Mobile App Downloads Are The New Email Opt-in
Online marketers' top priority at the top of their funnel is to increase reach. Increasing reach on the web has long meant increasing the size of a company’s email marketing database, and email is a hugely important tool for online marketers to help drive leads and sales.
Despite the power of email, it is quietly beginning to be replaced; however, it's not being replaced by text messages as many marketers may think. Instead, the distant competitor picking up speed is the text message’s close relative: push notifications.
What is a Push Notification?
Do you have a smartphone? Increasingly more people are buying smartphones, and many of these devices allow push notifications. When a smartphone owner downloads an application, he or she has the ability to accept push notifications from the app. These notifications appear like text messages on the phone and alert the user to a change or action that has happened within the app. These alerts could be a message from another user, a breaking news story, a change in the weather, or a notification about the latest sale. Push notifications are a real-time interaction with users and provide a utility and experience that email can't match.
Push Notifications Are The Content Marketing Of The Mobile Web
Text message marketing was made popular by now current President Barack Obama during the 2008 election campaign, and while more than half of American’s send text messages, text message marketing has yet to hit mainstream adoption. During this time, the popularity of mobile applications for smartphones has grown, and users now rely on these mobile applications for social networking, media consumption, and daily tasks (like checking the weather) while they are on the go. When an individual downloads a application, it is a better quality opt-in. People are protective of their cell phone numbers; they want privacy. However, the average smartphone user downloads nearly five mobile applications per month. They aren’t as worried with privacy, because the can simply delete the app if need be or turn off push notifications.
Additionally, users only download the app because it provides some use or utility to them. Push notifications are the content marketing of the mobile web; businesses have to build mobile applications that provide value and education in order to expand reach. For text message marketing, users can simply opt-in but quickly forget what they did and become confused with how to opt-out of future messages.
Reach is important, but so is engagement and conversion. Which of the two, text messages and push notifications, will prove to have the best conversion rates over time?
Integrating Mobile Applications Into Your Marketing Strategy
Mobile might seem like a distant priority in your overall marketing mix, but taking a look at some mobile usage and growth statistics may demonstrate that it is closer than you may have thought. It is important to have the basics done well before adding mobile to the mix. Your website needs to be optimized, and you should have your search engine optimization and social media strategy in place. Think of a mobile application as an extension of your content marketing strategy. Your content is what is currently driving your search and social media marketing success.
Think about the same problems that you are working to solve for your customers with the content you have been creating, and then think about how those problems impact your customers and prospects while they are on the move outside of the office. Build an application that helps to solve your customers problems, and while doing so, determine how to best integrate push notification in the process to improve the experience for your customers and to positively impact reach and conversions for your business.
Are you using mobile applications and push notifications as part of your marketing strategy?
Before HubSpot, Mike worked as Director, Marketing Operations at SolidWorks Corp., an engineering software company, where he managed all of the company's global lead generation and lead management, advertising, Internet marketing, branding, PR, tradeshows and events. Mike transitioned SolidWorks from "old marketing" to "modern marketing" by launching multiple blogs, starting podcasting, ...
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