What is Push Technology?
Originally developed by Apple and released with iOS 3.0 in 2009, and on Android in 2010, push technology allows marketers to send messages directly to customers that have downloaded their app – even if the app is closed. The messages appear in the form of a notification, badge or alert and can be setup to deliver a user directly to a specific section in the app or to a website address. Users can control whether they receive push messages from an app, so it is essential for them to be relevant and engaging. Push technology can also be used on websites, but require a user to opt-in to receive the push notifications per domain.
10 advantages for the app owner or marketer using push technology have been highlighted below:
- It’s more effective than email & marketing – Many customers ignore email marketing, and promotional emails often get blocked by corporate email servers. SMS marketing is also effective, but some users are not willing to give out their mobile number. (For push notifications you do not need a users mobile number)
- They re-engage your users – Push technology has the potential to really engage your users, via real-time updates on sports scores, breaking news, and special deals. The messages should be fresh, entertaining and engaging. When you send a notification though, make sure it is worth it, or you risk losing users.
- More user control – Via the app settings, users can control which types of messages they wish to receive, ensuring the messages are highly targeted and relevant. (One example would be an events app, users can opt to receive information about a specific event in their area, and a specific event type.)
- Ease of use & cost effectiveness – Push messages should be simple uncomplicated messages that only provide essential information, making them uncomplicated for the user to manage. For app developers they are more simple than SMS messages to setup, and far more cost effective – they are essentially free except for data usage and setup costs!
- Real-time communication to a personal device – Push technology delivers notifications that are instantly sent to a users personal device. A report in early 2017, shows that US mobile users spend 5 hours per day on a mobile device, and South African’s spend 3 hours a day online on a mobile device.
- Better Analytics & Tracking – Push notifications can more easily be tracked than SMS marketing. Open rates, and click through rates can be tracked and analysed for future push message campaigns.
- Effective at re-targeting customers – Customers that have not interacted with your brand in a while can be effectively re-engaged using customised push notifications, such as promotions, coupons, value-adds directly only at customers who have not opened your app or visited your website in a while.
- Used in conjunction with web push notifications – Mobile app push notifications can be used in conjunction with opt-in website push notifications.
- Can be highly relevant – Push messages can be targeted to be relevant and interesting, using location, user interests, and time of day. They can also interact with the hardware on a users device, (Such as the camera or dialer) or directed to a specific screen on the app, or a website address.
- Easy management & user segmentation – Via a well built back-end content management system, push notifications can be instantly sent out using user-segmented lists. (e.g. Sent to users in a specific area, who are interested in a specific topic, and have not opened the app in a certain amount of time)
When sending push notifications, it is important to keep the messages valuable, relevant, and engaging otherwise your customers will simply turn off notifications for your app. Put thought into how you segment the push notifications, and use all the information you have on hand about the user (e.g. What they have downloaded, purchased or shared in the past) to make them more individualized.
Refresh has been involved in many mobile apps that use enhanced contextualised push notifications to communicate with customers. Contact us here to arrange a demo of these or discuss how this exciting technology can be used for your mobile app.