One of our favorite mobile app features is the use of Push Notifications. If you use a smartphone, iPad or tablet, then you’ve seen them: the little messages from your apps, notifying you of events, updates, or reminders. They’re great for communicating with large groups quickly—but getting the best results out of their use can take practice. Let’s discuss some ways to get the most out of this feature.
Perhaps the most obvious use for push notifications is for event reminders. Not only is this an easy way to notify people quickly, they’re more likely to be read than a tweet, email or even a text message. Schools can quickly remind students of upcoming games (or of finals week!). Small businesses, you can remind customers of events you’ll be attending, or of your organization’s anniversary! One of our Pennsylvania clients, a pizza shop, reminded their customers to order before a big football game that night. Go, Eagles!
What’s better than push notifications? Scheduled push notifications. Schedule your school app to remind students to complete their summer reading, sign up for classes, or buy their cap and gown. Does your business have BOGO 50% off on Tuesdays? Why not schedule a notification for each week this year? Again, you’ll reach more people more quickly with scheduled push notifications, so take a look at your calendar and start planning!
Whether you’re sponsoring a non-profit or are a non-profit, fundraising is hard. Push notifications, however, can make reaching people easy. Send a message when your fundraiser starts, and update app users on how close you are to your goal. Congratulate them when fundraising goals are reached. If you have a Donations tab in your app, you can even have the notification point users directly to it. Sounds easier than selling candy bars door to door, doesn’t it?
Promotions and Sales
This may be obvious, but we’ll state it anyway: if you’re mailing coupon flyers or sending emails with discount codes, try using your app. Push notifications can point directly to in-app promotions, and they’re harder to miss than yet another email. (They also cost a lot less than printed materials.) If your school store is trying to get rid of last year’s spirit wear, try notifying parents and students that it’s now 20% off. Do customers wearing green get a free ice cream cone on St. Patrick’s Day? Send them a notification so they don’t forget.
Every organization has that one person who can’t remember what holidays you’re closed. Schedule reminders before each holiday, and now they can’t miss it. Closing early on Christmas Eve? Notify your clients so they’re not caught unawares. This is especially helpful if you have any unusual holiday hours—President’s Day, for example.
Notify your teachers that their meeting’s been moved to four-thirty. Remind parents of the PTA meeting this weekend. Let your “gold” customers know of deals just for them. Custom groups make it easy to notify select people of what they need to know. A college, for example, could remind graduating students to check with Career Services if they haven’t found work yet. The possibilities here are amazing!
Increasingly for schools, being prepared for emergencies, whether natural or man-made, is crucial. Push notifications make it easy to notify parents of school closings; warn students and teachers if there’s a problem; and remind everyone of what to do in an emergency. Combined with other features like Report Bullying, a mobile app can help your students and parent feel safer in and out of school. Of course, emergencies don’t just happen at schools—any organization can use push notifications to keep their customers, and employees, safe.
Push notifications are limited only by your imagination. You can see why we like them so much! If you have questions about their use, or any of our app features, reach out. Think we missed a major category? Let us know, and we’ll update our list!