Once a potential lead has been converted and decides to download your application, they are a customer. However, what this customer does once your software is on their device is a completely different matter – they can use it on an hourly basis, occasionally open it up or forget about it altogether. This is why so many apps show ups as being popular for download, but don’t pop up on any user lists.
There’s lots of reasons this happened. Sometimes an app is just one option out of many, and users find one that fits their needs better. Sometimes you need something in the moment (like the Singer Sewing Machine Serial Number app) and really don’t need it afterwards. On the other hand, it’s often the fact that you’ve downloaded something and you forget about it.
This is where apps go to die: “I need the space” land. One click and you’re uninstalled, never to be thought of again.
How can you avoid this fate?
Say you have an app that’s useful, well-made, but not constantly used. Chances are your users won’t open it up regularly unless you nudge them into it, and the best way to do it is by push notification.
What is a push notification? Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not the same as a text message. You see, a push notification appears in the form of an actual notification on your screen, whether the app is currently active or not. Clicking or swiping it takes you directly to the app, while text message notifications just open up the text itself.
What’s so good about this?
First of all, push notification has a limited amount of characters it can show at a glance. This both limits you and provides you with an amazing opportunity: much like a teaser trailer, this small message lets you intrigue your user and make them open your app. Commonly, you get a simple message saying “We miss you” or “Isn’t it time for your lesson?”; less often, we get something a bit more spicy, such as “you’re never gonna believe this, but…”.
Simple, but incredibly effective! A push notification used right is your marketing best friend.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’ve got push notifications that help protect users. Warnings like “somebody just tried to access your account” definitely push notification material, and they have the added value of making your app seem like the secure fortress it probably is.
If you’ve got an app that uses things like geolocation, push notifications might be a staple feature. We’re not just talking about Google Maps; any application that helps you get a better understanding of your surroundings is a push notification goldmine, especially in the tourism sector. Entire cities are now investing in digitally marking their monuments so tourists taking a stroll would be pinged in the right direction.
There’s also things like breaking news (for a news app), notices, reminders… the versatility of the push notification is endless.
It’s a wonder why not all apps have them, isn’t it? The reason is simple enough: when it comes to native apps, push notifications are a pain. It’s notoriously difficult to make them work right cross-platforms, and most developers would rather skip them entirely than make the mistake of randomly having their notifications pop up on screens.
Luckily, there are templates that handle that little issue for you. Fully responsive, easily added, lovingly designed push notifications are yours at the click of a mouse or a tap of a finger. Never again will your users feel left out or uninformed!
Don’t go too crazy though. Push notifications are an art, not a weapon. Bombarding your users with notifications is not a good idea, just like asking your mom for something to eat 5 times in 2 minutes is not likely to improve her mood.
There are some apps that just need to sit there quietly, and it’s up to you to figure out which ones they are.