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Study finds in-app push message centers generate eight times more direct response than push notifications

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The first ever assessment of read rates for in-app push message centres shows that they get a much higher response rate than any other form of messaging.

Unlike push notifications that only reach opt-in users, message centers reach all users and offer marketers a designated content marketing channel within apps where messages persist.

High-performing apps see opt-in users reading 52% of all message center messages, while opt-out users read 25% of all messages. These messages can be highly targeted, and can include rich content like photos and videos, forms and surveys, and mobile wallet passes and social feeds. As a result, message centers support a wider variety of experiences and use cases than other more temporal forms of in-app messaging or push notifications — from promotional and editorial content, to lifecycle campaigns and transactional order and shipment confirmations that recipients may want to refer to repeatedly.

In comparing iOS versus Android message center performance, the study, carried out by Urban Airship, found medium-performing iOS message centers achieve nearly three times greater read rates than the average Android message center.

iOS apps generate eight times greater message center read rates than direct taps on a notification for medium-performers (the 50th percentile).

Message center read rates for iOS more than double when used in combination with a push notification, and increase 23% when used with a home screen badge.

High-performing iOS apps see average message center read rates of 44%, increasing to 49% for retail apps, meaning nearly half of all messages sent are opened and read.

Android apps are much earlier in efforts to adopt message centers (14% of the sample) and lack support for home screen badging.

Medium-performing Android apps see the same message center read rates as direct taps on a notification — 6%.

“Performance data on more than one billion message center messages offers fantastic insight into the true power of this form of customer engagement, which quite simply dwarfs the effectiveness of any other channel available to marketers today,” said Brett Caine, CEO and president, Urban Airship. “Now, we’re making it simple and easy for any company with an app to deploy our powerful message center solution.”

Complete results and best practices are available here for download.

In combination with this study, Urban Airship is introducing a number of enhancements to its mobile app engagement solution, Urban Airship Engage, featuring:

  • A new, out-of-the-box message center reduces the amount of time needed to integrate this capability within apps from four to six weeks, to four to six hours – an estimated savings of more than $30,000 for app development resources.
  • A/B testing is now expanded to A/B/n testing, enabling growth marketers to easily set up control groups, define audience percentages for message variants and test more than 20 versions of a notification or in-app message including message and button text, link text, emojis and more.
  • An enhanced composer interface seamlessly integrates all of these capabilities with powerful segmentation, automation and step-by-step workflows to enable marketers to easily use the broadest range of engagement channels to reach more app users with personalized experiences that get noticed and drive action.
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