Location Opt-in Rates Show Bright Future for iBeacon and Location-Targeted Messaging

Location has long been mobile’s obvious advantage—it’s what makes mobile, mobile. iBeacon has re-invigorated location-based marketing, adding new contextual insights on user proximity, but there has been much less discussion on what is required for brands to be able to leverage the technology. Users must have the brand’s app and opt in to both share their location and receive push notifications in order to receive proximity-triggered push messages.

As part of our latest Good Push Index study quantifying the dramatic 4-7X lift in response rates highly targeted push messages deliver compared to broadcast notifications, we decided to take a quick look at opt-in rates for apps requesting both push notifications and location-sharing. Our initial findings caused us to do a double take, analyzing a broader set of data current through the end of last week.

The new data confirmed our previous findings, that 60-80% of users commonly share their location with apps. With an average 62% location opt-in rate and an average 51% of users opting in to receive push notifications, most apps can reach more than half of their users with location- and proximity-triggered push messages.

Each app’s average opt-in rate for location and push notifications are plotted above

It’s commonly assumed that people are reluctant to share their location, as it can feel invasive without a clear sense of how the data will be used. But clearly, these assumptions are false and any brand falling into that trap is massively short-selling mobile’s unique opportunity.

Apps have become adept at incorporating location-based functionality that users value, contributing to high opt-in rates, just as the best apps do with push notifications: explaining their value, offering users control and using it in personally relevant ways.
Sure, there will always be users that won’t share their location or won’t opt in to push, and for either of those cases you’ll lack a key contextual input or need to use in-app messaging to reach them. But the results we’ve found in what is the industry’s first comparative data study of location and push opt-in rates, shows a solid foundation and tremendous opportunity to reach most of your users in ways that are relevant to where they are and what’s near them.