Understanding how mobile offers convert is important for all you Grinders who are Revived Media publishers and advertisers. Unlike many of the traditional desktop CPA offers, offers specifically designed to convert in a mobile environment differ depending on the back-end monetization. With desktop advertising we can basically boil the conversion flow down to two categories: credit card purchase and lead generation. When asking the end-user to complete a purchase with their credit card, they maybe paying for the entire product up front or may just be starting a trial. When asking the user to complete a form and become a lead, this can be as simple as a name or email or be as complex as entire address, sex, phone number, etc. The back-ends of the offers are monetized according to when the initial conversion takes place.
With mobile there are many different types of conversion flows with multiple ways to monetize the back-ends. One of the more popular monetization techniques include premium SMS billing. There are a couple of ways this is handled:
Mobile Terminated (MT) – This is when a message is sent to a mobile handset. The message is terminated at the mobile/cell phone end. The end user sends an SMS at standard rate. The outgoing message or messages are at premium rate.
Mobile Originated (MO) – This is when a message is sent from a mobile handset. The end user is billed by the network when they send in their initial message.
In addition there are also the terms MT Billing and MO Billing. Certain networks and countries bill in different ways; some are MT and others are MO:
MT Billing – This is when the transaction is confirmed when the message hits the handset.
MO Billing – This is when the transaction is confirmed when the message leaves the mobile device and hits the short code.
With MT Billing clients are able to run subscription services. For pre-paid users that have insufficient funds (credits), the transaction will simply be rejected and opens up possibilities to retry billing the user in the future. MT billing can sometimes open up possibilities for different types of opt-in billing including: PIN submits, WAP based opt-in, and MSISDN billing.
There are several advantages to MO billing as it can increase consumer confidence in marketing knowing that they will only be billed one-off, hence reducing complaints. Some markets are very strict with MT billing requiring users to double opt-in and even limiting the amount of premium MT messages that can be sent. With MO billing client’s are able to check and see if the end user has the credit balance available to send the premium message before passing the MO. As the MT is returned to the user at a premium charge, there is no direct cost to you to send this SMS. With MO billed countries there can be a charge to return the standard rate message.
Depending on the particular country and network, SMS billing is handled in different ways. Along with understanding MO and MT flow it’s also important to be familiar with the following:
One In One Out – MO or MT Billed with a mandatory MT. Both an MO and an MT is required to complete the transaction. You can not run subscription services with this billing type. You can ask the user to send in another message to bill up to the intended transactional value within the confines of the regulations for that country.
No Outgoing – Non-billed incoming messages only.
Double Opt-in – This is when there is an initial non-billed confirmation request. The end user then sends a message (at their standard rate). They receive a non-billed response explaining how much they will be charged. The end user sends a second message at standard rate to confirm the transaction. The outgoing message or messages are at premium rate.
Free Outgoing – No incoming message. The outgoing messages are free to the end user.
Limited Charge – The transaction is limited to a single tariff. In some cases subscription services can be possible with approval, however each MT can only be delivered at the price point of the line.
Double Charge – MO billed with billed MT. Users are billed both for sending in a message, and also for receiving a message, creating a double charge.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.