Why Push Marketing Will One Day Replace Email & SMS/Text-Based Marketing
Over the past year, I have implemented a few push marketing implementations to be able to analyze click-through rates and be able to compare push marketing with email and SMS/text marketing.
First off, what is push marketing?
Push refers to push technology. It also refers to push notifications or messages that are received and displayed on desktops and mobile devices through the operating system. You sign up for these messages, either text and/or images, through a browser or mobile app. You may be noticing that every Fortune 500 company website asks you to opt-in to these messages these days.
To get push notification messages you have to opt in at some point, typically when visiting a web page. For mobile apps, when you install a new app, it comes configured to send push messages automatically. For most of us, we turn off these push messages on our phones, since most messages are about updates and upgrades and not really important. I leave my email and sms/text messaging on for instance.
For browser based signups, the push messages typically appear in the bottom right of you desktop. They show up periodically or randomly through the desktop. For mobile, both browser based signups and mobile apps, the push messages simply appear as messages on Android and IOS, similiar to how your smartphone apps send messages.
The confusing part of push notifications is you sign up through a browser but get the messages from the operating system.
If you are a marketer and you use WordPress, setting up push is as easy as a plugin and a 20 minute configuration. That said, leave it to the tech guy to set up for you if you are not so inclined.
I recently tried a unique push notification feature called tagging by OneSignal, the provider we use for push marketing in our speed dating biz Pre-Dating.com. Tagging push signups means we assign keywords to the signup person, based on what page they are visiting. That keyword allows us to do segmented push notification marketing on the back-end when we send. This means each city we market to gets a different message! That is the key to making push work. Every customer needs to have not a personalized message, because that is not exactly possible, but a highly segmented message based on some criteria. The point is, make people happier by giving them exactly what they want with this technology and stay away from shot gun approaches!
So, let’s compare each of these three types of marketing communications and see why I think the future lies in push notification.
- Opting In — For email and sms/text people have to enter their unique email or cellphone number. For push, you just click a button.
- Opting Out — For email, you click an opt-out link and confirm. For SMS/text, you reply with a STOP. For push you can remove the connection in browser settings. Some providers leave a little bell or icon to click and opt-out. The point here is you are out when you leave push, but for email or cellphone numbers, they got you forever, which we know means you can be sold down the river to spammers.
- Spam Box — Email is the worst when it comes to spam boxes. Most marketing email ends up in the spam box. When it is not in the spam box on my Gmail, it is listed under Promotions. I am reading this less and less. Text can still get through to people, but you have to be careful to not spam, or you could be subject to prosecution. The CAN-SPAM Act covers both Email and SMS/text, so be careful. For Push it is not an issue, because you can’t randomly sign people up and you are not holding onto anything like a email or cellphone, and those who give consent can easily remove themselves.
- Ease of Reading — While email and some text require us to open up an app to read them, push notifications, which are limited like Twitter, typically flow onto our desktop and mobile phones naturally, which means we get the message right away.
- Spoofing — Email is constantly being spoofed. Spoofing means spammers are able to trick you into thinking you are sending as someone else. For text, it is clear what number or short code a message is sent from. That means spammers get caught right away. For now, there is no way to spoof push notification (but you know how the world works, that day may come).
- Device Centricity — The biggest negative on push notification is if you sign up on your smart phone in chrome, you won’t get the messages on your desktop. Email is more ubiquitous and is received everywhere.
- Tracking — Email, text and push can be tracked in Google Analytics through UTM codes, which produce click-through rates and conversion rates. That way you know what really works or not.
- Segmentation — Email and Text can be highly segmented if you are using a CRM system. Push can equally be segmented, but there is an interactive segmentation with push notification you can not achieve with email and text. That’s because push notification providers track activity level. This means our provider, OneSignal, tracks active visits to the website they signed up on. I can send a push notification to those who have visited our site within the last 24 hours or people who have not visited in the last 30 days. I can also send specifically to mobile vs. desktop. We can send to just IOS vs. Android devices.
- Personalization — This is the biggest weakness of push notification. In amazing marketing automation systems like Infusionsoft, Campaign Monitor and MailChimp you can highly personalize messages for email. In Twilio, an SMS/Text company, which we use, you can highly personalize text messages. But the way push works, there is little remove for personalizing the messages, just yet. That may change. While a negative, I personally like the fact that they don’t know my name and I am anonymous in how I receive the messaging…
In the near future I am predicting that push notification will grow faster as a way to market to existing customers than email and text. That’s because eventually people get smart enough to know that push notification is safer with their data. Email & text have seen their day in the sun. They are going to be around, but marketing to email and text is not going to get any better for marketers.
You know if you give up your email or cellphone you may never stop the messaging, because you have lost control the moment you hand your email or cellphone number over. There is no way to take back your email or cellphone unless you change it, and change is painful.
Your email can be sold off 1,000 times to Ukrainian hackers! Push notification gives the customer a better way to manage what they are giving out, because they are not really giving out anything other than an agreement to leave the messaging in. For push most messaging you receive will be closer to what people want and your private data can not be sold off to the highest bidder. And that makes the push notification experience of customers receiving marketing messages more appealing. Imagine getting messages that you actually want to receive!
Case in point, we are seeing a 20%+ click-through rate on highly segmented push notification messaging for the speed dating business. If you are in Albuquerque and you want to know just about Albuquerque singles events, you are happy to sign up and receive the messages. That means a more satisfied customer in the future.
For now email marketing remains more of a shotgun approach, hitting large numbers of people with one message. Even drip campaign marketing or journey based marketing is still a “mass” approach with diminishing returns, like being happy with a .04% conversion rate.
Marketers and email providers could do better segmentation for email marketing like getting people a more specific message that makes sense just for them. That is very possible as well. In fact that it is what we have been doing with email for the past 10 years in the speed dating biz.
The fact that you lose control of your private email address when you sign up for email marketing is already a major mess. Let’s face it, email marketing is not going away, but it will always have diminishing returns.
Cellphone texting is subject to very high opt-out rates, but there is virtually no way to hide who is shipping the text. Cell phone text marketing is not the best way to market things, since it is very limited in message size, does not hit the desktop and just like email, customers are weary of giving up their cellphone number. And texting costs more than email or push. I was called 10 times last week about a student loan debt consolidation, but I have no student loan debt. It is very annoying. Let’s just face the facts. The next wave of online marketing will be push notifications in your near future.
Have a great day and if you like this article please follow me here on Linkedin or connect with me! I am getting closer to publishing my next book about using the Internet to find work through SEO. If you connect with me, I will send you an early copy at a reduced price. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
This article was originally published on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-push-marketing-one-day-replace-email-dan-gudema/ I have a couple more articles on push notification if you view my Linkedin and please connect with me on Linkedin!
Have a great day!