Why People Opt In – and Out – of Brand Communications on Smartphones

January 5, 2022
Airship Smartphone Brand Communications Opt In Jan2022

Customers opting in to notifications present obvious perks for business. Customers with active notifications are twice as likely to open an app as those who don’t and are less likely to completely abandon an app. But what benefits do notifications provide for consumers? A recent report [download page] from Airship provides a look at why consumers choose to opt-in to notifications.

The survey of more than 9,000 consumers in 7 countries found that, while some who opt-in to notifications from a brand do so to get shipping/delivery or pickup alerts (25%), to receive order confirmations and receipts (25%) or for perks like early access to sales events and exclusive products (21%), the most common reason people are opting in is to earn immediate discounts or loyalty points (35%).

Indeed, immediate rewards are the most popular influencer for opting into brand communications for consumers from 6 of the 7 countries surveyed.

On the other hand, while consumers are interested in personalized brand experiences, personalization is less of a driver for consumers to opt-in to notifications. Indeed, personalized offers based on browsing behavior or past purchases  (14%) and special offers triggered by location (13%) fall toward the bottom of the list of reasons to opt-in to brand communications. 

Why Opt-Out of Notifications?

Earlier data from YouGov found that 47% of consumers say they get too many notifications, and, while many say they will simply adjust notification settings if this is the case, Airship’s survey reveals that about half (51%) will opt-out altogether. 

Even though personalization is not a top reason for enrolling in notifications, a lack of personalization can have an impact on whether a consumer will drop out of them. Indeed, two-fifths of global respondents and about one-quarter (27%) of US consumers say they will opt out of notifications if they feel those notifications are irrelevant or not personalized to their needs.

Improving Notification Retention

There are ways brands can improve their opt-in retention. Consumers say they are more likely to stay opted into notifications if they have control over the reason for the communication, such as delivery alerts versus marketing messages, how often they receive notifications, and which channel they receive those notifications through.

Control over the purpose for communications is especially popular for consumers in the US, with close to half (46%) of US respondents saying as much. Additionally, the desire to have a say in brand notifications is universal across generations. However, Millennials appear to desire the most control over the brand communications they receive. They are more likely than other age groups to also prefer to have control over the frequency of communications and the channel where they receive communication.

Find the full report here

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 9,143 consumers in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore and India. 

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