How to convince your app users to opt-in for Location Permissions on iOS 13

 With the launch of iOS 13 in September 2019, users are receiving more prompts alerting them that their location is being tracked. Amongst Plot Projects customers’ app users, we already saw a +50% adoption rate of iOS 13 within two months.

Mobile devices can collect a lot of data about their surroundings, including some of the consumer’s most sensitive data: their physical location and behavior. This provides business opportunities, but it also comes with risks. The challenge is to both persuade your users, and enable them to make an informed decision about opting into your app’s push notifications and granting access to their location.

This guide helps you to optimize your opt-in strategy and make a great first impression, even with the prompt screens that are introduced with iOS 13. You can also check out our accompanying iOS 13 Dev Guide.

Why you should explain the added value of location data for user experience

Today’s consumer is no longer ignorant about the implications/risks of sharing data. Instead, people are sensitive, savvy and more critical than ever about who they trust with their personal data, and why. Mobile operating systems have acknowledged the potential risks and started acting on them. To protect the consumer’s privacy, mobile operating systems have added more limitations to collecting & utilizing this data.

If you fail to convince the end-user that granting access to their location adds value, the consumer will easily decide not to opt-in – and you’ll lose the momentum. This will have a significant impact on your location-based marketing strategy.

To keep your location-based marketing strategy up-and-running with the Plot Projects’ SDK your app requires two permissions:

  • Permission to send notifications;
  • Permission to use the location of the consumer.

By default, the Plot Projects SDK asks for the permissions by itself, but you can take control. Since the flow for the location permission is more complex, this guide focuses on just that.


Opt-in priming on iOS 13: how to increase your permission opt-in ratio

Especially with iOS 13, it’s crucial that you guide your users through the process. Because of the number of prompts (almost perceived as warnings), it’s more likely that your user will decide not to grant access to their location in the background unless they are guided as follows.

Main takeaways

  • It requires an additional interaction on the user’s side to get permission to access location in the background.
  • There are only a few opportunities to convince your user, so choose your words wisely.
  • Identify when to ask for access, and especially when not to. For example, for a lifestyle app it might make more sense to only start asking permission when the user has opened location-dependent functionalities. 
  • Take the opportunity to welcome & introduce your user: walk them through why the location is needed, and how the user will benefit from it.
  • Minimize the required actions on the user-side: deeplink to the general app settings, to change the permission level.
  • Avoid unnecessary (additional) Bluetooth prompts: only access iOS’ Bluetooth services if/when it’s needed for your app functionalities.

In order to optimize your in-app priming strategy, have a look at these 10 inspiring examples.



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