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Apple Lets Apps Send Ads As Push Notifications: Just The Facts

March 16, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines, now allowing apps to send ads as push notifications. The change comes with a required opt-in, but it could provide another outlet for brands to engage consumers effectively. 

How Can Digital Marketers Make Apple Push Notifications Work For Them?

Shutterstock_1081604945  Sankt-Petersburg, Russia, April 27, 2018: Apple store application icon on Apple iPhone X smartphone screen close-up. Mobile application icon of app store. Social network. AppStore

Like for all other advertising, keeping push notifications relevant to the person receiving them should increase engagement and conversions. However, according to Mobile Marketer, “mobile push notifications have an open rate of only 5% because of clutter.” So the first thing brands need to do, if they want their push notifications to get noticed, is stand out from all the other alerts users get on their phones regularly. Additionally, avoiding excessive push notifications could decrease the amount of app deletions.

Do Apple Push Notifications Require User Opt Ins?

Shutterstock_1145893208  Serious student sending messages to friends in social network. Young male searching via app food restaurants near his location. Maps application for smartphone. Infographics tags with virtual map

Yes, Apple app users must opt in for push notifications. From the Apple guidelines, “Push notifications should not be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in your app’s UI, and you provide a method in your app for a user to opt out from receiving such messages.” The benefit of opt-in for marketers is the willingness of a self-selecting group to receive the messages and, ideally, engage with them. 

Why Is Apple Letting Apps Send Advertising As Push Notifications?

Antitrust regulators are watching the big four closely, and any unfair market advantages could add fuel to the fire of ongoing investigations. Insiders speculate that Apple allowing apps to send ads as push notifications levels the playing field, taking some of the advantage away from Apple, which controls the App Store and previously sent out its own push notifications that looked like ads.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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