Lock screen notifications will make or break your mobile ad campaign.

This is an indisputable fact – sort of like the sun always rising in the east, and there is no Coriolis effect that will change this if you head south (or north, depending on your current orientation).  Your lock screen notification should be designed, just like a newspaper headline, an email subject line, or a movie trailer; the idea here is to get someone’s attention – not to make a sale.

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Think of the lock screen notification as if it’s merely the front window of your shop.  A passerby will peer in, see something interesting, and then waltz right in and start shopping.  If your window dressing is sloppy, boring, dull, uninteresting?  Well, you can guess that you won’t get many shoppers to come into the store after they see that.

Let’s take a look at a couple of simple steps that can really help you to increase your click through rate from your lock screen notifications.  It’s not difficult, and you can test messages to see what works with your target demographic.

#1 – Think about the campaign you’re running.  What are the benefits and what is the story?

Everyone loves a story.  The more interesting, the better.  So choosing to send out a lock screen notification that reads like this:

20% off all kids shoes today

This is boring.  Even if I were in the market for kids shoes today, I still don’t think I’d be that interested in checking you out, unless I just happened to be walking by the store when you messaged me (and of course if you have a brick and mortar location, you are surely using location and proximity triggers to send lock screen messages, yes?), and I had an extra 30 seconds to pop my head in and look around.

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A better alternative to the cut and dry verbiage above might read more like this:

School starts Monday!  Don’t forget new kicks for the kids – it will make their day AND we’ve got fantastic sale prices TODAY ONLY!  Tap for discounts-

Much better.  While I’d like to say that every parent is well aware of when school starts, I just happen to know that isn’t always true.  You’re providing information, in an entertaining format, and you’ve got an offer.  Much more likely that you’ll get the average person to take a look at your mobile ad campaign.

#2 – Focus on the here and now.

As you see in our example above, we’re looking at what’s going on right now, today, this moment, that could create a want in a prospects mind, which would lead to the next step in their shoppers journey.  Don’t waste perfectly good lock screen notifications telling people about something that’s going to happen next Tuesday, unless they absolutely have to buy tickets to the event today or they won’t get to go.

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FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – can be a powerful thing, and you can certainly use it in your lock screen notifications; it often gets people motivated to do something to change their situation immediately.

Think about this:

Don’t miss our back to school sale – AWESOME kids shoes, great discounts, down to the last few pairs in the popular sizes! Tap for more – 

Every parent thinks their kid is the most popular everything, we all know that.  So of course little Johnny wears the most popular size in shoes.  Duh.  Carrot, meet stick.

#3 – Tell your audience what you want them to do.

I am not sure we can stress this enough.  If you do not use an effective CTA (call to action) in your lock screen notifications, you can be sure that no one is going to look at your mobile marketing campaigns.

If you did not notice that both of our mobile notification examples above end with clear directions – “tap” to achieve the goal.  We use the word ‘tap’ since it’s the least number of letters available that conveys the message, and notifications are limited to a specific number of characters.

These are three of the easiest, most simple ways to get your message across to your prospects or returning customers.   It’s not rocket science, and mobile ad campaigns offer you the opportunity to test new headlines each time you send a lock screen notification.

If you’re using location and proximity triggers along with time based triggers, you should be able to build a spread sheet that includes what headline you chose and how many click throughs you got from it.  Over time you’ll start to see patterns emerge – I’m hesitant to describe a particular pattern since each business type has a different set of demographics to consider.


Want us to take a look at your stats and work through your current messaging with you? Hit us up, we’re happy to help –