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5 myths about push notifications – busted!

asos_messageWhat’s that sound? Is it your phone vibrating? Hey – your screen just lit up.

For sure that sounds familiar… if you are the proud owner of a smartphone, you’ll probably deal with a couple of notifications every day – from text messages to lost calls to email alerts, to the topic of this blogpost: opt-in push notifications from your favorite apps.

It’s the ultimate Customer Relationship Management tool, enabling app marketers to dialog directly with targeted users (hence potential customers) and hand users information they want, when & where they need it. The power of mobile at its best, right?

Someone out there is still not quite convinced of their magic – so here’s a collection of 5 myths that have been haunting push notifications for too long – it’s time to bust them.

Myth #1: App users don’t opt-in to push notifications

False. Yes they do! And for good reason. A study by Localytics shows that starting from app usage, the percentage of apps only used once is 11% for users that have opted-in push  notifications, whereas that percentage goes up to 20% when push messages aren’t enabled. Moreover, an average (between iOS and Android users) of 52% app users enable push notifications – and they average 88% more app launches than those who disable push notifications entirely. Interesting, right?

Solution: Demonstrate why users should opt-in to push notifications in your app screenshots and preview video

Myth #2 – Push notifications are the spam of the mobile world

False. It’s no news: all of us receive so many messages each day it’s tough to see through them all to spot the ones that might actually matter to us. But the truth is that the problem starts from the strategy: if it’s generalized and poorly crafted, it will only make unpleasant noise by generating messages that have very low relevance to who receives them.

These poor quality communications damage the user experience, and give mobile messaging a bad name. The majority of messages sent via mobile are generic due to marketers’ fears of mis-personalization. As a result, messages are sent based on popular topics or alerts but without any true relation to each user’s preferred content. The result? Low engagement rates and even lower conversion rates.

Solution: Harness the power of personalization.

Myth #3 – Geolocalization is creeeeeepy!

Oh come on. Just because you can access mobile users immediately and at all times, doesn’t mean you should. There’s no golden time zone. Mobile marketing is risky when done wrong – a push notification sent at a bad time (or place!) is one of the best ways to ruin the user experience and potentially lose a user forever.

For example, if you’re a retail store planning to  host a sample sale, make sure to use geolocalization in your messages to attract people who live in the neighborhood or may pass by – if you send out a push too late for someone who is too far away might make them feel annoyed for not being able to attend.

Solution: Be smart with your targeting!

Myth #4 – Not everyone is interested in receiving notifications

False. The truth of the matter is that if they’ve opt-ed in, they see the benefits of getting updates – but it’s up to you to segment users so you’re sending users the most relevant messages possible. For example, a customer new to your brand should not receive the same messages as a customer who is already engaged. And a one-time user should receive very different messaging from a once-active, now dormant user.

Successful mobile-focused companies engage with their users at every stage of the mobile lifecycle. A crucial step is tailoring your communication to each user’s current engagement state with your brand – send them the right message for their current “state of app-mind” – this way you’ll increase relevance for your users, and your chances to raise loyalty rates.

Solution: Segment users according to your mCRM strategy

Myth #5 – Push Notifications are a smartphone thing only

False, again. Digital brand engagement isn’t just about mobile apps. For most companies, relationships with customers are created across web, mobile web, apps, and social networks, and your push notification campaigns should be informed about customer behavior across all digital platforms.

According to Pew Research, over 40% of consumers own a tablet and a smartphone, and brands need to be conscious of this when sending notifications. The best way to spam your users is to bombard them with duplicate messages – a hazard that is especially tricky to avoid when the modern customer owns more than one device. Worse yet, device-based messaging results in mis-personalized push notifications.

Solution: Know your users’ habits through feedback and analytics.

So – have we lifted the clouds on push notifications? They are an incredibly versatile tool that can help your marketing strategy reach your customers in an easy and engaging way. All you have to do is do it right! Keep your content fresh, valuable, punctual and evolving with your users habits and loyalty level. In other words, become a mobile engagement ninja! For some extra insights and tips on how to do that, check out our dedicated ebook.


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