Iryna Newman

Director of Customer Acquisition

Q&A with Iryna

Iryna Newman is the Director of User Acquisition at Invoice2go, headquartered in Redwood City, CA. She’s found success in keenly understanding where, when, how, and on what device to speak with customers to best engage and deliver an invoicing solution.

Read Iryna’s latest blog post on turning your mobile marketing department into a profit center.

Read Iryna’s interview with VentureBeat on understanding the two-step approach to mobile user acquisition.

What does a quality mobile user look like to you?

A quality mobile user for Invoice2go is a user that has a propensity to become a paying subscriber of our product. What that means from the acquisition perspective is that if our product  is an invoicing subscription, then our ads should not be served to  teenagers with no credit cards. In general, a quality user to us is a user who, at a minimum, is a small business owner who wants a simple way to create and send invoices from their phone, wherever they are.

How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
It’s always tempting  to follow the latest trend in marketing tech, whether it’s, for example, advertising on wearables or local. The key here is to understand where your customers are. Often times our customers are driving from job to job,  so they’re not even on their mobile device. We need to think about how we talk to them. When we have their attention and they’re ready to be engaged, we focus on providing a caring experience and delivering a genuine message with a solution tailored to their needs.

What the biggest challenge that you’ve encountered in marketing Invoice2go?
The biggest challenge that I’ve encountered in marketing an app is scaling. What’s really hard is scaling a channel at an effective cost per acquisition. It’s not complex to find pockets of well-priced subscribers or purchasers, but what’s difficult is finding 10 to 50x those subscribers at the same price. That’s where we rely on creativity, strong analytics, and automation to be successful.

Are marketers too dependent on Facebook for app installs?
Diversification is extremely important for marketers, just like it’s true for investment portfolios. It’s tempting to get relaxed when one or two partners or channels work really well and stop testing new ones. When marketers get too content with early wins, they may not be not prepared for what to do when existing partners’ performance dips. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of diversification, but that comes at a cost of stretching the bandwidth and investing  in R&D and exploration without an immediate payoff.

In terms of dependency on Facebook, it’s important to understand that it’s a closed ecosystem and the players are competing for the same inventory at an auction with a finite number of high quality impressions. Prices vary by quarter and season, which is normal, and smart marketers will be prepared for that. For example, Q4 is going to get really expensive, as all retailers are going to compete for  limited inventory, so you have to plan for it in Q2 and Q3.

Another thing marketers need to realize is: You’ve never seen a person with only Facebook installed on their smartphone, right? People’s time and attention is divided between Facebook and many other applications. We want to meet users wherever they are, and from the perspective of cost, it could be more effective to give them that impression or click outside of Facebook. What’s important is finding additional touchpoints to re-engage with users and provide exposure to your product both in Facebook and the many other publishers that are interesting to that user.

What’s the biggest mistake that you’ve made as a mobile marketer?
The biggest mistake I’ve made is testing vendors that I shouldn’t have tested, or testing too many at the same time. It’s tempting to say yes to every new channel or opportunity, but it takes time (and faith) to nurture a channel. Sometimes the best thing you can do is say no, and stay focused on what you’ve committed to.

How would you describe the ideal mobile marketer?
I say that a good mobile marketer is 50% technologist, 30% analyst and 20% creative artist. What makes this job so fun is that you get to use your left brain and your right brain. You have to be very analytical and precise, and you have to understand how to emotionally connect with a person through the creative side, but at the foundation of everything you have to understand attribution and how to scale.

What is one piece of advice you would give to marketers of non-gaming apps?
Don’t forget that it’s all about driving mobile revenue. There are only one or two KPIs and metrics that should be optimized for – everything else is a distraction. We’re bombarded with SDKs and metrics at every single event. Some marketers get distracted and start optimizing for installs  and other things that may not be aligned with the health of the business (i.e. more installs does not mean more engaged users).. My advice is focus on what matters. Remember that you’re driving new users and revenue.

What do you see as the next big thing in mobile marketing?
We’re shifting away from the misconception that marketing is an expense, and moving rapidly towards treating it as a profit centre, a revenue-generating arm of any company. Technology is a huge supporter of this shift.   We’re seeing a lot of innovation happening in the space with everything being attributable, trackable and optimizable.

We’re moving toward a place where marketers are getting out of the weeds and are able to spend their intellectual time on much more strategic decisions, thanks to marketing analytics automation. I think we’re going to see a lot more sophistication coming from marketers in the next year or two.

What are a few things you are excited about that are happening in mobile marketing?
There are two things that I’m most excited about now, two things that I hope marketers are taking advantage of. One is retargeting and the second is is marketing automation. On the retargeting front, the big idea is frequency. On average if we say, “We need to touch somebody six times before that person is ready to make a purchasing decision,” then we want to be able to reach that person from multiple channels so we can get there faster.

I’m also excited about marketing automation. Most companies today are international, marketing on multiple operating systems across various interest groups and targeting categories. They have several segments of customers that they’re going after, and probably have multiple images and calls-to-action in rotation. When you have that level of complexity – and on top of that you want to test out different messaging – you can’t do it manually. Taking advantage of the automation and bidding platforms that are available to us is critically important.