Don’t Use Eddystone For Unsolicited Offers

This is a follow up on our FAQ and advice on not spamming customers. Due to misleading (retail) marketing articles, people are still trying to use beacons for unsolicited marketing.

Eddystone only works if people are actively looking for the beacons in the same way that iBeacon only works if people have an app installed to see the beacons. Beacon’s can’t be used to notify users that you haven’t already engaged with in some way either through, for example, posters or leaflets asking them to look for the beacons or (for iBeacon) having asked them to install your app.

Scott Jenson of Google, says:

“I will let you know that any notification that says “Great deals!” or “Discount” or “Sale!” has been performing very very poorly in our user trials so far.”

That’s because they are very unlikely to be seen unless the user happens to be looking at their notifications. In any case, such messages are too blunt an instrument and unlikely to attract people to click on them.

In a recent experiment BeaconZone placed an Eddystone URL beacon at a busy IT event where there were lots of technically literate people around with a high likelihood of having Bluetooth and location on. There were thousands of event visitors over several days. We achieved only 30 visits to the target web page and some of these must have been the Google Eddystone proxy bot.

Don’t waste your time and money on using beacons for unsolicited marketing. If you want to use beacons in retail, be more creative and create ‘want in’ scenarios. However, we believe more compelling opportunities lie outside retail marketing.