We are constantly on the move these days and rarely give ourselves a chance to sit and observe what is going around us. Businesses need to keep up with their customers for them to stay in touch with new services and products. This can be difficult, but it certainly isn’t impossible. A trusty reminder is actually at the touch of your fingertips: Push Notifications, a hot new addition to mobile app development.
What are Push Notifications?
A push notification is a small summary of a news story or can be a reminder of an upcoming event. When a push notification is received, it will pop up on your phone’s screen similar to a text message, even if the push notification’s app is open at the moment. Tapping the notification will load the corresponding story for a broader view of the story or reminder.
How Does the Push Process Work?
What might seem to be a complicated process is actually quite simple. The process described here is for iPhone iOS services, but similar services are also available for Android users. Here we will discuss the steps of how the push process enables users to view and scan content:
- Register your app on iOS services
- The iOS service asks the APNS (Apple Push Notification Service) server for a device token to access multiple channels
- The app receives the device token and sends the push notification to your server
- From your server the token is sent to the app, sending valuable content to multiple channels.
Optimise Push Notifications for your Business
Push notifications are helpful tools for any size of business because they can help deliver the same message, special, or reward system to your customers. A study conducted by Vocus found that mobile email marketing is opened 21% of the time. The study also found that only 42% of marketers are designing emails rendered specifically for mobile devices.
A study conducted by Vocus found that mobile email marketing is opened 21% of the time.
With the assistance of a push notification, you can unobtrusively interact with your customer’s mobile devices and allow them to find your message whilst out and about. Whether it’s a special available for the weekend or a developing news story they will have access to the information without sacrificing important time.
Push Notifications in the News
Major media outlets such as the BBC and CNN use push notifications to mediate current affairs and international news to subscribers, free of charge. The number of alerts sent out vary according to the news that day; it can be anywhere from 1-3 or more notifications per day reflecting the most important news stories. Once the notification has been tapped, it will bring you to the page and allow you the option to share the story via email or varying social media outlets.
Push notifications don’t only have to be for developing news stories; they can also be used for:
- App-specific reminders: If a user hasn’t completed an expected action yet, the app can send a reminder to complete it. Hotel and airline businesses can benefit from these reminders so the prospective client can finalise the process even at the last minute for travel assurance.
- Event reminders: New to the social media scene are promotions for community events and available specials. Apps like Living Social give daily updates for cool things to do in your local area – also giving a huge discount to back it up. Even when travelling, this app will pick up your location and find special events and discounts to support your stay. The app then sends push notifications to remind you of your registered events.
- Retail sales notifications: For many flash retailers, pushing their brand’s specials is essential to survival. Use notifications at peak shopping times during the day to drive more sales.
- Prescription/appointment reminders: The pharmaceutical industry can send prescription alerts to inform that it’s time to re-order, or notify users that prescriptions are ready for auto-refill.
- Safety alerts: These services are used to remind you anything from closing the garage door to be wary of a natural disaster. Also available are suspicious activity alerts, which allow bank and security users to stay in the know of strange activity on their accounts.
The most important thing to know about push notifications is that it is an unobtrusive way to stay in touch with others. So remember, be sure your content is relevant and useful to all parties to ensure you are delivering valuable messages to your business’s most important asset: your customer.