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How to Develop Effective Mobile Push Notifications

Delivering advertisements through mobile apps is a great way to generate revenue, but whether or not companies purchase ad space from you depends on how often people use your app. It doesn't make sense for a business to pay for 100,000 impressions if no one is going to see them.

So, the key is to launch an app that encourages engagement among users. From a developer's perspective, this involves constructing an app that will send users relevant push notifications.

"Trulia saw its app activity increase 30 percent after implementing push notifications."

Boosting engagement 
Laura Torre, a member of the Google Play team and a contributor to the Android Developers Blog, noted that real estate website Trulia saw its app activity increase by 30 percent after implementing push notifications that were delivered based on user preferences. Through it's Android app, engagement doubled.

There's a reason why Trulia was successful in this endeavor. Trulia's ultimate goal is to deliver a comprehensive real estate navigation service to any interested parties, whether they be real estate agencies, landlords, home buyers or the like.

The service succeeded in that it didn't send irrelevant notifications to users. Only through a combination of back-end analytics, the development of a solid data governance framework and concrete user settings can a mobile app deliver applicable content. So, what steps can companies take to ensure their push notification settings are spot on?

The key is to create alerts that cause people to drop what they're doing and see what's up. The key is to create alerts that cause people to drop what they're doing and see what's up.

1. Develop pertinent user settings 
User preferences can be the foundations on which complex algorithms can come full circle. Remember the basic principle of these instructions: "If Action B occurs, then initiate Answer C." Basically, it gives your customers the power of choice.

Take the Boston Bruins iOS app for example - it does more than simply ask users to opt for push notifications, it offers specific alerts you can either turn on or off. One can choose whether he or she wants to receive an alert when the Bruins score a goal, when a game ends, about breaking news, ticket information and special offers.

"Analytics must scrutinize user activity to determine which alerts are applicable to users."

2. Employ personalized language that encourages action 
This is where your advertising business comes into play, and is largely applicable to proprietors of m-commerce apps. Annum Munir, a contributor to Localytics, acknowledged that push notifications possess certain design limitations and are obligated to follow a standard text format. Yet, the code must allow for tailored alerts to transpire.

Doing this involves integration with a database management system (or an ad server, depending on the type of app you've developed) that receives real-time updates (aka notifications) applicable to users. Then, an analytics function must scrutinize user activity and determine which alerts within a database are applicable to that user. The notifications - "Tomorrow! 30% off junior-sized hockey sticks!" - can then be sent to the appropriate recipients.

3. Apply the right metrics 
As is common in agile development, learn from your users. This involves creating metrics that provide specific information, such as:

This will allow your team to make any further adjustments to the code that may be necessary.