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Push notifications : When intelligent design meets evolution

There was probably a time when people would have found the idea of apps on their phone addressing them by their first name and giving them assorted information slightly bizarre . Not anymore

These days, every man and his mobile phone is getting used to the fact that any information he inadvertently provides, while going online in any form or capacity, will be used to continuously hone the push notifications he receives, in what is very much a win-win scenario for marketer and user. The feeling of paranoia that such an activity was once shrouded in has since given way to grudging, even willing, acceptance.

The rise in quality of push notifications themselves has reflected this change in mentality, going from a bland template sent out to scores of customers to a sophisticated, painstakingly crafted individual experience. It’s almost like they were carefully chiseled over the ages by some digital age Darwin, continuously shaking off and replacing components on the path to evolutionary perfection

The Static Push

Just like the infant stages of evolution, the static push is seen as primitive and is pretty much obsolete these days. However, it was undoubtedly a pioneering development of its time, setting up an ideal platform for brands to engage with their customers.

 

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It may have not been much, simply sending out a time-specific, atypical text to all your users. But, in a time where there was no real medium to unite every customer apart from their mobile phones, this was definitely novel. Even the relatively meagre CTR of 1% was deemed satisfactory enough to keep plugging away at, finally leading to the nifty modern version we see today.

Segmentation

Whatever man invents, he has to categorize at one point. The push notification was no exception, and was introduced to its first level of filtering based on in-app activity of the user. Information collected about the users was used to map them to certain prototypes or personas, each assigned certain distinctive traits that define the notifications to be sent out to them. These were, in turn, triggered by certain specific points within the app, such as when the user drops off after carting a product, or repeatedly views a certain page albeit without actually purchasing the product.

This increased bit of personalization was enough to guarantee CTR levels of upto 3%, but of course there was room for further elegance.

Personalization

If the tipping point of human evolution was to ditch our solitary hunting ways and cluster together in civilizations, the key for push evolution was the opposite end of the spectrum: separation and individualization.

The obvious step after segmentation was refining the atypical personas, and soon enough, this gave way to unique user-level customization, which was now much easier thanks to the huge volumes of data easily available to companies, especially on the internet. Push messages could now contain extremely intricate information heavily tailored to the receiver’s preferences, leaving little to guesswork. This would directly reflect on the user’s readiness to interact with said messages, leading to a drastic jump in CTR levels which went up to an impressive 8%.

 

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Rich Media

Ok, so that’s users segmented into neat well-defined groups, getting their personalized, well-timed messages onto their mobile phones. Surely that’s the summit of sophistication? Turns out, its not. The next layer of improvement was reserved for the actual format of the messages, going from boring text to vibrant images, ensuring the user’s attention was acquired right from the word Go. After all, our evolution was not just functional, but happened on an aesthetic level too, and who does not prefer images over text, at least when it comes to being sold something?

These images would also be deep linked to the relevant products they displayed, ensuring customers weren’t left frustrated at having to navigate all over from the starting point every time they dropped off or closed the app before being persuaded to come back and complete the purchase.

Multi product Carousel

We’re still not done. The latest dab of flourish added to push notifications is the ability to combine multiple product information and recommendations into one, which was rolled out in the form of a multi-product carousel. Tapping into the power of machine learning to anticipate and list out accurate suggestions based on user data and history, this evolutionary jump has seen CTR levels rise up to a phenomenal 35%, attesting to the fact that customers prefer receiving a host of choices before they decide to get shopping.

 

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So there you have it. What do you think will be the next bit of innovation we will see in the never-ending endeavor to enhance the user push experience? Write to us at marketing@vizury.com with your thoughts or leave a comment right below

About the author

A thousand years from how, all things I say and do will fade into obscurity and become irrelevant, just like this bio

naren.madan@vizury.com'

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