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2022-10-19 5:00 pm
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How to Make Promotions Mobile-friendly?
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How to Make Promotions Mobile-friendly?

In this guide, we’ll go through customer preferences when it comes to sales promotions distribution channels. We will summarize a couple of statistics that show the importance of mobile advertising. We will cover why promotions on mobile can do better in terms of ROI than on other channels. We will also show you how you can prepare your promotional campaigns, like coupons and online discounts, to be effective on mobile.

A 2018 study by dealnerd provides two insights marketers cannot afford to miss: 47%  of respondents prefer to shop using mobile devices but at the same time, 84% have abandoned an e-commerce purchase because of problems with checking out. The numbers support a trend we’ve all seen for a while. People shop using their smartphones and they demand that every part of the purchase journey is mobile-ready. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can prepare your promotional campaigns, like coupons and online discounts, to be effective on mobile.

So, what makes a mobile discount convenient? There are a few important parameters you should take into account. Some of them stem from your customers' habits, some from your business strategy, and some have a lot to do with the technology your business runs on. Your goal is to mix them up in a series of experiments to figure out the golden formula for driving revenue and customer engagement.

Where do people prefer to find sales promotions? 

Top channels for finding discount coupons are: 

  • Email – 83%
  • Social media – 66%
  • Mobile/push notifications – 48%
  • Word-of-mouth – 48%

Why should you launch sales promotions on mobile? 

Here are a couple of statistics to keep in mind when considering launching promotions on mobile: 

  • There are more connected mobile devices in the world (7.94 billion) than there are people.
  • Research shows that mobile apps convert higher than the mobile web. Depending on the industry, buttons have 100-200% higher conversion rates. 
  • Push notifications have a 90% average open rate, compared to 23% for email.
  • Push notifications have a 7x higher engagement rate compared to emails.
  • People spend most of their time on apps, not browsing the web, on their mobile devices so providing your promotions on a responsive website is not going to make it. 
  • People prefer to use apps rather than mobile websites.
Source: RubyGarage

We have also written separately a blog post about why should you offer a mobile loyalty program

Why do mobile promotions give greater sales results than non-mobile promotions? 

  • You can launch flash promotions – emails aren’t the best way to capture shoppers’ attention when you want to trigger prompt interactions. Using push notifications or SMS/MMS can give you much better results in flash, short-expiry promotions or if you can and want to send out geolocated offers. If you have a native app, you can also think of timed, non intrusive pop ups, e.g., when you detect a specific user activity.
  • Personalize promotions – mobile app users are often logged-in which makes it easier to segment customers into groups and target them with the deals they like and seek. The ability to adjust coupon discounts and themes to customer preferences gives you a massive advantage over your competitors. In today’s data-driven world, this is how e-commerce giants build their marketing campaigns. Promotion personalization can be achieved in many ways, we’ve put some proven ideas on our blog recently.
  • Mobile promotions allow for precise and dynamic geolocation-based promotion – for instance, you can push out a 15% discount code to all customers who find themselves within 1km radius around your brick-and-mortar store. 
  • Sending a message to customers’ mobile devices, that is personalized, seems more intimate than sending it via email. There is no “SPAM” on mobile app or SMS so you also avoid landing in SPAM with your offers, as opposed to email marketing. 
“Because messages are intended just for the user, users generally pay more careful attention to mobile ads (e.g., text added after a notification) than they do to ads that come to a PC.” – MarketingDive
  • Mobile advertising is cheaper than desktop advertising. Average cost per 1000 impressions is $0.75 for mobile app and $3.5 for desktop. 
  • More and more people use mobile devices and they spend an increasing amount of time using them. Approximately 4 billion people own mobile devices vs. 1 billion owning a PC.
  • Mobile phone makes it easy to respond to ads. The ads are more interactive, making it easy for users to click to call, click to SMS or click to purchase. 
  • Lack of ad-blocking mechanisms on mobile devices makes it easier to advertise. 
  • It is your own channel, which makes it easier to analyse the conversions and attribute them. 
  • Offline capabilities, especially promotion redemptions offline in-store can be a big differentiating factor. On a website or e-mail, customers may not be able to access the promotional code, gift card or loyalty card while on a mobile app, they can have this functionality offline.

How to make your promotions mobile-friendly? 

  • Add QR codes to your coupons shared via other platforms – the majority of coupons come with email. If you have already adopted responsive emails, you can include one more thing to top the coupon redemption experience. Introduce QR codes along with the text codes. QR codes are easy to stash and straightforward to redeem later in offline shops in particular, by simply displaying them on the customer’s mobile phone. By providing codes in two formats, customers can fall back to the text code if needed. That’s one of the crucial points of making your promotions mobile-ready.
  • Send your promotions via SMS/MMS. 
  • Send your sales promotions via in-app messages.
  • Use push notifications. 
  • Display your promotions on the main app screen banner. 
  • Use native apps that look just like app content, another part of information on the app. 
  • Interstitial ads – these are the ads that take the whole screen, a kind of a mobile app pop-up banner. They are great for visibility but might be considered intrusive.
  • Rich media ads – multimedia ads, containing video or sound, they are more engaging than simple graphics. 
  • Advertise via external channels – the wave of coupon deals has given birth to mobile coupon hubs. They are usually highly-ranked in app stores, so you might consider placing some of your deals there to get more visibility. Keep an eye on the value you get relative to the commission you pay, though. Alternatively, if your brand is strong enough, you can create your own coupon hub as part of your web/native app, like Zalando did.

What kind of promotions can you share on mobile apps? 

  • Discount coupons – you can share discount coupons with your customers or potential customers to increase their conversion rate, average basket spend or re-engage them, for example. You can personalize the coupons and offer unique coupon codes to each customer. That will make them feel special and also help you protect your budget better as the coupons are unique and harder to steal. 
  • Cart-level promotions – sometimes, especially when your customer is already logged into your app, you can drop the need for coupon codes and prompt promotion messages automatically. So-called cart-level discounts work particularly well on mobile for customer retention or up-selling campaigns. Similar to coupons, they can be shared with mobile-friendly marketing channels and should be monitored for fraud too. 
  • Gift card promotions – you can share free gift card credits with customers either by sending them new, unique gift cards or re-charging their existing gift cards. This can give a nice push for the customers to come back to your store, as they do not want to “lose” what they were given (loss aversion strategy). Works great as a re-engagement campaign!
  • Referral programs – another proven way to drive revenue through promotions is to launch a two-way friends-refer-friends program. Two-way means that the referrer gets rewards for attracting new shoppers and the first-time customers are more inclined to purchase at your store because an outstanding discount is carried with the referral code.
  • Loyalty programs – to boost customer retention and loyalty, you can launch a loyalty program. Having a loyalty program on your mobile app helps make the users keep your app (and your brand) top of mind and to decrease the churn (uninstall) rate on the app. 
  • Giveaways – if you manage to introduce some or all the previous tactics, you can start engaging customers with more advanced tools like gamification. Lotteries, challenges, or surveys bundled with discounts will help you win the battle for customer attention. Smartphone features like geolocation, gestures, and game development kits are the prefect tools to come up with something creative.

See our Sales Promotion Inspirations Library for some real-life promotion inspirations. 

Advice on mobile promotions 

  • Control your budget – sometimes the coupon deal starts as a trickle before it becomes a flood. If you’re not prepared for any sort of viral growth in coupon usage, you might harm your promo budget and take the heat from management. 

There are a couple of ways to prevent this serious side effect:

  • Unique, one-off coupon codes.
  • Limited-time offers.
  • Campaign budget monitor which deactivates the discount when it hits the predefined goal
  • Analyze and optimize your campaigns constantly – there is no one-size-fits-all and you should keep track of your marketing investments, analyze your campaigns performance and tweak your campaigns accordingly. A/B test your campaigns or launch them first for small customer segments, to test the results. 

How to improve your mobile marketing? 

Do you want to learn more about mobile app development, design and marketing? Our partner, Customlytics, offers a wonderful resource, Mobile Developer’s Guide to the Galaxy, completely free of charge, that consists of: 

  • Over 330 pages suitable for all levels, beginners and professionals.
  • 15 chapters on iOS and Android Development, ASO, Analytics, Monetization, UI & UX Design, User Retention, Gaming and much more.
  • An independent and objective account of the current mobile app landscape.

Get Mobile Developer's Guide to Galaxy

Making sales promotions work on mobile

Napoleon asked why his soldiers weren’t attacking the city. They said there are 10 reasons, the first one is the lack of cannons, so the others aren’t important. The same applies to your promotional campaigns. Offering omnichannel experience including mobile promotions and a high-level of marketing personalization aren’t possible without the underlying software. You need a promotion engine software that will power your promotions and enable you to display the same promotions across various distribution channels. Voucherify is an API-first promotion engine that can display promotions on mobile. Additionally, Voucherify offers customizable Android and iOS apps enabling offline promo codes redemption. Our partner agency, Customlytics, can help you with the integration and implementation of Voucherify. 


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