If you’ve ever had a smartphone in your hand, you probably get notifications from the apps you have installed. These notifications can range from company announcements sent to every app user to one discount given to a single app user. Notifications can also be used to send news, inform the user about TOS changes or account security, and provide useful everyday information such as how much traffic is in your area.
Push notifications are designed to catch the eye, appearing on your phone’s dashboard immediately rather than having it get dropped into an email folder or lost in a sea of text messages. Overall opt-in rates are twice as high than email for most notifications, with charities, businesses and travel agencies having over 70% of app users opting in to receive push notifications.
Push notifications are also a superb way to market your app and your business when done correctly, and take less time and effort to produce than your average email marketing campaign, as well as being a great way to promote a brand image and brand loyalty among your App users. It’s a simple and efficient system that doesn’t require the whole marketing team to operate, just someone with 15 minutes to spare and some imagination.
How does it work?
If you had your app commissioned and built by someone else, chances are it was built with the capability to send push notes. Many providers will give you a basic service that allows you to send push notes to everyone who uses your app, with options for scheduling the push note to send at the time where it’s most likely to be seen. Other providers can also provide segmented push notes, so you can send individual push notes to specific users.
When creating push notifications, you’ll probably be using a web application to compose your note provided by the App’s designers, although you could produce a message through the App’s API if you have the technical knowledge. Write the message, schedule it and hit Send: it should be right there on your test phone within 5 seconds.
Keep it short and sweet
By and large, when you write a notification you are limited to between 140 and 70 characters, so making sure the notification makes sense for most devices is important if you want to use push notes effectively. Use Twitter as an example of how best to use push notes, as Twitter is also limited to 140 characters, although push notes don’t use hashtags.
Use gathered data to your advantage
Many smartphone users will share location data, as well as other personal data, through your App. With this in mind, you can personalise your push notes further and really make them about your users. A particularly savvy move is offering users products when they want them, such as wellies during wet weather spells or desk fans during a local heatwave. You should also take time zones into account if you’re aiming for an international app user base: nobody’s going to check your notifications in Australia if you’re sending them at 3 in the afternoon from the UK. Scheduling push notes for different timezones is a fairly straightforward process.
Don’t spam or annoy your users
Like any marketing tool, you can really overdo push notes, either sending way too many for a recipient to bother with or using it in a dishonest or annoying manner. As with other methods of catching the eye of a user, timing is everything.
These primers should be enough for anybody to start using push notifications properly. Remember that push notes are one of the easiest and most time-effective marketing tools you can use at the moment, with an impressive interaction rate: anyone with an app who ignores this feature is missing out.
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