One of the unique benefits of a mobile app is the ability to push notifications to users. This function has proven to be the most powerful tool on the market for local news.
In times of heightened sensitivity to events like the Covid-19 virus there is no better tool for breaking news than the push notification. This is a real opportunity to make your local community app a core part of people’s media.
“In our four years of operating, the push notification has been the single biggest influence in our success,” said Tony O’Regan of the Wanaka App.
Tony says the push notification is able to alert people to breaking news and particular items of interest to the community. “The thing we noticed is that if we respect the push notification and make them highly relevant to the local market then people are willing to leave them switched on. We’ve had no push back from users, in fact quite the opposite with many users telling us how much they like getting them,” Tony said.
Tony says there is a direct correlation between push notifications and downloads, and between push notifications and user engagement.
“If we use push notifications well we see a direct benefit in new downloads driven by the ‘talkability’ factor of the pushed information. We also see much higher user engagement when we notify.” says Tony.
But using push notifications comes with a warning. Tony says that there is one rule to follow to maximise the benefit from notifications. “If you abuse the privilege of sending someone a notification then you’re asking for trouble,” Tony explains. “There is a key rule and that is ‘relevance’.”
Notifications must be timely, they must be about relevant information; things like breaking news stories, big news stories, or supporting the community. “Even if a person is not interested in a community event they are keen to know that the event is on and that we are supporting it by pushing a notification. People want their community to do well. But we only push for big events”
If notifications are used well they are the best tool a publisher has for informing and engaging users. “If we push on relevant information and always have good content then people will continue to use us for their local news,” said Tony. “Our goal is to make viewing our platforms a habit, when that happens we are delivering to the local community and we are making our business successful.”
With iApp a licensed operator can see how successful their notifications are with click through analytics and user engagement.