Talk about the forbidden: how to do push marketing

    Kristina Alexanderson

    Everyone hates spam - and continues to spam. All modern marketing (that is, the entire economy) is built on spam. Really right?

    Advertising on TV is spam. Spamming newsletter. A phone call with a proposal to change your Internet provider is spam. Subway flyer - spam. Free newspaper in the mailbox - spam.

    Spam is the engine of commerce. I must say, quite ineffective and moody in service. Therefore, the progress of mankind has always been associated with the search for new, more effective means of spam.

    One of the latest such tools that the mobile revolution gave us was push notifications. Many marketers are sure that this communication channel has a great future.

    Thanks to push-technology, you can in fact turn to your users directly, at any time, and send a message invented just for them.

    It is only necessary once to convince the user to install the application, and he is already yours forever. You can take it warm. Of course, he can block notifications, but most likely he will simply forget to do it.

    Spam is demonized, so people prefer not to talk about interesting cases of using push notifications in marketing mobile applications.

    Although interest in this topic among market professionals, as far as we can tell, is simply huge. We decided to take a chance and share our experience using push notifications.


    Now on the market there are several ready-made solutions that allow you to fasten the push-notification system to any mobile service (for example, Infobip ).

    Like many universal solutions, they are far from ideal. For example, they do not provide an opportunity to divide the group’s base on some basis and often require improvements that turn out to be very significant and, as a result, cast doubt on the feasibility of acquiring a ready-made solution. Initially,

    we at UBANK wanted to segment the audience and send different messages to different people, so we decided to develop our own system for sending text fluffs. One of our developers took about two months.

    When the system was ready, they began to test it on small groups of users. Thus, we determined for ourselves three target segments of users, for each of which we decided to develop our own marketing program.

    UBANK is preinstalled on some Android phones (for example, Fly). Not all users immediately understand what it is for.

    Therefore, our first target group was those who registered, but did not use the service. The next group is users who made one payment, and then forgot about UBANK for a long time. The third group - people who used the application, but stopped and did not open it for three months.

    Communication with each of these audiences has its own goal. To people who did not understand how to use, we decided to talk about specific functions and forward them by clicking directly to the target screens - for example, to pay for mobile communications, utilities or the Internet.

    For those who took advantage, but stopped, we decided to remind about our capabilities. The message for them was: “Once you have already paid through UBANK, why not do it again?”


    To be safe, we, of course, carried out a series of experiments on a test audience for a month and a half, changing the frequency and content of the cannons.

    25 characters - the length of a regular notification - is negligible, so we realized that the text should be as saturated as a bouillon cube.


    In addition, practice has shown: if the same text is sent to a person at least twice in a row, its effectiveness drops sharply. The user wants the application to communicate with him in an interesting and meaningful way. Texts of pushes quickly become boring, therefore they need to be changed often.

    Also, in the end, we decided to send notifications once every seven days (a week is just the period during which a person forgets about pushing), but no more than five pieces to one user (if a person has not been able to respond to a push in a month, it’s unlikely he will do this in the future).

    But, despite all the preparations, on April 4, the day the push notifications were launched to a wide audience, marketers and technical support employees were in a fainting state and were preparing to hold the defense.

    No one knew how users would react to the launch of our system. Of course, everyone was waiting for a flurry of angry letters demanding that they be immediately disconnected from the newsletter.

    It should be noted that it is unusual for our clients to remain silent and endure. If something annoys them - be it too frequent updates, an incomprehensible interface or technical malfunctions - they begin to immediately attack the customer support service.

    Therefore, it was very scary to start pushing to a wide audience.

    But hours passed, and then days, and even weeks, and we did not wait for the negative. And so far they have not received any complaints from users regarding the launch of push notifications.


    The results are as follows. The conversion in registration and new payments in the first group amounted to about three percent, which is quite comparable with the effectiveness of mailing lists.

    In the second group - among those who have already paid once - notifications made a splash - the conversion to new payments amounted to about seventeen percent.

    In the third group, it turned out to be even higher - approximately twenty percent of notifications led to the fact that customers made new payments.

    Honestly, we did not expect such numbers at all. They exceeded our wildest expectations.

    Black Zack

    What is the reason - the lack of negative spam, on the one hand, and unusually high, by the standards of Internet marketing, conversion in some target segments?

    Share your hypotheses. The fact is that the push path is shorter than the writing path. In the mail you always need to first interest the person to click to open the message.

    Push, on the contrary, opens in the smartphone itself and does not tire the client with the floridness and spaciousness of the wording. Registered users push and push to the target action - what could be simpler and more effective?

    Finally, perhaps the most important thing is that push is capable of doing useful work for the addressee. For example, based on an analysis of the user's previous actions, remind him on time that the hour of reckoning has come.

    It is not surprising that our most conversion push is concise and utilitarian: “It's time to pay for the Internet!”

    Yes, people hate spam. And they’re doing it right. But maybe the whole point is a well-planned push notification - this is no longer spam, but just a useful service?

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