Mirela Cialai is an award-nominated mobile marketer and frequent speaker with a passion for, and expertise in the mobile marketing space. She has 15+ years of experience leading global digital strategy within multinational environments spanning EMEA, APAC, NORAM and LATAM, driving marketing programs with an emphasis on brand awareness, digital and mobile innovation, and inspiring leadership. Currently, she leads mobile marketing strategy at Zinio, whose mission is to bring innovation and inspiration to the world of magazine publishers and consumers by delivering the ultimate digital reading experience on any device.
1. What’s the biggest myth in this industry?
When it comes to the digital news industry, the biggest myth has been that readers engage with news and magazine apps on-the-go, when commuting or when traveling, but it turns out, the majority of our most-engaged readers access the app when they are relaxing at home during the weekend.
2. What are your top check points when testing a new partner or vendor?
Our biggest pain point is the fact that we have limited development resources, so the first thing we look at when evaluating a new partner is the integration process, the amount of resources needed, how long it would take, complexity, etc. Second, how well do their services meet our needs, do they provide all the tools / services required. Cost is also important vs. benefits delivered. Depending on the type of platform and the services offered, having the option of a free short-term trial before committing to a long-term contract might play an important role too.
3. What KPIs do you use to measure success?
When it comes to analyzing mobile marketing profitability we look at retention rate, LTV, ROAS, and in terms of overall app engagement we look at DAU (daily active users), session length, uninstalls, engagement rate for push & in-app, opt-outs, etc
4. Tell us about the first big success in your mobile app career?
The first big success was the nomination to the British Media Awards for the Best Campaign of the Year back in 2015. It was a huge surprise, and it felt amazing to be recognized by industry peers.
Our winning campaign – the 2014 Holiday Countdown – was a multipurpose promotional marketing effort, targeting various segments of users with the objective of engaging existing customers, reactivating lapsed customers, converting non-purchasers into subscribers, expanding our customer base, acquiring new customers, and ultimately increasing revenue.
What we did differently in the campaign in comparison to previous campaigns, was tailor each offer to a specific segment of users. Our strategy was greatly influenced by research and previous A/B tests, which helped our team gain a better understanding of the type of offer each segment was most likely to respond to. While each segment was targeted with specific offers, every message encouraged customers to visit Zinio daily and discover a different new offer every day, which helped increase traffic and engagement.
Some of the results achieved:
- 218% increase in email open rates
- 69% increase in click through rate
- 156% increase in revenue for emails targeting non-purchasers
- 327% increase in revenue for emails targeting active and inactive customers
5. What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your career as an app growth expert?
I think one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is the fact that driving growth by focusing all marketing efforts on acquiring new users is not enough. On average, 70% – 80% of new app users drop off within the first week, so without a strong engagement program in place to prevent users from dropping off, all the money spent on acquisition are wasted.
6. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
In full honesty I’m actually terrible at singing, though if I was ever in a situation where I had to do it, my go-to karaoke song would be Aretha Franklin – Respect. I’m a huge fan!!
7. If you could have one person alive today call you for advice, who would you want it to be?
My younger self ! 🙂
8. If you could possess any superpower what would it be?
The power to heal any disease.
9. If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid for 1 week, where would it be?
10. If you weren’t an app growth expert, what would you be?
A fitness influencer.