The Art of Push Notifications
Posted by Mallory Green on December 10th, 2015
Today, nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone1, and as of June 2015, 100 billion mobile apps have been downloaded from the Apple® App Store.2 Over time, app publishers discovered ways to communicate with their users through push notifications, or short messages, which are sent to your phone from a mobile app. But, annoying messages is the number one reason people uninstall an app making it extremely important to ensure they are crafted the right way,3 especially because enabled push notifications can engage almost three times as many users than those who choose not to receive them.4
A recent study found that Americans spend almost five hours per day on their smartphones using social media, surfing the internet, logging into apps to consume content, etc.5 There is a substantial amount of information you can collect about people’s behavior while they are on their phones. All of this data might seem difficult to wade through in order to deliver the perfect customized message, but all you have to do is pay attention to what your users are both saying and doing to make the most of this information.
There is a simple place to start … just ask people what they want to hear about. Sports apps do a great job of asking their users who their favorite teams are, what leagues they care about the most, who their fantasy players are and more. Users are then offered real-time updates about their favorite athletes and teams. Facebook® app users receive notifications when their friends add photos, update their statuses, check-in places, etc. This is the type of information that is relevant and something users want to see, which encourages them to engage with your app.
You can also track how users interact with the content within your app. What types are stories are they interested in? Celebrity gossip? World affairs? Do they click on videos, or do they prefer to read the article? By taking note of these specific trends, you can offer content that appeals to that user’s needs by using a notification that a new article is available to watch/read.
We can’t forget that, while engagement on mobile devices is extremely high, people still use desktops and tablets. It’s important to gather information from all sources to increase your knowledge about your users. House all that data in a business intelligence platform and use marketing automation to send out notifications to drive engagement.
If you use the information and data you are given correctly, the notifications you deliver will not be seen as annoying or as a distraction. Most users want to know what’s going on when it comes to their interests, whether it’s sports or political news. Just remember the number one rule … make it personal.