Personalizing Each Touchpoint of Mobile Customer Journey
The customer journey is not a straight line; in fact, it looks more like a bumblebee’s flight path.To reach your users in the mobile moment, think of the customer journey as a lifecycle defined by user touchpoints. The cycle begins with onboarding, but can move fluidly between these touchpoints throughout the rest of the journey, jumping from conversion to loyalty to reactivation.
Mobile marketers and app developers can make the most of each customer touchpoint by ensuring that wherever customers are in the lifecycle, the experience is personalized.
A clear and customized onboarding campaign can be key to user retention in the long run. An onboarding campaign will look different from app to app, but is ultimately defined by an end goal that indicates that user has completed the onboarding process. This could be registering for an account, conducting a search, or completing their first purchase. Mobile marketers should automate this process and set up an onboarding campaign to trigger push notifications at individual milestones. You can set up your onboarding reminder campaigns to automatically cancel if the next milestone is reached within a certain timeframe. That way, each user will get a unique set of onboarding reminders based on where they drop off in the onboarding funnel.
Onboarding is also when mobile pros can optimize push notification opt-in rates. Since an app only has one chance to ask for a user to opt-in to push, you can use a tool like Pre-Permissions to suppress the default iOS prompt until a more relevant and contextual time. For example, a travel app could wait until a user searches for a specific flight, then ask if travelers want to receive price drop alerts. If the user declines, you can still use Pre-Permissions to get the opt-in at a different time and context.
Make It Personal
Automating your onboarding campaign makes it easy to personalize the user experience. Set milestones to trigger based on individual user behavior, instead of sending blast campaigns to all of your users at once. Further personalize the experience by inserting tailored user information, such as their name, location, or last viewed item or page in the app.
Once you’ve introduced users to your app through onboarding, keep them around by initiating engagement. One way to do this is through simple behavior-based triggers. For example, a travel app can send jet-setters a travel guide a week before their scheduled flight, a weather update the night before, and tips on ground transportation when they arrive.
Apps can also make use of location-based triggers. For example, a retail app can alert shoppers when their near one of their brick and mortar locations, and perhaps offer an exclusive deal or coupon only available in the app. One of mobile’s primary advantages over desktop is the ability to reach users wherever they are. Use location to your advantage.
Additionally, you can recognize users’ loyalty in the app via milestone communications. Increase user’s enjoyment and entrenchment by serving them an in-app message when they achieve a specific milestone. For example, award trophies or in-app currency when they’ve written their 100th review or won their 10th level in a row.
Make It Personal
Using behavior- and location-based triggers makes your push notifications timely and relevant. Behavior-based push notifications can increase push notification open rates by up to 800 percent, and because mobile is our most personal device people own, brands and apps need to focus on making the experience contextual. Send messages based on what your users are doing, where they are, and what they need in the moment.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of mobile shopping carts are abandoned. Shoppers may add items to their cart, but never complete the checkout process. Reduce shopping cart abandonment with mobile marketing automation. You can trigger notifications reminding users that their abandoned product is still in the cart waiting to be purchased.
Checkout flow optimization can also increase mobile conversions. If you notice a lot of customers begin the checkout process, but never complete it, study the conversion funnel to see where they drop off. A/B test landing pages, calls-to-action, or copy to see how you can optimize your conversion rates. If your checkout flow is five or more pages, consider consolidation so there are less steps for them to complete.
Make It Personal
When reminding shoppers about abandoned cart items, be sure to make use of user information, such as their name and the specific item that they left behind. Integrate personalized values in your notifications to be specific as, “[Susan], don’t forget the [Apple Watch] in your shopping cart. Check out now!”
When a user has not returned to your app in the past week, use a new feature announcement to draw them back into your app. Use a push notification or email to alert users to the update, or try an in-app message for users opening the new version of the app for the first time. For example, a gaming app can use notifications to announce new level releases, and a travel app can use in-app messages for returning visitors to showcase recently added city guides.
If you don’t have a new feature to announce, you can still reactivate dormant users by sending targeted notifications or emails. Reach out to your dormant users by reminding them of the features they previously used in your app.
Make It Personal
Make your notifications hyper-personal to let your users know that you care about their behavior and how they benefit from your app. Leverage behavioral data to send messages based on where they spent the most time in your app, or based on their last app activity. For example, a travel app could send a push notification to a user who last searched for a flight to Tokyo. The notification would remind the user of this destination and suggest in-app material related to this search.
Once a user is engaged and has completed at least one conversion, encourage loyalty by awarding VIP user perks. For example, after a user books their third flight, an app can use an in-app message to alert them to their Frequent Flier status and award them with miles or a voucher on their next booking.
If your users are continually returning to your app and engaging with it, this is the perfect time to ask for a five-star app rating. Prompt happy, engaged customers with an in-app message asking for a positive rating, then deep link them directly to the App Store. Avoid negative reviews by giving users an alternative outlet to express suggestions for improvement directly with your support team.
Make It Personal
Loyalty implies a contextual and personal experience by definition. Make sure your users feel acknowledged and appreciated by awarding status or currency that recognizes their in-app achievements. Boost your App Store ratings by asking for happy reviews at just the right moment. For a retail app, this might be after completing a purchase, or for a gaming app, this might be after winning a level.
Instead of trying to fit your users into a strict circle or funnel, mobile marketers need to recognize that the user journey is malleable and unpredictable. Users may leave and return to the app for seemingly no reason. The best way to optimize for retention and engagement is to be there for your users at every mobile moment. Make the journey relevant and make it contextual to personalize every customer touchpoint.
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