Archive for the ‘Mobile Marketing’ Category

The Art of Push Notifications

Posted by Mallory Green on December 10th, 2015

PrintToday, nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone1, and as of June 2015, 100 billion mobile apps have been downloaded from the Apple® App Store.2 Over time, app publishers discovered ways to communicate with their users through push notifications, or short messages, which are sent to your phone from a mobile app. But, annoying messages is the number one reason people uninstall an app making it extremely important to ensure they are crafted the right way,3 especially because enabled push notifications can engage almost three times as many users than those who choose not to receive them.4

A recent study found that Americans spend almost five hours per day on their smartphones using social media, surfing the internet, logging into apps to consume content, etc.There is a substantial amount of information you can collect about people’s behavior while they are on their phones. All of this data might seem difficult to wade through in order to deliver the perfect customized message, but all you have to do is pay attention to what your users are both saying and doing to make the most of this information.

There is a simple place to start … just ask people what they want to hear about. Sports apps do a great job of asking their users who their favorite teams are, what leagues they care about the most, who their fantasy players are and more. Users are then offered real-time updates about their favorite athletes and teams. Facebook® app users receive notifications when their friends add photos, update their statuses, check-in places, etc. This is the type of information that is relevant and something users want to see, which encourages them to engage with your app.

You can also track how users interact with the content within your app. What types are stories are they interested in? Celebrity gossip? World affairs? Do they click on videos, or do they prefer to read the article? By taking note of these specific trends, you can offer content that appeals to that user’s needs by using a notification that a new article is available to watch/read.

We can’t forget that, while engagement on mobile devices is extremely high, people still use desktops and tablets. It’s important to gather information from all sources to increase your knowledge about your users. House all that data in a business intelligence platform and use marketing automation to send out notifications to drive engagement.

If you use the information and data you are given correctly, the notifications you deliver will not be seen as annoying or as a distraction. Most users want to know what’s going on when it comes to their interests, whether it’s sports or political news. Just remember the number one rule … make it personal.

Sources:

1. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/

2. http://www.statista.com/topics/1002/mobile-app-usage/

3. http://marketingland.com/personalization-surefire-strategy-increase-customer-engagement-153641

4. http://marketingland.com/personalization-surefire-strategy-increase-customer-engagement-153641

5. http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/informate-report-social-media-smartphone-use/

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Millennials Will Shop This Holiday Season, But From Home

Posted by Jami Delperdang on December 2nd, 2015

Millennials ShoppingWith the holiday season officially kicking off last week, retail marketers everywhere are looking to engage an important generation of shoppers … Millennials. The 75 million Millennials (age 18-34) currently living in the US are expected to spend $63 billion this holiday season,1 and 77.5 percent will shop online or in retail stores over the Thanksgiving weekend.2 Furthermore, 47 percent plan to spend more this year on the holidays versus last year.3 So, how can you cash in on this potential billion dollar generation? Speak to them digitally.

Below are a few additional shopping trends for this digitally savvy group of shoppers:

They are mobile.

92 percent of Millennials will be using their smartphones to shop during the holiday season and more than half are expected to shop more on their devices than they do in physical retail stores this year.4 Provide customers with a fully-integrated mobile shopping experience; mobile web, branded app and mobile payments.

They expect an exceptional digital shopping experience.

They are heavy users of mobile web and branded mobile apps for shopping, but they demand a flawless shopping experience across channels. 81 percent of Millennial smartphone and/or tablet owners say they will abandon transactions and shop elsewhere if a mobile site or mobile app is buggy, slow or has poor performance. 5

Millennials want to find a good deal online, purchase the product in the store and scan their coupon on their phone at checkout. This integration of online mobile shopping and retail stores has lead to a new generation of shoppers who value a shopping experience that involves a number of different integrated channels.

They rely on social media and online reviews.

In terms of what influences Millennial’s holiday purchases, more than half lists word of mouth (53 percent). However, tech driven influences such as online reviews (72 percent) and social media (58 percent) illustrate this generation’s digital orientation.6

Having a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is key when looking to engage with Millennials.

They want it now.

34 percent of Millennials plan to take advantage of retailer’s same day delivery options and are willing to pay more for expedited delivery.7

The path to purchase for Millennials crosses digital, mobile, in-store and every touch point matters, Making sure your customers have the best, easier and most convenient shopping experience — no matter how they choose to shop — is the surest route to a successful holiday season.

Sources:

1. PwC’s. “2015 Holiday Outlook Report.”

2. NRF.  “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

3. NRF.  “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

4. Dynatrace. “Consumer study 2015.”

5. NRF. “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

6. Influenster. ” 2015 Holiday study Influenster.”

7. NRF. “Preliminary Holiday Thanksgiving Weekend Survey.”

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Adopting a Mobile Email Design Mindset

Posted by Jami Delperdang on August 21st, 2015

Mobile friendly Email DesignWhile the percentage of emails opened on a mobile device varies by industry, the overall average is 49 percent, which is a 500 percent increase since 2011.1 Within the financial services industry, mobile email has increased signicantly over the past few years and currently accounts for 31.5 percent of all email opens.2

So what does this mean to financial services marketers?

Standard email designs are intended for viewing on a desktop computer versus a mobile device. Sometimes they include columns or navigation that is best viewed at a larger size. In general, these types of emails simply shrink to the size of the device on which they are viewed. It is now essential that financial marketers adopt a mobile email design mindset and develop mobile design strategies to ensure account holders will have a positive viewing experience across their devices.

Mobile Email Design Mindset

Having a mobile email design mindset means learning how to visualize mobile email rendering and designing email for that device. Essentially, after understanding mobile parameters, there are two approaches designers can take: 1) they can design what is commonly referred to as “mobile aware” or “mobile friendly” email, or 2) they can use responsive design.

Let’s review each one in more detail.

Mobile Friendly

Mobile-friendly email design is created with mobile device viewing in mind and follows best practices for smaller screen sizes, legibility and easy click-through capabilities. More specifically, fonts are set a bit larger and buttons are given more space to make them easier to touch on a smaller screen. This design approach intentionally eliminates things that might be difficult to read, such as a navigation menu. A banner might be a table cell with a background color that can change width versus an image that would be tiny on a mobile device.

 

Advantages Disadvantages
Single design that works across all email viewing environments Provides a one-size-fits-all mobile experience
Does not require any media query support Slightly compromises some device experiences
Less resource intensive to produce May require horizontal scrolling on some devices

Responsive Design

Responsive design includes special code in the header of an email that will determine the device on which your email is viewed and adjust the layout accordingly. Fully responsive email designs should include a desktop version at 600 pixels wide and a mobile version at 320 pixels wide.

 

Advantages Disadvantages
Provides a custom mobile experience when @media support is present Not fully supported across all devices or email clients
Consistent experience across a wide range of devices HTML coding requires a greater level of complexity
Rearranges or hides specific content Incremental level of effort and resources for production needed
Provides the ability to collapse content areas with a finger tap

No matter which type of mobile email design approach you choose, it is best to keep things simple. Due to the lack of standardization across email clients, it’s difficult to predict how a complex design will work for your email recipients.

  • Designs should be approximately 600 pixels wide.
  • Keep it simple by using a baseline grid and avoiding complicated elements.
  • Anticipate that images can be blocked by email clients, and background images should be avoided as they commonly fail to load at all.
  • Image-heavy emails perform poorly.
  • Use web-safe fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia and Times New Roman, which work well across all platforms.
  • Design with mobile in mind. Increase font sizes in the body of your email to 14 pixels or larger, and make sure there is enough white space around your buttons for easy clicking.

Sources:

1. Litmus. (June 2015). “Email Analytics.”

2.  http://www.emailmonday.com

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Smart Homes Might Just Be The Future

Posted by Kavita Jaswal on July 2nd, 2015

Smart AppliancesThe debate of traditional websites vs. downloadable apps is an ongoing conversation for marketers, but the end goal remains the same… giving consumers access to the information they need, right when they need it. As we continue to compare each option and weigh the pros and cons to maximize our marketing efforts, new technologies may be monopolizing the argument for downloadable apps and making industry-wide decisions for everyone. With Google’s® recent announcement of two innovative technologies that empower specific devices with technological “smarts,” those who are on “Team Website” may have taken a hit.

Google’s Brillo operating system and Project Weave take the idea of offering consumers real-time access to information more than one step further. Brillo is a streamlined version of the Android™ mobile operating system designed for internet-connected devices such as appliances, farm equipment and vending machines.1 Imagine wanting to cook your steak a particular way and instead of reaching for your phone and looking it up on Google, just asking your stove instead. All you have to do is download the app for that specific appliance onto your device, and the convenience and ease of “smart” appliances gives consumers access to information they need, quicker than even typing it in.

Taking this innovation even another step forward comes Project Weave, a type of coded language that allows seamless and secure communication between devices.2 Imagine that when your alarm goes off, your coffee maker knows its time to start brewing. Then, 20-minutes after your coffee is done brewing, your car knows its time to start, heat up your seats and maybe even pick you up from your front door. This new innovation allows for all those things to happen. Once your appliances start communicating with one another, day-to-day life is easier. Mundane tasks are taken care of by a machine, offering consumers one of the best gifts they could have asked for — more time.

So what does this mean for websites, apps and the future of marketing? Websites may no longer be the number one place for people to visit if they can simply ask a device what they want to know. Apps linked with appliances and mobile devices might take care of all consumers’ needs and wants… in real-time. While both these innovations are in the beginning stages and have kinks to work through or features to add, the direction this technology is heading signifies a larger focus on ease for the consumer with little interaction needed on a website.

Sources:

1. http://marketingland.com/googles-project-brillo-signals-end-web-beginning-apps-everywhere-132373

2. https://developers.google.com/brillo/

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Mobilegeddon Came And Went, Is It Safe To Come Out Now?

Posted by Scott Eberhart on June 18th, 2015

MobilegeddonRepent or suffer the flaming pits of second page search results! Or, adapt and update your website’s mobile presence… Because, all apocalyptic rhetoric aside, this is a good thing.

A few weeks ago Google® released some major changes to its search algorhythm, specifically concerning mobile friendly websites. Now that the dust has settled, how does the new landscape look? Just how major were these changes? Depends on whom you ask.

The update earned its “-geddon” suffix primarily because it was estimated it would affect more websites than Panda or Penguin did. In the weeks following its release, it had a significant impact, but whether it rises to such lofty cataclysms is still up for debate.1 If your website was already mobile-friendly, there’s a 30 percent chance your search engine results page (SERP) ranking improved. BUT, if your site is non-mobile friendly, there is a whopping 46.6 percent chance you lost ground.2

(It’s worth noting, this update affected mobile searches only. Desktop searches weren’t affected at all. That’s a small comfort, though, as mobile search continues to outpace desktop searches).

So was your site affected? Well if your traffic has suddenly plummeted (or skyrocketed), then you might be on to something. But don’t take my word for it — test your site to see if it passes. If it needs work, the good news is that it’s not too late to fix. Google has provided a Mobile SEO Guide to help facilitate conversion. Take advantage of Google’s help. It’s pretty rare Google gives developers and designers notice of algorhythm changes, let alone guidance on how to best navigate the changing tides.

Why does Google bother providing help at all? Because, search is something done primarily on mobile devices and sending users to non-mobile friendly websites that explode in a menagerie of overlapping tables and frames or shrink to infinitesimal sizes requiring enough pinching and dragging to give you finger cramps is exactly the poor experience that can make a user start thinking about giving Bing another look. So, Google did what it does best and changed the rules to provide users with more websites that work on mobile devices.

Some marketers have labeled this “Mobilegeddon,” which is fun to say but only relevant if you’re the owner of one of the unprepared sites that was swept downpage in its wake. It might be more accurate, however, to term it the “Mobile-revolution”, which is decidedly less fun to say, but conveys the populist, consumer-centric nature of the change. Websites that resisted becoming mobile-friendly before (maybe they thought it was just a fad? Surely rotary phones are due for a comeback) are now having their hands forced. Make your site viewable on mobile devices, or it’s going to be buried pages back in search results amongst abandoned MySpace profiles and the ghosts of internet cafes that went out of business in 1998. The revolution is here, and it’s on a fingerprint covered 4” screen.

Sources:

1. http://searchengineland.com/googles-mobile-friendly-algorithm-a-week-later-was-it-really-mobilegeddon-219893

2. https://www.stonetemple.com/mobilegeddon-may-have-been-bigger-than-we-thought/

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