What is mobile geofencing?

Glossary What is mobile geofencing?


Geofencing is a virtually-constructed radius used by mobile marketers to promote certain ads to potential customers within a specified geographic area. It uses technologies such as GPS, radio-frequency identification (RFID), WiFi, or cellular data to build a ‘virtual fence’ or geofence around the specified location. Geofences are typically placed around a building, city block, or zip code.

How does geofencing work?

The mobile advertisers must first select the real-world location and then set up the geofence around this area in GPS or RFID-enabled software. Then, an event can be triggered once a device enters or exits this location. These events can be an email, text, app, or media ad notification.

Note that geofencing will only work with users who’ve opted-in to receive push notifications and share location data.

There are three action trigger types for geofencing that vary in relation of a mobile device to a user or other users. Consider using one or more of these trigger types.

Geofencing’s action trigger types

  1. Static: As the name implies, static triggers are based on the position of a mobile device in relation to a fixed area. They are often used in retail stores to alert opted-in users of a promo.

  2. Peer-to-peer: Peer-to-peer triggers are determined by the position of a mobile user in relation to other users. When you use a check-in notification on Facebook or Yelp, this is a peer-to-peer trigger.

  3. Dynamic: Dynamic triggers are based on the relation of a mobile user to a changing data stream. Consider a taxi app in which both your mobile phone’s position and the position of an available taxi are constantly changing. When the driver arrives to your pick-up location, a dynamic trigger occurs, and you’ll receive a message saying the driver has arrived.

What is geofencing used for?

Ultimately, geofencing is used for location-based engagement. Mobile app marketers can tailor their advertisements to a local population, ask for feedback, or share relevant information.

For example, a concert venue can use its own app to provide its audience with event-related details once the user is in the venue. Or, a department store can send promotional push notifications advertising their deal of the day to customers entering the store.

A major benefit of geofencing is that it’s easy to measure the effectiveness of a geofencing campaign. For example, if clients are entering your store via geofencing promotions, then you can also measure their sales, how long they spend in your store, and how often they drop in.

Tips for geofencing mobile marketing

Don’t go too big

While you can create a geofence as big as you’d like, a good rule of thumb is to keep the geofencing radius within a four-to-five travel radius. If you make your geofence larger than this, it’s more likely your ad can lose relevancy.

Be transparent

If your app uses GPS tracking services, your users should be informed of this and know what to expect upon downloading your app. Users are more likely to opt-in if an app’s messaging explains the benefits of having their location tracked.

Retarget...and retarget

Retargeted ads boast a click-through rate that’s 10 times higher than display ads. Take this statistic and apply it to your geofencing mobile marketing strategy. For instance, offer a promotion to individuals who have been inside a geofence in the last two weeks. Bring back your customers with geofencing retargeting.

At Adjust, we help mobile app marketers manage mobile attribution, campaign optimization, and user privacy. Whether your mobile marketing strategy includes geofencing ads or not, we have a dynamic solution that will help you make better marketing decisions, faster. Let’s talk and see how we can help you drive app growth.

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