What is Geofencing? (+ 6 cool examples)

Whether you are a beginner in the world of mobile marketing and wondering “what is geofencing ?”, heard about it at some conference and want to read up on it, or already using it and just looking for some inspiration, this article will be helpful to you.

 We’ve made sure to cover all the basics you need to know:

Plus, we’ve included 6 very cool use cases of this technology across 6 different industries, which will hopefully give you some ideas for your own geofencing campaigns.

What is geofencing

What is geofencingGeofencing refers to the process of using a geofence to target mobile users. Now, what is a geofence, you ask? A geofence is a virtual perimeter marking a real geographic area. Geofencing is targeting users as they enter, leave or stay in these predefined areas.

Practically, what does that mean? Geofencing allows you to do a handful of different things, whatever fits your strategy:

  • send location based notifications to customers and capture real-time feedback
  • collect insights on foot traffic to physical locations and attribute them to online efforts
  • build location based user profiles for enhanced personalization
  • retarget users based on physical visits with ads, email etc.


Why use geofencing


The world of mobile marketing is moving towards more contextual targeting because this is the only way to keep your key customers these days. Location is one of the most essential parts of context awareness. For this reason, technologies that help mobile devices leverage location, such as geofencing and beacons, are getting more and more popular with businesses.


When companies entered the field of mobile, they started applying the same marketing and advertising tactics they used on the web and offline. That didn’t work and the results were really palpable. Here are some of the statistics on mobile app abandonment rates:

Mobile is a very personal channel to most people, it’s always at arm’s reach – work, holidays, yoga classes, Friday night drinks. So to be successful on mobile, you cannot abuse it with spam, you need to add value to their daily interactions.

What makes you open an app on repeated occasions?

  • Relevant
  • Useful
  • Spam free

To be part of your customer’s life efficiently, you need to know their context – understand their whereabouts in the real world and make sure to reach out at the right time and place. Geofencing is a very useful tool for this purpose.

How does geofencing work

First and foremost, you need a mobile app! From then on, there’s many different options available to you.

The general functioning of geofencing is that it uses location technology to locate a user’s device within the predefined zone – the geofence –  in order to trigger a notification or track visits. Now, the workings of this technology can vary depending on the provider. Geofencing can use:

  • Cellular 😊
  • Wifi 😊
  • GPS 🙁

While Cellular and WiFi are recommended for their reliability, GPS-based solutions as this technology has proven to be extremely battery-draining (remember those time you used Google maps to get somewhere and ended up with a half dead phone? Yeah, so do we). If you’re looking for a geofencing provider, check out this list of most important features a geofencing provider should have.

It is important to note that your app users will have to opt in for location services in your app for geofencing to work. Similarly, your users can later opt out.

6 cool geofencing examples

1. Airline

Upselling an airline customer who is running late for his flight, right when he walks in the airport, by sending him a notification which promotes “skip-the-queue” services.

Airline Example - Geofencing Notification

2. Dining Reviews

Enriching the “real-world” experience of your customer with online dining reviews and tips from the restaurants as he is visiting them.

Dining Reviews Example - Geofencing Notification

3. Route Planning

Personalizing the communications with your customers by looking at places they regularly visit and customizing your content based on their visit history.

Route Planning Example - Geofencing Notification

4. Transportation

Encouraging travellers to use your transportation services when they are in a different country by informing them after their plane touch-down.

Transportation Example - Geofencing Notification

5. Payment Apps

Encouraging a user to make purchases with his payment app by informing him about where he can use the payment app services.

Payment App Example - Geofencing Notification

6. Insurance

Eliminating paper-based procedures by sending location-based notifications right when users leave health care facilities and reminding them to process their bill claims in-app.

Insurance Example - Geofencing Notification



Want to know more about geofencing?

Download the Ultimate Guide to Geofencing for Mobile Marketing to find out more about geofencing and beacons and why to use them in your app.

Get The Ultimate Guide

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