triggered message is still relevant to the user.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“I’m so glad we created the exception event to catch users who had already updated their preferences—this time we won’t get feedback from annoyed users!”

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Frequency Capping

\ˈfrē-kwən(t)-sē\ \ˈka-piŋ\

TL:DR

An automated limit on messages to ensure users don’t receive an absurd or annoying number of communications in a short period of time.

DEFINITION

Frequency capping is the act of limiting the number of messages received or ads seen by a user in a given time period. Automation platforms that include multichannel capabilities may include a way to cap the number of messages received by a user either in a single channel, across all channels, or both. You can cap messages based on various periods of time, like day, week, or month.

This can be particularly important since users are likely to uninstall or opt out of push notifications when confronted with overwhelming numbers of messages, but at the same time, might be enrolled in multiple campaigns based on their interests, location, or current offers. Determining the sweet spot for a frequency cap requires a look at your data trends, especially where opt outs and uninstalls seem to peak for different segments. Frequency caps aren’t totally binding—you can override them for a critical or urgent message.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“I’m glad we set up frequency capping for our push notifications—this group would have received 33 messages today!”

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Geofence

\ˌjē-o-ˈfen(t)s\

TL:DR

Geofencing is a type of location-based marketing that targets people when they enter, leave, or dwell within a certain physical location.

DEFINITION

Geofencing uses GPS technology to sequester an area of your choosing within a virtual fence. When you and your device move into—or out of—this “fenced” area, that action can trigger outreach from a given brand, leading you to receive a text or push notification (provided you’ve opted-in to a service like this).


A retail store might want to grab your attention when you drive into the area, or a vendor might want to capture you as you pass through a teeming concert festival venue. The purpose of geofencing is simple: to detect a user’s location, and to use that location to serve them relevant, valuable communications.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“When my team set up a geofence around the mall and triggered promotional messages when people entered the parking lot, our in-store engagement went up significantly.”

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In-App Messages

\ˈin\ \ˈap\ \ˈme-sij\

TL:DR

In-app messages are digital messages that only reach people when they’re using your app or visiting your website.

DEFINITION

An in-app message is a type of notification that reaches individuals exclusively when they are actively engaging with a brand’s digital presence. This messaging channel can come in a variety of formats and sizes, and can be simple or content-rich. It’s essentially a popup or modal that appears when users are engaging with your content. In-app messages first emerged as a way to communicate with mobile app users (hence the name); when this type of message is used on the web, it’s known as an “in-browser message.” They’re often used in conjunction with push notifications, email, and other message types as part of a multichannel customer engagement strategy.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Sure, you could send your loyal customers push notifications to let them know about your new spring collection—but since they’re using your app regularly, why not just use in-app messages?”

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Install Attribution

\in-ˈstȯl\ \ˌa-trə-ˈbyü-shən\

TL:DR

Install attribution is data on the source (such as the link used) of a user’s app download which is often used to determine ROI and user preferences.

DEFINITION

For app marketers, install attribution is information about where a user came from leading up to an app install. This data can inform future marketing efforts, by demonstrating the results of particular campaigns or Cost Per Install (CPI) investments, and it can also provide the first dose of valuable info on a user to inform personalization.

Unfortunately, mobile install attribution can be a little tricky. Cookies can be used to track website traffic but in app environments you can lose the trail. Mis-attribution can result in poor or incorrect user data or overpayment for advertising. There’s no perfect way to track all the events that influence a download (from multiple channels to word of mouth) but a good MMA will use a coordinated group of app tracking systems to provide sources for install attribution purposes.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“We should really figure out what’s causing this shift in install attributions—Facebook used to be our number one source.”

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IP Warming

\ ˈī \ \ ˈpē \\ ˈwȯrm \

TL:DR

IP warming is the process of you letting your ISP know, through various means, that you’re a trustworthy sender, and not a nasty spammer.

DEFINITION

If your brand hasn’t sent a significant volume of email in the past, ISPs have no way of knowing who you are. There’s no sending behavior, pattern, or history to see. So, over a period of 4-6 weeks, and sometimes longer thoughtful marketers warm the IP addresses associated with their email sends in order to build their reputation with the ISPs that make delivery possible.

They start by slowly scaling up the volume of emails they send, keep the frequency of their mailings in check, and make sure the vast majority of email addresses on their mailing lists are clean, valid, and confirmed via double opt-in or active subscriptions, among other steps. If your sender reputation is low, you could find legitimate, wanted messages getting filtered into recipients’ spam folders or blocked entirely. And if you don’t properly warm up your IP address, and suddenly start sending loads of messages in a short time frame, it could take weeks (or even months) to recover.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“When we tried to send our holiday campaign without going through the IP warming process, a big chunk of the messages we sent ended up our customers’ spam folders.”

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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

\ˈkē\ \pə(r)-ˈfȯr-mən(t)s\ \ˈin-də-ˌkā-tər\

TL:DR

Key Performance Indicators are metrics of success relative to business goals.

DEFINITION

KPIs are metrics used to evaluate your measure of success according to specific business goals. For example, a goal to create a more effective and popular product might look at retention, installs, and other related metrics as KPIs, or as indicators of progress.

While goals vary from company to company, many mobile marketing KPIs are similar across platforms and channels. Many are goals for improving engagement, including clicks, views, purchases, and other conversions. But there are also metrics specific to disengagement that are worth keeping an eye on, such as push notification opt-out rates and app uninstalls. When tracking KPIs, it’s important to work with your business intelligence team to understand how the metrics are tracked and calculated to ensure you are drawing the proper conclusions and that other factors aren’t interfering.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Now that we’re focusing on the KPIs that are actually aligned with our goals, we’re finally seeing the progress we hoped to see.”

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LTV

\ˈel\ \ˈtē\ \ˈvē\

TL:DR

LTV is a shorthand for the current or projected revenue or profit associated with a brand’s average customer or a particular segment of their audience.

DEFINITION

LTV stands for “lifetime value,” and represents the total financial value associated with a customer or a group of customers. However, different brands can and do use the term in a couple of different ways: to predict how much profit or revenue customers will produce, or to calculate how much profit or revenue customers have produced to date. If, for instance, you were looking to determine predicted LTV for the average customer, the equation would look like the below.

LTV is a broad enough concept that some companies calculate it in multiple different ways (for instance, LTV to date in term of profit, or projected LTV in terms of revenue) to better understand the costs and impacts of their customer acquisition, retention, and monetization efforts, but the basic idea remains the same.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“It turns out that increasing audience retention did more to boost our average customer LTV than all our promotional campaigns put together.”

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Mobile Marketing

\ˈmō-bəl \ˈmär-kə-tiŋ\

TL:DR

Mobile marketing is marketing carried out using mobile technology.

DEFINITION

Mobile marketing is marketing that makes use of mobile technology. In general, “mobile marketing” describes ways to take advantage of smartphones and tablets to gather data on customers and their behavior, then reach those customers via mobile messaging channels (including push notifications, in-app messages, increasingly email, and more). Mobile marketing makes it possible for marketers to communicate with their audiences in responsive, individually customized ways, allowing for deeper customer/brand relationships than ever before.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“After PamperHer implemented a well-designed mobile marketing strategy, revenue increased 15% year over year—boom!”

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Mobile Marketing Automation

\ˈmō-bəl \ˈmär-kə-tiŋ\ \ˌȯ-tə-ˈmā-shən\

TL:DR

Mobile marketing automation is the use of technology to automate and amplify work carried out by marketers seeking to reach mobile users.

DEFINITION

Mobile marketing automation is software used to automate marketing activities, making it possible for brands to engage, retain, and monetize their mobile audience more successfully and with less effort. This is especially important as the scale of the audience or messaging volume increases. Mobile marketing automation is traditionally associated with brands that have apps; however, mobile marketing automation can also support marketing efforts associated with mobile websites.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Without mobile marketing automation, if we wanted to send a messaging campaign that isn’t just a full-audience blast, we’d have to manually go through our list of customers, figure out which ones are likely to be interested in an upcoming sale, and then write individual message copy for every single recipient—I mean, it’s technically possible, but it’d be exhausting.”

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Mobile Moment

\ˈmō-bəl \ˈmō-mənt\

TL:DR

A mobile moment is an occasion in which a user takes out their mobile device to get what they want, right when they want it, and it’s up to mobile marketers to find ways to build experiences into these moments.

DEFINITION

A mobile moment is any instance in which a user pulls out their phone for a specific purpose. In the U.S., this averages over 100 times per day per user. Since smartphones have become a constant companion for so many people, the possibility for a quick check or access has increased. People have become attached to their phones and mobile devices which has led to a need for instant gratification. Don’t know something? Look it up. Need to set a reminder for yourself? You’ve got an app for that. Bored? There’s always a game or social media at your fingertips.
The challenge and opportunity of mobile moments lies in how marketers can engage and build relationships during these key moments. If your app provides value in the form of quick access to useful and relevant information, products, or social messaging, you can make your app a habit for users. The data you collect on customer behaviors can help you identify optimal send times, lifecycle stages, seasonal interests, and other details you can personalize to encourage engagement.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“A travel company could create a special deal for mobile moment opportunities such as when a frequent flyer searches for rental cars or looks to compare flight prices.”

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Multivariate Testing

\ˈməl-tə-ˈver-ē-ət\ \ˈtes-tiŋ\

TL:DR

Multivariate testing allows marketers to simultaneously compare two or more versions of a message (or other test subject) to assess which variant performs the best.

DEFINITION

Multivariate testing is a type of testing that makes it possible to test multiple variables by comparing several variants of a customer message, web page, or other asset simultaneously in order to determine which version performs best. This kind of testing (also known as MV testing) is often contrasted with A/B testing, which compares two variants in order to test a single variable.

Multivariate testing is often used by marketers to optimize their customer messaging. That can mean comparing different message variants to see how different copy, images, and color schemes impact conversions, comparing the efficacy of different types of in-app messages, and more.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“We ran some A/B tests to figure out whether email subject lines with questions marks performed better than ones without, but it wasn’t until we started multivariate testing that we realized that the most effective combination was subject lines that posed a question and included emojis.”

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Onboarding

\ ˈȯn-ˈbȯrd-iŋ \

TL:DR

The process brands use to educate and engage brand new users to keep them around for the long haul.

DEFINITION

Getting a potential user or customer to know you exist is a huge first step. Getting them to download an app? Harder, and a wonderful milestone. But it’s what comes next that really counts. Many people who download an app will never open it, or will open it once but never return. To get them to come back, brands need to create a process—known as onboarding—to take them from brand new user to loyal customer.


An onboarding plan can use various channels—email, push notifications, opt-ins, various other channels—to capture a user’s attention and keep them coming back to hopefully to achieve conversion again and again. A good onboarding flow asks users questions, it introduces them to your app’s best features, it gets each user’s permission to stay in touch, and it’s your opportunity to prove you’ve got your stuff together and will be a fun/useful/rewarding (whatever your schtick is) asset to their digital world.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“We tested three different versions of our app’s onboarding flow before we found one that significantly improved new user retention.”

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Opt-In Prompt

\ˈäpt\ \ˈin \ˈpräm(p)t\

TL:DR

An opt-in prompt asks users for permission to enable channels like push or SMS and should effectively communicate the value of the permission to get good results.

DEFINITION

Opt-in prompts are messages that request users to enable a functionality such as SMS, push notifications, or location data. There are two kinds of prompts: native/generic to the OS such as on a smartphone, and custom. Native prompts are from the mobile device’s operating system and once selected, require manual changes to reverse. Custom prompts are developed by marketers to ask for the same permission as the native prompt, but can allow for branding and enhanced messaging about the value of the opt-in opportunity.

It’s often helpful to create custom prompts that can be used before the native prompt appears so that you can have more control over the messaging, and also because if the answer is “no,” you still have another chance to communicate the value in a better way, and ask another time. You don’t have the same flexibility with a native prompt—once they say no, it’s much more difficult to change settings and modify in the future. It’s also helpful to “prime for push” or other opt-in requests by clearly laying out the value of the functionality during onboarding and choosing to prompt at just the right moment (which is usually not immediately after install).

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Our clever, custom opt-in prompts are performing way better than those generic iOS prompts.”

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Personalization

/ˈpərs(ə)nəˌlīz āSH(ə)n/

TL:DR

Using technology to take into account the individual preferences and tendencies of each user when communicating with them.

DEFINITION

Taking data and using it to match the customer experiences to each individual customer is known as personalization. While personalization can be something as simple as email that feeds in real first names (“Hi, Jim!”), it can also be as complex as porting information from each user’s customer profile into the messages you send. The goal of personalization is to effectively drive relevant valuable experiences without overstepping customer boundaries.

The best neighborhood merchants know their customers. They know their names and their product preferences. The distance and screen-y nature of digital marketing puts obvious walls between you and your customers, but data can reveal customer behavior and preferences. If marketers have the tools they need to capture this information, and if they’re smart about how they use this data, users can feel seen and understood as individuals. This will do a lot to endear them to your brand.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“At its core, personalization is about engaging with each customer as an individual.”

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Predictive Analytics

\pri-ˈdik-tiv\ \ˌa-nə-ˈli-tiks\

TL:DR

Predictive analytics, like send-time optimization and automatic A/B testing winner selection and sending, allow you to use existing user information to create successful, personalized campaigns.

DEFINITION

Predictive analytics are data tools in marketing automation platforms to help you learn from the past and make educated guesses about how your marketing techniques will perform in the future. Much more effective than operating on hunches, these analytics mine user data to estimate the performance of tactics like send time, segmentation, variations, and channel usage.

When integrated with an MMA (mobile marketing automation platform), predictive analytics can help marketers automate the selection and sending of the most successful messages. This might include monitoring A/B test results and distributing the more effective version or customizing send times according to previous user activity levels. Used carefully, it can help to create the ideal conditions for personalized marketing at scale: targeting the right person with right message at the right time—and providing the value they seek.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Until we develop time travel, predictive analytics are the best way to predict the performance of a marketing campaign, and it’s all based on the information collected from user interactions.”

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Priming for Push

\ˈprīm iŋ\ \fər\ \ˈpu̇sh\

TL:DR

Priming for push is a way to encourage more customers to enable push notifications by laying out the benefits to doing so before making the opt-in request.

DEFINITION

Priming for push is a method of encouraging customers to opt in for push notifications that uses in-app messages to walk recipients through the benefits of opting in before asking them to approve the request to enable push.

It is primarily used for iOS apps—because iOS apps, unlike Android, have always been required to ask for customer permissions one by one, rather than en masse—and for web sites that support web push notifications; however, the principal behind this approach can also be used to increase the chances that customers agree to grant other app permissions, such as access to customer contacts or physical locations.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“When we first started using push notifications, we’d just trigger the system opt-in prompt and hope for the best; now, by priming for push, we’ve been able to increase the number of users enabling push and retain the ability to ask people who decline to opt in later.”

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Push Action Buttons

\ ˈpu̇sh \ \ ˈak-shən \ \ ˈbə-tᵊn \

TL:DR

Push action buttons make it possible for users to take action directly from a notification using...you guessed it...buttons!

DEFINITION

Push notifications are a powerful communication tool, but they’ve traditionally been for one-way communication. Messages are sent, and users act on them (or don’t). Push action buttons change this! They make it so that users can interact directly with your brand, straight from the notification itself, without having to open the app. For example, users can set reminders, add notifications to calendars, and change preferences without ever leaving the home screen. It’s simple, convenient, and can make for a great experience.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“With push action buttons, we let travelers check into their flight within the message itself—the whole experience was simple, easy, and didn’t require them to open the app.”

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Push Notification

\ˈpu̇sh\ \ˌnō-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən\

TL:DR

A push notification is a brief, attention-getting message sent directly to a user’s screen, whether that screen is on a smartphone, tablet, computer, or wearable device.

DEFINITION

A push notification is a (usually brief) message delivered by a server directly to a computer or mobile device. Strongly associated with apps following Apple’s decision to let brands send push to iPhone users in 2009, push notifications can also be delivered to web visitors on desktop and mobile, as well as to wearable devices like smart watches. These messages appear on the screen of a user’s device or computer—even if they’re not currently using that brand’s app or visiting their website, making push an effective way to grab someone’s attention.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“I hadn’t used the SoulPatchR app in a few weeks, but when they sent me a push notification letting me know about their new beard tracking feature, I decided to check it out.”

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Rate Limiting

\ˈrāt\ \ˈli-mə-tiŋ\

TL:DR

Rate limiting restricts the number of messages sent during a period of time to avoid overloading servers.

DEFINITION

Rate limiting is the process of restricting the number of messages sent in a period of time to avoid overwhelming responses or to a particular person who might be in multiple segments. If you have a mega deal to announce and a lot of subscribers, a single push notification could be enough to overload your servers with traffic and put a major damper on your momentum. Better to set rate limits so that, say, only 10,000 messages send each minute, which will stagger the response.

If using rate limiting, it's important to do the math for any time or supply limited offers. Depending on your database, limits might mean that some messages won't be sent for a day or longer (5M at 10K per minute will take more than two days and the offer may be expired.) You also might want to coordinate with other delivery features, like send-time optimization or frequency caps.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Rate limiting for a popular campaign can keep your servers running and conversions moving.”

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Relationship Marketing

\ˈrē-ˌlāˌ-shən-ˌship\ \ˈmär-kə-tiŋ\

TL:DR

Relationship marketing is marketing that focuses on nurturing and maintaining mutually beneficial customer/brand relationships over the long haul.

DEFINITION

Relationship marketing is an approach to marketing that focuses on the creation and maintenance of durable, give-and-take relationships between a brand and its customers. While relationship marketing has its roots in traditional one-on-one relationships between consumers and local merchants, the rise of mobile has made it possible for marketers to nurture these kinds of relationships with customers around the world at an unprecedented scale.

By using email, push notifications, and other digital messaging channels, marketers can now continuously provide personalized value and allow their customers to convey their preferences and exercise increased control over their experiences with that brand. That promotes a stronger customer/brand relationship and makes it more likely that the relationship serves both parties’ interests.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“We turned to a relationship marketing approach because we were having trouble holding onto the new app users we acquired.”

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Retargeting

\ri-ˈtär-gə-tiŋ\

TL:DR

Retargeting is reminder messaging that takes a different approach (or uses a different channel) when a user does not engage or take a specific action.

DEFINITION

Retargeting is a way to follow up with users to encourage them to take a particular action that they didn’t take in the first instance. For example, if someone opens your app but doesn’t read your Content Card about new features, an in-app message could trigger later to invite them to read it. You can also retarget users who didn't open an email with a push notification a few days later. For retention marketers, retargeting is about making the most of the channels you have to ensure that you reach users with information that’s particularly useful or important.

In the larger marketing world, and especially for acquisition marketers, the term is often used to refer specifically to “follow” ads that display for cookied web visitors, with the goal of encouraging them to come back. The general concept of retargeting for both acquisition and retention marketers is the same: get a user to complete an action they didn’t take the first time, but the differences are worth noting.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Retargeting users through push notifications when they don’t open our weekly emails has really helped boost the number of sessions exploring our newly released content.”

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Rich Push

\ ˈrich \\ ˈpu̇sh \

TL:DR

A push notification capable of including an image, GIF, video, or in-message experience as well as just text.

DEFINITION

While people tend to associate push notifications with short, copy-focused messages, the introduction of iOS 10 in 2016 made it possible to include images, GIFs, and videos, among other rich experiences, within the push that brands send to their customers. Traditional push notifications have limited space, and while text-only messages can certainly still do the trick in many cases, images and video can take an idea that much further in the same amount of space.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“If you send a rich push notification, you can include a picture of the items that are on sale, instead of just a sentence talking about how great they are.”

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SDK

\ ˈes \ \ ˈdē \\ ˈkā \

TL:DR

SDK = software development kit, which is code (written by a third party) that can be added to existing mobile or desktop apps to supplement to their basic functionality.

DEFINITION

SDKs (AKA software development kits) give brands the ability to add in functionalities that make their mobile apps or websites function more effectively.

Imagine that you’ve got a native app, and you want to add a social media component . Social media integration code for apps already exists out there, so why reinvent the wheel? You might refer to the Facebook iOS SDK, for example, to find code that will enable you to incorporate these components into your app. SDKs are great when there’s an opportunity to fundamentally improve the performance of your app or website or provide a solution to a development obstacle that would otherwise have been difficult or time/resource-intensive to create in-house.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“My team needs a customer engagement solution that can help us gather user data, so we are looking into marketing platforms with SDKs that can be integrated to our existing platform.”

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Segmentation

\seg-mən-ˈtā-shən\

TL:DR

Segmentation is breaking users into groups to provide each with more relevant content.

DEFINITION

Segmentation is a strategy of breaking similar users or customers into groups to improve the ability to tailor messages to their needs and interests. Once you have enough data about users to start developing segments, creating messages or campaigns to target particular segments can have a big pay off for conversions.

Segments can be developed based on almost any characteristic, as long as your CRM collects that data, but it is often helpful to segment based on where different users are in the customer journey. By identifying current habits, you can encourage users to become more engaged and increase conversions. Successful segmentation strategies have clear goals and continually analyze and test to improve segments.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Segmentation of our users is the bedrock of our customer relationship strategy, because we can really target our messaging to their different needs.”

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Spam Testing

\ ˈspam \\ ˈte-stiŋ \

TL:DR

Spam testing helps brands predict whether their emails will make it through to a user’s inbox, or if they’re more likely to land in a spam folder.

DEFINITION

To improve open and bounce rates on email marketing, brands use spam testing tools to to receive suggestions about how to keep their messaging from being mislabeled as spam. An effective spam testing tool can assess your email subject lines and in-message content, then make suggestions about how to improve deliverability.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“With our big annual sale coming up, we wanted to make sure we could get the word out effectively—so we leveraged spam testing to help suss out what kinds of messages would get to their inboxes."

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Stickiness

\ˈsti-kē\ˈnes\

TL:DR

Stickiness is a measurement (daily active users divided by monthly active users) that indicates whether users keep coming back and relevance in users’ lives.

DEFINITION

Stickiness in marketing, in general, refers to how memorable something is—how well a brand or concept “sticks” in the mind of consumers.

For mobile apps, it’s a metric directly related to DAU (daily active users) and MAU (monthly active users). Stickiness can be calculated by dividing the daily active users by monthly active users. This gives you the percentage of your monthly users who are coming back (the higher, the better).

What excites people enough to stick around and keep coming back? Careful attention to user experience and always ensuring that you’re providing value should increase your stickiness over time.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“When we started using strategic push notifications to bring users back to our app, our stickiness metric increased.”

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Sunsetting

\ˈsən\-ˌset\ \ˈtiŋ\

TL:DR

Sunsetting is ceasing to send messages to disengaged users.

DEFINITION

Sunsetting is the process of identifying and ceasing to send messages to disengaged users—in other words, cleaning up your list. Sometimes users become disinterested in a product, but don’t go to the trouble to unsubscribe from email lists or uninstall apps.

While there is hope for re-engagement in some cases with the proper strategy, in many ways, leaving these users in your campaigns and continuing to send messages is problematic. It negatively impacts your open rates and for email, may lead to low priority or spam sorting by ISPs, which can hurt deliverability for your entire list. Companies should develop sunset policies to identify when a user is sufficiently disengaged (based on spam reports, time since last click or open, etc.) so that they’re left off of active messaging lists. Some policies include one final attempt to engage before sunsetting.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“We’ve updated our push and email sunset policies to include anyone who marked our email as spam or hasn’t opened or clicked in over three months.”

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Triggered Message

\ˈtri-gərd\ \ˈme-sij\

TL:DR

A triggered message is automated outreach sent in response to a predetermined user event.

DEFINITION

Triggered messages are automated marketing communications that are sent in response to a pre-selected user event. Some may be standard transactional messages, such as a confirmation email after a purchase, but campaigns can be built to encourage particular actions and then send a campaign after the does or doesn’t take the action. Onboarding campaigns can be triggered by a first app open or account set up, an abandoned cart left five days could lead to a reminder push message, and loyalty campaigns can start once a number of purchases have been made within a time-limited window.

These types of messages are a crucial component for relationship marketing because they allow you to respond to specific user actions rather than sending batch and blast campaigns. The structure of the trigger is dependent upon actionable data and many CRMs provide for other customizations like delays and frequency capping, to help ensure the message will be seen and at the best time.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Our triggered message campaign that sends after subscription has really increased the number of secondary purchases.”

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User Profile

\ˈyü-z ər\ \ˈprō-ˌfī(-ə)l\

TL:DR

A user profile is a digital collection of demographic and behavioral data on a given individual.

DEFINITION

A user profile is a digital collection of information about a particular customer or user that’s used to support the larger customer/brand relationship. By gathering this data in a single location, user profiles make it easier for marketers to understand and engage their audience effectively. While the information contained within a user profile often focuses on a customer’s in-app behavior and preferences, it’s also possible to include a wide variety of other data types—including web activity and in-store purchases—and to augment the information contained in each profile using weather data and other information powered by third-party APIs.

USED IN A SENTENCE

"Thanks to the data in Bill’s user profile, we were able to encourage him to make a purchase by sending him a personalized push notification highlighting a sale on his favorite brand of sneakers."

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Webhooks

\ˈwebˈhu̇k\

TL:DR

Webhooks are callback notifications that allow for user behaviors to trigger non-app actions like account changes, sending an SMS, or posting social media messages.

DEFINITION

A webhook is a tool that allows you to trigger marketing actions based on data or events and connect to other servers or systems in real time. Since servers, messaging systems, and marketing CRMs aren’t always integrated, webhooks allow marketers to keep up with user events and use all the data at their disposal to trigger messages and other actions. They function like an API but focus on immediately transferring information for specific actions.

Webhooks can be used by marketers to ensure that key actions to occur seamlessly for the user. For example, if a user hits a milestone in a gaming app, the webhook associated with that milestone could ensure that their account is updated to place them in a higher ranking segment, or credit their account with a coupon. Webhooks can also be used to communicate with users on social media, via SMS, or through other third-party systems. Not all marketing automation platforms support webhooks, so you’ll want to consider including webhook support when putting together your RFP.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“After our app crashed on Black Friday, we used webhooks to automatically credit the accounts of affected customers with a one-day 10% discount.”

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Web Messaging

\ˈweb\ \ˈme-sij-in\

TL:DR

Web messaging is a type of customer communication that reaches web viewers via their browser.

DEFINITION

Web messaging is a type of brand-to-customer communication that makes it possible to reach people via web browser, whether on desktop or through the mobile web. By making it possible for marketers to engage, retain, and monetize their audience of web viewers, web messaging can help brands broaden their reach, support coordinated multichannel messaging across web and mobile, and strengthen their customer/brand relationships across the board.

The two major forms of web messaging are web push notifications (also known as web push) and in-browser messages, which closely resemble mobile app push notifications and in-app messages, respectively. These messaging channels can be used to reach web visitors on both desktop and the mobile web, making them a versatile way to stay in touch with customers through their browser.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“I had no idea that web messaging was even a thing—until I got an in-browser message while I was shopping for shoes online.”

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Whitelabel

ˈwīt\ \ˈlā-bəl\

TL:DR

Whitelabeling masks various products you use, like mobile marketing automation platforms, so that it looks like users are receiving emails directly from your domain.

DEFINITION

Whitelabeling is the process of re-branding or masking a product so that it looks and feels like your site or domain. Of the more important forms, marketers can use whitelabeling to customize emails to your domain so they look to end-users like they are coming directly from you even if they are being sent through your CRM, ESP, or marketing platform vendor. Email whitelabeling is critical for reputation and deliverability as it vastly increases the likelihood users will engage with those emails and ISPs will be more likely to deliver them to the Inbox instead of spam.

Rather than showing the email coming from Appboy or SendGrid, for example, users and their ISPs/mailbox providers will recognize your domain as the source. Whitelabeling is accomplished using your email marketing platform through the creation of sending subdomains and DNS records which your development team will add to your DNS system.

USED IN A SENTENCE

“Our open and click rates really went up after we whitelabeled our domain—I guess our customers feel better about engaging if they know they message is from us.”

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