Magazine article CRM Magazine

Push Notifications Help Keep Customers Close: Consumers like Receiving Notices, but Companies Need to Use Them Cautiously

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Push Notifications Help Keep Customers Close: Consumers like Receiving Notices, but Companies Need to Use Them Cautiously

Article excerpt

Mobile push notifications are nearly ubiquitous. Even a year ago, 75 percent of European smartphone users polled stated they receive push notifications, and 26 percent receive several notifications a day, according to the European Technographics Consumer Technology Online Survey. Yet, despite their growing acceptance, marketers have some concerns.

Although customers usually have to download an app and then opt in to receive push notifications, "people don't want to alienate customers. You're talking about a really personal device that people take to bed with them and keep with them at all times," says Stacy Adams, vice president of marketing at mBlox, a company that facilitates delivery of SMS and push notifications.

The danger of push notifications is that they could annoy consumers, either with their frequency or irrelevant content.

However, customers might be more receptive than companies originally thought. According to a poll by mBlox, 80 percent of consumers indicated that downloading a company's app meant they were also open to receiving push notifications, even those with location-based targeting. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) have received push notifications from companies, and 86 percent of them found the notices valuable.

So what are successful marketers doing right?

"It's not good enough to just have an app. You have to have a strategy that is centered on building an experience and the categories the users want to get notifications on," says Responsys senior vice president of emerging channels, Michael Della Penna. Some of the more useful push notifications he's seen have been triggered notifications for shipping alerts or flight delays. "The best apps provide an enormous amount of control and personalization," Della Penna says.

"To make the most of push notifications, you need to have a segmentation approach," advises Thomas Husson, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and author of the report "Push Mobile Engagement to the Next Level. …

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