October 10, 2018
The State (and Future) of Digital Marketplaces
Level Money is a personal finance management app that’s on the cutting edge of innovation. Recently acquired by CapitalOne, the app gives people a simple, yet holistic picture of their finances so that they can spend less and save more. As Level Money reimagines the way people handle their finances, it is also actively pushing the boundaries of traditional marketing with one key idea, “What if the best marketing is not marketing at all?”
Too often, marketing is about shameless promotions and click-bait, sent without regard for what actually interests the consumer. But in a sea of marketing voices, consumers might remember the one that’s trying to help and not persuade.
“We think of push as the best way to put the right information in front of the customer. We don’t do it because we just want the user to come back. If any push isn’t inherently valuable to them, we won’t send it,” said Jake Fuentes, CEO of Level Money.
Here are two ways that Level Money is using push notification marketing to provide value rather than as persuasion.
Level Money’s vision as a company is to create a world where mobile becomes the one-stop solution for your personal finance management, seeing itself as a service that fundamentally changes the way people handle their finances. As such, they see marketing not so much as promotion as it is about getting people to understand the value of this brave new world.
Most apps have an onboarding campaign that’s meant to increase engagement and user lifetime value. For Level Money, onboarding takes on new meaning. It is the first few steps that set users up for success and set in motion a significant behavior change that will keep them financially healthy for the long run. Level Money’s onboarding strategy focuses on getting users to take key actions that will help them thrive, such as adding a bank account and adding a budget. “We want to make sure the consumer has the experience of setting up Level and getting it running. Then they can put the phone back in their pocket, and let it tell them when to look at it,” Jake said.
Below is an example of a Level Money onboarding message:
Instead of relying purely on clever copy or promotional offers, Level Money sends timely, personalized messages that relay important information to a specific user. “Push makes sure our application is in front of the consumer at the right time with the most relevant information,” Jake said. “That’s what drives engagement. We don’t want engagement for engagement’s sake.” Whether it’s a notification that you have only $50 of spending money left in your account for the week or an announcement that you are $10 away from your goal of saving for a spring vacation, Level Money delivers a collection of interactions that help the user in crucial ways. And with every user interaction that demonstrates the value of the app, Level creates a positive association in the user’s mind. No hype or promotional gimmicks necessary.
Below are two examples of messages that are informative rather than persuasive. (Side note: Just because you’re showcasing value doesn’t mean you can’t show some creative flair!)
Level Money is an app that functions as an assistant for your finances. Because it’s meant to send you reminders that help you run your life more smoothly, push notifications are transformed—from a lever that’s pulled to get you more engaged into critical messages that serve you at a basic level. From the time you’re onboarded to the times you’re engaged, every push that Level Money sends has inherent value.
For Level Money, push notification marketing is not simply a way to get users more engaged with the app. Push notifications are key to building a relationship with customers based on relevancy. Every push creates trust between the user and the app because it delivers immediate value. Together, they become a program of mobile messages that defy the need for promotion and lead to higher lifetime value.