Mobile engagement - enough is enough?

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Your questions answered: how you decide how much engagement is appropriate on mobile?

How much engagement is appropriate on mobile?

In a QSR, which is high frequency / low transaction value - $10 a few times a month – engaging people frequently is OK, especially if you're providing them with specific value. However there are different levels of engagement – from simple badge notification on the app to indicate new offers, to a push message that pops up on the screen. We try to limit those interrupting push messages to no more than one every couple of weeks.

There are appropriate ways to encourage people – for example when they walk into the store, a push message is absolutely relevant as people expect to be engaged by the brand when they enter a store. If there are specials on products or particular offers you want to highlight when people walk in, you can use a beacon to do that. It's OK to do that every time, as long as you're providing value. If it's just something you're pushing to people in a broadcast manner, then it really is important to limit that.

There are also certain things you need to build in to your platform to accommodate blackout periods – which you need to do across different time zones – to make sure you're not sending messages in the middle of the night; and you need to account for different countries and languages. Having a platform that can support all of those things, and that you can monitor to make sure people aren't inundated is really important.

How much engagement is appropriate on mobile?

And it's dependent on vertical to some extent - you'd be happy to receive a notification from a QSR every couple of weeks, but that wouldn't hold true for a car dealership. In that kind of space you're much more likely to move into pestering territory if you ping customers too often.

This is something some retailers are really struggling with; they're trying to be helpful without being creepy. There are different tolerances for different verticals and unwritten rules: you don't want to ping someone more than twice when they're in-store – once when they come in and maybe again on the way out to remind them to pick up a dessert. Or in a big-box retailer you could ping them in a particular department that has a special they might be interested in.

There's a fine line between useful and creepy. The people we're reaching out to have opted in, so they've allowed us to contact them and trusted us to take care of them. If you push them too hard or abuse that trust they're going to turn Bluetooth off or delete the app and you'll lose them altogether.