In this digital world, we are all surrounded by gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Of different size and shape, all these gadgets assist its users in some way or the other. Primarily most of these gadgets run on platforms like Android, iOS and the Windows systems.
Special application programs called ‘apps’ in short are installed on these devices to accomplish important tasks. With the help of apps, a user can organize tasks, call a cab, locate places on maps, purchase things and carry out many more activities.
One of the important application of smartphones is providing a means for communication. Primarily there are four main channels for mobile communication viz. – Email, in-app/in-browser messages, push notification and feed cards.
What are Push Notifications – Why are they Important?
Having a limited message length, push notifications are time-sensitive messages. They transpire through the system framework and usually demand an urgent call to action from the user. A user can either choose to opt in or opt out to receive push notifications. Even though a majority of smartphone users prefer to opt out on push notifications, it sometimes proves to be a costly miss for them.
Every mobile operating system has an operating system push notification service(OSPNS). Either the system or the app publisher makes use of the OSPNS and enables apps onto it to send push notifications to the user. Often the app publisher registers with OSPNS to get access to the API which lets them communicate with the users through app notifications.
A Quick Look Through the Stats
The push engagement rates range widely across the industries. Usually, a push engagement rate determines the application of push notifications across industries to engage users. While the push engagement rate for utility and financial services is at the peak high at 40%, e-commerce and retail sectors contribute merely 12%.
This huge variation in the analysis can result in significant revenue loss for the underperforming apps. By focusing on understanding the needs of every user and tailoring messages that address their unique interests, push engagement rates are made to reach the maximum heights.
Driving User Engagement Through Push Notifications
Push notifications enter with flash on the device screen and with a light messaging beep tone when enabled. Usually, push notifications to contain important news, updates on special offers, latest market and fashion trends and intimation about upcoming events.
Push notifications are targeted to specific segments of users and are even personalized for specific app users through the management of user identification data. The app publisher composes a manual or an automated notification message, defines the audience and determines whether the notification needs to be scheduled immediately or in the future.
Often app publisher also sends push notifications to show a user latest sports scores, send download coupons and inform about events such as a flash sale. Generally speaking, push notifications drive user action by providing some sort of information like:
- Promotion of products and sale offers
- Improving customer experience
- Converting unknown app users to known customers
- Sending out of transaction receipts to users
- Driving users to other marketing channels like social networks
Minimizing Opt-outs & Inducing Opt-ins
Most mobile platforms require the user’s permission for sending push notifications. It’s, therefore, necessary to convince users to opt in. Often the app publishers convince users by showing them the value for deciding to opt-in.
It could be anything like getting informed about happenings in your region, get discount coupons for sales offers in places around you and so on. Likewise, other incentives, discount offers, and exclusive information content are exchanged to engage more smartphone users.
In fact, some app publisher reaches out the targeted user base who have promised to opt out, via SMS. Through SMS or messaging apps like Whatsapp, they strive to convince their audience to install apps. This helps to opt-in for the push notification feature.
Push notifications act as a direct path of communication with the users. When the push notifications are targeted with an idea to create value for the customers, it proves out to be an immensely effective marketing campaign. On the contrary, if the app publishers fail to create value or engage customers they will be ignored completely or turned off. Many app users even consider uninstalling the mobile application altogether.
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