Marketing today is all about capturing the consumer at the right time and in the right context. One way to achieve this is through push notifications on mobile devices. A push notification is the most direct way to engage with your app users. What’s more, of those who download a brand’s mobile app, 68% opt-in to receiving push notifications from that app. With push notifications you can keep users informed with timely and relevant content, whether you app is running in the background or inactive. Notifications can display a message, play a distinctive sound, or update a badge on your app icon.

McDonalds-push-notification So why are push notifications so powerful?

Well for a start the consumer is mobile. The global smartphone audience has surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012. Push notifications provide a direct-to-pocket channel and are within arms-reach of the consumer. Although this may seem like a passport to reaching your consumer it is important to capture their attention also. Similar to email, push notifications consider the user before delivering push. Messaging can therefore become more relevant by including previous location information, in app behaviors, stated preferences and purchase history. For instance, you’re walking past Starbucks at 8.00 am on a Monday morning and you’re a long time loyal customer at this location, chances are you would love a coupon for a Tall Latte. Push notifications when used sparingly and correctly can be good for your brand and can allow you to connect with your mobile audience in a helpful but influential way.

1) Push can drive unplanned purchases

Push not only promises to build customer loyalty, but it can also motivate impulse or unplanned spending. In a study on shopping behavior it was found that shopping apps are considered most useful and more likely to impact shopping behavior. Email and online product reviews were also included; the common denominator being their ability to influence the consumers shopping behavior and satisfy their shopper needs.

2) Push can influence the consumer on their journey

Push can be part of a holistic customer journey, for instance giving customers the information that they need from various devices from their smartphone when they are on the move (researching a product) to their tablet when they are at home (getting out their credit cards to make a payment). Whilst push notifications are concentrated on mobile phones and tablets they are quickly expanding to reach all kinds of new internet devices. In fact, the world will have more connected devices than people – 75 billion devices connected to the “Internet of things” by 2020.

3) Push can drive customer retention

Push can promise to help with customer retention. For most app marketers minimizing churn is a major pain point. Retention for push-enabled users is significantly higher than for those who disable push notifications with a nearly 3 times higher retention rate compared to those who disable push. To keep users coming back into the app months down the road, it becomes extremely important to send timely, actionable push notifications. Even just one month after first downloading the app, the difference in retention is staggering. The cost to acquire an app user is $1.79 which is based on a quality user, defined as a user that will open the app at least three times. If you are willing to invest such an amount in capturing your user in the first place, with the cost per acquisition potentially lower then your lifetime value, you should be willing to invest more into retaining the user.

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