Mobile Marketing

The 9 Types of Mobile Marketing Campaigns You Should Know

Todd Grennan By Todd Grennan Aug 24, 2016

The messages that you send via mobile can be powerful. Time spent on mobile devices has surpassed desktop and 80% of app users engage with their apps 15 times a day. The challenge, with so much competing content, is to catch attention, build trust, and meet increasing customer expectations.

People want what they want, when they want it, and luckily, there are plenty of mobile messages you can develop to meet those needs. In fact, the capabilities of mobile are uniquely positioned to deliver on personalized, real-time expectations.

Mobile messages take a variety of forms and serve a number of purposes. From promotions to transaction and activity messages, a savvy company knows how to leverage all options to create a consistent and personalized customer experience.

So how do you know what type of message is best in each instance? We’ll walk through each mobile marketing example so you can see how they all fit together.

1. Promotional campaigns: Spreading the word about deals, new content, etc.

promotional message

These are what most likely come to mind when developing marketing plans, but it helps to coordinate your multichannel promotional campaigns with other types of messages. Some might be part of your ongoing lifecycle marketing but some of these might be triggered or special campaigns highlighting time-limited offers. Looking through examples of multichannel promotional campaigns will help you see how these campaigns can work across channels to maximum effect.

2. Transactional campaigns: Building the brand through business

Transactional Push Notification

The branding potential of transactional messages is often overlooked. Transactional messages follow a user transaction (like a signup or purchase) or are used when confirmations are needed. Every time a customer makes an in-app purchase, or changes their password, there’s likely already an automatic email or other message set up to confirm their action. You can enhance these to take advantage of the fact that open rates are twice as high for transactional emails. Make sure your messaging communicates your brand values and is coordinated with other campaigns.

3. Onboarding campaigns: Teaching the ins and outs of your app or site

opt-in priming

These welcome campaigns are great for getting users started on the right track. They can vary greatly according to the functionality of each app or website, but the goal is to introduce your brand’s promise, point out key features that users will need to understand to get the full value from your company, and lay the foundation for consistent engagement. Since 55% of users who engage in the first week after download are retained, onboarding is key for long-term engagement.

Some onboarding campaigns can be short and sweet but for more complicated apps, for example, you may want to have a multi-step or multi-day onboarding campaign, which may also require some reminders or nudges to encourage users to complete onboarding. Sending just one onboarding-related push notification to app users during the first week can increase retention by 71% over two months.

4. Opt-in priming campaigns: Asking at the right moment

Permissions priming triggered message

Priming for push notification or other permissions can be a great way to improve your opt-in rates. Rather than simply prompting with a native opt-in request the first time a user opens your app, opt-in priming campaigns carefully select the best moment to share the value of opting in with a thoughtful, persuasive nudge. Additionally, using tools like a custom opt-in prompt can make it easier for you to ask again (if it doesn’t work out the first time).

5. Triggered campaigns: Leading the customer journey

These personalized messages are set up to send in response to a user action: a receipt email is sent, triggered by a purchase or a congratulatory push message is sent after a gaming app user reaches 1,000 points. This a good example of where message types aren’t mutually exclusive. All of the above campaigns can be triggered, and transactional campaigns, by definition, are triggered.

Triggered messages don’t have to send immediately after the user action. They can be scheduled to encourage engagement on another day. If a user has just completed onboarding, tomorrow might be a good time to push a special offer to keep that daily engagement going. You can develop a variety of triggered campaigns to build customer and brand relationships.

Sending triggered messages

6. Dynamic content campaigns: Personalizing in the moment

Dynamic content is continuously updated information—like copy or images—that’s inserted into your messages to provide up-to-the-minute relevance. Here’s an easy way to explain it: when you’re personalizing a message by including user first names, you’re pulling information held by your marketing platform (each person’s first name) and automatically adding it into each message that’s sent. A message that uses dynamic content works the same way, except that the information you’re including is taken from an API, rather than from your user profiles.

For instance, you could use dynamic content to send a push notification that adjusts its copy based on weather conditions for each recipient, courtesy of the OpenWeatherMap API. Read more about how dynamic content works and five smart ways to send better messages with dynamic content.

Dynamic content stock prices

Push notifications using dynamic content to include stock price and market information

7. Activity campaigns: Keeping tabs on friends

Another triggered-type message, activity messages are a great engagement tool. By providing details on the activities of friends or followers (someone commented on your post or your friend just submitted a review at a new restaurant), these messages can encourage users to engage across a variety of channels.

Activity campaigns can highlight all sorts of actions and are effective because they provide social proof about others using your app or site and a personalized experience for the user. There is some risk with active social sites of overusing activity messages, but careful planning and frequency caps can help you create activity campaigns that provide value without overwhelming.

Social Sharing triggered message

8. Location-based campaigns: Regionally relevant offerings

These messages are a special category that may be more relevant for some brands than others. By leveraging the location information of users (if available), messages featuring geographically relevant offers can be shared.

While these can be triggered (e.g. messages that send because someone enters the city limits of NYC), they can also be one-off messages that are important for one geographic area (e.g. everyone in NYC needs to know about this). These messages have the potential to provide targeted deals and customized experiences, but it’s important not to get so granular or repetitive that users feel creeped out.

Location-personalized push notification

9. Re-permission campaigns: Trying again

These can come in handy if you rely heavily on channels like push notifications. If people opt out of a key channel or permission, or or never opt in in the first place, you can use re-permission campaigns to feature what they might be missing.

It helps to plan out the incentives for re-permission. If your app is intended to share discount deals at local stores, you may want to remind users that by opting in to push, they can receive alerts when sales pop up at their favorite stores. In addition to running re-permission campaigns, it helps to build a preference center so that users can manage multiple preferences in one spot.

Email repermission campaign

Putting it all together

You’ll probably use all of these campaign types, at one point or another, because they are all part of an effective mobile marketing strategy. Starting strong, continuing engagement, respecting user preferences, and keeping your brand top of mind are all supported through these campaign types.

Your mobile-centric CRM should allow you to coordinate all of these different types of messages into a robust marketing plan. With some careful attention to personalization, automation and customer journeys, you can create compelling messages that will build trust and make your app a habit for your users.

Passion Issue

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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