urban airship logoUrban Airship knows push notifications. If you think I’m lying, check it out – the Portland-based tech company has sent out one hundred billion push notifications since its inception. (Don’t ever accuse me of lying again. Especially about push-notification-based facts.) To celebrate, I’m assuming the Urban Airship folks flew around in a stadium-sized dirigible, sipping champagne and eating caviar and looking down their snouts at the regular folks of Portland like the granola-loving, bicycle-riding ants they are. Or else they just pushed each other around the office all afternoon. If the first, I want a job there. If the second, I retract that.

Push It to the Limit

What Urban Airship actually did to celebrate, we may never know, but one thing they did do is release a comprehensive analytics study on the effectiveness of all those push notifications. The results are significant: the use of push notifications doubles retention rates and increases engagement rates by over 25%. These numbers were collected and studied over six months, encompassing 2,400-plus apps and 500 million push messages, so they’re not pulled from thin air (groan).

The study essentially proves by its results alone the necessity and worthiness of push notifications to your mobile app strategy. Getting users to opt in to push messaging is easier said than done, but those who do opt in are 50% more likely to stay active within the app than those who opt out. Since presumably the goal of your app is to get and retain users, these numbers ought to be loud and clear – your mobile strategy needs push notifications.

Implementing the Push

Implementing push notifications can be a fairly straightforward matter in tech terms – the only trick is in making the notifications relevant to your strategy, and that part is up to you. Some excellent uses include pushing to remind users of upcoming events, or that it’s their turn to play in a game, or that their team is in a close match and they’d better tune in right away. Many push notifications are used to remind users to update the app, or to sign in and update information within the app. Safety uses include disaster notification and banking alerts – letting you know if there has been any suspicious activity in your account.

Those are useful, and then others are really creative. The Green Bay Packers app finds nearby bars that are broadcasting the game – now that’s relevant information! Southwest Airlines pushes last-minute flight deals – that’s how I ended up in Portland about to board this ginormous zeppelin.…

Your content strategy will dictate to you some creative and useful ways to implement push notifications to maximum effectiveness. Take these as a springboard to spark your imagination while I go sip champagne in the lounge area over there.

Are you incorporating the power of push notifications into your mobile strategy?