Push Notifications – 5 Golden Rules

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Tim Pemberton, Director of Media Operations, Yodel Mobile

The power of push messaging means a smartly managed campaigns can more than double app usage and consumer engagement with branded apps.

Despite the opportunities, many companies shy away from push, take the travel sector, it’s a prime example of a vertical under appreciating what push can do.

The team here at Yodel Mobile, conducted some research using a sample of 20 travel apps installed on our phone, to see the volume of push messages being sent over the prime Christmas season, only one push message was sent over Christmas and into early January which is when consumers are planning their travel for the year ahead. Travel as an industry is missing the boat.

Part of the reason could be caution. Get push wrong and the consumer will delete your app – an app marketing disaster. So, here are the five golden rules for getting push right…

1. Get relevant

Send a push notification that isn’t relevant to the recipient’s life, and they’ll slate you on Twitter and may delete your app. Marketers need to be upfront with their consumers by going deeper into their notification preferences – ask them what subjects they would like to receive push notification on and how frequently they would like to receive them. Turn a potential annoyance into a value-based service, and you’ll achieve much higher  re-engagement levels.

2. Track and optimise

Track your messaging campaigns, and the behaviour beyond the message. What happened next? Did your message lead to a conversion, transaction or significant dwell time? By working out these and other parameters, you’ll develop a useful engagement benchmark that will help you adjust your strategy as the campaign unfolds.

3. Join up your strategy

Integrate your messaging campaigns with other messaging platforms such as email marketing and SMS. Each platform is different – push is far more appropriate for spontaneous in-the-moment interactivity; email affords more time for a user to consider a more complex offer and follow a link.

4. Be transparent

It’s vital to show consumers where the exits are by giving them a simple opt-out option. An opt-out at a general level is a complaint – so analyse the types of messages that are initiating opt-out. Don’t perpetuate a bad brand experience.

5. Make opt-in contextual

Pop the opt-in question when the user is best in a position to make the decision. It might be preferable to wait until the user is deeper into the app experience  – for example, if you ask whether they’d like to be updated on football results when they’re actually checking the half-time scores, they’re far more likely to understand the value of opting-in, because the context works for them.

Ultimately, consumers are savvy enough to understand that by downloading an app (especially if that app is free), they are entering in to a value-exchange. We need to use push responsibly – and make consumers an equitable partner in that value-exchange. Add consumer value, and they’ll reward your brand with value in return.

By Tim Pemberton

Director of Media Operations

Yodel Mobile




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