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Mobile Marketing: It’s Time to Think Beyond Push Notifications

Mobile Marketing: It’s Time to Think Beyond Push Notifications

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This is a guest post by Troy Morris of OtherLevels

Marketers seek the best outcome and ROI for their campaigns. Mobile is no different. Increasing app activity, engagement, and revenue while lowering churn is imperative for today’s mobile marketer. But some marketers, overly concerned with opt-out rates, have adopted a fear of sending too many push notifications. Nascent mobile businesses are also limiting their mobile marketing campaigns by focusing on opt-in/out rates over quality communications.

That approach – scaling back on messaging – is flawed if marketers’ goals are to engage mobile users. It’s critical to adopt the idea that mobile marketing goes well beyond push notifications. If mobile marketers take advantage of all of the meaningful, contextual, personalized data, inherent device/OS information, and the various communications channels available to them, they can reap greater results and creating more powerful relationships with their customers.

We recently outlined some these key principles for optimal mobile messaging in a report, Hung Up on Opt-Outs? Time to Opt In to a New Mobile Messaging Mindset. Rather than “troll the seas,” carelessly grabbing for any and all possible customers, mobile marketers can achieve better success and ROI focusing on their already engaged, opted-in consumers: using a variety of messaging formats – beyond push notifications — to connect with the mobile customer.

Mobile devices provide plenty of data a smart marketer can use to craft, target, retarget, and analyze messages: consumer interactions, preferences, recency, frequency; data about the device and OS itself; and CRM data from other profiles, loyalty programs, shopping carts, etc.

This data-rich mobile environment, in effect, removes the guesswork of messaging. It creates opportunities for marketers to deliver to opted-in customers the kinds of meaningful and personal content, offers, and interactions they really want.

What’s beyond push notifications? Plenty of options

Mobile marketers can utilize these substantial data with a wide-variety of mobile messaging types to reach and engage their mobile customers effectively:

  • Use interstitials, which don’t require an opt-in decision, to remind the consumer of other opportunities they would like to take part in.
  • Send in-app alerts primed to trigger re-engagement, serve as a reminder, deliver an incentive or offer an invitation to opt back in.
  • Send renewed prompts that open the door for consumers to opt back in (e.g., “It’s been three weeks since you downloaded the app? Would you like to begin receiving notifications now?”)
  • Use location-based triggers or data from shopping carts, shopping lists, loyalty programs, spending profiles, or other app activities to send reminders, alerts, incentives, or status updates.
  • Send incentives to members of loyalty programs, for example, to move from one level to the next.

Consider peer-to-peer messages as a way to unleash the power of word-of-mouth behavior and familiarity among consumers. Some apps allow users who are already connected – e.g., Facebook friends – to communicate within the app. Peer messages can reward success, acknowledge achievements, and provide inspiration and camaraderie among known friends/connections.

Don’t give up on the opt-outs

Remember, too, that an opt-out decision isn’t always final. Some consumers automatically opt out of push notifications with every new app. Some consumers might test an app first before deciding to opt in. Some might need a little encouragement, such as an email reminder, a pop-up message, or a text- message incentive that might encourage them to say “yes” to push notifications moving forward.

Push notifications are powerful tools for mobile marketers, but there are many other messaging types in the mobile marketing toolbox as well. Alone or in concert, interstitials, SMS, in-app alerts, and reminders can be equally effective at starting, cementing, growing, and personalizing mobile conversations.

The goal is to provide something of value to the customer by delivering the “right message to the right person at the right time.” Is your marketing team armed with the rich data and the range of communication tools it needs to connect with your mobile customers?


Troy HeadshotTroy Morris has been in the mobile industry for over a decade, working with local companies, start-ups, and large multi-national corporations to grow their businesses with the power of mobile. Currently, Troy works at OtherLevels: a mobile marketing automation service, and advises on the strategy for some of the biggest names in mobile. Originally from Seattle, Troy now resides in Philadelphia.

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