app-cemeteryMany organizations spend significant resources to create content-rich, beautiful mobile apps that still end up on their customers’ app cemetery – that dark, damp place on their smartphone screens where rarely opened, never used apps languish quietly, awaiting the dreaded Uninstall.

In today’s information-saturated world, pushing content directly to customers on mobile devices is crucial for the success of your brand.  Experts predict that the future of the digital world is ‘push-based’, rather than ‘pull-based’.  According to Adobe’s Matt Asay, who was interviewed in a recent Adage article, “content, products and services will find you, rather than you having to find them.” So, what is the best way to keep your app in front of your customers?

Push Notifications Help Your App Avoid the ‘App Cemetery’

Out of all apps downloaded nowadays, around 1/5 are used only once.  The good news is that mobile user retention rates are improving in the U.S., up 3 percent year over year, according to a Localytics study.  Localytics identifies push notifications as one of the most effective strategies that can help your branded app keep your customers engaged.

According to the same study, in the U.S., apps with push notifications enabled had a 56 percent user retention rate, while that figure was only 37 percent for those without push notifications.

Below, we share 4 great push notification strategies, as proven by our healthcare customers whose apps enjoy great success.

4 Ways to Leverage Push Notifications In Health Apps

  • Content Updates – Customized content updates can be pushed to a user’s smartphone whenever new content is available.  A good example is the HCHC Healthy Living app.  This wellness app can be updated on-the-fly with new recipes, nutrition and wellness tips, and more.  Users are alerted to the new content by push notifications.


  • Mobile Wayfinding – Triggered by beacons and/or geofence, wayfinding apps can push notifications that send users to specific pages containing visual directions, etc.  For example, the Sarasota Memorial Health Care wayfinding app allows users to receive proximity-based directions to find their way around the SMH campus.  Beacons can be used outdoors and indoors, and can send messages pointing to various app pages – maps, photos, special offers or announcements.
  • Automated Reminders – In branded apps designed for tracking medications, symptoms, or appointments, users can setup custom reminders and be alerted at a specified times via push. The MyMeds medication tracking app released by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital allows patients to enter medication details and even take pictures.  App users can receive push notifications as a convenient reminder to take their meds on time.
  • Custom Alerts – Setting up custom alerts is a great way to send important updates, such as local events or customized health tips.  The UCLA Baby pregnancy app allows expectant mothers to receive alerts based the entered due date: recommended tests, weekly milestones, and helpful pregnancy tips.

Using push notifications can keep your apps alive and popular with your users –and it costs less than you may think.

What About the Cost?

Oracle’s new mobile guide for CMOs, as quoted in Forbes, discusses the cost of implementing push notifications:

“Defined in the guide as “the official way for brands to reach users through an
 app since the operating system doesn’t provide user email addresses or phone numbers” – one concern stems from the belief that Push costs too much to integrate into the workflow and back end. The solution is for marketers to find a provider with an easy-to-implement SDK (software development kit)—which allows for rapid development—that uses technology to gather signals used for segmenting”

This is certainly not the case: MobileSmith automatically enables push messaging in any apps you create in the platform, by creating a dedicated CMS (content management system) for each app. App administrators can compose, schedule, and send push notifications to both iOS and Android app users.  MobileSmith is also integrated with Gimbal, where entering and updating custom beacon- or geofence-triggered push notifications is super easy for a non-programmer.

To learn more on creating killer apps that won’t die in the app cemetery, download our popular eBook:


Making Your Own Mobile Apps – a Marketer’s Handbook