When It’s Best To Nudge

When It's Best To Nudge

Nudge theory for mobile marketers - when to do it, and how to do it right.

Nudge Theory

Nudge theory (or Nudge) is a concept in behavioural science which argues that positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions are more effective in changing behaviour.  Nudges are not mandates. There is no direct economic benefit. In the simplest terms, they change behavior by presenting choices in different ways.  

The Fly & The Urinal - Nudge Theory

The Fly & The Urinal

Consider the fly in the urinal. Its presence literally changes human behavior. When fly stickers were introduced at Schiphol Airport, spillage rates dropped 80 percent.

Apple Watch Activity Tracker

The Three Rings

The Apple Watch Activity app tracks and visualises all the ways people move throughout the day. Three simple rings give a snapshot of progress. The goal - close your rings every day.

The activity tracker is mobile-only; there is no ‘desktop’ implementation. Apple combine a beautiful, simple UI to track progress, with communications to motivate and reward. Pure nudge theory.

A Case Study From A Marketplace

Let's take a look at a good example - a marketplace for finding a job. You can nudge users who have been struggling to get noticed, or land an interview.

Know the status of each users with behavioral segmentation

Know The Status Of Each User With Behavioral Segmentation

Swrve collects any and every user event you care about, then lets you combine it with user profile and demographic data to create sophisticated target audiences. As Swrve segmentation is real-time, communications too are real-time.

The marketplace, from reviewing analytics, knows what behaviors signal failure. A typical profile:

  • long-time job-seekers (45 days),
  • with low success in job seeking (low chat with recruiters in 45 days),
  • with incomplete resume,
  • and have become inactive in the past week.
A Push Notification To Nudge A User

A Push To Nudge

The marketplace has set Swrve up to automatically connect with every user entering this profile. Based on that user’s past usage, Swrve picks the optimal time to reach out to them. For example, if the user typically perused opportunities in the evening time, they will receive their notification at that time.

A Nudge With 28% Conversion

A Nudge With 28% Conversion

The next time these users were in the app, they received this nudge. A simple video tutorial on how to update their resume. 28% went on to update their resume post video. Of this audience, they then went on an applied for 6.7 positions. 48% were successful in securing a position. It’s worth reminding…this is only nudge. No economic incentives.

Changes To The Native Experience

Changes in language or call to action can meaningfully affect change. For example, instead of saying ‘time to update your resume’, the more effective language was ‘suggestions to improve your resume.

A/B Test Multiple Variants

By definition it is difficult to determine the impact of nudges on behaviour. Therefore A/B Test the impact on nudge campaigns. Below we clearly see the the campaign above is a winning variant.

Changes to the native experience and A/B testing variants
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