Data-Powered App Engagement Growth
How do you increase app notification opens by 118% outside of the peaks in club activity? Swansea City have the answer and it lies in harnessing user data to send targeted app notifications.
The Swans’ digital team have long been ahead of the curve and their latest efforts in reaching their fans have worked fantastically, right from the off, and they are only just getting started with what they can do.
A vital tool for club & partners
For any sports club their app represents a wealth of golden opportunities to deepen engagement with their supporters. Once in the app there are numerous spaces and moments to sell tickets, merchandise, hospitality, memberships, season tickets. For their partners it is delivering valuable exposure to their core target audience.
Drawing fans to your app
Most app users will visit the app several times a day, and much more during peak times, such as transfer windows, play-offs, and on matchdays. Ensuring that they see what is most relevant to them is the goal in order that they feel connected to the club and the club, in turn, has a happy and valuable supporter.
Notifications: make them relevant
To encourage a user to open the app, the club can send out notifications (depending on the preferences that the user has set in the app settings). These alert users to breaking news, match events, special offers, etc.
For notifications to be opened they need to entice the user. That means that they need to be sending the right information, to the right person, at the right time. Knowing what to send, who to send it to, and when, is not art but science.
What to send, and to which fans?
Swansea City have carefully devised their engagement strategy to focus on who they want to reach, and with what message, and then planned out their push notifications down to the minute.
The team mapped out how they wanted to group, or segment, their app users (e.g. season ticket holders, previous match purchases, video subscribers, previous online purchases, etc.) and, thanks to the data they have available to them, they can segment their audience accordingly.
Timing is everything
As we mentioned previously there are periods where app engagement is naturally higher as fans clamour to find out who the latest signing is or check out just how many more wins are needed to secure that play-off spot. So keeping momentum is about countering the anticipated drops in engagement.
Targeting notifications at fans that are most likely to open them is key in these periods. This is exactly what Swansea City have done and the results are clear to see.
After an expected drop in notification opens in September, the task was to avoid the same in October. By making savvy use of the data available to them the team segmented their fans and targeted their notifications.
February’s drop, after the huge peak in interest in January when the transfer window draws so much attention, was the next challenge. In 2022, with no segmenting, notification opens were 52% lower in February than January. In February 2023, with segmenting employed, notification opens grew by 43% YOY to offset the usual lull.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how data can be utilised so successfully. It’s fantastic to work with a team like Swansea City’s where we can do what we do best and keep on expanding the tools we create in order that the club can continuously improve their fan experience.