Notifications via mobile apps generate a regular debate among marketers – usually staunch advocates for allowing them to approach customers through the extension of their arm, their smartphone – and users – many of them detractors because they consider them intrusive (Who hasn’t received a message at the most inopportune time?) –. In this post we will examine its advantages and disadvantages.

What do they really mean on a technical level?

Push notifications at the time were a technological change in the way communications were received, with the recipient receiving an SMS-like notification (but via internet connection and at a cost almost 50 times lower). They work because the server interested in sending the notification opens a connection with the company that owns the OS and it is the company that communicates directly with the mobile. Unlike SMS, for this to happen, the user needs to have downloaded the app of the service that sends this notice.

It’s important that we distinguish Push technology from Pull. The difference between the two is who initiates communication. In Pull technology it is the user who initiates it. That is, when we manually configure how often we want the server to notify us when there is new content. For example, if we set the frequency of content refresh to 5 or 10 minutes, this will be the time it takes us to find out if we have new information. The server will not alert us immediately but based on this frequency. While in Pull technology, the user does not initiate communication or ask to do so.

But what are they used for?

Over time these have been gaining in roles. From notifying the entry of new email or the arrival of instant messaging (WhatsApp) to the notice of reminders for the user of various kinds (campaigns, promotions…) – Very different and varied uses that make this tool a key piece in our app and in our marketing strategy.

Great power carries great responsibility

Being connected to the client 24 hours forces us to be careful in the way we manage this type of relationship. Over saturating the client of push notifications can be dangerous as disproportionate use can cause the user to decide to remove our app from their smartphone. That’s why understanding the value of our app to the customer is important and making the right communications is essential for the customer to feel satisfied with our service. Notifications should provide real value and because not all users have the same needs, ideally they are customized.

Understanding when the time is right

Finally, understanding when the time is right to make this communication or notice is another very important aspect. Sending the customer a minor notification while taking a nap is certainly not a good idea. However, notifying the patient of an appointment with the doctor one hour before the doctor occurs can be very useful for the user. Such notifications based on consumer behavior can increase the number of openings by 800%.

In the insurance sector there are many events that can be done through these notices. In addition, in this area, thanks to the use of locations or i Beacons,we can know with greater precision and reliability if it is the righttime to make a communication.

For example, if thanks to i Beacons we detect that a user is in a ski resort we can send a push notification with a commercial offer of insurance on pistes. Or if we detect that you are in a real estate branch we can inform you of our home insurance offers. The possibilities are multiple, in our hand it is to take advantage without exceeding the balance.

How to take advantage of all these features

Making the most of this technology is a challenge if we are to encourage the exploitation of the right time. Good data management platforms, as well as the integration of multiple tools available in the market, focused on the management of these technologies, allow to increase the effectiveness of our efforts in finding the right moment.

A good example of a platform that combines and allows us to automate all push notification technologies (i Beacons, push by proximity, collocation…) is Marketing Cloud,where we can plan customer journeys with elements in which the aforementioned technologies are activated.,

 

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