Rich media push notifications allow marketers to add still or animated images and videos to push notifications. iOS versions 10 and above support these push notifications, which appear on locked screens, at the top of active screens, and in the notification center, depending on the user’s settings. iOS also allows up to four action buttons per push notification. This feature is powerful, allowing customers to interact with the brand without ever opening the app. It can serve as a convenient entry point for users to engage with an app, or as a momentary stand-alone brand engagement.

For Android customers, rich media notifications are supported for Android 4.1 and above, however, video, audio, and animated GIFs are not supported. Notifications are typically added to the status bar, to the notification board, and can also peek onto the user’s current screen at the moment of receipt.

Rich Media Notifications: Why They are Important

Cutting Through the Noise

Customers operate in incredibly noisy, distraction-filled environments, making it very difficult to give significant attention to any one task, especially when it comes to mobile devices. Customers check their mobile devices 150+ times per day, it’s imperative that brands find creative ways to cut through the clutter, capture the customer’s attention for a few seconds (even milliseconds), and deliver impactful messages at just the right moment. Rich media notifications provide a powerful tool to do just that.

Push notifications have proven to be incredibly effective at engaging customers. Some studies have shown that push notifications increase engagement threefold over apps that do not use them. With push opt-in rates at 46% for e-commerce brands, there is no excuse to neglect the use of push notifications, and there exists a tremendous opportunity for a push strategy to drive real and measurable customer engagement. Oddly, less than 20% of companies have a push strategy. For smart companies, the lethargy of others presents an opportunity. The fewer companies vying for customer attention through push notifications, the more attention those customers will give to your brand. Move now, before the push space begins to get more crowded.

Engaging with Imagery

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. This might be truer now than ever before. Marketers can succinctly deliver targeted and personalized messages and can immediately engage customers, with only a few thoughtful words, a well-selected image, and action buttons designed to prompt a customer response. The push message can capture attention with an interesting image, then use enticing hyperlinked copy to send the recipient to any chosen app view.

Here are some possible use cases:

  • A food delivery service sends a notification to users with an image of a mouth-watering cheeseburger, just as lunch time approaches. That notification has a single action button enticing recipients to “Order Now”.
  • A fitness app delivers a rich media push notification with a glimpse of its quick abs workout and a link to “Join Our Fitness Challenge Now”.
  • A limited-time sale voucher, with an image of a product the customer viewed recently, and a “Buy Now” action button.

Rich media notifications combine the power of visually appealing media with a personalized message or offer, and deliver them to the customer in a way that is immediately actionable. The options are truly limitless.

Delivering a Personalized Push

Personalization has significant impact on open rates, increasing them by as much as 16x when a message is triggered by user behavior. For example, after a shopper browses through black sandals on a shoe store’s website or app, a rich media push notification can be sent to them with images of top-selling black sandals to inform them of a sale that applies to – that’s right – black sandals. Immediately after receiving the highly visual and relevant notice, that user clicks the action button to “Shop Now” to begin browsing through black sandals, and might go on to use the incentive to make a quick purchase.

These behavior-prompted push messages deliver personalized content at the right time, providing the context necessary for optimal customer engagement. Smart personalization, coupled with rich media push notifications, is likely to dramatically increase customer engagement with marketing messages.  

Final Thoughts

Marketers must use all the weapons in their marketing arsenal. Rich media push notifications present an incredible opportunity to draw customers back into a brand’s app or, at a minimum, remain top-of-mind for them to access the app later. Push notifications have long been lauded for their timeliness, and now with their visually impactful format, they become one of the most powerful mobile customer engagement tools.

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