IDC recently reported more than 93 percent of the world’s mobile operating systems are either Apple’s iOS or, more likely, Google’s Android which claims more than 81 percent of the pie. Push notifications are on the rise as organizations realize they are a powerful alternative to marketing email. Consumers who receive push notifcations have opted in at some point after downloading an app, so people anticipate those messages. Let's talk about how to make sure you don't disappoint!
Like email, not every push is the same. Some make sense right away and cause you to take action:
A lot of others are just random interruptions to your day:
What makes for quality push?
Uber's push knows you well and is delivering information you can use; Groupon is just shouting random things at you. This is user segmentation in action, and it makes a big difference. A study last year revealed 52 percent of mobile users enable push messaging on their mobile devices. These users have a seven percent open rate for segmented push messaging compared to a three percent open rate for generic broadcast messages. While seven percent may not seem much, it's better than 100% improvement.
Even more impressive: of people who open a push notification, 54 percent of them convert from segmented push compared to only 15 percent for broadcast messages, a 3x improvement simply by sending different messages to users depending on their situation. Think about that: well-segmented push can create 3x the number of active users in your app!
Take the Uber example above: because the app has your ride history—including the times you're most likely to ride—it doesn't wait for you to request a ride, see that surge pricing has started, then get discouraged and decide to take the bus. Instead, Uber stays one step ahead by letting you know that if you want a cheap ride, you need to get it done now.
This might seem out of reach. Sure, Uber does fancy stuff, but could you replicate that level of sophistication? I have good news: you don't need to. You can access most of this benefit by customizing your push notifications based on a few actions your user has or has not taken.
Mobile push is one of many new channels
As you can imagine considering the potential of push notifications, the flood gates have opened. As the proportion of consumers who interact with companies via mobile apps rises, companies are looking to capitalize on this channel. Consumers are receiving push notifications to get news headlines, social media updates, product and sale alerts, reminders, status alerts and a host of other messages from multiple sources.
While iOS and Android smartphones are the most widely used and therefore most widely targeted for push notifications, you shouldn't ignore other connected devices such as tablets, desktops, e-readers, media players, smart TVs, automobiles and even thermostats. Consumers use these on a daily basis as well and as long as they are connected to the internet, they are fair game for marketers.
Some companies have already recognized this new frontier, partnering with automobile manufacturers, television manufacturers and computer manufacturers to allow them to market to their customers via push notifications through these non-traditional channels—and obtain valuable customer data in the process.
The bigger theme is that the number of channels is exploding AND the rate that they are appearing is increasing. If your business that relies on technology to engage customerss, you need to have access to your user history whether you're sending push notifications, SMS, Apple Watch notifications or plain old email. Marketers who can alternate between these channels based on customer preference will grow the biggest businesses.
p.s. If you have a mobile site instead of an iOS or Android app, we've got a surprise for you coming soon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll tell you about it.