Multichannel marketing is crucial in today’s always-on mobile world. Using just one channel to try to reach all your customers won’t pay off—our own research shows that using more than one channel in a single campaign can increase retention by 130%! So, it’s a no brainer.
But which mix of channels is best for a campaign depends on the campaign type, your goals, and your customers. Push notifications and emails are well known and often used for promotional campaigns—campaigns that tout deals, coupons, offers, limited-time sales, and so on—but they don’t have to be the end of the story. Read on to see how the four major channels—in-app messages and News Feed Cards as well as push and email—can make a difference.
First, whatever your campaign or promotion, be sure you’re collecting the right customer data up front. No matter what channels you use, customized targeting based on your users’ attributes and past interactions with your brand will make any promotion more successful. We’ll discuss this more below as we get into each channel.
How to use four mobile channels for promotional campaigns
Emails are great for promotional campaigns for a couple reasons. They’re an opportunity for rich in-depth content and imagery. There’s plenty of room for text and images, so you can elaborate on whatever features will help you make a case for the value of your deal. (Just be sure to keep image size limits in mind, especially if lots of your customers view your emails on mobile.)
Customers will receive the email immediately, but it will also stick around in their inbox if they need to come back to it a day or two later. Email also captures users who aren’t likely to open your app the days of your sale (as opposed to in-app messages and News Feed Cards, which reach only active app users.)
When planning your campaign, be sure to customize your messages to groups of users as much as possible. For example, customers who have already seen an in-app message can get different email content than those who have not. Customers who have already made a purchase can receive a different offer than those who haven’t. Using this kind of customization can boost conversions by as much as 200%.
Push is the most attention-grabbing of the four major mobile channels, but it also comes with some pitfalls. Push notifications alert the customer immediately, wherever they are, which can be good or bad. If a push comes out of context in the customer’s day, it could alienate or annoy them, so take care with scheduling, and personalize the send time as much as possible.
Remember this channel’s best practices:
- You have only about 24 characters to convey your messages, so keep it succinct.
- Push is not ideal for long explanations. So, if you use it, consider pairing it with a channel that has explanatory capabilities like in-app messages or News Feed. Pairing it with another, longer message somewhere else can help it feel less spammy, and might help customers stay opted-in for push notifications from your app.
- Remember that about half of all users opt out of push. Consider taking some action to prime your users for push to convince them to opt in; and if that doesn’t work, know that you’re only going to reach those who have already opted in. You’ll need another messaging strategy for customers who won’t see your push.
Push notifications work best for really urgent messages, like time sensitive offers. And any push notification should deep link straight to the promotion in the app.
In-app messages can be simple and direct, like push notifications, or more image-rich, though usually not so much as email. But, unlike push and email, they’re less intrusive because only customers who open your app will see them. Which means in-app messages are safer to use if you’re concerned about annoying your users. If the customer is already opening your app, they’re fairly likely to be receptive to your promotional message.
Along with being one of the least invasive ways to communicate with your users, in-app messaging is also a fairly versatile format. Formatting, colors, badges, images, and call to action buttons are all customizable. In-app messages and their web-based equivalent, in-browser messages, can be delivered on any screen, in any user session, and after any specific user action to drive the user further through the funnel of your current promotion.
News Feed Cards
Unlike push and in-app messaging, News Feed messages stick around beyond the point of initial contact with the user. This means users can refer back to the News Feed to find that week-old promo code at checkout, and they can do so without leaving the app or getting sucked into the vortex of their email inbox and abandoning the purchase process. After referring to the News Feed in-app, they can get right back to what they were doing.
News Feed Cards are perfect for promoting sales and announcing offers that will be going on for more than a day or quick flash-sale. And like other channels, they’re customizable based on what you’ve learn about each user’s behavior. You can tailor announcements to inspire specific actions from specific users.
More campaigns to master
Once your promotional campaign leads to conversions, you have another messaging opportunity. Head over to our recent post on what channels to use for transactional campaigns.