Urban Airship Turns Notifications Into Interactive Mobile Marketing
New buttons expand canvas for push notifications.
There are more than a dozen providers of notifications for mobile apps. Portland-based Urban Airship has staked out a position as market leader and is trying to further differentiate with new interactive notifications functionality.
This morning the company announced a range of enhancements and new capabilities for notifications in the forthcoming iOS 8, as well as Android 4.3 and above and Amazon Fire OS (a forked version of Android). The changes and upgrades offer a range of new possibilities for publishers, retailers and brands in terms of how they use notifications and engage mobile customers.
According to the company, “Interactive notification buttons can easily drive users to take specific actions with deep-links to different in-app or mobile web landing pages where every click can assign or remove user attributes for multi-touch automated campaigns and more responsive, relevant and actionable mobile experiences.”
There are a number of pre-defined buttons available, such as “yes,” “no,” “shop now,” “opt-in,” “share” and others. However developers can define their own buttons. These buttons and their corresponding functionality broadly expand what you can do with notifications.
For example a “remind me later” button can be the basis of a retailer remarketing campaign (even a cross-platform campaign potentially). Developers and publishers can also segment audiences based on their responses and interactions with buttons. Beyond this Urban Airship has built in A/B testing so that different messages can be trialed on smaller audiences before a broader campaign.
As indicated, Urban Airship’s new buttons support notification sharing to third parties (e.g., news, sports, coupons). This turns notifications into a way, not only to engage current app users, but to acquire new customers. A new user receiving a shared notification would be taken to an app store and prompted to install the relevant app.
A related piece of functionality is support for iOS 8 widgets. Android has had this for a long time; however it’s being introduced to the iPhone in the forthcoming OS update.
Urban Airship has also developed rich analytics to track all these buttons. Merchants, brands and publishers can define conversion events and track those individually. This enables them to get a clearer picture of which types of notifications are driving conversion.
Notifications are often not well used or even abused by some publishers and developers. However when used correctly they can be a critical tool to engage (and market to) app users. The interactive functionality being introduced by Urban Airship greatly expands how notifications can be used and potentially makes them even more valuable to mobile publishers and developers.