Avoiding push message overload

Apparently people are starting to get a little tired of receiving push messages. As usual, excited marketers have jumped on the bandwagon and flogged the horse to death (stay with me), and what was once an exciting new way to reach people is at risk of becoming an annoying new way to bug people. Not that push messaging isn’t useful, but if your app is one of the hundreds pinging customers all day every day, chances are you’re going to get lost in the noise.

So what’s the cure for push overload?

Be less pushy

Your competitors are probably not going to suddenly realize they’re annoying people and stop sending push messages, leaving you free and clear to dominate. So while it’s (still) a good way to attract attention and spur someone to take action in the moment (if they’re near a store for instance), push messaging shouldn’t be the only trick up your sleeve.

Once they’re in store you can interact with customers in any number of ways. Showcase something relevant on a digital display when they come into range. If they’re in the app, display store- and profile-relevant offers and show them which aisle to head to. Send a beacon message when they get to a certain aisle, showing them they can redeem points or claim a discount on something they’ve shown interest in. Or you can get personal and alert a store associate to their presence – maybe even arm them with info on what the customer’s most interested in so they can facilitate the sale.

All of which is relevant and personalized, and none of which involves shouting for attention in a room full of shouty people.

Personalize push messages

Possibly the be best way to make sure you’re not contributing to push overload – short of not doing it at all - is by doing it properly. If you’re blasting the same push message to everyone with your app regardless of what you know about them (because data), you’re doing it wrong.

Sure, if you know nothing about your customers you have to start somewhere, but any information will be useful for further personalization. Know where they are? Direct them to the nearest store. Know they’re a VIP? Send them a high value limited-time offer. Know they have loyalty points due to expire? Remind them to come in and redeem before they do. The key is to make every communication relevant and useful, because useful apps get used and useless apps get uninstalled.

Remember that push is only one part of your overall brand experience

We know you’ve embraced omnichannel, so customers receive the same experience with your brand regardless of what device they happen to be on, or whether they’re online or off. If you’ve integrated your mobile experience with your web presence, physical stores, social activity, emails, even your old-school offline marketing… if you’ve engaged customers and given them the level of experiential awesomeness they’d previously only dreamed about, then you’ve built up enough goodwill to have your push messages rise above the rabble. If your customers have no idea who you are or why they should tap on today’s latest interruption, then it’s not really your push messages that need your urgent attention, is it?