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Colleen LeCount, SVP of global sales and marketing at Mobolize, can boil it all down to the one thing that always works to make push notifications as successful as possible: It’s all about context.

“So, if you do it in the right moment, when you have that customer at the right place and right time that you’re able to make it actionable, that’s where you’re going to get the best results,” LeCount says.

She points at their successful collaboration with Sprint, with a solution called Secure Wifi. Any time a customer encounters an unsecured hotspot, the service pushes a notification asking you if you’d like to secure it, and offers you the ability to purchase, right in that moment.

“We’ve captured that customer in the moment where they need that solution most, and the fact that they can easily select that solution right from the notification results in incredibly high conversion,” LeCount says.

Push notifications are often really all about reducing a customer’s need to be reactive — you’re essentially serving up an opportunity or action that they might have sought out, but you’ve eliminated the friction involved.

For pre-paid customers, LeCount says, Mobolize can push out notifications when users have run out of data — rather than allowing the customer to discover that the well has run dry just when they try to log on to Facebook to brag about their jet ski. Instead of delaying that moment of gratification, they’re able to make an offer to that user based purely on relevance, with a value-add that increases customer satisfaction, too.

Based on the customer’s habits and usage, you’d push an alert that not only prompts them to buy more data, but also offer them, for instance, a loyalty reward, such as two free hours of data for Facebook browsing and picture uploading.

“Again, it’s highly relevant, right in the moment they need it, and actionable from that push notification,” LeCount points out.

But there’s a delicate balance when it comes to conversion rates — what makes a customer buy in, and what makes a customer want to throw their phone across the room with a howl of soul-seared frustration with your clumsy tactics?

LeCount says that with an ability to send notifications out more frequently, they’ve actually seen significantly increased adoption. But again, spamming is the major issue here. It all comes back to, unsurprisingly, contextualization — sending out that notification when it matters most, and when the consumer can act on it immediately.

In fact, push notifications based on behavior, versus batch and blast, can increase conversions by an astonishing 2,400 percent.

But that requires a 360-degree view of the customer, which is something that has been lagging behind in mobile for a long time now. There are a wide variety of inputs, but the data is often piecemeal, disconnected, and difficult to draw conclusions from.

“As I’ve watched mobile advertising for the past ten years, it’s been incubating, and people are starting to find really good results from it — but it’s taken a while because, again, in part, they don’t have that full view.”

Typically, a marketer is leveraging inputs from your cellular behavior, so they know a little bit about you as a customer, and potentially some of your behaviors on the device, LeCount says, but because a mobile operator doesn’t own when you go on WiFi, whether you’re at home or at Starbucks or at the circus, when the customer leaves the cellular network suddenly, all of that insight is missing.

Marketers have obviously been able to turn out incredible results with that information, but a full picture, unsurprisingly, is a game changer.

In a recent test with one of Mobilize’s customers, WiFi analytics software helped reveal a completely different view of the customer, because behaviors are quite different. On cellular, a customer is typically at the office, commuting,or out and about in the real world. It’s when they’re on WiFi, they’re fixed in place, and that’s when their most personal, individual browsing and shopping habits happen.

“Having that more well-rounded view of the customer allows you to be far more relevant and targeted in offers and rewards,” LeCount says.

However, you don’t want to be the spiritual sibling to the spam folder in gmail, where all promotional emails go to die, LeCount warns. “We have to use it in the right way — the right frequency, the right relevance, and in that right moment of opportunity.”

For more on discovering and nailing those windows of opportunity, how to refine behavior based triggers and more, don’t miss this VB Live event!

Don’t miss out!

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  • Discover the one trick to never-fail push notifications everywhere, not just apps
  • Drive 2770% higher conversion rates through a specific kind of push notifications
  • Learn how to apply behavioral triggered push notifications in your own marketing strategy
  • Build better timing into your push notifications to increase conversions


  • Marissa Aydlett, VP Marketing, AppBoy
  • Colleen LeCount, SVP Global Sales and Marketing, Mobolize
  • Kara Dake, Founder, Women in Wireless
  • Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology for VentureBeat
  • Rachael Brownell, Moderator, VentureBeat