We recently met up with Akhilesh Dhawan, VP of Marketing with Informion to discuss the latest in mobile app development trends and practices.
Informion: Our smart machine learning algorithms automatically deliver personalized notifications to each individual at a time and location convenient to them
UI Palette: What are some apps that really use push notifications well aside from obvious ones like Instagram?
Akhilesh Dhawan of Informion: There are a couple who come to my mind. I think Denis Crowley’s term for “ambient awareness” captures this well – Foursquare telling you about what to order when you are at a restaurant is a good example. Yahoo finance is pretty decent, keeping to 1-2 relevant news messages in a day. Both these apps have built massive learning recommenders in the backend to power such relevance – and well none of them use segments or campaigns to achieve this. At Informion we aim to bring this “ambient awareness” to all applications – simply with a flick of a switch. [Foursquare story]
UIP: How important would you say it is to implement push notifications for startup apps? Is it something they should immediately be thinking about or start addresses in later versions?
Akhilesh Dhawan: Very important if you do not want to be lost in the 70 or so apps installed on a phone – push notifications is that “pat on the shoulder” that if used right can really engage users and improve retention – however if you do it wrong you will be subject to customer wrath. So the moment you think about user engagement – push notifications could be your best friend or your worst enemy.
UIP: How does Informion help boost user interaction while making sure it does not spam a user?
Akhilesh Dhawan: We simply ask the marketers to tell us about all the messages they want to promote – literally 100s of 1000s of them. From there we take over sending out timely and relevant push notification based on the user’s interaction with an app, time of the day a user is active on an app, and popularity of the promotion without manually creating any user segments and campaigns in the backend. This results in higher user engagement and click through rates and lower user attrition. The frequency of pushes is capped by a threshold and is tuned to individual usage patterns.
UIP: What is a simple way a user can increase app traction?
Akhilesh Dhawan: Give your user a reason to come back to your app. Push notifications is an awesome communication channel to do that since it draws immediate user attention and then leads to directly to the specific place in your app. I am sure you know the story of how push notifications changed What’s App… “But a month later, Apple introduced push notifications in iOS 3.0. That led Koum to rethink WhatsApp as a full, cross-platform messenger app …” [source]