An article on econsultancy recently explained that though potentially a powerful tool for marketers, push notifications on apps can be a real pain for many people. This means marketers need to be very careful about their use of this tactic but, sadly, not all do.
Here are some mistakes to avoid, and examples of good and bad (mainly bad) push notifications…
1. Not asking users for preferences
If they have consented to push notifications, then most people will appreciate relevant updates. Therefore, it’s important to ask for preferences or learn from user behavior to inform the kinds of notifications you send. Get this wrong and you risk annoying users to the extent that they’ll delete the app.
2. Spamming your users
Push notifications essentially give marketers the opportunity to get their messages in front of customers all day long. After all, most people have their smartphone with them all day long. This should be considered a privilege, and a tool that should not be used too frequently.
3. Getting the timing wrong
Think about when customers are likely to be more receptive and time your alerts for then. And try not to wake them up.
4. Inappropriate messages
In one case, a nine year old was told “you’ll pay for this on judgement day” after failing to feed a virtual pet using the My Pet application. Perhaps this would be funny for an older gamer, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out the likely age group of this game’s users.
5. Pushing ads on customers
This is a very personal marketing medium, and many users will react badly to having ads foisted on them.
6. Not being quick enough
If you’re going to keep users informed about tweets or other events, make it timely. Late messages are not only useless, but an annoyance.
7. Make it too hard to opt out
Just like making it easy to unsubscribe from emails, ensuring that users can change notification settings will stop them from deleting the app altogether. Make it nice and easy to turn push on or off, give users plenty of preference options, and deliver value every time you push.
8. Sending trivial updates
CNN seems to have annoyed some of its users recently with an update on the voice of Siri.
There are plenty of very valid and interesting points touched upon here, but of course it’s point six that interests me most. Timeliness is everything in our modern, ‘always-on’ world. Being late with push notifications only leads to missed opportunities, consumer dissatisfaction and a dented brand reputation.
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