With Leanplum, we are able to manage push and in-app messaging — content featuring, targeting, and optimizations — entirely from our team focused on editorial and product engagement. Leanplum is our avenue for understanding how different mobile app users engage with different content.
Mobile is an important channel for TED — and TED has been incredibly successful at growing its mobile app audience.
However, while TED is in the 90th percentile of apps that users keep on their devices after installing, and user ratings and reviews have been consistently positive, usage metrics had more opportunity for improvement. The average user launches the app only once every couple of weeks. As users already seemed to find value from the app, TED defined its next phase of success as increasing engagement and frequency of use.
TED wanted to set up messaging campaigns to more effectively drive an increase in views of TED Talks in its iOS and Android apps. According to Cody Winn, Director of Mobile and Platforms at TED Conferences, “Before we started using Leanplum, we had some basic messaging in place in the TED mobile apps. But campaigns were set up in a way that was quite complex, and we didn’t know how to take action on the learnings. We didn’t know when some of the attributes and events were being recorded, how they related to each other, and which were trustworthy.”
To increase talk views from messaging, TED built out two new strategies.
First, TED created more curated messaging series. TED’s initial campaigns included notifications about new content and weekly favorites. To increase engagement beyond sending content that was simply new, TED started running more curated messaging campaigns with the objective of understanding what drives users to want to watch a TED Talk and offering relevant content.
Second, TED needed to make its content relevant and accessible to a growing international audience. Though TED Talks are primarily in English, over 75% of its mobile app audience is now outside the US. TED has built a community of over 30,000 volunteers around the world who translate TED Talks into more than 100 subtitle languages. TED also aims to build a locally relevant app experience end-to-end. For example, a user in Japan sees a fully Japanese version of the TED app, and receives translated notifications about TED Talks that have been recently translated into Japanese.