According to an Appiterate survey, 71% of all app uninstalls are triggered by a push notification. And eMarketer found that the top reason (57%) US smartphone users unsubscribe from a brand’s mobile messaging is “too many messages or updates.”
In the pursuit of customer experience, brands sometimes create a crappy customer experience. Constantly optimizing for engagement metrics can lead to tactics that run counter to an engaging brand. In marketing communication, there’s a fine line between effective and annoying.
The Onion once mocked this behavior with an article titled, “New Facebook notifications alert users when they are not currently looking at Facebook.” As they put it:
“We hope these helpful new alerts will improve our users’ experience by prompting them to revisit the site in the event they momentarily turn their focus elsewhere.”
Multiply that behavior by all the brands that people are loosely connected to, and push notifications can quickly devolve into a constant assault on attention.
In some ways, push notifications have improved over the years, with fewer generic mass messages and more personalized, real-time alerts. Yet marketers are frequently myopic in how they view the role that brands play in people’s actual lives.
I drew the following cartoon in 2007 as a reminder to keep our brand egos in check and stay focused on the actual needs and wants of our customers.
Here are a few other related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years:
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Having uninstalled multiple apps this week for this EXACT reason, I am so fed up with apps for different brands and games sending constant notifications. Especially during the work day when we’re supposed to be working, not looking at our phones.
I posted to Facebook earlier today that I was tired of our phone apps being needy all the time, and I got hundreds of likes and comments. People are tired of this behavior.
One app that I admit I keep around because its not super intrusive with notifications? Target. They’re always well targeted, never more than one a day, and not filled with ten thousand emojis.