We can go on and on about how apps can bring huge benefits to your small business, but one thing remains true – if you don’t help your app, it won’t help you. This isn’t to say that apps require tons of maintenance, or that you need to be worrying over your app at all hours of the day. But if you don’t use best practices and proven strategies, you won’t maximize the opportunities your app can create.
Today’s lesson is about push notifications.
What are they?
For those who don’t know, push notifications are the short messages that apps on your mobile device send you from time to time. They can mention new features, discuss special offers, share other information, or invite you to take an action. You’ve likely already experienced push notifications as an app user. Now it’s time to learn how to use them as an app owner.
Why bother with push?
Glad you asked! Here are two quick answers, thanks to Urban Airship’s 2013 Good Push Index (which studied 2,400 apps and analyzed the ultimate effects of 500,000,000 push messages):
1. Push increases app user retention rates by an average of 100%
2. Use of push leads to an average of 26% more monthly opens
That is, if you use push notifications at all, then on average, you’ll keep twice as many users and they’ll be significantly more engaged. If you’ve bothered to publish an app, why not take the next step and use push to boost key success metrics and get your money’s worth?
Rhetorical question. Almost every app can benefit from intelligent use of push!
People hate spam. Will anyone opt-in to my push notifications?
Not to worry. For those who do it right, opt-in rates are very high. Here were the best performers that Urban Airship studied (so you know where the ceilings are):
Best Media App: 96% opt-in rate
Best Retail App: 90%
Best Business App: 87%
Best Sports App: 75%
Best Gambling App: 60%
We know – you’re not expecting to do that well. That’s fine – average rates were in the 40-50% range. But if just half of your users opt-in to push, you’ll create a new, highly engaged, highly valuable user segment that can help you generate huge returns.
So how do I “do push” right?
Each type of app will need a different push strategy that is designed to provide users what they want at the times they want it. For some businesses, push may be a core part of your offering, especially if you deal in following current developments. For others, it will be a matter of finding the right offers, discounts, event notifications, new product messages, and other items to generate value for users.
As always, our advice is to put the user first. Before you set a push notification to go out, ask yourself, “If I were a user, how would I react to this message?”
The rest is experimentation.