Beyond the Swipe: A New Era of More Actionable, Interactive Notifications

Last week we announced key solution enhancements including cross-platform support for button-enabled push notifications and widgets for iOS 8, Android 4.3+ and Fire OS. Anyone involved in mobile apps and marketing needs to take note as widgets and interactive notifications are a big, big deal.

The former offers new and extremely valuable real estate, as consumers can add an app’s widget to the Today View of the iOS 8 Notification Center or anywhere in the Android experience for the ultimate in at-a-glance access. Widgets have potential to usher in a land rush as brands compete to offer consumers dynamic, bite-sized content to attain this exalted position and rise above the growing number of apps installed on the typical device.

Interactive notifications are poised to have an even broader impact on the mobile engagement landscape. Nothing since Apple’s introduction of push notifications in 2009 is as significant to mobile engagement, transforming how push notifications are experienced by users and leveraged by businesses.

In the past, app users either swiped a push to respond, or ignored it in the moment to possibly remember it later. This basic form of push messaging already drives dramatically greater response than email—50% higher open rates, ten times higher click-through rates, even 1200% greater conversion (a customer story we’ll soon be able to share)—but the format offers little opportunity to learn about those who don’t respond. In addition, everyone who does swipe-through is treated exactly the same way, arriving at the same destination.

If push messaging today drives the greatest open and click-through rates of all marketing channels, then interactive notifications will become recognized as the ultimate in direct response marketing and the easiest way to gain immediate insight and action from customers at scale. Interactive notifications (rich notifications in Android and Fire OS) include action buttons within push messages, giving consumers greater choice and multiple paths to engage in effortless experiences.

Button taps, in addition to push message swipes, offer immediate feedback into what users want more or less of and how you can best interact with them in the moment and over time. With Urban Airship any button tap or swipe can be deep-linked to a different in-app or mobile web landing page, with user attributes assigned or removed with every click for better targeting and triggered multi-touch automated campaigns that drive higher conversions. Businesses can capture and cultivate more interest for higher conversions by enabling multiple types of responses including capturing Remind Me Later audiences that are interested but just can’t respond in the moment. This is next-generation direct response marketing, but it is also so much more.

Among the more than 20 buttons we’ve predefined for rapid deployment by customers, are options like Follow/Un-follow and Opt-in/Opt-out. Buttons like these enable apps to expose user controls traditionally buried in preference centers to better tune and target push and deep-linked in-app messaging to individuals’ interests and affinities. We’ve also introduced a Share button, tying into the native social-sharing capabilities of devices, so that users can easily amplify relevant messages through their social channels. While push messaging has always been about engagement and retention of existing customers, now Share makes it easy for Good Push to aid in your acquisition efforts.

While we’ve offered API support for action buttons in push notifications for iOS 8 since July and devices running Android 4.3 and above for more than a year (now 28.8% of Android devices), we’ve now fully integrated cross-platform support into our UI and workflows. Along with new event analytics and A/B testing, non-technical users can easily create, target, launch and optimize the complete messaging experience with out-of-the-box capabilities to select the action buttons, create deep-linked interactive pushes, capture attributes for user clicks, define automation rules and real-time triggers, optimize messaging performance and track customizable conversion goals across digital channels.

The anticipated pace of adoption for iOS 8 will soon mean users across the world will have this new, more actionable push notification format in their hands. Now is the time to formulate how you’ll streamline the conversion journey with interactive notifications, and tap into the bigger opportunity of continually learning from users’ interactions to tailor experiences for successful and lasting mobile relationships.