Why Spamming Customers Can Actually Be a Good Thing in Mobile Marketing

Gilad Bechar

For marketers, mobile opens a whole new world, filled with endless ways to spot and reach consumers. Sometimes marketers abuse this opportunity and bombard users with countless content, messages, and ads, ultimately creating a negative effect that scares consumers away. Other marketers looking from the sideline see how these marketers fail, and shy away from sharing content altogether.

The truth is, that although certain mobile marketing tactics can be perceived as spam, there’s no reason for brands to be afraid of sharing content that’s not directly related to their product or service. In fact, when done right, this can actually help boost conversion, engagement, and retention rates for brands in the mobile space. The following post will lists various mobile marketing tactics for disseminating content to consumers without them perceiving it as spam, but as value.

woman looking at mobile device

Personalize Your Message

Known as the ultimate technique to boost retention among mobile app users, push notifications can also be perceived as spam and be completely ignored. When does that happen most often? When notifications are general, have a one size fits all tone, and only aim to promote your product or services. If you want to leverage push notifications to prompt users to reopen and start another session in your app, that’s not the way to go. The challenge is to offer users value and a valid reason to re enter the app, which can by done by personalizing and tailoring your message to users.

Let’s use an e-commerce app as an example. When it comes to e-commerce, we’re all sick of, and indifferent to the usual email marketing techniques and push notifications that inform us about sale season: “Get 30% off select items” or “New items added to final sale” – these same generic slogans that are sent to a whole email list. On the other hand, by learning more about users, e-commerce apps can offer them real value and show that they care about user needs. One idea, is to collect information about items users were interested in that weren’t available in their size, and inform them with a push notification when they’re back in stock.

 

Maintain A High Level of Quality

Since 2011, when the concept of the Lean Startup gained popularity, mobile apps have been all about doing one thing and doing it right. When it comes to branded apps, these mostly tended to focus on the brand itself, projecting its values and only offering users products and services it already offers, but on mobile. The general belief was, and still is for the most part, is that disseminating content out to users, that is not directly related to the brand, basically meant spamming them. However, if we take a closer look at the branded app industry today, we’ll see that the most successful branded apps, are ones that offer content, functionality, and value that isn’t directly related to the brand

The Nike+ app for example, doesn’t feature any Nike product or lets users shop, but rather enables them to track their runs. The Charmin Sit or Squat app is another great example. The app helps users find usable restrooms wherever they are and uses a ranking scale (which tells them whether they’re going to be sitting or squatting), users can use to rank restrooms after using them. The app doesn’t allow users to shop for toilet paper and simply provides them with a valuable service. This is actually a genius mobile marketing strategy – instead of pushing your brand in users’ faces and reeking of publicity, you can provide users with an answer to a problem they’re experiencing and this way evoke a positive association with your brand.

 

Find the Right Timing

The last piece to the challenging puzzle of “spamming” users, is timing. When it comes to mobile marketing, timing is crucial, and the reason why is very simple. If a mobile user is busy doing something, they won’t care about your push notification or a free song you want them to download. But on the other hand, if the user is currently bored, they’ll be compelled and more likely to check out what you have to offer. To some this might seem very basic, but surprisingly enough, many big and successful mobile companies send out content and notifications overnight, ultimately leading users to ignore them.

The KLM airline for example, has created a mobile game for users that allows them to fly paper plane over the city of Amsterdam and win prizes and awards. The clever thing about KLM’s strategy is that it advertisers its game to users at a time in which they most likely to be bored – waiting at the airport gate to board their flight. Those users located at a KLM flight gate, are granted more prizes and rewards. It is hard to believe these users would have used the game while engaging in other activities, but when waiting for a flight, it suddenly turns from spam to gold.

 

CMOs, remember, when it comes to mobile marketing content is king, but when it has a bad timing, low quality, and a generic undertone, it’s going to pass for spam.

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