An interstitial is an overlay or "top-layer," which obscures the main content of a mobile site, and can either be tapped, to direct the user to whatever is being marketed, or skipped, to access the content underneath. Interstitials can be used to market anything, but are often used to promote a brand’s app.
They work by breaking a customer’s mobile web experience with an overlay, which offers them an alternative channel for continuing their journey. The customer can then decide whether to download the app and access services through it, or continue using the web architecture.
An interstitial’s level of enforcement can be defined by how difficult it makes completing a customer’s original intent. It’s composed of three main factors: frequency, difficulty of dismissal and intent disruption.
Interstitials vary in the degree to which they enforce behavior on a user. Some companies enforce interstitials to such an extent they turn users away from their brand, while others implement them in a form so light-touch as to be ineffective.
The optimum level of enforcement for an interstitial can be pinpointed in a two-step analysis:
Step 1: Tailor it to your organization’s value proposition
Determine the broad range of hard/soft levels of enforcement your company can afford to take with interstitials by assessing the customer value exchange.
Step 2: Tailor it to your customer’s individual preferences
Get a more granular understanding of how interstitials should be used with A/B testing. Use these insights to tailor enforcement levels to individual customer preferences and behavior.
Apps all have different optimum points on the enforcement spectrum. Where this point lies depends on the nature of the app and its value proposition to its users.
Determine your optimum level
Customers will only download and use an app if it provides them with long-term value. A marketer can therefore afford to push harder if their app is providing an essential value exchange for the customer. As a general rule, the more value criteria an app fulfills, the harder they can afford to push their interstitial.
Fine-tune your optimum level
Once you’ve assessed the value exchange that a customer derives from your app, and determined the broad level of enforcement you should be using, it’s essential to fine-tune your interstitial strategy. There are two key aspects to consider:
A sophisticated marketing strategy leverages the abundance of analytics and customer behavior data to provide a personalized and A/B tested approach for each customer.
When interstitials are used in a way which harnesses the power of an organization’s value proposition and combines it with the power of personalization, the results can be invaluable. Not only do they unlock more data about customers, but they can also build better customer relationships and loyalty, enabling long-term, sustainable growth.
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