The Power of Recency – How to Increase User Response by 150%

By: Kahuna | May 28, 2014 | Campaign Strategy

The truth is that mobile users are hard to earn, and easy to lose. Research shows that 25% of people use an app only once, and over half of all users churn after just 3 months (Flurry).

Kahuna is focused on solving this issue – How do you make sure your app stays relevant in this fast-paced world? The power of recency is the silver bullet. We see incredible success from brands who apply this concept to their mobile messaging strategy. Use it well and inspire in-app purchases, social shares, registrations, user engagement and delight.

Why Recency Is So Powerful, and How You Can Use It:

Your users are always evolving. It is your job to understand them, and to show them that you understand them. Mobile is built on optimizing the user’s path to fulfillment – mobile users can get what they want in seconds. As such, your mobile user is even more dynamic than your traditional desktop user. Keep new users engaged and inspire dormant users to re-engage by referencing their most recent search or last item viewed.

For example, push notifications that are personalized based on last designer viewed perform 10x better than a generic message. An e-commerce company that sends: “Hi<first name>. New arrivals from <last designer viewed> and more of your favorites” shows each customer that their unique preferences matter. Keep your messaging fresh by making sure this notification is dynamic and automated, so every future message that you send will automatically incorporate your users’ most recent behavior.

The mobile user is continually evolving, as is their relationship with your brand. It is critical that you understand each user’s engagement state and message them accordingly. Engagement level is not static – users typically float from one engagement state to another within a matter of days. Message copy that resonates with engaged users is not effective among new users. Most brands choose to send fewer push notifications to users who are currently engaged than to dormant / lapsed users. Tools like omni-channel engagement mapping help you spot users at risk of becoming dormant or leaving your app and enable you to send targeted push messages that will keep them engaged.

Before You Get Started, A Few Words Of Caution:

Know The Full Story On Each User: Recency is only as accurate as your user data. Make sure you have the full picture for each user, a picture that incorporates their behavior and interactions with your brand across desktop, mobile web, and your native app(s). The only thing worse than sending an impersonal message is sending a mis-personalized message.Don’t make the mistake of sending a mobile shopper a push notification about the last item they viewed on your app a month ago, if they’ve since been browsing or buying on your website.

Understand The Person, Not The Device: 56% of high-value mobile users own both a smartphones and a tablet (InternetRetailer). Make sure you know which devices belong to which users – so you don’t send two conflicting messages to the same person.

Deliver The Message When Your User Wants To Receive It: Ensure every message you send arrives at the right time for each user. It doesn’t matter what the message says if the timing is off. A push notification sent at a bad time is one of the best ways to ruin the user experience, and there is no golden time zone. Some people prefer to browse during their lunch break, others are more active in the evenings. Furthermore, if your goal is engagement or revenue, users need to actually want to receive to your message. Make sure that each message arrives at the best time for each user – not at the time when the marketer presses or schedules “send.”