Search the website

How Investing in Personalization Will Improve App Engagement

If there’s one question that team Optimove is constantly asked, it’s how to hang onto customers in a digital space where countless brands are feverishly competing for attention. Our answer? Focus on delivering a hyper-personalized user experience and the rest - engagement, retention, and long-term loyalty - will follow

If your marketing team is still sitting on the fence when it comes to personalization or if it’s becoming clear that your mobile marketing strategy needs fine-tuning to meet ever-changing customer expectations, then listen up. There’s never been a more crucial time to take a step back, refocus and refine your app’s UX to make your brand and your app irresistible to give your customers a reason to stick around. 

Download the guide: Mobile Marketing 101

How to give customers the ultimate user experience to keep them coming back 

Start as you mean to carry on 

A positive customer experience begins at the point of app activation. That moment when your future brand advocates are presented with your app’s core values, and, suitably impressed, they’ll be happy to share their personal details.   In a world where consumers are increasingly mindful of privacy and how their personal information is used, showing that it can create positive experiences for them is critical. Using personal details throughout the onboarding flow according to the data they give you, then engaging them quickly beyond your app with personalized push notifications and email offers are great ways to help users feel connected to your brand at the very start of their journey, and as time goes on, to trust that you’re worth their time and money. 

Optimize app navigation 

For your customers, personalization is engaging with them way beyond inserting their name into your messaging; it’s about removing friction and adding familiarity. The more personalized a user’s app navigation journey is, the greater the chance of them finding exactly what they want, when they want it, and by default, encouraging them back to your app time and again. Think Netflix (almost instant personalized content recommendations), Spotify (ditto), and Amazon, the ultimate player in personalized navigation, and likely the reason that I spend so much time and money on their app! 

Leveraging user data such as their current location, the times of day they tend to use your app, purchase preferences, and browsing history, your team will be able to gather a veritable banquet of rich insights that will help them to deliver a seamless personalized navigation experience. Think relevant offers, personalized recommendations, trending products, and highlights that keep users engaged, and primed to purchase. 

Delight with personalized in-app messaging 

Reaching each individual user at the optimum moment and guiding them towards key in-app actions that compel engagement is how personalized in-app messaging delivers a UX that customers love. 

As part of an optimum UX, your in-app messages should align precisely with where each individual user is in their app journey – and where your data insights have told you they’ll be going next.  You’ll want to consider different types of content for different users (segmentation, as always, is your friend) and observe that content at the times that they’re most engaged.  

For example, when a new user downloads your app, shares content with a friend, or reaches a defined level of spend, send in-app messages that drive further engagement, such as: 

  • personalized rewards – discounts or redeemable rewards points for reaching certain milestones within your app. 
  • incentive-based messages that compel users to complete certain actions or activities in return for something of value … for example, ‘Invite a friend to sign up and get one month free’, or ‘Share on social and enjoy a free meal on us’ … 
  • Promoting new app features. Think helpful content such as links to promotional videos and how-to guides, that showcase new feature highlights that in some way, compels customers to try them out. All useful, value-add app engagement strategies demonstrate to each of your customers that they’re more than just a number. 

Last but not least, don’t forget all the ways you can offer customer support via in-app messages. Real-time product recommendations and highlights, messages that guide users to tutorial videos, product guides, customer testimonials, and your chat facility are all effective ways to demonstrate that you’re there when your customers need you. 

Do the same with your push campaigns! 

With the right app engagement strategy, push notifications can skyrocket engagement, elevate loyalty, and boost retention. Using rich data insights provided by your analytics platform allows you to avoid the guesswork that almost always results in shipping messages that turn your audience off. You want to be able to start focusing on creating engaging, relevant campaigns that your users love – and want to share. 

A time-sensitive money-off coupon for reviewing your app? Check. The chance to sample that new vanilla and nutmeg latte before everyone else?  I’ll take two!  

Saying thanks for banking with you for the last year by depositing $10 in their account? Now you’re speaking my language … Just remember that to deliver that seamless UX, you’ll want to use deep links in your push messages so that users are taken straight to the right screen in your app where you’ll present your relevant, timely, and valuable offers.  

Oh – and one more thing … relevance isn’t just about taking user preferences and past actions into account; you’ll also need to time your messages right to boost engagement. A limited-time-only coupon for those must-have sneakers when a customer is near your physical outlet; a request for feedback on a recent store visit in return for an invite to an in-store VIP event next week;  the chance to grab a free Friday Frappuccino when you knock off work for the week; or a ‘drink on us’ coupon to celebrate timely events. Pitch-perfect messages rely on pitch-perfect timing and can increase app engagement by up to a massive 40%. 

Test, test, test! 

The chances of nailing an optimum user experience the first time every time will elude even the most seasoned mobile marketers. A/B testing every move you make to enhance the user experience is critical to finding out what’s working and what’s not.  

Accurate, intelligence-driven A/B testing can tell brands a lot about their audience, allowing them to fine-tune their UX strategy for optimum results. That time-sensitive offer on a new high-value product might be going down a storm with one segment of your users – but could tweaking the CTA or changing last line of copy glean even better results? What about the message opener? Maybe asking a question instead of jumping straight into the offer might boost that engagement rate.  There’s only one way to find out …  

A final word 

Whether you’re in travel,  retail, hospitality, or banking, you’re now expected not to just meet the needs of your customers, but to know what these needs are before they do – and then exceed them by personalizing every step of the user experience. Underpinning success? Harnessing the power of data. A robust, AI-driven platform will sift through vast amounts of customer data in real-time and deliver rich insights that will power meaningful connections and cultivate deeper engagement with every one of your customers. To find out how Optimove can help you increase user engagement and skyrocket your mobile marketing efforts, let’s get the conversation started!! 

Published on

Bob Lawson

Bob Lawson is Director of Mobile Offerings at Optimove. He joined Optimove early in 2022, when it acquired Kumulos, the company he co-founded. Kumulos was a market-leading Mobile and Web Messaging Platform serving a broad range of industries. Bob has spent more than 18 years in technology, particularly Mobile MarTech. He has held commercially facing roles in start-ups, scale-ups, and large enterprise businesses, particularly in Mobile Technology. Before working in the Tech space, he spent 15 years in Financial Services, most recently as Marketing Director of one of Europe’s largest Fund Management Companies.