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  • Writer's pictureDoug Pittman

iOS 12 Changes the Way You Receive Push Notifications

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

If you have an iPhone and don’t live under a rock, I’m sure you are already aware that iOS 12 has been released. Whether you keep up with tech news or have been one of millions recently reminded over and over again with push notifications nudging you to update your software, you should know that Apple has a new update with features that directly affect your iPhone browsing experience. Now, Android users… this update may not affect you directly, but with the iPhone's new options to engage with push notifications, you can expect to see changes that effect the mobile world as a whole.

In a nutshell, iOS 12 has a new feature called Instant Tuning, which gives users more control over which push notifications pop up on their home screen, if any at all. Here are some of the most noteworthy changes:

  • Users can opt-out of notifications right from the lock screen

  • Users can activate downtime mode and receive no push notifications

  • Siri monitors usage data and can increase or decrease the amount of push notifications a user receives depending on app usage

  • Push notifications are now categorized based on similarity, and will be grouped on the lock screen. This allows users to swipe away multiple notifications at once

But what does this mean for marketers?

How will these new changes force us to adapt and possibly even change our strategy surrounding push notifications? By bunching similar notifications together under bulk trees, we can expect that the average number of daily app sessions will take a hit due to the condensation of the notifications. We can’t rely on plain text messages to have as big of an impact anymore since users will have the ability to simply dismiss a group of these with the swipe of a finger; however, what we can do is begin to roll out more media rich push notifications that add to the user experience rather than simply relay a message. Even our onboarding processes will have to shift lanes. Instead of prompting a user with a “Yes” or “No” screen asking them to accept push notifications, we can prelude this screen with a larger, more attractive splash/landing page that lists the benefits of the notifications to the user. This makes them feel as if they are more in control and could even possibly make them more likely to open your sent messages.

Planning Out Your New Campaigns

Before, much of the work necessary to ensure a proper push notification campaign was surface level, relying on delivering as many different messages as possible and A/B testing to see which received the most positive response. Now, we have to pivot and focus more on background data and analytics, pushing relevant content dense messages, and the use of media rich interfaces to engage and attract our users.


Companies such as BoardActive are already easing into this new approach- noting that marketers will succeed in push, email, programmatic or other ventures when they deliver messages that form a brand/consumer connection that feels natural and intuitive to the consumer. THAT is the true value of location-based marketing and push notification campaigns.



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