How to Drive User Engagement With Mobile-App Messaging

Marketing Cloud

I want to tell you a story about peanut-butter sandwiches. I grew up eating them all the time. Flash forward to now. One Saturday, when it was time to make lunch for my kids, I figured, “This’ll be easy! I’m going to nail it.” I put the sandwiches together and called the kids downstairs, but when they got to the kitchen and saw my creations, they all made sour faces.

It turns out that peanut-butter sandwiches are preferred in a slightly different way by each of my children. One of them wanted the crust cut off, and the other one doesn’t even like peanut-butter sandwiches — she wanted a cheese sandwich.

In other words, personalization is critical to driving user engagement. It’s the same thing with your mobile messaging: 25 percent of apps are never even launched after users download them — and 50 percent are never launched again after six months. That’s because — like my kids with their sandwiches — users are skilled at sniffing out non-personalized offerings, which they quickly reject. In fact, they’ll probably delete them altogether.

To create gourmet messaging, you need to season according to your audience’s tastes, keep content fresh and tasty, and serve it at the right time and place. Here’s my special recipe for doing all three.

Using the Perfect Amount of Seasoning
Lightroom, one of our mobile apps that lets you edit and manage photos, provides a perfect example of seasoning according to your audience.

When the user downloads the Lightroom app and launches it for the first time, they are shown a short, full-screen, instructional message. Within three quick swipes, users are taught the basics of how to use the app so they can feel comfortable enough to come back to it next time they need to edit photos.

Then, based on the features they have used previously, customers might receive local notifications on their phones within the next few days, stating, “Hey, you’re using these features. You should try this one that’s complementary.” After they’ve used the app five or more times, they might then receive an in-app message that promotes another app: “Hey, you’re getting good at this! You should try this Photoshop app that has additional editing features you might like.”

Finally, if users fail to launch the app for 30 days or more, they might receive push messages that say, “Hey, come share a photo that you’ve edited.”

The theme here is that all of these messages are personalized to users based on their behaviors inside the app. They aren’t delivered at random — the user fits personalization rules that were established based on their specific actions and interests. The seasoning adapts to the taste-tester.

Maintaining Hot and Delicious Content
The next component is to keep the app fresh and tasty with new and engaging content. When my team and I create mobile messaging, we switch between three different types of messages: full-screen messages, alert-style messages, and notification messages. Using custom multimedia messaging is very powerful. We try to make content engaging by using custom HTML with images, videos, or even a mini-game. It enables you to put your own branding in the user experience and make it feel like part of the app.

We also generously use deep-linking to send users to specific, relevant parts of the app when users click through these messages. We also deep-link users into other relevant apps they may find useful, which enhances engagement across our apps.

Nailing the Context
The final component of the three is context: serving the right message at the right time and in the right place. Location is extremely important. When I’m watching a YouTube video on my lunchbreak, for example, I might have five minutes to watch something funny. But, when I’m at home, I have 30 minutes or even an hour for videos that really engage me.

With Adobe’s mobile-systems software-development kit (SDK), you can track users’ locations via geo-fences or beacons that send out Bluetooth signals — and this is crucial, because 25 percent of smartphone users are already expecting location-specific experiences, and a full 82 percent of shoppers make their purchasing decisions from within the store aisles. So, that’s often the perfect time to communicate with them.

Along with your users’ physical locations, you should be adapting your messaging to their locations within your sales funnels. This will help you pinpoint the biggest gaps in your funnels and discover at what points you should give your customers extra little nudges.

Delivering Gourmet Messaging
Follow these three steps of the recipe — season according to customers’ tastes, keep content hot and fresh, and serve it at the right time and place — and you’ll deliver gourmet messaging that keeps users engaged and drives them toward making more purchases.

It’s all about personalization — making the right sandwich for each person.

The post How to Drive User Engagement With Mobile-App Messaging appeared first on Digital Marketing Blog by Adobe.