20 ways to personalize your app

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20 ways to personalize your app

Mobile personalization plays an exceptionally important part in today’s digital marketing arena. Giving users a customized experience to make their encounter with your app easier means the world in terms of mobile retention and engagement. The following list presents a number of elements according to which your app can adjust in order to give mobile users a better experience, and will increase your mobile retention rate significantly.

Battery percentage

If the user is down to his or her last drops of mobile juice, now is probably not the best time to present them with your wonderful video trailer. We all know how stressful it is to run out of battery, and if the user found it necessary to install your app right at this moment - they really need it now. So get to the point and leave power-draining elements out of the picture. If your user’s device is shut down, there’s a much smaller chance that they will pay another visit to your app, as the moment has passed and the user now considers your app to be rather annoying.


A slow app will definitely take a hit in mobile retention rates. In fact, the smallest delay could cause a significant decrease. That is true even when the product itself is not slow, but instead simply isn’t right for the users’ connectivity level. Does your audience use a 3G connection? Are they currently on Wifi? These are questions that can now be answered, and with real-time mobile personalization translated into actionable steps. By measuring round trip time (RTT), you can offer users a lightweight version or maybe choose to invest in rich media - all based on the bandwidth users have access to at the exact moment.

Screen resolution

Mobile users eat with their eyes, which makes choosing the right visuals for your mobile app very important. But if you create a visually stunning experience that users miss out on due to poor resolution - you will be doing them (and your product) a disservice. A properly personalized app takes into consideration your user’s screen dimensions and delivers a mobile experience that looks and feels beautiful. Its unfortunate to see that while most developers create a mobile experience that technically works on different screens, they choose to give all users the same visuals and miss an opportunity to use the additional screen space that larger devices offer. Remember: a bigger screen means a bigger playground for your designers to work with. Don’t leave an empty space on the tablet, and instead give the user extra content that will be both informative and more visually appealing.

CPU capabilities

Some mobile apps are so advanced, they simply crash on certain devices and are soon deleted. On the other hand, compromising your product in order to fit the lowest common denominator means robbing users with advanced devices of the optimal experience they could get. The solution here is, obviously, a personalized app. Matching the product to the specific device’s strength means that each user will be exposed to what their device is capable of handling, without having to set a lower bar for your developers.


Similarly to the CPU capabilities, advanced mobile personalization allows you to give users of different softwares the best mobile user experience for them. For instance, if your app is in the commerce field, you will be able to give iOS 9 users an improved Apple Pay experience that includes their loyalty cards. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to give an advanced experience, without breaking the hearts of users who do not have access to this feature on their current OS.


If you want to include the new 3D touch feature in your product, that’s cool. It will only work, however, if the user is on an iPhone 6 or 6 plus device. This is another example of using the most advanced technology without frustrating users of an older device.

Power cable usage

Remember the video intro you have chosen to forgo because your user’s device was running out of battery? Well, this personalization element will let you know it’s safe to display power-consuming features if the user is currently charging their phone. Your cool video tutorial is back on.

Jailbroken devices

This mobile personalization tactic can not only increase mobile retention rates, but also improve your monetization. If you’re focused on targeting the crowd that is more likely to perform in-app purchases, there’s a chance that the jailbroken device holders are not what you should be looking for. Choose other methods to turn this audience into a money making one.

Time of day

If you have managed to get users’ permission to send push notifications during the mobile onboarding process, now is the time to put it to good use. Sending push notifications at the wrong time could be a huge turn-off for users who do not appreciate your app bothering them at inconvenient hours. In addition, you can adjust your app’s contrast based on the local time, in order to offer a better mobile user experience. A good example is that of navigating apps, known to offer users an automatic “night mode” after sunset in order to make the app more comfortable to use.

Local calendar

Matching a message or experience a user receives with the day of the week and a user’s location, will help your message resonate and become far more relevant to your crowd. For example, in many countries employees are off work during Saturday and Sunday, whereas in israel Sunday is a workday and Friday's are off. If yours is a B2B app, that is crucial information. The same goes for local holidays and seasonal events. Giving users a personalized app will save you precious dollars and stop you from looking foolish by making irrelevant offers.

Content download source

We’re sure that when launching your app, you have invested quite a bit of effort in PR and launch platforms. Now it’s time to invest in mobile personalization. If you wish to give users an experience that picks up where the article you were mentioned in left off - a perfectly personalized app onboarding process will do just that. Usually, since this is a first time user experience, we know very little on who the user is as a person. But if we target different audience segments based on the publications they read, an educated guess can be made regarding who they are. Build a different mobile onboarding flow for more techie users who came, say, from Product Hunt, or focus on a more detailed mobile onboarding process for the elderly crowd.

Media download source

Media campaigns can do a wonderful job at hyper-segmentation and help in building a tailored ad to each audience. A great way to make your media dollars count is to give users a personalized mobile experience based on the ad that made them hit “install”. If users were targeted on Facebook, there’s a lot you know about them as they first interact with your app. Remember: the source is what caused the user to find your app interesting, so maintaining a high interest level is exactly what your mobile onboarding process should do.

Weather conditions

Combining a user’s location with the current weather conditions will provide you with information that could turn into a real goldmine. Knowing what your users are experiencing is what enables you to create the most personal mobile user experience within your product. Use this mobile personalization method to make relevant offers based on the weather outside (stormy days call for indoor activities, cabs over public transportation, comfort food and much more) and let users know just how considerate and smart your product is.

Headphones usage

Very few things are as annoying as autoplaying sounds that surprise users in a public manner. As far as user experience goes, embarrassing your crowd is definitely the wrong choice. Knowing that user’s privacy is protected and your audio will reach only the user’s ear, allows you to include more audio, and perhaps even include slightly stranger sounds.


We’ve mentioned the impact of knowing where users are, but this one’s more specific and deals with the users’ active location. Meaning: know where they are headed, how far they are from the physical location of your business and more. You can also find interesting events at that location and draw the right conclusions regarding the activity users’ are participating in at the moment - are they at a concert or a game right now? Wow them with an experience tailored just for them.

Language preferences

Personalizing the language choice doesn’t just mean finding out what language the user speaks according to his or her location, since people often feel more at ease communicating in a language different than the common one around them. In fact, basing your language choice on a user’s mobile keyboard settings is the default case. You can also choose a specific time zone (but be careful not to mess with traveling users’ preferences) or better yet - combine different elements to determine which language the user feels most comfortable using.

Installed apps

This one’s more relevant to the phandroids in the crowd, as Apple restricts this option in iOS 9. Knowing which apps are already installed on a user’s device is priceless. It allows you to learn which competitors you face over this particular user’s heart, what collaborations with other apps are relevant for this user, and even what login option you should offer. If this user doesn’t have the Facebook app installed, there's little point in offering a Facebook connection as part of your registration process.


With this personalization option you can detect which users are on the go. Learning if users are commuting at the moment will let you match the mobile user experience to the shaky environment of a car or subway. Knowing that users can’t see the screen clearly should matter to you. You might choose to keep a certain process shorter, or present larger letters on the screen. Once again, this element earns a point for Android, whose technology allows for better movement detection. BTW, if your user is currently catching a ride with Uber, you can offer specific experiences to make the trip more interesting for the user and beneficial for you.

Screen brightness

Knowing in advance how your graphic would appear on a user’s device can be very helpful in creating the optimal experience. Since different people enjoy different graphic specifications, you could use this personalization element to adjust your chosen colour palette and present a beautiful app that fits the user’s screen definitions.

Storage space

Another important element to take into account is whether or not users have enough storage space on their device to deal with what your product has to offer. Using this element, you will be able to offer a light version of your app, or postpone heavy update suggestions if needed. Better yet, if your app is meant to help clear storage by saving it elsewhere, this is a huge opportunity for you to send a message saying ”you have little storage space left - let’s do something about that”.

As you can see, mobile personalization has come a long, long way since the days of displaying a user’s first name in a text message.
The above elements give a great taste of what’s possible with today’s technology and using Elasticode’s tool, but they are far from revealing the whole picture. Stay tuned to learn what else you can do to give users the best mobile experience possible.

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