Want Mobile Messages That Stick Around? Try Appboy’s Industry-First News Feed Cards [Product Overview]

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So, you’re on top of your email game. Killing it with in-app messages. Your push notifications are a joy to behold. But part of you feels like there’s something missing. Not because the channels you’re using aren’t working like they should. Not at all. But wouldn’t it be nice to have another messaging option, one you had a little more control over?

Well, we’ve got some good news for you.

There’s something new that you can add to your digital marketing arsenal, a messaging channel that supports rich content and allows marketers to control how long messages are viewable. Something that can complement the message types you’re already familiar with and make them even more effective. And Appboy has it.

They’re called News Feed Cards and they just might be that special something you’ve been looking for.

What are News Feed Cards, anyway?

In essence, the News Feed is a messaging channel that lets you deliver rich, individually customized content to your customers.

Think of it like a vivid, streaming inbox that the marketer controls, ideally informed by what the customer wants. There’s a piece of evergreen content that you think a customer should see every time they engage with your brand? Add it to your News Feed and that’s exactly what will happen. You want to customize what promotions someone is shown based on their in-app behavior and purchases? News Feed Cards can do that, too. Plus, their support for deep linking means that your customers can move seamlessly from a card to any section of your app or website, or even outside web pages if need be.

Like email, News Feed Cards are semi-permanent in nature, making it possible for a customer who didn’t engage with a message in this channel to go back to it later if they change their mind. But while the recipient of each email you send decides what messages stay in their inbox and for how long, marketers have direct control over the News Feed and the order and longevity of its contents, making it easy to encourage customers to engage with your content.

In-app messages and News Feed Cards are so closely related that they’re practically siblings: both function only within the app or website experience and are versatile channels that support messages whether they’re short and sweet or detailed and content-rich. But in-app messages (and push notifications, for that matter) are fundamentally ephemeral ways of reaching customers: either a customer engages with the message when they first see it, or they don’t. But whatever they do, the message only lasts for a brief time before vanishing into the ether. News Feed Cards aren’t like thatthe content you deliver with this channel is as permanent as you want it to be.

Why did Appboy decide to create them?

When Appboy first set to work creating News Feed Cards, the goal was simple: give brands an effective, non-ephemeral way to communicate with users inside their app. So many mobile messaging channels deliver communications that are here-and-gone; we wanted to build something for those times when you need your outreach to stick around.

And because News Feed Cards can be personalized, customized, and individually targeted—just like all the other messaging types Appboy supports––they’ve proven to be a powerful, effective way to engage customers.

What are the different types of News Feed Cards?

1) Classic cards

This type of card supports small images and have space for a headline and body text. They work best in situations where you’re looking to convey a message to customers that’s short, simple, and to-the-point.

2) Captioned image cards

NIFTY #8

This type of card is built to support larger images, making them an effective way to showcase rich content within the News Feed. They’re great for capturing your customers’ attention and work well for highlighting sales and other promotions.

3) Banner Cards

Think of these cards as a hybrid of the first two types—they’re as simple and straightforward as classic cards, but with a stronger visual focus that’s more akin to captioned image cards.

4) Cross promotion cards

These cards are an effective way to promote your brand’s other apps and websites to existing customers using rich visuals and text. Perfect for reaching loyal customers and encouraging them to deepen their engagement with your brand.

Where can you use News Feed Cards?

In your app

A mobile News Feed

When News Feed Cards were first created, they were intended to let you add a rich flow of content to your app, making it easier to highlight promotions, app updates, and other important information without overwhelming your audience. And that’s just what you get when you add News Feed to your mobile app.

On your website

A web-based News Feed

Following this fall’s launch of Appboy’s Web SDK, it’s now possible for marketers to make use of News Feed Cards on their websites as well. The channel functions the same on your web presence as in your app, allowing you to create and curate a stream of rich, personalized content targeted for your web visitors.

What kind of campaigns can use News Feed Cards?

News Feed Cards are versatile, but while you could theoretically use them for any kind of campaign, you’re going to have better results if you keep in mind this channel’s specific strengths—namely, their semi-permanent nature and ability to support varied, personalized content.

Here are a couple campaigns that work particularly well with News Feed Cards:

Recurring content campaigns

News Feed Recurring Content Campaign

Does your brand put out content on a regular schedule, like daily updates to your blog or monthly digital issues of your magazine? News Feed Cards make it easy to showcase new content and highlight upcoming publication dates to build anticipation among the most active members of your audience. And because the cards can be individually customized and targeted, you can automatically update the version of each card customers see based on whether or not they’ve engaged with related messages in other channels, read content that you’ve highlighted previously, and more.

Onboarding campaigns

A News Feed Onboarding Campaign

Customers who are particularly likely to return to your brand are those who come away from their first session on your app or first visit to your website with a clear idea of the value your brand can provide and how to take advantage of the opportunities you offer. By using News Feed Cards to give new customers a solid understanding of your app or website during that initial visit, you can increase the odds that they stick around and become loyal customers. And because the News Feed is a constant presence in your app or website, it’s a great way to deepen customer engagement by consistently encouraging users to check out new features or explore elements of your digital experience that they haven’t tried. Plus, using multiple channels to encourage customers to complete your onboarding experience has been shown to increase two-month retention by 130%.

How does Appboy use News Feed Cards?

If you’re already an Appboy client, then you know that News Feed Cards aren’t just a channel you can use to reach your customers: they’re also a big part of the way that Appboy communicates with you.

When we have big news to share—a significant update to our platform, a new version of our SDK to download, or other important information—we use our News Feed to give clients an overview (and then deep link to relevant parts of our dashboard or documentation, when appropriate). And when the information we have to share is especially important, we encourage clients to check out the News Feed by sending them related in-app messages that greet them when they log in to our platform.

The Appboy News Feed

We’ve found that taking advantage of the News Feed to convey this kind of information keeps our clients informed in a helpful, non-intrusive manner. And because News Feed Cards support long-lasting messages, our clients can access and examine the information contained in the cards we share whenever they need to.

TL;DR

With their sustained viewability and support for varied content, News Feed Cards can fill an important gap in your mobile messaging strategy. And because this messaging type is still new, brands that start taking advantage of this channel now have an opportunity to get a leg up on their competition by reaching their customers more effectively and boosting audience retention over the long haul.

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