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5 Rules for Using Push Technology to Your Advantage Think of it as a nudge your customers asked you to give them when they are in the neighborhood.

By Brett Relander Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you are not using push technology to your advantage, chances are you're missing an opportunity to reach your target audience. Email, though not obsolete, is so passé. With spam filters capturing many email marketing messages, and due to the sheer volume of emails received, many consumers are now immune to email marketing. Text messaging offers tremendous potential, but consumers are often reluctant to provide their phone numbers and subscribe.

Push technology, if correctly used, offers tremendous potential. According to a marketing survey recently commissioned by Responsys, 68 percent of consumers who have downloaded apps typically proceed to the next step of enabling push notifications. Even more astounding, among consumers between 18 and 34, almost 80 percent have enabled push notifications.

Related: Mobile Marketing and the Magic of Push Notifications (Infographic)

Clearly, push technology offers significant opportunities for marketers. According to research released by Tech Crunch, an app's average lifespan is just 30 days, a very short time span. When used properly, push notifications enable you to extend the expiration date on your app, thus encouraging your users to keep returning.

What Is Push Technology? Originally developed by Apple and first launched for iOS 3.0, push technology has since been modified for Android. With push technology, marketers can send messages directly to individuals who have installed their app. Messages can even be sent when the app is closed. The notification appears as a pop-up message, badge or an alert informing users they have a message.

Push technology provides marketers the benefit of engaging directly with customers by delivering relevant information. Such information might include breaking news, sports scores, special deals, game challenges, announcing new products, stock movements, coupons, incentives for retail purchases, special events, etc.

When developing a marketing strategy based on push technology, marketers should take into consideration the most important factor - context. Context is one of the primary reasons that consumers gravitate toward a mobile device over a PC. By leveraging the user's environment, including activities, location and timing, push technology makes it possible for users to benefit from an enhanced experience.

Here are five tips for marketers to effectively leverage push technology.

1. Value is crucial. When incorporating push technology into your marketing campaign, make sure the notifications you send resonate with your users. If a notification is not valuable to your users, they will simply turn off the notification. Keep in mind that when you send a notification to a user, it is an interruption. Make sure that it is worth it, or you risk losing users.

2.Make it relevant. Besides ensuring that your messages are valuable, they must also be relevant. Do not make the mistake of believing that value and relevance are the same. Each notification that you send to your users should be driven by data and based on what you already know about them. Take the time to evaluate what your users have downloaded, purchased or shared in the past. Location, along with other information, is particularly helpful in determining relevancy for notifications. According to a Good Push Index data study, highly targeted messages increase response rates by 293 percent!

Related: 3 Push Notification Strategies to Increase App Engagement

3. Maintain brand consistency. Remember that your push notifications should serve as an extension of all other marketing channels. Make sure your brand is consistent across the board. Take the time to sit down and think about the best voice to use for your push notifications. The result will be consistency and a more rewarding experience for your users.

4 Provide an engaging experience. Think about the reasons why your users subscribe to push notifications. You want your users to genuinely look forward to your notifications. One way to do this is to provide timely and relevant information so your users are the first to learn about sports scores, breaking news, special deals, etc. Keep your notifications fresh, entertaining, and engaging.

5. Improve over time. As is the case with any form of marketing, be sure to track the open rates for your push notifications. This will help you to determine which notifications resonate better with your users and which are unsuccessful. Based on this data, fine-tune your notifications to provide a more engaging experience for users. Companies such as Parse make it possible for you to easily track analytics, such as open rate and more.

Related: 5 Ways Mobile Messaging Can Boost Retail Sales

Brett Relander

Managing Director at X1 Sports Nutrition

Brett Relander is founder and managing director of X1 Sports Nutrition (http://X1Fuel.com). He has a degree in exercise science, is certified as a Master Fitness Specialist and in the biomechanics of resistance training, and is an advocate of all-natural nutrition and advanced performance training.

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