Sending messages and notifications via Smartphone: doing it the right way
1 April 2016
Have you ever noticed the vast amount of messages and notifications you receive via your Smartphone on a daily basis? You probably have.
Nearly all applications or mobile-adapted websites send “push” messages displayed on browsers’ screens throughout the day, especially during periods in which he or she isn’t actively utilizing the app/website. This can be viewed as a sort of immediate, personal and mostly polite way to say “hello”.
Many adjectives can be used to describe these messages: bothersome, relevant, interesting, etc. They are however definitely not ignorable.
Most people report that that they would prefer to opt out of receiving these notifications as they are a nuisance and a distraction. However, studies indicate that those who do not turn off these messages actually become more connected the app/web and use it for longer periods of time.
Anyone who views these messages as a powerful tool that can contribute to involvement and direct communication can benefit from the following tips.
Think: what is the “correct” amount of messages for your website/application. The most common mistake in the field is to send more notifications than the user can handle. Customize the amount and frequency of messages according to app/web type. Messages from a social network such as Facebook is quite different than being notified that your Pou is hungry/thirsty (if you don’t know what a Pou is, go look it up!)
Study your users and send them messages relevant to them. Don’t send them messages just because you can. Taylor each user’s relevant message and consider his/her browsing properties and preferences. Customized content is a critical component in transforming messages from annoying to enjoyable.
Make sure you limit both the amount and length of messages and keep the content friendly and concise. Send messages when users are most likely to be available to both read and act upon them. Work hours, for example, are less preferable. When not dealing with substantial urgency, send messages during the evening or late afternoon. When dealing with users from various countries, remember to adapt this tip according to the relevant timelines.
Make sure you get the user’s consent before sending him/her messages.
Present the user the advantages of receiving these messages.
Emphasize the fact that you’ve adapted the content to his/her preferences.
Allow users to choose to join later and/or easily cancel at will.
Equally important is reviewing the messages before contacting the user. Review both content and technology in order to ensure that the message, once sent, indeed attains its goal.