May 22, 2014, 10:48 AM

A crafty app uses push notifications to double revenue

App push notifications from Craftsy, which offers crafting, cooking and creative classes online and through a mobile app, helped increase by 20% the number of classes taken on mobile devices.

Lead Photo

Craftsy's mobile inbox

Push notifications can keep an app top-of-mind. And for e-retailers looking to make mobile sales, top-of-mind can translate into top-line revenue.

Craftsy, an app that offers culinary, creative and crafting online classes, uses Urban Airship’s push notification technology to reach its app users, and convert those users into customers. The app uses push notifications, segmentation and a message center to reach users.

"Craftsy is very focused on messaging our users at the right time with the right content, and we have relied on useful segmentation and scheduling functionality from Urban Airship," says Josh Scott, COO, Craftsy.

For example, a customer who has signed up for knitting classes would not receive the same notification as a customer who has only signed up for photography classes. Craftsy also uses purchase history to segment its users. A customer who takes a class once a month would receive a different notification than a consumer who has yet to register for a class. The company plans to take that one step further and launch a “Welcome Campaign” push notification for new users.

Push notifications pop up in a window and sound an alert tone regardless of whether an app is open or closed or whether a smartphone or tablet is on or sleeping. The Craftsy app also includes a message center where notifications are stored in an inbox for consumers to read when it’s convenient to them.

“Push has been a great solution—we have users write in and ask if they can get more messages via push rather than e-mail,” says Chandler Koglmeier, Craftsy’s product manager of mobile. “That’s how we know we’re doing it right.”

In the first five months of using push notifications and the message center, Craftsy’s users accessed video classes on mobile devices—including smartphones and tablets—20% more than before. And that increased interaction doubled Craftsy’s revenue in the first five months, the company says. Half of Craftsy app users have opted in to push notifications.

Push notifications have been shown to increase engagement and retention for other e-retailers. Consumers who opted into push notifications on retail apps generated 40% more monthly app opens than opted-out consumers, according to a study from Urban Airship. The average increase in engagement across the gambling, media, entertainment, retail, games and sports industries was 26%. The average opt-in user opened a retail app 12.5 times compared to 9 times for opt-out users. The percentage of consumers still using the app after six months was 21% for those who opted in and 10% for those who did not, Urban Airship’s study notes.

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