Push notifications are instant text messages that are sent directly to the user’s mobile display screen. What makes these types of notifications so powerful is that it disrupts whatever the user is doing and forces them to take action to clear the message guaranteeing that it will be seen. Retailers around the world encourage users to sign up to receive push notifications in return for receiving instant alerts to special sales and events.
This is akin to creating a sort of club or tight-knit community of responsive customers which is a much more effective way of marketing to a niche audience then social media. A study conducted by retail marketing firm Digby discovered that 57% of those receiving a push notification offer from a store they frequent actually visited the retailer to redeem it. It’s the immediate engagement that makes this an important feature to an app.
Amazon Web Services recently announced that it is offering a cloud-based push notification service for mobile app developers. “Many customers tell us they build and maintain their own mobile push services, even though they find this approach expensive, complex and error-prone,” says Raju Gulabani, VP Database Services. “Amazon SNS with Mobile Push takes these concerns off the table with one simple cross-platform API, a flat low price and a free tier that means many customers won’t pay anything until their applications achieve scale,” Gulabani further explained. The service will allow customers to send up to 1 million messages at no charge and then $0.50 for each additional notification.
But push notifications are extending far beyond the retail industry. Dallas ISD, for example, use push notifications to deliver urgent messages to parents. Fox 11 in Green Bay, Wisconsin alerts local residents of impending school and road closures and urgent information that could impact their daily routine. However, it is important to throw caution into the wind when sending push notifications to subscribers. Before you get too excited and decide to start blasting mobile alert messages, some mobile users find these push apps annoying and cringe whenever they receive one as if they are being zapped by a lightening rod.
Therefore, if you are sending so many notifications that they become more like spam will only encourage users to simply turn the feature off for your app and could end up costing more than its worth if you lose a customer.