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7 Best Practices for Improving User Engagement This Holiday Season

Subharun Mukherjee 18+ years of experience leading product strategy, Go-To-Market (GTM), new market entry, value-based sales, analyst relations, and customer experience programs. Expertise in Financial Services, eCommerce, on-demand services, and the SaaS industry.
7 Best Practices for Improving User Engagement This Holiday Season

The holidays are right around the corner — which means if you haven’t thought about your holiday campaigns, you might be on the naughty list this year. 
Believe it or not, 1 in every 5 US consumers start holiday shopping as early as October. 
And mobile is no newcomer to the gift-buying landscape. Approximately 50% of shoppers completed purchases on a mobile device in 2018, up from 45% in 2017 and only 30% in 2015.1 
If this trend continues, mobile apps will account for well over half of holiday purchases this season — projected to reach $136 billion.2
With holiday shopping already underway, mobile marketers have to stay on top of their holiday campaign planning to meet their end-of-year conversion goals. 
Luckily, here’s a list of 7 tactics you can implement into your holiday campaigns right now:
If you want our full set of Holiday Campaign recommendations, download the playbook here.

1. Offer a Consistent Experience

Speaking from experience, one of the most frustrating encounters with a brand is seeing an ad for something that’s either sold out or not available nearby. 
Inventory visibility is only one facet of delivering a consistent experience for your users. 
Users don’t see brands in silos. If you’re offering something on one device, you’d best believe your users expect to see it on every device. 
Orchestrating omnichannel campaigns allows users to decide how they wish to engage with your brand — establishing trust and recognition that stays with users beyond the holidays. 
Gift guides that are updated in real time based on available inventory, or localized to reflect the inventory of the nearest store, not only helps shoppers make purchasing decisions but cultivates brand trust by delivering immediate value. 

2. Segment Your Users

Users want to be treated as individuals — not grouped with everyone else receiving content that isn’t relevant to them.
This is especially true for the holidays. Pushing Christmas campaigns to users who don’t celebrate Christmas will put you on the fast track to higher churn. 
Behavioral segmentation helps you base the timing and content of your campaigns on the different habits and buying behaviors of your users — maximizing clicks and conversions. 
To achieve this, you first need to segment users based on how they engage with your app. This is everything from the frequency and cadence of their interactions with your app to the
promotional campaigns they’ve engaged with.  

A rich profile system allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your users, so you can group them based on similar interests and push targeted campaigns based on what resonates with them best. Once these cohorts are identified, you can start tailoring campaigns and messages to the right audience. 
Segmentation helps you:

  • Understand which channels your users frequent, which monetization methods they prefer, and what messaging appeals to them so you can tailor your engagement tactics.
  • Better allocate resources toward converting your users and improving CLV.
  • Accurately forecast KPIs based on user behavior patterns and trends.

3. Use the Right Language

Communicating the right message goes hand and hand with personalization and segmentation. What exactly do you want your users to do?
The way you communicate your message is just as important as the context. According to our Push Notification Report, retail apps see the highest engagement for notifications that are around 90 characters long

Along with the length, you have to prioritize the copy. On average, users receive 46 push notifications a day.3 So while words like “buy now!” and “free gift!” may turn heads on their own, it gets harder to pique interest when competing with 45 other notifications. 
The goal is to look at words that have a high CTR and cross-reference them with commonly used words. You want to find the words that have a high CTR, but aren’t necessarily used a lot.

In this case, words like “essential” and “winner” are not only used a lot by other campaigns, but also have a negative impact on CTR. The most effective power words in your campaigns should be unique (so they stand out) and have a positive impact on CTR — such as “check out” and “you choose.”

4. Optimize Product Navigation

When browsing for gifts, consumers want as much product information as possible in the shortest amount of time. They don’t want to have to click through a bunch of links and get buried deep within your website to find basic product information.
Product videos are a great way to relay information quickly and visually. They help customers feel 52% more confident about your product, and increase the likelihood of purchases by 85%.4 
Make it easy for customers to complete a purchase on your app by giving them an option to checkout as a guest. 35% of transactions are dropped because the user was required to create an account before checkout. If you need their personal info, tell them why. Most users are happy to provide their email if they know they’ll receive shipping updates and tracking codes. 

Don’t ignore the fact that your users are comparing products online — 81% of customers do online research before committing to a purchase.5 In fact, make it even easier for them! Enabling easy cart editing and showcasing similar products improves stickiness and chances for converting.

5. Do Cyber Week Right

Yes, we all know Cyber Week is a huge engagement opportunity for mobile marketers. However, users are bombarded with so many deals during this chaotic time that it’s easy for your campaigns to get buried. Not to mention, 48% of consumers finish their holiday shopping before Cyber Monday.6
Here are some ways you can make your Cyber Week campaigns successful:

  • Don’t send emails on Black Friday. Just don’t. On this day there is a 20% increase in emails sent and an 11% drop in open rates.7 Instead of attempting to interact with an inbox, try reaching out through in-app messaging or push notifications. 
  • Communicate ahead of time. Let your users know about Cyber Week deals in the weeks leading up to it, and build anticipation with language like “biggest sale of the year” and “for 24 hours only.” 
  • Nudge users to buy. It’s no surprise cart abandonment is a huge problem during this chaotic week. Entice your users to purchase by reminding them they have items waiting for them or add a countdown clock to the checkout screen. 

6. Communicate Shipping Details

If you’re looking for that extra nudge that gets users to hit purchase, it’s free shipping. 61% of consumers will abandon their carts altogether if free shipping isn’t offered.8 This is also a great way to encourage users to avoid in-store madness by shopping online, hassle-free.
Nothing is more frustrating than purchasing something that won’t arrive in time. As the December 25th deadline approaches, communicate shipping cutoff dates in your campaigns. Alert shoppers with abandoned carts that they have X days left to order for an item to arrive before December 25th. They’ll appreciate the heads up and it might just be the little push they need to purchase. 

7. Don’t Lose Them

Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean the relationship with your users has to be. Keep them coming back to your app by encouraging feedback. How was their gift received? Can they offer a review of the items? 
Win-back campaigns are another great re-engagement tactic that can reinvigorate your dormant users and accelerate retention. Incentivize your users with an exclusive discount or offer a reward for taking a short customer experience survey. 

Holidays Don’t Have to be Hectic

While the holiday festivities may start earlier every year, there’s one thing that will never change: consumers looking for a quick and seamless way to purchase gifts
By targeting the right users with the right message at the right time, you can look at the holiday season as less of an obstacle and more of an opportunity to deliver value and provide a memorable experience.

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2019 Holiday Engagement Tactics

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Last updated on June 28, 2024