How Apple's Latest Moves Are Shaping iOS Marketing

How Apple’s Latest Moves Are Shaping iOS Marketing

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Apple recently announced the availability of iOS and iPadOS Web Push support in iOS 16.4 Beta. The change will allow IOS marketing to send notifications to users on all major desktop and mobile platforms and browsers.

Josh Wetzel, CRO of customer engagement company OneSignal, checked in with Street Fight to weigh in on Apple’s latest changes and their ramifications for marketers.

How is Apple making advancements to provide more value for marketers?

Apple has always focused on the end-user experience, often at the expense of marketers. However, ever since the breakout success of the iPhone and app store, the creation of AppleTV+, and innovations to improve mobile app functionality, the company has become more marketer-friendly. 

For instance, Apple is making significant advancements in push notifications for marketers, particularly with their recent announcement of iOS and iPadOS Web Push support. Web push notifications have become an indispensable tool for websites to deliver personalized and timely messages to their users. With the introduction of iOS and iPadOS Web Push support, marketers are able to reach out to more customers in a broader variety of devices without having to build and maintain apps specifically for each device.

Apple also recently introduced Live Activities, a new feature that allows marketing teams to send real-time interactive push notifications to users about live events. The primary goal of Live Activities is to enhance the app’s value for users and encourage them to grant more permissions to the brand. When users grant brands access to a prominent location on their lock screens, it improves the brand’s visibility and accessibility, which in turn, nurtures customer engagement and retention.

How can marketing teams leverage these advancements to improve customer journeys?

Marketing teams can leverage iOS web push advancements to unlock a new audience. 61% of all website traffic is mobile, and iOS represents more than 50% — this is a high value customer to build a deeper relationship with. Web push unlocks crucial consumer use cases of order or appointment reminders, breaking news, and product notifications. Marketers can now do this on mobile devices without the burden of building, maintaining and getting consumers to download a mobile app. This adds a new valuable channel to marketer CRM lists, a mobile, more engaged audience to increase the value and results of omnichannel customer journeys.  

Web push supports several crucial consumer use cases that make it an effective channel: order or appointment reminders, breaking news, and product notifications. With the launch of iOS web push, marketers can trigger these types of messages that land directly on iPhones and iPad without the burden of building, maintaining, and getting consumers to download a mobile app. The widespread support of web push makes it an even more valuable and standardized channel for websites to communicate with their users. On the marketer’s side, these capabilities only needs to be implemented once, and they will work smoothly across all browsers and operating systems. This adds a new valuable channel to marketer CRM lists: a mobile, more engaged audience to increase the value and results of omnichannel customer journeys.  

Alongside that, Live Activities adds another capability that can enhance customers’ journeys by making it easier for them to follow the progress of activities they care about, directly from their lock screens, home screens or Dynamic Islands. By showing users the information they want in this accessible format, Live Activities make it easier for customers to engage with an app, which drives loyalty and repeat purchases.

Do you have any advice on some of the nuanced technical elements of implementing web push on iOS, techniques for maximizing opt-in rate, optimizing localization, and so on?

While easy for end users, the technical elements of implementing Apple’s iOS web push solution and techniques for maximizing opt-in rate can be a bit difficult. It require websites to have a manifest file, which is a Json file, inserted into their website. It also requires businesses to instruct users to set their website as an icon on their home screen — otherwise, it will be saved as a home screen bookmark, which opens in the browser. Once this is complete, the website can prompt the user to grant push notification permission. The user can then manage those permissions per website in their Notification Settings, similar to apps that they have installed.

The best way to maximize opt-in rate is to create a clear call to action that encourages users to subscribe. Users must understand the value of receiving a push notification from a particular website before asking them to opt-in. Another way to increase opt-in rates is to determine the optimal timing for requests to subscribe to notifications. Requesting users to subscribe immediately upon entering a website often results in a high number of declines. Allowing users some time to explore a website before prompting them to opt-in helps them better understand the value of doing so if they subscribe.

Websites should also focus on optimizing localization, as it can greatly increase click-through rates. When websites use language and messages that resonate with a particular audience, it makes the push to take action more compelling. This may require the creation of multiple campaigns tailored toward distinct interests or with a localized look and feel. This may take more time, but will likely result in higher engagement and sales. It also builds trust and retention with customers by showing willingness to go the extra mile to connect with them. Studies show that users are also more likely to spend money on products that are in their language or representative of local culture.

How does OneSignal’s work relate to these developments?

OneSignal’s work is closely related to these developments, as its omnichannel customer engagement platform enables users to create personalized email, SMS, mobile push and web push notifications, and optimize them for the best performance. OneSignal enables segmentation and customer journeys for dynamic, automated campaigns that allow marketers to target customers based on their preferences and behaviors, as well as advanced analytics to measure performance and make informed decisions.

OneSignal also offers capabilities to help support the nuanced technical elements mentioned above. Apple just started offering public access to iOS and iPadOS 16.4, but OneSignal has already developed a detailed setup guide for businesses to prepare to deploy its iOS web push capabilities to be among the first to reach new mobile audiences. OneSignal can also help maximize opt-in rate, automate messages, collect analytics, and centralize multiple messaging channels for a comprehensive view of message flows.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]