Q&A with Elsa

This Q&A reflects Elsa's time as Senior Director of Marketing at Activehours. Currently, Elsa is Consumer Product Marketing at Affirm.

Elsa Hou was formerly Senior Director of Marketing at Activehours in Palo Alto, CA. Her holistic approach to mobile marketing and focus on retaining valuable app users for the long haul has helped Elsa successfully quickly grow and monetize multiple mobile apps over the course of her career.

Read Elsa's latest article: "Four Tips for Growing a Loyal App User Base"

How did you get into mobile marketing?

I previously worked in ad tech focusing on desktop display advertising. As the industry transitioned to mobile, I saw an opportunity to advance my career and get in at the forefront of the movement and made the switch from desktop to mobile marketing.

What do you like most about mobile marketing?

I like how innovative mobile marketing is. There are a seemingly endless number of ad formats and placements to experiment with. The ecosystem is evolving rapidly so there are constantly new things to learn and try out. I enjoy the challenge of staying on top of the latest and greatest ways to grow mobile apps.

What is the biggest mistake you've made as a mobile marketer?

My biggest mistake is getting comfortable with my current marketing programs. Even if my campaigns are performing well, there's always opportunity to push the envelope and do better. In this fast-moving industry there's no room for complacency!

What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?

As a mobile marketer, you need to capture a prospective customer's attention, clearly communicate your products unique selling points, evaluate the performance of various campaigns and quickly react to changes in performance. To do this effectively, you need to be creative, analytical, and nimble.

What does a quality mobile user look like to Activehours?

A quality user for us is someone who consistently uses the app over a long period of time. Retention is extremely important for Activehours and we put a premium on driving users who exhibit a high lifetime value.

What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?

Since our product is a new concept, our customers often do heavy research on Activehours before signing up, so social proof through news articles and app store reviews has been important. We also have support functionality throughout the sign-up process, so anytime someone has a question it can be quickly addressed.

What is your biggest challenge in marketing Activehours?

My biggest challenge has been to quickly find new channels to scale marketing efficiently. Often when you test a new channel, you need to iterate on creative, targeting and placements before you are able to hit your KPI's and that requires a significant investment in time and money.

How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?

I stay ahead of changes in technology by regularly reading publications and keeping up to date with my peers in the industry. Attending industry events and talking with other mobile marketers is a great way to keep up with the latest trends and build your professional network.

How important is diversifying user acquisition outside of Facebook?

Facebook offers enormous scale and targeting abilities for mobile marketers, but your campaigns can quickly be affected by changes within the marketplace or the platform. It's important to have diversification within your marketing mix for the times when something unexpected happens. Additionally, if you are too comfortable with marketing only on Facebook you are susceptible to missing other opportunities that may actually yield better results.

How important are the holidays to your business and what season is the biggest time for you?

Our product is relevant throughout the year, so we don't see really massive changes throughout the seasons outside of media costs.

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