ExactTarget Adds Integrated MobilePush Application
New app lets marketers integrate push messaging into digitital marketing campaigns across email, text, social, and the Web.
Posted Jan 30, 2013
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Digital marketing provider ExactTarget yesterday rolled out its new MobilePush application, an enterprise platform that delivers data-driven push notifications to apps on smartphones and tablets.

The MobilePush application, which is powered through a partnership with Urban Airship's push notification technology, includes an integration into the Interactive Marketing Hub, allowing marketers to associate push messages with ExactTarget-powered campaigns across email, social media, and the Web. Marketers can also trigger targeted messages based on consumer preferences across multiple channels and review engagement metrics in real time.

Providing push notifications that contain relevant content is key to driving higher opt-in rates, maintains R.J. Talyor, VP of mobile products at ExactTarget. "The best way to get people to further engage with your app is through push notifications," Talyor says, "but it is important to think of those push notifications in terms of context."

Timing and context are also important in convincing consumers to accept push notifications, which is a challenge that many marketers face. There are several tactics marketers can use to get over that first obstacle, according to Talyor.

One option is to customize the content of the first message that asks consumers if they would like to receive push notifications. While this approach does not apply to Apple's products, Android phones and tablets allow for tailored messages that describe the benefits of accepting push notifications, e.g., "Company X would like to send you special deals and alerts through push notifications."

The second option is to schedule the notification request to appear at an ideal time. The standard approach is to ask consumers to opt in for the notifications as soon as they open the app. A better tactic would be to give users the opportunity to engage with the app first, according to Talyor. "We recommend that the client wait a minute or so after the consumer has begun exploring their app before sending a message," he says. 

The third approach is to show a push notification message after the consumer performs a specific action. If a consumer was searching for a flight, for example, that could trigger a message offering alerts on flight deals.

Looking ahead, ExactTarget will be rolling out enhanced automated features through its Automation Studio that enable clients to deliver specific notifications based on customer behaviors. This feature is expected to be launched in Q2 of this year, according to Talyor. 

"We believe that we're offering a unique approach to mobile marketing by pulling it in with other campaigns and technology versus being a standalone solution," Talyor comments. "And we're eager to see how those interactions develop."

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