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SOCIAL MEDIA

Do You Give Good 'Push'?
 

Here's how to use push notifications to engage your mobile customers and build brand loyalty.

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Another amazing, seemingly simple, yet truly complicated digital communication channel has emerged--the Push Notification.

Push notifications are basically text messages that you--via your mobile app--can send out to users who have opted to download your app and agreed to receive real-time alerts. Think about that for a moment--people are actually opting in to allow your organization to interrupt their daily grind with instant messages! 

Scott Kveton, a push messaging expert and founder of Urban Airship, reminds us that with great power comes great responsibility. Kveton wants to arm mobile app publishers with tools like "The Pocket Guide to Good Push" to make sure they get the most out of push notifications.

Here are seven rules of 'Good Push' that were written from the customers' point of view and should be thought of as a 'Bill of Rights' for your push consumers:

Rule No. 1: Make Push Notifications Fit Into My Ever-Changing Schedule

Empower your customers to not only opt in to push notifications, but also give them the power to easily control when messages are delivered. Many marketers believe that allowing users to opt out is a bad idea, but this practice has actually developed stronger engagement through user trust and loyalty.

Rule No. 2: Alert Me With Relevant Messages

Customize your messages to be relevant to the individual user. If a customer already bought your product, send them useful tips instead of coupons. Take advantage of the highly specific targeting power that push notifications can provide.

Rule No. 3: Be Personalized

Provide users the ability to customize content that your app sends on a regular basis. For example, the ESPN app allows users to not only get the latest ESPN news, but also to receive breaking news and scores from their favorite teams. Customization fosters a feeling of autonomy within your app that will empower and motivate users to engage with you on a regular basis.

Rule No. 4: Stay Consistent With Your Brand

Just as you wouldn't put an intern in charge of your Twitter or Facebook communication (well, some companies still do), don't hand over the keys to this Ferrari to a brand novice. Be sure that the notifications timing, message content, links, graphics and even text chimes tie into your brand message.

Rule No. 5: Entertain Me

Always remember that you're interrupting someone's day every time you send a push message, so it better be something good! Users will become conditioned to welcoming notifications that are fresh, entertaining or help solve a problem. Combine a useful push notification with a link to a well-designed landing page to deliver your message and complete your goals.

Rule No. 6: Continuously Serve Me Better & Better

Always monitor the results of your push notifications through your app's analytics package to determine the effectiveness of each campaign. This feedback can provide insights into aspects of successful campaigns. Use this valuable information to optimize and enhance future push notification efforts.

Rule No. 7: Adapt to My Current Situation

Use the location feature on smartphones to customize location-based push notifications for your users. This easily forgotten feature can be applied to nearly any mobile app to enhance user engagement and provide more value. Combine data from the user's location, date, and time to push out hyper-personalized notifications and provide insightful information or valuable offers to your users.    

As changes in technology accelerate, new brand messaging channels will continue to emerge. The nice thing for the market is that the evolution of digital marketing channels is moving from traditional interruptive marketing channels toward an inbound marketing world. Regardless of what new channels emerge, these seven principles can be applied to nearly any inbound marketing strategy.

Last updated: Nov 12, 2012

AARON ADERS is co-founder of DigitalRelevance, a national leader in earned media and inbound marketing services. Building on more than a decade of Internet marketing experience, Aders steers the strategic vision behind DigitalRelevance's market research and collateral.
@drelevance




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