Your customers don’t fit into a single mold, so why treat them like they do? It took a while, but marketers have come to realize that sending mass marketing messages via email destroys customer engagement and conversions. The same applies when it comes to mobile. App personalization is key to capturing your target customer’s interest, keeping his attention, and converting successfully, despite all the other marketing noise. Here are six things you should know about app personalization.

1. Push notifications work

Nearly 70 percent of consumers who download apps enable push notifications. When an app user enables push notifications, he/she is essentially giving you permission to send alerts his/her way. This is your chance to reach out to your customer and get the desired result. Location-based push notifications prove particularly effective. A timely push notification via beacon allows your app to pinpoint your user’s location and send deals he can use now rather than later. This means pushing a meal discount when your customer is within just a few miles of your restaurant rather than 50 miles away. Likewise, tailoring messages based on demographics and purchase behaviors, means you aren’t marketing honeymoon vacation deals to retirees interested in cruises.

2. Personalization is key

By themselves, push notifications will get you nowhere. It’s the personalization that transforms them from simple tools into tools that work. Day in and day out, consumers are inundated with alerts for deals, news, updates, etc. It’s easy for your alerts to get lost in all that noise. Establish a personal connection the moment your customer signs up for push notifications by welcoming him by name and using his name in every message going forward. It also helps to create targeted in-app campaigns based on your user’s current status and profile. A hotel, for example, may change the deal it offers based on whether an app user is currently staying in the hotel or planning a stay, ensuring that the user receives a well-targeted message.

3. Customer data is required

You can send your target customer alerts that greet him by name, but if you’re sending messages that appeal to the general masses, you will lose out on engagement and conversions anyway. Think of it this way: sending junk food deals to health-conscious customers won’t translate into sales. What will help sales is analyzing customer data for spending habits, preferences, interests, demographics, and engagement in social media. With this data at hand, you can make your app smarter, ensuring that it provides real value for your user, and in turn, improving your ROI. This not only boosts your chances of making sales but also helps ensure that your targets read your messages in the first place.

4. It’s all in the timing

Serving the right message to the right target is a critical part of app personalization, but you also have to send the message at the right time. Evenings and late nights, for example, are prime time for mobile device use. Analyze your data to determine if your users are opening your messages when you send them. If not, send them at a different time and evaluate whether your open rate improves.

5. You shouldn’t write off inactive users

If an app user hasn’t been active for a while, don’t just label him a lost cause. Instead, let the user know he’s important to you by personalizing your message with a “We Miss You” statement and an update, deal, or announcement sure to grab his attention.

6. Some users need a reason to use your app

Many users download apps to take advantage of specials, giveaways, and coupons from their favorite brands. Providing app-only content, specials and coupons gives customers a reason to use your app. Instead of holding a online sale, a retail store looking to drive additional m-commerce could run an app-only sale. In addition to exclusive offers, an app marketer could create an ongoing rewards program to help improve user engagement.

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