News Feed Cards: Over 100 Brands Have Used Them—Have You?

Todd Grennan By Todd Grennan May 16, 2016

Dear reader: This blog post is vintage Appboy. We invite you to enjoy the wisdom of our former selves—and then for more information, check out our new Cross-Channel Engagement Difference Report.

For a while now, News Feed Cards have been the secret weapon of a select group of mobile marketers. Together with more established channels like push notifications, email, and in-app messages, brands have been using News Feed Cards to bolster their multichannel campaigns and reach active members of their mobile audiences more effectively. This channel is unique, allowing brands to reach customers with a dynamic stream of personalized, targeted in-app content that remains visible for as long as their marketers choose.

But for all their reach and versatility, News Feed Cards haven’t yet broken through into the marketing mainstream and many brands that could benefit from this unique marketing channel aren’t aware of it.

That’s beginning to change. Over the past five years, more than 100 brands have used the News Feed to support their customer outreach and engagement strategies. And as word gets out about this messaging channel, brands are starting to realize that there’s a gap in their customer outreach that this channel can fill.

So, to help marketers familiarize themselves with the possibilities of this messaging channel, we’ve highlighted six great uses for News Feed Cards that brands should consider. Take a look!

1. Onboarding, user guidance, and feature update cards

Onboarding is essential. By using your messaging capabilities to walk new users through what’s possible with your app and how to take advantage of it during their first session, you’re giving them reasons to come back and keep engaging with your brand. Because News Feed Cards support both text and rich content and can remain visible after users view them (allowing them to continue to serve as a reference after that first session), they’re a powerful tool for informing new users about your app, especially when used in conjunction with in-app messaging. A multichannel onboarding campaign can grab users’ attention with brief in-app messages and direct them to more in-depth content in the News Feed.

User guidance News Feed Card

And the usefulness of News Feed Cards for these sorts of customer education campaigns doesn’t end when someone finishes the onboarding process. Because the News Feed is visible to all active customers, marketers can use cards to keep users informed as long as they’re visiting the app, whether that’s letting users know about feature updates or dispensing advice about how to make best use of the app on an ongoing basis. And the unobtrusive way that News Feed Cards convey information to users makes them a great fit for this kind of significant but not urgent communication—adding a new card or cards to a user’s feed is definitely noticeable, but it’s far less likely to alienate them than a sudden flood of push notifications.

2. Promotional cards

When a brand is looking to let its app users know about a discount, sale, or other promotion, they often turn to push notifications or email to get the word out. That makes sense—these messaging channels can be a really effective way to reach customers beyond the app. But News Feed Cards can play an important role in supporting promotional campaigns, too.

Since News Feed Cards can reach anyone who is currently active in your app, they’re an effective way to inform loyal customers about upcoming promotions, building anticipation and increasing audience interest. And for customers who engage less consistently, you can use push notifications to grab their attention and then deep link them to your News Feed for additional information about the sale. Plus, by taking advantage of multiple channels in your campaigns, you can significantly boost the effectiveness of your messaging.

3. Content promotion cards

For media brands and other companies regularly producing content for their audiences, keeping people informed about that content is essential: after all, no one’s going to watch a video or read an article if they don’t know it exists. By using News Feed Cards to tell your users when a new piece of content becomes available—or, in the case of content that’s likely to spur significant interest, to tease its release in advance—marketers can ensure that their loyal users never miss new content because they didn’t know about it.

4. Event announcement cards

Event announcement News Feed Card

Maybe your brand has regular get-togethers for loyal app users in your brick and mortar stores. Maybe you’re having a one-time-only special event you want to let customers know about. With News Feed Cards, it’s easy to promote your events to regular app users in an appealing, unobtrusive way. And because News Feed Cards can be personalized based on location, you can ensure that only customers in relevant areas see cards advertising your events, increasing the chances that the announcement is relevant and interesting to them.

5. Social sharing and new user referral cards

A user who really loves your app can be a major asset when it comes to growing your audience. If you can nudge them to refer their friends and family to the app—whether in person or by promoting it on social media—it’s possible to reach new audiences of people with little effort or expense. News Feed Cards are an ideal channel for this kind of outreach. They’re particularly likely to be seen by loyal customers who regularly visit your app, and the unobtrusive nature of this channel allows you to use News Feed Cards to encourage customers to promote your app in a respectful, compelling way.

6. Cross promotional cards

Cross-promotion News Feed Card

Does your brand have a website? Other apps in different verticals? News Feed Cards can be a good way to direct your app users to other aspects of your digital presence. Even better, this channel’s support for personalization based on customer events and attributes makes it possible to target your cross promotion campaigns exclusively to customers who are likely to engage—for instance, showing a News Feed Card highlighting your brand’s fantasy sports app only to users on your news app who have engaged with sports content.

Anything else?

Not every use for News Feed Cards is going to be right for your brand and its marketing strategy. But when you’re looking to communicate with loyal app users or to fill out your multichannel messaging campaigns with a messaging option that has real staying power, News Feed Cards are second to none.

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan is a New York-based writer and editor. When he's not writing about mobile marketing, customer retention and emerging technologies for Braze, you can find him trying to read his way through every Wikipedia article related to World War II.

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