What are Geofences?

July 20, 2018 in Geofences

A geofence is a virtual fence around a geographic area (like a restaurant or place of business). This virtual fence can be as small as 50 meters or as big as a city. Establishing a geofence and linking it to a mobile device like a smartphone allows you to know when a person has entered or exited the defined geofenced location.


For most businesses, this information is used to trigger a location based push notification to the user, asking them to take an action. For example:

  • To claim a discount in a nearby store
  • To fill out a feedback form for a restaurant that the user booked at through the app and just ate in
  • To receive an alert about an event taking place nearby
Whats-OUT Geofence Marketing

Why is this important? By being able to send a highly relevant and timely message to an app user, they are far more likely to engage with your app, take the suggested action. Studies have shown that users are far more responsive compared to other types of mobile advertising such as banners, as notifications are far more personalized and better delivered to the user.

Join over 1,000 companies that trust us.

Try it yourself free. No credit card required!

How Does Geofencing Work?

Geofencing can use GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology. At Whats-OUT we use the cellular and Wi-Fi network to triangulate location as it is the most reliable technology and preferable to GPS, as GPS drains the batteries of smartphones very fast.


Learn more about Geofences

Watch this short video to learn how geofences work, and how they should be part of your ongoing digital marketing strategy.


What Do You Need To Start Using Geofencing Technology?

The only requirement for the implementation of geofencing technology is having a mobile app. Geofencing is not available for mobile web pages. At Whats-OUT, we solved this problem for you, being listed on our app allows you to immediately start creating geofences and running campaigns. Once your listing is active into your app, you can reach all of your app users when they are at a certain location.

How do i create a geofence?

Whats-OUT incorporates Google Earth in our dashboard, allowing you to define boundaries on top of a satellite view of a specific geographical area. you can also define boundaries by longitude and latitude to define the position of a geofence.

We use Google Maps to define the location of a geofence. This is the easiest way for customers to create a geofence - they can either search for a location (as you would do normally on Google Maps) or add the longitude and latitude of the location.

Once the location is set, you can define the area of your geofence. This is as simple as setting radius around the location. The radius can be as small as 50 meters or as large as a city. However, it is important to remember that if you set the radius too big, you may end up with potential customers uninstalling your app. Be relevant and target customers when they are within a reasonable distance from your business location.

Common misconception about geofencing

  • The user must have the App open or On
  • With Whats-OUT the app only needs to be downloaded by the users. The users however, need to say yes (opt in) when asked if they would like to receive push notifications from your app and if they would like your app to use their location.

    Also, the user must have added your business to their favorites as their opt-in to receive push notifications from your business on Whats-OUT.

  • Geofencing Drains The Mobile Phone Battery
  • Some geofencing providers use GPS for geofencing, which does have the effect of draining smartphone batteries faster. Whats-OUT, because we use cellular and Wi-Fi technology, this is not the case. The Plot Projects technology has been further optimised so that battery consumption and data storage is even more efficient. Plot Projects only stores the most relevant and closest geofences and beacons to mobile device and as the devices move around, the software automatically updates to the most relevant set of geofences.

  • Geofencing Technology Isn't Accurate
  • The accuracy of geofencing technology has been tested and proven to be able to locate devices down to within 25m.

  • People Don't Like To Receive Notifications
  • Users value relevant and timely information which is exactly what location based notifications offer you. What they don't like it irrelevant ads that are poorly targeted. Get your message and timing right and your users will appreciate it and be impressed!

Whats-OUT Proximity Marketing

Why Use Geofencing As Part Of Your Marketing Mix?

  • Activate Your Users
  • People are bombarded with advertising everywhere they go. A lot of advertising is mass marketing and not well targeted. Location based push notification are not only well targeted by location and their timeliness, but apps can also further segment and personalise push notifications using data that they have from user profiles and personal preferences. Whats-OUT app is specifically designed to use this data to enhance the targeting of marketing even further.

    Although people download apps, the statistics on engagement are poor:

    • One year after downloading an app, only 4% of users continue using the app
    • On average every users has 100 apps on their phone. However people only use on
    • average five apps a day
    • 26% of people open an app once and never use it again.

    If used effectively, geofencing can increase your app usage, leading to higher customer engagement. Recent studies concluded that 70% of consumers find location-based notifications to be valuable and 53% of them are likely to engage with location-based advertising.

    Push notifications need to be done properly as irrelevant messages and spamming can have a negative impact. 78% of those who enabled push notifications on their smartphones claimed that they would disable them, or even delete the application if they were unhappy with what they received. By using location and time as targeting criteria, messages become more relevant. Everyone receives a message only when it is relevant to them, and not as part of a mass-target campaign.

    70% of consumers find location-based notifications to be valuable.

    It is important to make your notifications relevant and personalised as much as possible. This is where Whats-OUT expertise can help to build the best possible campaign and to leverage the features put in place to ensure that the right message reaches the right users at the right time and that spamming doesn't occur.

  • Drive Revenue
  • Users are stimulated when they are offered a discount. 47% of consumers surveyed stated that they would be likely to shop from a retailer that offered promotions when they are nearby. As a result of building thought out and effective campaigns, Plot Projects customers have achieved an increase in click-through-rates (CTR) of 40% for retail and 33% for restaurants. Comparing this to the CTR for generic push notifications which is just 2% and for mobile banners is 0.01-1%, this is an excellent result!

    Geofencing click through rates are 40% for retail and 33% for restaurants

  • Leverage Customer Insights
  • You can collect data on your user's behaviour and location history using geofences. Since geofences can be set up remotely in a few clicks, you can start collecting location data very quickly and efficiently.

    This can include when users enter and leave a geofence, giving you the ability to calculate the dwell time of your users in a particular location that is of interest to you. Since location data can be collected with geofences but also with Beacons, you can collect data that is hyper local.

    This data can be used to improve product distribution or to understand people and traffic movements on a large scale, or even to help you to understand how many passers by you have for each billboard that you are advertising on.

  • Geofencing is a growing industry
  • It is expected that the real-time mobile location-based marketing and advertising market will reach $15 billion by 2020. Location based marketing is still a small subset of overall marketing, but it growing fast. It is a great way to stay ahead of your competitors and to build up the loyalty of your users early on, before everyone else catches on!

    Geofencing Has A huge impact on your marketing ROI

    Studies show that the Click Through Rate (CTR) for location based push notifications is about 10-20% for retail coupons and restaurants. The CTR for generic push notifications which is just 2% and for mobile banners is 0.01-1%. Other mediums such as advertising on billboards or TV are more expensive and harder to quantify. Attributing ROI to any medium is difficult, but CTR is a good measure for this.

    Get started with proximity marketing now for free

    Whats-out! Proximity and Digital Marketing Platform