11Sep, 2015

How-to Turn Push Notifications into a Gold Mine

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There can be no doubt that all the advances in technology which have occurred over the past twenty years or so, have changed the marketing landscape for the small business owner.

Creating a website became a must for any business. The arrival of social media in all its various forms necessitated business owners to create content and promote their brand through engaging with their clients and followers. The development of the smartphone has now added yet another dimension to the way small business owners need to market their business.

The smartphone, and the sheer number of apps available on the market today, means that today’s generation of consumers is using their smartphone for more than messaging and making phone calls. So popular has the smartphone become that there are now 1.5 million apps available in Apple’s App Store, and 1.6 million available from Google Play for users of Android.

mCommerce apps have become a popular and successful marketing method for businesses. Not only do they enable clients to purchase services and products via their smartphone, through the use of push notifications, they also enable a business to stay in touch with its clients.

The Value of Push Notifications

In a study carried out by Urban Airship, their Good Push Index (GPI) indicates that sending out push notifications, increases the times an app will be opened by 26%. It also found that a 92% higher retention rate was achieved by apps using push notifications. Furthermore, when analyzing over 2,400 apps and 500 million push notifications, during the first month after download, twice as many users opted to receive push notifications than opted out. It is clear push notifications can improve online app performance.

How to Implement Push Notifications

The benefit of push notifications are that they enable you to send messages directly to a user’s home screen, even when they are not currently using your app. Statistically, seven out of ten people enable push notifications on their apps. It is therefore a good idea to make your push notifications easy to use, and better still, to allow the user to personalize the notifications that they receive.

However, if you simply use push notifications to bombard the users of your app, you are likely to lose 80% of your users. Users do not want to receive ill-timed or irrelevant content, and they will likely delete your app or disable push notifications if they do so.

This would be a lost opportunity because when used correctly, push notifications can increase your sales dramatically. Half of users who subscribe to receive push notifications, do so because they hope to receive specials and exclusive offers. Here are the basics you should follow to begin taking advantage of push notifications.

Set Goals for Notifications

Like any other form of advertising or marketing you need to have a strategy. Know the purpose of your app and determine the purpose of each of your notifications. Each notification should tie into your overall strategy.

Integrate with a Marketing Database

You should ensure that the data from your app is captured for marketing purposes. This enables you to customize the content of your push notifications, and any other channels you use for marketing purposes.

Give the option to opt in

Your app should always give the user the option of whether they want to opt in and receive push notifications or not. An app that does not provide this option, is intrusive.

To encourage a user to opt in and receive push notifications, you should highlight the benefits that they will receive when opting in. This may be done by incorporating a push pop-up to your app. This can detail the type of push notifications the user will receive, and should be displayed to the user immediately, before they are prompted to choose whether they want to receive push notifications.

Timing

Always consider the best time to send out your push notifications, especially if you are sending them world-wide. A push notification that wakes a potential client during the night is unlikely to endear them to any product or service that you are offering.

Also related to time, by sending push notifications which have a time limit, you will be able to create a sense of urgency with your customers.

Content

Sending the correct type of content, which engages with your users, will increase the use of your app, and in turn will help to increase sales. By using rule definitions when sending your push notifications, you will be able to target specific users of your app. You will therefore only be sending out messages to those to whom the message is appropriate.

Furthermore, using rich notifications, you are able to send messages which are in color and may include images and graphics. These have the additional benefit of being delivered to the mobile app inbox, meaning that you will not be disturbing a user while they are using their device for another purpose.

Moderation

Nobody wants to be constantly interrupted or inundated with push notifications when using their device. You should aim to limit the number of push notifications you send out. Remember, quality always trumps quantity.

Most Preferred Push Notification

Which push notifications are most preferred? Currently, according to a survey of 1000 consumers by the DMA, the five most popular push notifications apps are for email accounts, social media networks, instant messaging services, calendar reminders and updates, and news feeds.

Marketing

In marketing, the top five most popular usages of push notifications are for supermarkets, music and radio, television and films, online retail, and for comparison sites. Statistics also show that push notifications are by far more successful when sent out to a targeted audience, rather than as a broadcast message.

As with any type of marketing, you need to have a strategy for push notifications; one that both engages your users, as well as promotes your brand. Used correctly, they can considerably increase the market share of your business, and prove to be a gold mine!

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