App developers are being informed that ensuring their push messages are highly targeted and personalised could boost the effectiveness of their notifications.

A new study from mobile marketing firm Urban Airship dispels some of the myths surrounding push messages, highlighting that a customised approach can make the notification seem less intrusive and more relevant to the user.

Thousands of apps, billions of messages

The US-based company analysed data from over 1,000 apps in an attempt to establish the best ways of reaching out to users with this highly direct technique.

A previous study from Urban Airship declared that 85% of companies rate mobile apps as their most “essential channel” for gaining user response. Due to this, the ability to deliver highly engaging experiences on these platforms has never been more cherished.

“As expected”, according to the firm, its most recent set of results prove that targeted messages, which are tweaked for each audience segment, return much better engagement than notifications that are sent out to every single user.

After tracking the progress of 3.8 billion push notifications, Urban Airship claimed that targeted messages drove 293% more response on average than their generic counterparts. This gulf in class was even wider in some verticals, with the most fortunate companies witnessing an improvement of over 500% in their engagement after opting for the targeted approach.

The research proved that using collected data for personalisation may well be the best tactic for engaging with users, but companies have been unwilling to accept this as truth.

Brands slow to react

Other results from the study showed that while a fair amount of companies were found to be segmenting their audience based on their preferences, location and behaviour, very few were making use of this information.

For instance, while 41% of app owners segmented their audience based on their preferences, 34% did not use this data to create unique experiences for their users. In addition, although 61% of companies applied some form of segmentation in their activity, just 29% were found to be deploying personalised messages.

The document added that bad uses of push notifications can cause users to delete an offending app, but regarded personalisation as a way of gaining “optimised rewards” and a “long-term advantage”.