How MapQuest spurred user profile completion with in-app push notifications

MapQuest recently leveraged segmentation to incite its application users to add their home and work addresses to their profiles ? which typically results in more engagement and brand loyalty ? resulting in targeted users being 1000 percent more likely to take action upon receiving a push notification.

The mapping service teamed up with mobile marketing automation platform Appboy to simplify its app experience and drive longer in-app sessions by inviting consumers to add their work and home locations to their user profiles. Individuals who reacted to the push notifications were much more likely to take action within the MapQuest app, indicating that marketers should use this mobile technology to enhance user experiences and fuel completion of personal profiles.

?Push notifications are a powerful tool that virtually all apps can leverage, but they should always provide added value to users,? said Marissa Aydlett, vice president of marketing at Appboy. ?Push notifications are a medium best suited for transactional, urgent, and brief messages, and they?re most successful when incorporated into a multi-channel campaign including in-app messages, News Feed Cards, Web push notifications, and emails.

?Think of push notifications as the new pull,? she said. ?Appboy data has found that push notifications as part of onboarding efforts increase two-month retention by 71 percent.?

Deepening brand engagement
Individuals who include their home and work addresses in their user profiles are likely to spend more time interacting with an app and exhibiting greater brand loyalty. However, per Appboy, only eight percent of consumers will fill out profiles on their own and half of them will complete this action within the first day of using an app.

Therefore, MapQuest opted to team up with Appboy to target users who had not yet added their addresses to their personal profiles.

The first phase of the campaign saw MapQuest leverage segmentation to maximize user outreach. The mapping service developed segments by identifying users who had interacted with its app for a pre-determined time period but had not added their work or home addresses.

MapQuest subsequently used deep linking to bring these individuals to a designated page in the app where they were invited to update their profiles. The company used Appboy?s intelligent delivery platform, which uses historical customer engagement data to send targeted messages during each user?s high-engagement window, to power its campaigns.

The first phase culminated in users being 1000 percent more likely to take action within MapQuest than those who did not receive the push.

A dose of personalization
The second phase of the campaign entailed MapQuest adding personalization and exception events in a bid to fuel more conversions. The mapping service used Appboy?s suite of personalization tools to customize each message.

The messages could also be adjusted based on whether users had added their work addresses, home addresses or neither.

?The second set of messages was personalized by previous user behavior,? Ms. Aydlett said. ?To customize the messaging, MapQuest segmented its audiences? user profiles into personalized groups based off of which actions they?d already performed.

?If users only filled out their work address, they received a message highlighting the value of including a home address?and vice versa?as opposed to receiving a generic message reiterating the value of including addresses,? she said.

?Additionally, the use of exception events ensured that no user received the message if they?d already completed the requested action of adding both addresses.?

MapQuest also cancelled scheduled messages to consumers who added their addresses to their profiles without needing another push.

This phase resulted in an 82 percent increase in conversions versus phase one.

Ultimately, after using personalized messaging and targeting tools ? including deep linking and automated segmentation ? MapQuest?s campaign recipients became 1000 percent more likely to complete the suggested action that those who did not receive any push.

While MapQuest was able to secure longer in-app sessions and greater chances for long-lasting brand affinity with this initiative, participating users were also able to increase the app?s personal value by enjoying speedier direction searches.

MapQuest is not the only marketer that has relied on in-app segmentation to boost mobile conversions.

Earlier this year, 1800Flowers.com relied on segmentation, A/B testing and push notifications to effectively target mobile shoppers this past Valentine?s Day, resulting in a five percent lift of abandoned carts conversion (see story).

?There are many types of campaigns marketers can use to boost brand loyalty and engagement with their apps,? Ms. Aydlett said. ?To name a few: promotions (discounts, flash sales); activity and community messaging (a friend just joined, someone liked your photo); milestone recognition (just unlocked a new level, have been an active user for two months); abandoned cart campaigns; and more.?