Friday night, I’m getting ready for bed (at 21:50, Rock ‘n’ Roll) when my iPhone lights up with a push notification from the ‘Replay’ app…

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Are you kidding me?!?

Why is this an abuse of a push notification?

  • It offers me no value
  • It’s just a cheap attempt to get me to use the app (which is actually pretty cool)
  • It’s sent at a time where most people are unlikely to want to receive a message like this
  • Hey is for horses

My immediate reaction was anger (ok, anger may be too strong, but I was a bit peeved), and then a feeling that there is absolutely no way that I will use this app over the weekend, if ever again. So, the push notification has only served to achieve the exact opposite of its aims.

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What’s the lesson here?

If someone downloads your app to their mobile device, they are putting you in a privileged position by giving you a piece of their screen real-estate. Respect that. If they then decide to enable push notifications for your app, they’re most likely doing this in order to receive useful updates etc. Not reminders to use the app. Respect that too. A simple lesson.

This really applies to your message regardless of the medium – make it worthwhile and valuable, or don’t bother.

Have you had a pointless push notification recently? Name and shame in the comments! 

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Image credits – Sad/angry guy  is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/maveric2003/ and used under creative commons.

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