If there’s one central truth in the mobile world, it’s this: the only constant is change.
New technologies, changing user expectations, emerging channels — as a mobile marketer, the ground is constantly shifting under your feet.
What worked yesterday no longer works today. Keeping your eye on the horizon is the only way to get and stay ahead.
It’s one reason why we’re constantly digging into campaign data to find out what’s working here and now, and how the latest trends are shaping the mobile landscape for tomorrow.
With several major benchmark reports and in-depth studies on user acquisition, engagement, and retention completed in 2018, we’ve seen many of our conclusions reaffirmed — and some turned on their heads.
Here are a few of our findings from 2018 that surprised us, along with takeaways for ensuring your 2019 campaigns are a success.
Let’s be clear: mobile app users want personalization. They expect a user experience that takes their past behaviors into account in order to offer them more value. Whether that’s personalized discounts and recommendations or informative push notifications timed for the moment users need them, users expect their apps to adapt to their needs and make their lives better.
Data privacy is also a pressing issue, and users are increasingly wary of granting unnecessary permissions. It’s one of the leading reasons people either uninstall apps or refuse to download them entirely.
2019 Takeaway: Personalization vs. privacy is a tightrope walk for many mobile marketers — and an issue users are paying more and more attention to.
To avoid scaring away potential users, only request permissions that have a significant positive impact on your user experience. (A flashlight app that requests location access or health data is probably going to raise a few eyebrows.*)
Second, clearly communicate the benefit for users for allowing each permission type. For instance, wait until a user tries to share content before requesting access to their contacts or social profiles.
Image: LetGo app
You would think “Don’t message users at 1 am!” would be sound mobile marketing advice. Who wants their phone to ding in the middle of the night with an annoying notification?
A spike in push notification CTRs between midnight and 1 am shows users are engaging with their apps before bed.
The 7-8 am window sees some of the highest CTRs, but relatively few apps are sending notifications during that time.
2019 Takeaway: There’s a clear opportunity for mobile marketers to engage both night owls and early risers just starting their days.
The key? Finding the right users to message late at night and first thing in the morning. The last thing you want to do is disrupt the rest of your (sleeping) user base. So look to your app’s analytics to create user segments based on when they’re launching and most active in the app.
An OTT app could create a specific messaging campaign for users who start streaming late at night with personalized invitations to start their next episode. Or a media app could send users who open the app first thing in the morning a deep linked push notification to a personalized morning briefing with headlines from topics they’ve shown most interest in.
Your industry makes a big difference when it comes to using emojis to boost engagement. And the industries that stand to benefit (and those that don’t) may surprise you.
Turns out, traditionally more stoic and straightforward industries reap the greatest rewards from using emojis, while recreational industries take the biggest hits.
The simple 👍 emoji was both by far the most popular (included in 12.48% of all notifications, compared to the average emoji being included in 1.52% of notifications) and one of the top performers in terms of CTR, along with the simple check mark ✅.
2019 Takeaway: Our data suggests users are feeling emoji fatigue. These quirky symbols are definitely no longer the shortcut to higher engagement rates they used to be!
You must consider your industry and your audience when using emojis in your messaging campaigns.
If you do use emojis, stick with tried-and-true symbols like the thumbs up or simple smiley face. Trying to get creative is less likely to seem cool and more likely to come across as trying too hard.
For most mobile marketers, uninstalls are a dreaded sign of failure to engage a valuable app user. While even the most loved apps experience some user churn, many apps (rightly) focus on churn as a major issue and do whatever they can to retain their users.
However, depending on your industry, an uninstall may not be an indicator that users are finding zero value in your app. Travel and OTT/Media apps in particular may have reason to hope uninstalls are only temporary.
These types of apps in particular may be valuable for users at certain times — when planning a trip abroad, or when the newest season of Game of Thrones hits the air, for instance.
They may get uninstalled when they’re no longer immediately useful, even if users had a good experience with the app. The next time users take a trip or want to catch up on the latest hit series, they may very well remember and redownload your app.
2019 Takeaway: If you’re a travel or media app, take a closer look at your churn rates to find out how many users reinstall and when.
Depending on your situation, it may be worth reconsidering your winback strategies or adjusting campaign resources based on how many users come back on their own. It turns out, they may not need much (or any) prompting from you.
Only time will tell what challenges and opportunities 2019 will bring for mobile marketers. But one thing is for sure: it won’t be boring!
If you’re interested in the other data-based insights we unearthed this year, check out our library of ebooks and reports for more valuable findings. Then hit the comments below to tell us: what do you think will be the keys to mobile marketing success in the coming year?
Data-Backed Secrets to Successful Push Notifications – 2018 Report