FAQs: How to Use Custom Events for More Effective Mobile Messaging

Custom Event Basics

What are mobile app “events” and what are they used for?

The term “events” refers to specific actions a user takes in your app, which you can capture with mobile analytics tracking.

  • Track key conversions in your app;
  • Tie those conversions back to corresponding mobile engagement campaigns; and
  • Better target users based on what they do.

What goals will custom events help me achieve?

Custom events allow you to respond to how often or how much a user does something in your app — and trigger an automated (or standard) notification, in real time.

  • Send a push notification or in-app message based on users adding an object to a shopping cart then navigating away from the cart;
  • Automatically prompt users via an in-app message to respond to a survey based on their interaction with a new live video feed that was just released;
  • Automatically schedule a follow up push notification to congratulate users after they start a training session.

How are tags different from custom events?

Tags are static labels for users that tell you something about that user — as a result of them either interacting with your messaging, or from their device properties.

How do custom events work with real time marketing automation?

Custom events can trigger the deployment of real-time automated mobile messaging.

When I want to personalize or segment my mobile messaging, how do I know when I would leverage tags versus custom events?

Tags capture what a user is; a Red Sox fan, a subscriber. These are attributes that are often static.

  • You can use tags on their own to segment your audience by who they are.
  • You can use events on their own to segment your audience by what they do.
  • You can use custom events on their own to segment what they do by a value you assign.
  • You can also combine all of these options for even more powerful personalization.

What should I do if I just have tags set up? Do I now have to move to using custom events to segment my audience?

If you just have tags in your app, that’s a great start. You do not have to move everything over to custom events.

Implementing Custom Events

What custom events should I consider using in my mobile app?

Explore your app as a new user and ask: what are the key actions that you could take? Are any of these actions things you’d like to measure, such as how much is money is spent, or how many times something is visited? These actions may be useful custom events.

  • Registering for a paid premium account
  • Favoriting or starring a piece of content
  • Adding an item to a cart
  • Making a purchase (with the option of adding additional properties, like a value)
  • Sharing a link to a product on social media

How do I set up custom events in Urban Airship?

One way is to pre-wire them within your app, which requires a small amount of dev effort, and an app update.

I already have my app tagged for Google Analytics. Do I have to tag everything again in Urban Airship?

Customers using Google Analytics can proxy Google Analytics events as Urban Airship Custom Events. Check out our documentation for iOS and Android on GitHub.

Are there any limits or restrictions related to custom events?

Custom events can be a combination of URL safe, alphanumeric characters, underscores, and colons.

Mobile Monetization and Custom Events for Specific Industries

How can custom events help me monetize my retail mobile app?

Shopping cart abandonment creates lost revenue for retailers. Custom events related to “added to cart” and “not purchased,” — as well as cancellation events if a purchase is made — allow you to recapture these users. (Get our step-by-step guide on creating a cart abandonment custom event here.)

How can custom events help me monetize my media mobile app?

Custom events can be used to measure how many times an app user consumes content — giving you a sense of how engaged they are. You may want to set a custom event that a user who reads X pieces of content receives an in-app message about starting a subscription.

How can custom events help me monetize my mobile gaming app?

Custom events can be used to track user progression through gaming levels or spend level, allowing you to engage users with different messaging as they move from one level to another.

Mobile Analytics For Custom Events

Where can I see reporting on custom events?

If you are using Engage, event data is shown in our Reports dashboard.

What analytics are provided on custom events?

We track whether or not each custom event is:

What extra reporting will I have with custom events in place?

With Engage, we provide reporting on custom events in aggregate, and via the Engage Campaign Level Custom Events Table.

Using Custom Events for Growth Marketing

The power of custom events is the ability to measure and message as user behavior changes. Better insights means better messaging. And better, more targeted messaging helps retain app users.

Ready to Get Started?

Want more help making sure you’re making the most of your mobile messaging? Our Strategic Services team can review your goals and KPIs, and help you make sure your mobile messaging strategies and tactics are set up to meet and beat them. Schedule a consultation with our Strategic Services Team today.

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