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DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS

Apple Allows Marketers To Push Ads In App Notifications

Push Notifications Can Now Be Used For Advertising

As of last week, marketers can now send ads and other promotions as push notifications to apps available within the Apple App Store.

In a highly understated move, Apple introduced the change within its App Store Review Guidelines, updated last week in line with new features introduced with iOS 13.

Apple has long banned apps from using notifications for “advertising, promotions, or direct marketing purposes,” but that has finally changed, twelve years after launching the App Store.

App Store Review Guidelines

“Push Notifications must not be required for the app to function, and should not be used to send sensitive personal or confidential information.

Push Notifications should not be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in your app’s UI, and you provide a method in your app for a user to opt-out from receiving such messages. Abuse of these services may result in revocation of your privileges.”

As per the guidelines above, users will have to opt in to receive push notification ads on iOS.

However, for brands like Coles or Air NZ, that would hardly be difficult to work into an app user interface, not dissimilar to a tick box on an email contact form.

I can almost hear the Woolies notifications on toilet paper promos now…

Organisations will also have to provide an opt-out function in their apps, but again that’s easy enough.

Push Notification Marketing Goldmine

Blackberry is credited with giving the world the first instance of the push notification. 

Notifying corporates when a new email landed on their device. Such innocent times.

Over time, the push notification has grown in both sophistication and ubiquity, as Apple brought the feature to the vast, unwashed masses via the iPhone.

The modern push notification can include media, action buttons, and can be tailored to individual users. They can be used to convey information and updates, encourage users to engage with an app, send reminders, serve as a step in the user journey, and much more.

For organisations and brands within the App Store, Apple’s latest move opens a brand-spanking, new direct marketing channel.

Renowned for high performance and conversion rates, almost akin to email marketing.

Although to be fair, app push notifications would be equally useful for branding.

Since Apple has the power to remove such coveted access, it remains to be seen as to whether this should be considered an earned media channel or an owned channel.

Splitting hairs aside, it’s an exciting one.

Push Notifications By the Numbers

According to Accengage’s 2018 Push Notification Benchmark, opt-in rates for app push notifications are far higher on Android (91.1%) than iOS devices (43.9%).

Average opt-in rate across the two most significant mobile operating systems stands at 67.5%.

The difference could be explained away by the fact that iOS users must actively consent to push notifications, whereas Android automatically enables push notifications.

Finance (72.3%) was the area in which users were most likely to enable to push notifications.

Followed by travel (70.2%) and ecommerce (68%).

The average reaction rate on app push notifications is 7.8%, with Android users opening almost one in ten (10.7), while Apple users react half as often (4.9%).

Tuesday has the best reaction rate at 8.4%.

Marketing Hacks  For Boosting Performance

Further ways to optimise app push notification performance abound, according to Accengage:

  1. Using emojis can boost reaction rates by 20%
  2. Personalisation can improve performance four-fold (e.g. Hi James, would you like to waste $700 on toilet paper in case of armageddon?)
  3. Leveraging user data to trigger relevant messages can triple performance (e.g. location, preferences, etc.)
  4. Images, gifs and video can enhance click rates by up to 25%

Apple’s latest App Store move is a fascinating one, and it will be interesting to see how long it lasts.

Marketers have a habit of ruining opportunities like this eventually.

In time would an algorithm of sorts be required, Facebook stylee? Afterall, smartphone users already receive around 50 notifications daily as is.

Speaking of Facebook, could there, in time, be parallels with Facebook and Messenger.

Whereby, Mark Zuckerberg opened up incredible free marketing opportunities across the News Feed (and Messenger to a lesser extent), only to eventually make it a mostly pay-to-play channel?

Only time will tell, but if you’re in the App Store, it’s probably a good idea to get a wiggle on.

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