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  • Writer's pictureDoug Pittman

Use First-Party Data to Personalize the Mobile Experience

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

Collecting data is the first step in effective mobile personalization. A mobile marketing platform combines all features of your strategy rather than relying on third-party products. Installing too many third-party services can slow down your app, and the data may not match with the other platforms. First-party data is a foundation for accurate information straight from the source.

User profiles create the personalized experience your marketing needs and consumers want. These profiles contain data containing demographics, location, in-app behaviors, and preferences. Use these profiles as a basis for user segmentation to target messages that reach specific groups of users.

Mobile personalization is essential to understanding the who, what, when, where, and why’s of your consumers. For example, even a simple change of language can improve mobile app engagement, such as changing a push notification to state, “You have an item left in your mobile cart” to, “Hello [Name], you still have [product] left in your cart!” Studies show that personalized messages have an 80% higher open rate; as such it is important to make these campaign alterations to maximize conversions.

What’s more, once your customer attributes have been set up, optimization strategies such as mobile A/B testing, or experimentation become much easier. Marketers can test different variables on various consumer segments, which helps make key changes to campaigns that benefit these particular users.

What Does Mobile Personalization Mean for Marketers?

Address your targeted audience through every touchpoint in a consumer journey, and personalization aids this endeavor. For example, during the onboarding process, a personalized welcome notification will urge the user to take the first step, such as registering their name and email address. Later on, to ensure continued engagement, the mobile app team might use personalized messages to show users how far they have progressed in the onboarding process.

A personalized push notification can retarget disengaged users by notifying them of new feature updates, promotions, or custom experience options. With studies showing that up to 90% of us delete an app within the first day of downloading it, personalization is the difference between abandonment and retention. Personalized notifications help marketers see improved ROI and more fulfilling customer experiences.

Breaking Down the Customer Journey through First-Party Data Touch Points

The consumer journey is not a direct path; in fact, it looks more like the path of a Mexican jumping bean. To reach your users in their mobile moments, think of the lifecycle defined by user touchpoints. The cycle begins with onboarding but can move fluidly between touchpoints throughout the rest of the lifecycle, jumping from conversion to loyalty to reactivation.

Mobile marketers and app developers can make the most of each consumer touchpoint by ensuring that wherever customers are in the lifecycle, the experience is personalized to their needs.


Onboarding should be simple to understand and transparent in its goal. Whatever interface you use for this goal set should outline where the customer starts and ends their onboarding process. This could be registering their account, conducting a search, or completing their first purchase.

Mobile marketers should automate this process. Create an onboarding campaign to trigger push notifications at individual milestones. Automating your onboarding strategy makes it easy to personalize the consumer experience. Set milestones to trigger based on individual user behavior, instead of sending blast campaigns to all of your users at once. Further personalize the experience with first-party data by inserting tailored user details, such as their name, location, or last viewed item or page in the app.


Once you’ve introduced consumers to your app through onboarding, keep them engaged with personalized experiences. An example is simple behavior-based triggers. For example, a restaurant app can send patrons promotions on products they enjoy, specials for the specific nights they like to eat out, or updates to delivery options in their location. One of mobile app’s primary advantages over web apps is the ability to target consumers wherever they are. Use first-party location data to your advantage.

Using behavior and location-based triggers make your messages timely and relevant. Behavior-based push notifications can increase push notification open rates by up to 80%. Include the products and locations that consumers enjoy tailoring an experience that results in higher conversions by simply adding convenience.


Unfortunately, app users abandon nearly 90% of mobile shopping carts. Shoppers may add items to their cart but never complete the checkout process. Decrease shopping cart abandonment with mobile marketing campaigns. You can send messages reminding users that their abandoned product is still in the cart with event triggering.

When reminding users about abandoned cart items, be sure to make use of first-party user data, such as their name and the specific item that they left behind.


Retargeting a user distancing themselves by well-timed messages featuring the information most relevant to their needs as a user. Use push notifications to alert users to updates, promotions, new products or features, and even incentives in loyalty rewards.

What’s Next?

There is no perfect mold to fit app users in to. Each user experience and touchpoint has different values and relevance. Gathering first-party data to create a richer customer experience creates value for brands and consumers alike.

The best way to enhance your app for retention and engagement is to be there for your users at every mobile moment. Personalization helps boost retention, and mobile is no exception to that rule. Make the customer journey relevant and make it relative to their personal consumer touchpoints.



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