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Retention Masterclass

Retention Masterclass

By John Koetsier, Peggy Anne Salz
Post-acquisition marketing is massively undervalued.

So much marketing to date has been acquisition-focused. Now the top marketers on the planet are turning to customer experience and user retention.

We interview them and share their secrets with you.
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Solving customer retention 8,000 apps at time

Retention Masterclass

New Retention Masterclass! Finally! And ... pls come to the new show!
Yes ... this is the first Retention Masterclass in 9 months! But Peggy & John are still doing shows ... just in a different place. And we want you to join us Join the new show here: Apple Podcasts: Spotify: Google Podcasts: And other platforms: Plus, you can watch us (you know you want to). YouTube is here:
November 29, 2021
The new mobile economy runs on subscriptions. How do you optimize them?
Subscriptions are the new revenue.  The new economy runs on subscriptions. News, games, videos … transportation … homes … meals … almost everything is or can be a subscription. Which means: if you want to win in the new economy, you’d better get good at driving subscription revenue. In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier interview Vitaly Davydov, CEO and co-founder of Adapty.
February 24, 2021
Apps for kids: 350M installs, subscriptions, and mobile user retention for kids in Sago Mini World
Apps for kids is a totally difference space than games, on-demand apps, or any other part of the app ecosystem aimed at teens or adults. In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and I chat with the product manager for Sago Mini World, Brennan Clark. Clark, who's led the company to over 350 million app installs and helped Sago Mini World transition to a subscription monetization model in 2017, shares how to ethically market and deliver apps for kids ... and how to deal with the fact that your user is one person, but your customer is another (parents). Both Peggy and I loved this interview: super-informative, super-interesting, and packed with insights that will be valuable for mobile marketers of all kinds of different apps.
January 02, 2021
Why NPS is narcissistic. And ... how to achieve 95% accuracy in predicting churn
Forecasting leaky buckets is super-helpful whether you're adding new users to your mobile app or new customers to your SaaS startup. In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier chat with Lift founder and CEO Dan Hestbaek. He works with companies in 90 countries to reduce church by an average of 30% and is able to predict church with astounding accuracy. But NPS is not a great measure, according to Dan. We chat about why ... the signs of churn ... the causes ... the solutions ... and how to stop churn before it even starts.
December 07, 2020
Mobile user retention: when you HATE HATE HATE paying for the same user again and again and again
Dan Beasley, co-founder of Viker game studio in London, is launching Who Wants To Be a Millionaire on mobile in December 2020. Peggy Anne Salz and I chat with him on this episode of Retention Masterclass. We chat about the new game, about retention-first mobile marketing, typical mistakes in mobile user retention, and his best advice for game designers and marketers. We also talk about aligning app design for retention, what to do after the Corona bump, and what's next in gaming ...
November 19, 2020
Building subscription businesses that monetize: Chatting with Google's former product manager for self-driving cars and iOS app
How do you build a viable subscription business? Well, knowing your customers' needs better than they do themselves is a good start. In this episode of Retention Masterclass, we chat with former Google product manager Nick Hobbs about retention, acquisition, and product strategy for subscription-based businesses. Hobbs worked on the Google self-driving car team and led Google's iOS app. In our discussion, he chats about what he's doing with Brief, his new subscription-based news services that is hot among millennials and is doubling in customer size every month organically, without paid advertising. The result: literally startling insights and solid nuggets for anyone growing a subscription-based service or app.
November 12, 2020
Retention by design, with a Rovio art director: creativity, games, and keeping your users
We tend to think of great design as something that captures attention. But is it also something that keeps attention … and fosters retention? In this episode of Retention Masterclass Peggy Anne Salz and I are talking with Tatu Petersen-Jessen, an art director at Rovio, about design and creative in mobile games from acquisition to retention. Rovio’s mission statement is to “craft joy with player-focused gaming experiences that last for decades.” That’s kind of amazing … decades. Most gaming companies don’t think like that … they think of a day, a week, a few months. Rovio’s thinking retention right out of the gate. It seems to be working, too. In 2018, Rovio announced that their apps had been downloaded 4 billion times … and used in places like the International Space Station and Antarctica.  But now … I’m guessing it might be 5 or 6 billion.
November 06, 2020
Mobile measurement in the age of privacy with Brian Krebs of MetricWorks
As every mobile marketer on the planet knows … iOS 14 will in effect deprecate the IDFA by making it opt-in. The IDFA is likely going the way of the dodo bird and the third-party cookie. The Google Ad ID (GAID) might follow in a year or so. Does that mean the end of mobile marketing measurement? Not according to Brian Krebs of MetricWorks. In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier chat with Brian about measurement and retention in the age of privacy.
October 28, 2020
From Batman to you: mobile app retention for UTILITY apps
We almost never talk about utility apps. That's odd, because utilities is a top-5 app category on both Google Play and iOS, and there are many multiple billion-install apps in Utilities … think browsers, VPNs … search apps … and, of course emojis. Today, we’re going to fix that. In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and I chat with Oded Onn, the senior VP of growth marketing for AppsFlyer, and a former exec with Gett, an ride-sharing/taxi app.
October 22, 2020
What can 120 million members and $1.7 billion in cash rewards teach us about retention?
What can 120 million members and $1.7 billion in cash rewards teach us about retention?  You’ve probably never heard of Prodege. But you’ve probably heard of SwagBucks, or MyPoints, ShopAtHome, CouponCause, or Shoply, or a bunch of other different brands. They’re all brands from Prodege, which connects brands and consumers around coupons and cash rewards for buying or taking action on a company’s offer. Prodege is a customer acquisition giant that has quietly become one of the world’s largest non-social and non-search marketing channels.  With that kind of scale … you’d think they’d know a little about customer acquisition and retention ... so in this episode of Retention Masterclass Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier chat with the company’s VP of revenue and business development, Lenny Rabin. Get a full transcript of this episode here:
October 08, 2020
The mobile user retention tech stack with Christian Eckhardt, CEO of Customlytics
We all know about the mobile growth tech stack ... but what tech stack do you need for world-class mobile user retention? In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier chat with Christian Eckhardt, CEO of Customlytics. Formerly from Delivery Hero, Christian is a mobile user retention expert. We chat about "CRM" for mobile, the tech that supports it, and messaging formats and channels that help. One quote from the show: "My co-founder and I, well I think it's fair to conclude that we never really have done anything else than mobile marketing in our lives."
September 25, 2020
Product is the new marketing: chatting with the chief product officer of CleverTap
Retention is simple. But simple … doesn’t mean easy. In this episode of Retention Masterclass we chat with Vishal Anand, the CPO of CleverTap. Marketers spend a lot of time focused on how to retain users: what to do, when. How to onboard. What to show first. How to train. What messages to send.  But sometimes, we forget the simplest things. It’s all about the product! It’s all about the user experience … the customer experience. I mean, technique matters and technology matters, but if you don’t have a good product ... TikTok isn’t addictive because they have a better tech stack than you. Facebook doesn’t have a billion users because they send smarter push notifications. (Big hint, they don’t!) Clash of Clans isn’t STILL the top-grossing app because they onboard correctly. Note: Peggy Anne Salz had technical issues, so this episode is just with John Koetsier.
September 10, 2020
Fat funnels, marketing, and doctors that drive customer retention
Are fat funnels good, even for medical professionals? Every smart marketer knows that customer retention is about much more than marketing. So today we’re talking to a head of product. She happens to be Dr. Ruth Guthoff-Rechnagel from Doctor Care Anywhere and, as you can guess from the name, she's been pretty busy during the current Covid-19 period. So busy that, she says, her funnels are fat. In this episode Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier chat with Ruth about marketing, product, and -- of course -- retention.
August 21, 2020
PicsArt: What acquiring 1 billion users teaches you about retention
What does acquiring a billion users teach you about retention? In this episode of Retention Masterclass Peggy Anne Salz and I chat about PicsArt, which is a true global phenomenon. It’s in the top .1% of apps in terms of installs, it’s hugely popular, and people have used it to create and share over 100 million pictures and images.  But before you get a billion users, you have to start with one. And that means you need a value proposition that works, a funnel that’s solid, and a user experience that delivers. So we chat with Jeff Roberto, VP of Growth Marketing, to learn more about how PicsArt has become a global phenomenon … with serious staying power.  Somehow, PicsArt, which is now about 7 or 8 years old … has 150M regular active users … and is still growing! In the fast-paced mobile ecosystem, that's impressive.
August 06, 2020
Hooked: how to build mobile habits for better user retention, with Fouad Saeidi from App Growth Network
How do you hook mobile users to maximize retention? In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier interview Fouad Saeidi, the founder of App Growth Network. He's a gamer, he makes games, and he markets games ... so it's kind of the full meal deal. We talk about:  - growth  - monetization  - retention (of course) ... a 40% jump, even  - user engagement  -  gamification  - habit formation  - push notifications  - key learnings  - and, as always ... much more!
July 22, 2020
Benchmarks are bogus and measurements are meaningless, with Brian Balfour of Reforge
Are benchmarks bogus? Is measurement meaningless? In this edition of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier chat with Brian Balfour about the perils of benchmarks and measurement. Brian was the VP of Growth at Hubspot, which now has almost 80,000 customers. He’s been a founder and an entrepreneur in residence. He’s also the founder and CEO of Reforge, maybe the best place on the planet for the best marketers to learn how to be even better.1 We chat about:  - retention  - benchmarks  - measurement  - why retention is an output  - whether you can engineer in retention or not  - some of the best examples of retention he's seen  - keeping marginal audiences you acquired because of COVID-19
July 16, 2020
Superheroes of mobile: Getting, keeping, and monetizing users with the best in the business
How do you grow your mobile business sustainably for the long term? In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier talk about what every mobile publisher wants: great users and great customers. And they don’t just want to get them, they want to keep them. And guess what … they also want to monetize them. So ... we interview a lot of retention heroes on this show and we figured it's time to start talking to some of the radioactive spiders that turn them into heroes.  One company that helps publishers accomplish that better than most is Liftoff. To learn a little bit more, we chat with Dennis Mink, the VP of Marketing at Liftoff. What we talk about:  - evolution of mobile  - users vs customers  - Apple killing the IDFA  - COVID-19 and retention  - the ROI of retargeting  - B2B retention marketing  - biggest mistakes in mobile retention
June 26, 2020
Personalization is a plus in a pandemic: Ian Leslie, CMO of Industry West
How do you get people to spend $3,000 online for a sofa they’ve never couchsurfed? And how do you increase sales while decreasing cost of customer acquisition? In this episode of Retention Masterclass Peggy Ann Salz and John Koetsier chat with Ian Leslie, CMO at Industry West. Industry West supplies modern furniture to the likes of Facebook, Airbnb, and Google ... and you! The company has seen consistent 25-30% growth over the past few years, and AOV for repeat visitors is massive. In a pandemic, their online-first retail sales approach is working better than ever. How? Personalization leading to retention.
May 28, 2020
Mobile engagement, retention, and frameworks with the godfather of the mobile growth stack, Andy Carvell
Any mobile marketer wants better engagement and higher retention. One of the ways to get there is applying the right frameworks with the right tools to build and deepen connection with your users and customers.   (It also helps to have a great mobile app ...) In this episode of the Retention Masterclass video podcast, my co-host Peggy Anne Salz and I interview the godfather of the mobile growth stack, Andy Carvell, a partner at the mobile growth consultancy Phiture. Yes, that mobile growth stack with no fewer than 58 separate boxes across multiple rows like Acquisition and Monetization and pillars like Channels.   Topics:   - engagement   - retention   - mobile growth stack (or blob!)   - AIC   - RRF   - RFM   - Best channels to boost engagement   - and much more ...
May 15, 2020
Dark arts & magic in marketing: Ogilvy vice-chairman Rory Sutherland on data and when not to use it
You don't get 7 million TED talk views for nothing. Rory Sutherland is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK and the author of “Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life.” And we had a wide-ranging, crazy, seminal, wonderful, and entertaining discussion! A short list of the topics we hit: Why marketing is not physics Why linear thinking doesn’t make quantum breakthroughs Why brands should START with retention before anything else Alchemy and magic AB testing (yes, he uses data!) What Uber’s killer feature really is How brands really only need to done one thing brilliantly to be successful Hotels and weatherproofing Why Tesla’s dog mode made a non-dog-owner want to buy one DoubleTree’s chocolate chip cookie Rory’s friend Dave Why brands should ask their customers to do them a favor How brands can get COVID-19 era marketing horribly wrong Delivering drinking water in vans Consumer loyalty Brand loyalty to customers What Amazon gets right Why your price should probably be higher to sell more Clock radios Nespresso versus Maxwell House The beautiful insanity of Dyson vacuums and hair dryers Use data to exploit versus using data to explore Data versus common sense P values (in analytics and statistics) Mental lockjaw
April 30, 2020
MasterClass' top marketing expert on Retention Masterclass: Thomas Hopkins, performance and lifecycle marketing manager at Masterclass
You're not seeing double. It is very meta, but we have a top exec from THE MasterClass ... the one with teachers like Serena Williams, Martin Scorsese, Dr. Jane Goodall, Natalie Portman, and Gordon Ramsey ... on Retention Masterclass, the podcast.  In this episode of Retention Masterclass, Thomas Hopkins, who leads performance and lifecycle marketing at MasterClass, speaking about:  - subscriptions  - offers  - retention (of course!)  - why they went full-meal deal on their subscription  - the North Star metrics he lives by at Masterclass  - what he's using this COVID-19 break for  ... and much more!
April 15, 2020
Customer acquisition and retention in a COVID-19 world with Rebecca Nackson (iHeartMedia, Audible, IBM, Notable)
Do marketers have funnel vision? Do they have the right tools, tech, and tactics for customer retention? And the right teams working in harmony? Rebecca Nackson, who led marketing for teams at iHeartMedia, Audible, IBM, and multiple startups, talks to Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier about marketing, retention, and acquisition ... and the changes taking place with Coronavirus sweeping the planet. We discuss:  - customer journeys  - "messaging moments"  - 3T: teams, tech, tactics  - segmented by recency, frequency, and monetization  - marketing spend and focus in the COVID-19 or Coronavirus era
April 03, 2020
Magnetic brands: attraction is the new acquisition
If your brand disappeared tomorrow … would anyone care? Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier interview CleverTap's head of brand Charles Orlando. He's a 25-year veteran of marketing, branding, and telling stories, with stops at Cisco and Intuit as well as Humanity. We talk about:  - what does "magnetic" mean for a brand?  - how does a brand become magnetic?  - what does "brand" really mean? and where does it really exist?  - companies that are doing it right  - brands that are doing it wrong ... and MUCH more!
March 23, 2020
Customer retention for on-demand services: learning from Uber and Wag
Jessy Hanley has led marketing and retention roles at Uber and Wag, and she's now leading similar efforts at a multi-billion-dollar global brand. In this episode, Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier interview her to learn the secrets of retention in on-demand marketplaces, and she shares her insights on cohorts, peeling back the onion of what an app or service does, and much more. TOPICS INCLUDE:  - segmentation via RFM: recency, frequency, and monetization  - the GREAT product lifecycle: greet, ramp, evolve, amplify, and treasure  - why you never just look at averages  - heart metrics and head metrics  - brand magnetism and it's impact on users & customers  - the happy path (for customers)  - and the unhappy path ... and much, much more!
March 12, 2020
Solving customer retention 8,000 apps at time
According to AppsFlyer, brands are spending $60B this year to acquire new mobile users. But within a week marketers have lost nearly 66% of their users. That means 40 to 50 billion dollars will almost literally just go up in smoke. BUT ... if you just spent a fraction of those billions fixing retention … and building the kind of brand experience that would attract new organic customers … you’d be way ahead. Today we talk with Sunil Thomas, co-founder and CEO of CleverTap, which solves retention for more than 8,000 apps. How? He built a platform that enables individualization at scale and scalable analytics that are instantly actionable to save customers or users from churning. We chat about that, and the framework that you can use to make it happen. We also talk about how you can automate it, segmentation, and we touch on omnichannel engagement: messaging the right people at the right time, in the right channel.
March 03, 2020
Retention is the new acquisition (and ... hello world!)
The marketing world has gorged on acquisition over the past decade. Cheap VC money and an explosion of marketing technology for measurement and analytics have led brands to over-index on pulling in new users and new customers, and under-index on delighting those customers so that they'll stick around. After all, retention is the path to profit. This is the very first episode of Retention Masterclass, a podcast focused on keeping the customers you attract. We'll interview and highlight global experts from leading brands on exactly how you can achieve this too.
February 25, 2020