Saurabh Madan, MoEngage general manager for Southeast Asia and ANZ, opened the Grab app to book a new ride. Immediately, he got an in-app message telling him that the taxi was on the way and would arrive in 4 minutes.
Shortly after completing the ride, while at work, Saurabh got a push notification from Grab notifying him that he got 46 reward points from the ride. At the same time, he received another notification from Twitter suggesting new content based on his activities on the app.
In 2007, the world witnessed a pivotal moment when Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone with game apps, paving the way for the app ecosystem to flourish. Super apps such as Uber, Netflix, and Spotify were subsequently introduced, first on iOS and later on Android.
Previously, brands mostly engage with customers via email or SMS marketing. A major downsize with these channels was the inability to segment users, leading to a high level of junk messaging which irritated users.
During a trip to New Zealand 7 years ago, Saurabh Madan entered his email address in order to connect to a store's free WiFi. Thereafter, the store sent him numerous promotional emails even though he never opened any of them.
“If the store knows that out of the one million emails they sent per month, 20 per cent never got opened, they can stop sending emails to these users, which would help save cost and be better branding for them too”, explained Saurabh.
The rise of mobile apps opens up new communication avenues for brands such as push notifications and in-app messaging, allowing them to analyze user behavior and preference, and personalize content and promo activities. For example, Grab can send a 20 per cent promotional code for the next ride based on a user’s ride history.
POPS WorldWide, a Vietnam-based digital entertainment platform with over 400 million followers in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Phillippines. POPS Worldwide curates and offers a diverse library of digital-first content including music, comics, video entertainment, and edutainment for different age groups and demographics from the best content creators in South East Asia and around the world.
Through personalized content recommendations powered by MoEngage, POPs Worldwide achieve an increase of 19 per cent in product stickiness (DAU/MAU ratio), one of the most important ratios for digital entertainment brands.
According to MoEngage, in order to personalize and optimize push notifications, businesses need to understand user behavior, put them into different segments, and personalize messaging content for each user segment.
For example, if a customer put an umbrella into their shopping cart, but has yet to pay, the marketing manager will need to find a way to encourage that person to complete the purchase, either through email, in-app messaging, push notification, or SMS. But if the customer received a message from the brand which says 20 per cent discount on shoes, instead of an umbrella, there is a fair chance the customer would drop out, even after they’ve made it all the way to the cart.
“As the marketing manager, it's my job to understand what customers are interested in, not what I want to sell. If brands keep pushing what they want to sell, then they are not being customer-centric”, said Saurabh.
However, if brands push out too many notifications, users may get frustrated even if the messages are relevant. According to Saurabh Madan, 3 marketing messages a week and no more than one message a day are enough in most cases.
Still, this is a relative number. The ideal frequency depends on the brand and the industry. An e-commerce app like Lazada, which has many products to sell would be sending out more messages versus an insurance company, which will have fewer products, for example.
MoEngage has checks and balances and rules in place for brands to decide when and how many messages to send. “Let's say you receive a push notification. There will be a tick mark in our software that says if we’ve just sent a message to a customer, another message should not go out for another 12 hours”, explained Saurabh.
“To retain customers, it is critical to segment users the right way and send the right communication via the right channel”, concluded Saurabh.