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  • Writer's pictureDoug Pittman

5 Ways Radio Stations Can Use Push Notifications to Engage Listeners and Keep Them Tuning In

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

The transition from terrestrial radio to digital radio gives rise to new opportunities for marketers. With an increasing number of listeners tuning in on mobile devices and desktops, digital radio strategy is becoming more important. With a new channel of communication, comes new creative ways to engage listeners and keep them tuning in. Brands with mobile apps are utilizing push notifications to reengage consumers and radio stations should follow the trend.

Push notifications are messages that apps send directly to a user’s home screen and can be used to remind listeners to tune back in. These alerts are very successful at capturing the user’s attention and getting them to interact with the app.

The number of ways radio stations can use push notifications to their advantage is almost limitless. In this article, I’d like to highlight some creative messaging strategies focused on lifting the number of monthly listeners, as well as increasing app retention rates. Studies show that the more personalized a notification is, the better; users are more likely to interact with a notification that involves their likes and interests. Here are a few ways radios can keep listeners coming back.

1) Show Reminders

In our day-to-day lives, most of us are busy juggling the multi-faceted stresses of life. Lucky for us, we have smartphones containing all sorts of calendars and alerts meant to remind us of what needs to be done. Knowing that your listeners rely heavily on digital reminders, why not remind them about YOU? Reminding your listeners to tune in a few minutes prior to airing can persuade them to go listen. This works well for stations with morning talk shows, creative segments, or categorized playlists they’d like to promote.

2) Contest Notifications

Everybody loves to win. Over the years, radio stations have found success with contests and giveaways. They give listeners a chance to participate, and listeners feel rewarded for their attention, helping to establish a sense of loyalty.

Contests are a great way to promote your mobile app. By encouraging your listeners to download your mobile app in order to participate in the contest, you can open up another channel of communication with your audience. Keeping your listeners in the loop with contest related notifications, will not only benefit your listener, but it gives you another value-added reason to message your listeners.

3) Favorite Artist Alerts

When a user interacts with your app, they have given you valuable information that should not be put to waste. With the ability to like songs and create stations in radio apps, there is visibility into consumer behavior and user interests. If you know that a mobile user frequently listens to Usher, alert them when an Usher song comes on the radio. This may seem like a basic approach, but relevant notifications that reflect a user’s tastes are sure to boost engagement.

4) Special Guests

Quite often, radio stations spend time and energy enticing culturally popular guests to come on their show, in hopes that the guest will drive listenership. Don’t let that time and energy go to waste. Remind your listeners when you have influential celebs on your show. There is a chance that people will have a positive association with the guest and be influenced to tune in.

5) Live Broadcasts

Location based messaging platforms such as BoardActive allow you to establish a geofence around specific events and locations. For example, let’s say your radio station is having a live broadcast at a sporting event. You have a tent set up with games and prizes, and you want people to stop by and partake in the fun. With BoardActive, you can set up a virtual radius that encompasses the event location. When your app users pass through the geofence, they will receive a notification with a call-to-action directing them to the tent or reminding them to tune in to the broadcast. Tying relevant notifications to a user’s location has proven to be the best way to increase mobile engagement. Try it out at your next event!


Radio stations should be using push notifications to boost mobile engagement. There are many ways radio stations can message to their app users, in order to make their audience feel relevant, included, and important. Platforms such as BoardActive, can help to establish a relationship between brand and consumer, keeping your app on top of the user’s mind. Don’t let your listeners forget about you. The conversation doesn’t have to end when listeners turn off the radio. Stay involved, stay relevant, and include push messaging in your digital radio strategy.


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