Two tips for the price of one this week, as we continue our look at how to build push campaigns that really deliver for your mobile app business (rather than simply irritate your customers until they disappear!)

2. Segment the User Base

If push notifications have a bad reputation, it’s because so many organizations use them in an indiscriminate way. We’re all familiar with unfocused, untargeted and largely ineffective email marketing campaigns. We call them spam.

Don’t make the same mistake with push. Mobile app developers are lucky enough to have access to vast amounts of data relating to their users including how long they have been active, what their current status is, which items they have purchased or not purchased, which app features they have used and how often — the list is almost endless. Use it!

All that data can help in delivering push notifications that are highly targeted, which in turn means:

  • Any offer you promote is relevant, and more likely to be acted upon.
  • You can speak in the language of your target audience, and resonate with them effectively.
  • You can avoid cannibalizing revenue by excluding users likely to buy or return anyway from your offers.

That means respecting your audience and it means thinking carefully about whom you talk to. As a rule of thumb, the fewer people you are sending to the better.

3. Get Your Timing Right 

Nobody likes to be woken up in the middle of the night to be told their virtual pet is hungry. Still less, to be told that their daughter’s virtual pet is hungry (yes, this happens to me). So think carefully about when you send your push notifications. Fortunately, there's nothing complicated about getting timing right. All your need to do is follow a few simple guidelines that should help ensure you're helping your users rather than simply annoying them - and that your push notifications drive your users back to the app, which is what it's all about:

  • Always consider local time. If you want to send a notification at 7pm, make sure it goes at 7pm wherever in the world the user happens to be.
  • Disable operational push notifications during ‘quiet hours’
  • Leverage the positive aspects of timing. Notifications sent at peak usage times with highly time-limited offers are likely to get attention - and mean future communications are assumed to be equally relevant.