Push Notifications: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

As a marketer, it’s exciting to see companies large and small using Push Notifications to drive business goals.  The customer case studies we have produced over the past few months make it clear that Push is a powerful tool for business.  We’ve seen them deliver a daily dose of learning for Dictionary.com, make radio social for Jelli, and drive commerce for Swirl.  But like Peter Parker’s uncle Ben used to say, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

In the changing media landscape, it’s important to remember that the mobile user is in complete control of his/her experience.  Unlike radio, TV and print, mobile users will not tolerate broadcast advertisements sent to their mobile devices.  Misusing Push Notifications to serve only the needs of the app, ahead of the needs of the customer, is the quickest way to get turned off.  Follow these recommended practices of Push to assure a long lasting relationship with your users.

•   If you remember only one thing remember this.  Every mobile user is an individual, treat them as such.

•   Use notifications to solve a problem or delight customers, within the scope of your app.

•   Segment your audience and deliver targeted Push paired with targeted content to deliver the best possible experience to your customers.

•   Use timing to your advantage by incorporating quiet time preferences and optimize to times when users are most engaged with apps.

•   Make it easy to opt in and opt out of notifications, location and social features.

•   Measure engagement driven from Push and optimize.

If our recommended practices aren’t for you, make sure to follow the terms of Apple’s iOS agreement.

    “You may not use the APN or Local Notifications for the purposes of advertising, product promotion, or direct marketing of any kind (e.g. up-selling, cross-selling, etc.), including, but not limited to, sending any messages to promote the use of Your Application or advertise the availability of new features or versions.”

At Urban Airship we believe the future of mobile will largely be driven by real time alerts and updates, based on personal context like location and preferences.  We are excited to welcome the SimpleGeo team and are dedicated to building products and services that will deliver our vision and ensure the success of our customers.