iOS 15 push notifications updates: Key takeaways for mobile marketers from WWDC 2021
Written by
Mariam Hazrat

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iOS 15 push notifications updates: Key takeaways for mobile marketers from WWDC 2021

Published : July 8, 2021

In the annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) – 2021, Apple has redefined the way push notifications work in iOS 15. The updates in the latest version of iOS are going to reshape the push notifications experience for mobile users. 

This fall, it’s critical for mobile marketers to stay ahead of the changes and work their way to make the most out of these recent developments in push notifications that are built to drive high user engagement. 

Over time, push notifications have become one of the most commonly used and effective channels of app user engagement. They work quite well in the highly competitive app space where brands battle to grab the user’s attention and keep them engaged. However, the problem starts when these notifications become countless and irrelevant, resulting in users muting the notifications, or worse, uninstalling the app. 

Apple’s new updates attempt to solve this major pain point by making push notifications more timely and relevant by giving users significant control over receiving the notifications. 

This blog covers key updates in the push notifications ecosystem and unveils the implications for mobile marketer’s throughput push notification strategy. 

  1. Visual updates

Push notifications now have a new look that focuses more on the content and media alongside the app logo. This is also accompanied by action buttons/icons the user can click to respond to the notifications. 

With bigger and visually appealing icons, you can help users easily identify the app through which the notification has been sent. Furthermore, the addition of icons to the actions buttons offers users a much better experience while taking actions. 

This helps drive better user engagement and adds context to the actions you want your users to take. 

  1. Notification management

Multiple push notifications from dozens of apps are more of a distraction/interruption and less useful. iOS 15 now allows notifications to be delivered at a specific scheduled time during the day.  Users would receive these notifications as a summary and click on only those that they find relevant. 

Now comes the part (the interesting bit) where you need to work some magic that would encourage users to click on your app’s notifications. 

The order in which the notifications are prioritized depends upon the frequency at which users interact with your app, the relevance of the messages, and largely on how the user engages with your app. 

So, how do you ensure that your notifications are featured at the top of the summary? 

Here’s how:

1. Add a flavor of rich media content to your notifications. 

2. Ensure that the messaging is personalized and targeted for every individual user.

3. Track the user’s activity within the app and send out notifications that are most relevant to the user’s behavior and preferences. 

We can help you increase your chances of making it to the top with our Customer Engagement platform. 

  1. Focus mode

Another innovative addition to the winning iOS updates is the Focus mode. 

Until now, users switched between the ‘Do not disturb’ mode and the ‘Allow notifications’ mode. Apple added 3 more options – work, sleep, personal for users to better manage their notification preferences. 

Users can now select the apps and people they want to receive notifications from, those they choose to block, and any specific app features they wish to pause under each of these modes. For instance, in the case of work mode, only mails and messages are allowed to send interruptive notifications. 

Additionally, users can also edit their home screen to reflect apps for the specific mode they’re on. To put it simply – if a user is on work mode, the home screen would show apps like Zoom, Mail, Google Meet, etc. 

The basic idea behind this is to cut the noise around users and let users receive communication from only those apps that are relevant at that specific moment. 

While marketers may not be thrilled with this fresh update that reduces the communication between the app and its users, this could prove to be extremely beneficial if your mobile marketing strategy is on the right track. 

The essence of a strong push notification game is the ‘time’ at which it is triggered. Imagine waking up at 3 AM  to a notification from an app you were browsing during the day. Not the most ideal scenario, right? 

Users will be responsive to only those notifications that are sent out at the right moment. And we happen to have just the perfect tool for you to monetize your push notification campaigns! 

Our AI Engine – Raman helps you reach out to the right users at the time they’re most likely to engage with your app. 

  1. Interruptions

While users have the free hand to control the types and time at which notifications are sent, certain apps may need to alert/update users with some piece of information that needs a user’s instant attention. 

Usually, weather apps, security apps, and their likes fall in this category. And to accommodate such specific events, Apple supports 4 distinct interruption levels:

a. Passive interruption – These are enabled for notifications that do not require immediate attention/action but should be looked at later. Such notifications are sent silently to the list and can be viewed later. 

Common examples of such notifications would be dine-out recommendations, updates on new episode releases, etc. 

b. Active interruption – Such notifications enter with a sound/vibration and the screen lighting up. This is the default interruption level and entails notifications that are of medium importance like – sports updates or live stream video updates. If users consider these relevant, they will allow active interruptions from your app. 

P.S Both passive and active interruptions can’t break through the system management of notifications 

c. Timesensitive interruption – The alert style of such notifications is similar to the active types. The only difference being that time-sensitive notifications can break through the system controls if allowed to do so. 

Delivery alerts or an account security breach alert fall under the category of the time-sensitive notification and are delivered immediately at the top of the screen. 

These notifications should be deployed if and only if they meet the immediate action standards. 

d. Critical interruption – These qualify as high-priority notifications and break through system controls, and also bypass the ringer switch on the device. Events such as severe weather and local safety alerts pass as a critical interruption. 

It’s important to understand which notifications fall into which of these types and label them according to their relevance. 

Time to amp up the push notifications strategy

All in all, to monetize upon these newest updates, mobile marketers need to enhance app interactions and drive better user engagement. Delivering notifications that are personalized, contextual, and targeted at specific user cohorts requires in-depth insights into user behavior and preferences. 

We’ve got you covered with a powerful and easy-to-use Customer Engagement platform that helps you build compelling engaging campaigns, engage and convert more customers with rich content and media – taking your push notifications game to the next level! 

Excited to partner with us on your app engagement journey? Talk to us! 

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