AccuWeather Uses Tailored Push Notifications to Drive Mobile Engagement
Published on 18 May 2016
Every day, more than 1 billion people worldwide look to AccuWeather for forecasts to help plan their lives. But is having an app important for a weather service? The answer is a resounding “yes” — in fact, it’s a main driver for AccuWeather’s overall traffic, with 5x more traffic via mobile platforms vs. website directly.
As the world’s leading weather forecast service, AccuWeather brings cutting-edge climate information directly to users’ screens — both on its website and through its free and paid mobile apps. AccuWeather has translated content into more than 100 languages and dialects. Apps are key to AccuWeather’s mobile engagement strategy — app traffic eclipsed its web audience long ago (since 2013!).
A key objective of AccuWeather’s mobile strategy is increasing customer visits. To do so, they used Urban Airship Engage to send push notifications and API technologies to deliver automated content to each user.
Because weather lends itself to information “snacking” (shorter, but more frequent visits), employing personalization and localization in tandem helps AccuWeather create a richer, more individualized experience that drives engagement and keeps users coming back to the app.
When users opt-in to push notifications, share their location and provide specific information on preferences, the weather service draws important details about its audience to create greater context and relevance in its messaging.
For example, if a user lives in an area where snow is rare, yet one day at 3 p.m. they get an alert about a predicted snowfall of several inches around 5 p.m., they might alter their usual routine to avoid the snowfall. Another user in a different location might want to know when the snowfall will offer ideal weather to hit the slopes nearby. AccuWeather can deliver snow forecasts to give that user time to plan accordingly and grab their gear.
Customized mobile messaging has proved successful for AccuWeather, with a 5x increase in traffic on mobile platforms vs. website and 60 million unique monthly visitors between web and apps.
AccuWeather’s Vice President of Digital Media Product David Mitchell said, “We use location and segmentation to drive automated weather alerts via push notification that are each tailored to what’s important to a specific user. We tell them if the forecast is optimal for running or fishing, whether they’ll need an umbrella, if weather is likely to affect their commute, or if there’s a severe weather warning. For all these examples, mobile messaging plays a vital role.”
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