The Rules of Geofencing: 7 Key Tenets of Geofencing Advertising


If you want to do geofencing advertising then you need to do it right. Having ads pop up in specific locations is great, but how do you use that to maximize your marketing potential? Learn more right here.


According to a well-regarded study, the average person sees 5,000 ads each day. How many do you pay attention to? Probably a handful at best.

That’s why companies are coming up with new ways to catch consumers’ attention. One of the latest options is geofencing advertising. With geofencing, you set up an invisible “fence” using GPS. This lets you send periodic notifications to customers who are inside that fence.

As with any marketing technique, geofencing only works if it’s done right. Here are the rules you need to abide by for a successful geofencing campaign:

The Key Rules of Geofencing Advertising

While it’s tailored to your budget, geofencing is an investment like any advertising strategy. To make the most of your investment, follow these key rules:

1. Use Mobile Devices, But Think Bigger Too

Mobile devices are the most common way to use geofencing, and for good reason. People take their smartphones everywhere. You don’t want to send a notification to a desktop device when there’s no one there to see it. This risk is far lower with mobile devices.

The problem, though, is that many companies limit their geofencing to use mobile devices alone. Think on a broader scale. For example, let’s say you run a family medicine practice. When someone who lives nearby is researching doctors on their desktop, you can let them know that you’re accepting new patients.

2. Consider the Best Apps and Mediums for Geofencing

There are several ways to implement geofencing marketing. One option is to build it into your own mobile app. A second option is to build it into your website. Third, you could partner with a third party to add it to their app or website.

It’s important to determine which of these mediums will work best for your situation. If your own app gets little use, you may want to partner with a third party.

For companies who are looking at that option, consider which apps customers will use when they’re in the right mindset. For instance, if you have a clothing store, you could use RetailMeNot’s app for geofencing. People tend to use this app to find discounts while they’re shopping, so they’re already in the mood for retail therapy.

3. Design Your Geofence Carefully

One of the most important factors in your geofencing campaign’s success is the geofence itself. How large should you make it? What areas should you include?

It all depends on your type of business and your location. Your fences can be very specific, so look at your area on a micro scale. What is the income level on each street, rather than each zip code?

There’s no single size of geofence that works for everyone. If you want a narrow target and you’re located in a shopping center, you could target the immediate area alone. On the other hand, you could target your entire town if you send high-dollar items customers tend to travel for.

4. Focus on Quick Calls to Action

Geofencing is all about immediacy. You’re hitting customers with fast information they need to know right now. In a way, it’s the digital version of those impulse buy racks at a grocery store.

Geofencing should send calls to action that customers can act on right away. Use it to tell customers about a limited-time sale that’s going on right now. Don’t use it to tell them about an event you’re hosting next month.

5. Think Outside Your Own Box

The obvious advantage of geofencing is that you can target people who are already near your storefront. However, there’s no rule that your shop has to be at the center of your geofence. Consider setting up a geofence near your competitor.

This is useful if a select competitor is well-known in the area and you’re having a hard time breaking into their industry. For instance, let’s say you have a shop in a small town that sells school uniforms. Everyone still goes to your competitor because that’s where they’ve always gone. If they get a notification from you about a sale, though, there’s a good chance that they’ll come to check it out.

6. Don’t Go Overboard

When you set up your geofencing, you can set a specific frequency. Instead of sending notifications every time a customer steps foot into your geofence, it limits the notifications to a specific frequency.

Let’s say someone lives within your geofence. Every time they come back from work, running errands, or visiting friends, they’d get a notification. That gets old in a hurry. If you sent the frequency to once per week, though, they’ll get a notification the first time they enter your geofence each week.

You might think this limits how effective your campaign will be, but it’s just the opposite. Over a third of people will disable an app’s notifications if they get 2-5 notifications per week. If you don’t limit your geofencing notification frequency at the right level, it could backfire.

7. Track Your Results

This is a rule in any marketing or advertising campaign, but it’s always worth stating. It’s important to track and analyze your marketing results from geofencing.

For an accurate picture, look at the app’s analytics as well as your sales patterns. You can also ask customers how they heard about you.

Make sure you go beyond basic ROI. Every several months, change up your strategy. This lets you compare options and see what works best for your company. Of course, don’t expect instant results, though. Give your campaign at least a few weeks to sink in and reach the right customers.

Using Your Geofencing Wisely

As you can see, there’s a lot of care and thought that goes into a successful geofencing ad. You can use all the flashy, advanced ad techniques you want. However, if you don’t apply smart strategies to them, you won’t get the benefits you want.

The steps above are just part of what makes your geofencing advertising successful. It’s also important to use the right technical approach as well. If you’re ready to get started with your own high-quality campaign, contact our geofencing professionals.

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47% of consumers surveyed stated that they would be likely to shop from a retailer that offered promotions when they are nearby. “

“Studies suggest that when a user isn’t surfing the web on his or her phone, he or she is likely to spend 86% of smartphone time using apps.”

Geo fencing can be the key differentiator in your business targeting the audience that matters the most to your company.

Why would you not want to be in front of those active buyers?  We can get your company ranked.

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