Urban Airship Rolls out Location Messaging Service

Push messaging provider Urban Airship today debuted its Location Messaging Service, letting marketers leverage location history profiles and other information about app users to deliver more relevant mobile messages through push notifications.

"Understanding where consumers live, work, and play adds entirely new dimensions of insight to retailers', brands', and media companies' marketing efforts," said Scott Kveton, cofounder and CEO of Urban Airship, in a statement. "We are bringing the consumer back into the center with this approach to location-based marketing, enabling marketers to use everything they know about their most loyal customers—their app users—to be more relevant."

The Location Messaging Service uses a combination of geo-location sources like Maponics, Nielsen DMA, and OpenStreetMap, allowing marketers to create geofences around time zones, state legislative districts, and cities, ZIP codes, neighborhoods, and venues. Maponics provides neighborhood data along with U.S. and Canadian Census data. Nielsen DMA data can be used to message broadcast markets, and OpenStreetMap rounds out additional location detail.

To receive a push notification, consumers must opt-in to the service, making it important for brands to provide valuable and relevant messages, Urban Airship chief marketing officer Brent Heiggelke told CRM in an interview in August. "Brands need to give customers a reason to receive their [push notifications], and it helps to have a reputation for delivering quality messages," Heiggelke noted.

In a blog post, Urban Airship revealed its Location Messaging Service was used by the London 2012 Olympics committee to send more than 10 million location-powered push messages through the Olympics mobile app. According to statistics from the London Olympics, nearly 60 percent of app users enabled the location-sharing feature and location-based pushes achieved clickthrough rates of around 60 percent.

Founded in 2009, the Portland, Ore.–based company has been striving to offer new capabilities that enable marketers to bring greater precision to notifications. Urban Airship acquired the location platform maker SimpleGeo last fall, which powers its new location service. In July, it partnered up with predictive analytics specialists GamesAnalytics to offer game developers and publishers targeted messaging services based on behavior-based player segmentations.

The company has approximately 65,000 customers, including CBS Interactive, ESPN, Groupon, shopkick, Walgreens, and Warner Bros.

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