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Urban Airship expands app notification capabilities to mobile web and PC
Company says it's the first fully integrated notifications platform.
Urban Airship, a leading provider of in-app marketing, has developed a new web-based push notification capability it calls “Web Notify.” It covers both the desktop and mobile web.
While browser-based notifications have existed for a little while, Urban Airship says it’s first-to-market with a platform that enables an integrated (or segmented) PC, mobile web and app marketing capability. The company says browser support includes Chrome, Firefox and Opera — but not Safari for now.
While mobile web users are less loyal and less engaged than app users, the mobile web is much larger and growing faster than apps. Retailers in particular have struggled to gain adoption for their apps. Accordingly, Urban Airship’s new tools enable marketers with limited app penetration to deploy notifications to their mobile web and PC users.
Web notifications can either be identical to in-app notifications or treated differently, depending on the objectives of the marketer. The only difference in functionality, according to Urban Airship’s Director of Product Marketing Bill Schneider, is that location-based notifications aren’t as precise in the web version. That’s because apps can capture device location, whereas browser-based location relies on reverse IP lookups, which are often crude.
Urban Airship’s web notifications can deep-link into the app or to a URL. They can also be used as part of an app-user acquisition strategy, according to Schneider.
While opt-in rates for notifications are growing, as marketers do a better job of targeting and personalization, a majority of users still decline to receive them. Many marketers treat mobile notifications like email and spam their users with marketing messages rather than creating genuine value and utility. Accordingly, Schneider says that Urban Airship advises its customers to “start with service first, before going down the promotional path.”
On the other side, failing to use notifications can result in user churn. Urban Airship previously said that over 25 percent of opt-in users receive zero notifications. The company explains that users who receive notifications in their first 90 days have have “190 percent higher retention rates than those who do not.” Notification frequency also improves retention.
Notifications are thus a critical engagement tool that should be used thoughtfully. Web-based notifications broaden the tool set marketers can use to engage users across platforms.