Guest Post from LeanPlum: 3 Effective Tips for Mobile App Marketers to Personalize the User Experience

Measurably Daring™

Personalization is THE buzzword for mobile marketers today. Brands speak about the importance of tailoring the experience to the consumer. Marketers talk about “the right message for the right consumer at the right time”.

For marketers focused on how to engage and retain mobile users, creating highly personalized experiences are a must-have in order to nurture customer advocates who can act as catalysts for organic growth. With the increasing cost of paid advertising to acquire mobile users, this sense of urgency becomes even greater.

Why Wanelo is killin’ it.

Wanelo is a great case study for how to do personalization right. The company is a digital mall with hundreds of thousands of stores represented. Having grown their user base of over 11 million subscribers solely through word of mouth and a sophisticated social media strategy, they live and breath personalization – users can ‘save’ products to their own curated feed and then see similar products that other users have purchased or saved.

Wanelo’s ability to effectively personalize the mobile user experience boils down to two key aspects:

  1. A data-driven culture driven to experiment; and
  2. The right technology to enable the culture.

Wanelo has mastered both of these. As a consequence they’ve been able to develop a loyal and avid fan base who are happy to share the experience with their friends and family. But many companies making the transition to mobile are not so lucky.

The right tool kit is essential.

Without the right tools, a data-driven culture won’t thrive. Insights will take too much time to gather and action will take too long to implement. Between coding new features, submitting them to the app store, waiting weeks for approval and then gathering reams of data to make a decision, it’s no wonder why many mobile brands are at a loss as to how to create a successful mobile strategy.

With these acute pain points has come a wave of innovation in mobile. Many companies are stepping in to help mobile brands and mCommerce companies adopt optimization strategies that have been a mainstay of the web for over a decade.

3 effective personalization strategies.

Mobile marketers looking to create personalized content and messaging should focus on three key strategies to engage, retain and create a loyal base of avid fans.

  1. Target in-app messages
  2. Trigger local notifications
  3. Test user flows

Target in-app messages:

Using in-app messaging is critical to an optimal user experience. They give you the physical space to communicate with your users in real-time. The secret sauce lies in targeting the right message for the right audience. Make sure you know which message, content and offers resonate with different user segments.

How does it benefit you?

Coupled with the right analytics engine, in-app messaging can be tailored to the right audience at the right time. The rules for personalized messaging campaigns can be created, automated and driven by your marketing calendar and feature release schedule. More advanced marketers also A/B test the copy, visual elements and timing of such messages for even higher engagement.

What are some effective use cases?

  • New Feature Announcements – Notify only users who are likely to be interested in a new feature or announcement.
  • New User Flows – Highly stylized and full screen messaging templates can also stand-in as an entirely new user flows to cater to different segments of your user base. For instance, you can create an entirely new purchase flow for male versus female users.
  • Tentpole Events – Schedule messaging campaigns around tentpole events like seasonal events or limited time offers to users who have demonstrated past purchase behavior of similar items.

Trigger local notifications:

Local notifications are push messages that are triggered from the local client. They typically work by firing off a specific event or behavior in your app.

How does it benefit you?

Local notifications can be triggered off any event or behavior in your app. As a marketer, this becomes a powerful tool for sending highly relevant communication to your users. The user has explicitly demonstrated their intent in your app and the right messaging campaign can guide them towards completing a specific goal in your app. More advanced marketers might also A/B test the timing and discounts offered to specific cohorts of users, as well as the deep linking locations in the app.

What are some effective use cases?

  • Shopping Cart Abandonment – This is the most popular use case for mCommerce companies. While many companies are running email campaigns to re-engage abandoned shoppers, push notifications can also be a powerful way of increasing checkout rates from this group of users.
  • Onboarding Drop-Off – Reiterating the benefits of completing an onboarding experience can boost the number of users who sign up and finish onboarding.  Onboarding completion is a key indicator for higher engagement and retention.

Test user flows:

Finally, A/B testing can drive huge lifts in user engagement by enabling you to test features that cater to specific user segments. Wanelo attained record user engagement with new experiments by being laser focused on increasing personalization options for users.

How does it benefit you?

It’s important to view A/B testing through the right lens. It can be a huge boon for optimizing your user engagement and loyalty, but it must be done within the context of risk/reward. There’s always an opportunity cost associated with running a new test. Luckily, many platforms exist now that lower this cost by decreasing time to market and the additional coding traditionally required.

What are some effective use cases?

  • Optimize the Onboarding Experience – We’ve already discussed the importance of onboarding in the Target and Trigger strategies. New user flows like onboarding can be A/B tested against your current flow as a control. (For example, a unique onboarding experience depending on which channels your users come in from)
  • Optimize Marketing Copy – Target specific offers and marketing messages to different user segments. Then A/B test those marketing messages for each user segment to optimize the response rate for each message. Try different discount amounts, time to offer expiration and other variables to optimize response rates.

There are near limitless ways you can leverage the three strategies above and tailor them to your own mobile app. Being aware of the types of tools that enable you to be successful as a mobile marketer is essential in this fast-evolving landscape. Early adopters like Wanelo are already capitalizing on them and finding real success. We’re excited to be innovating in this space and will be talking about more effective use cases on our site.

~Stay Lean my Friends!

Momchil Kyurkchiev is CEO of Leanplum