OpenBack Whitepaper - Reliability in Push Notifications (Delivery & Metrics)

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Last update: October 2019

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5 Tips for Sending Spook-tacular Notifications This Halloween

It’s that time of year… the kids are back in school. Jack-o-lanterns are guarding every doorway. The foliage of your neighborhood trees is a breathtaking orange and gold. Everything is Pumpkin Spice-flavored. There’s a chill in the air… and it might not have entirely to do with the cold. It’s Halloween! And while it hasn’t been quite as commercialized (yet!) as the upcoming winter holidays, you certainly can’t beat All Hallow’s Eve for atmosphere. Halloween can be a great opportunity to get in on the fun and point users towards some of your spookier features. Read on – if you dare! – for a few tips on how to engage your customers with some bewitchingly good push notifications!

Halloween-Themed Content

It’s such a versatile holiday, celebrated across all demographics, that you really can’t go wrong sending out a “Happy Halloween! 👻” notification. But why stop there? There’s a wealth of thematic content you can send out to pique users’ interest and get them to visit your app. For example, offer them deep links to pages in your app offering a blog post about fun seasonal facts. Did you know that Halloween originates from the Celtic festival of Samhain, effectively the new year of the pagan calendar?

Send recipes – either as links to blog content or embedded videos – for spooky treats to make, such as candied apples or Irish barmbrack. Offer ideas of party games to play, or lists of the top 10 most haunted sites in their area. If you’re a streaming app, you can suggest certain horror movies to set the mood. The possibilities are endless!

Spooky Upgrades or Seasonal Specials

Think of it like directing your house with spiderwebs, fake tombstones, and plastic witches… only for your app. It shows you’re dynamic and in touch with providing an engaging user experience – and besides that you’re up for having a little fun. If you have a mobile game, send your user a notification to direct them to limited-time specials. Maybe they can play as a ghost or a werewolf as their avatar. Maybe your app includes an extra page that can lead them to a haunted museum, where they can interact with various exhibits to win in-game prizes or access new levels.

If you’re an eCommerce app, you can include an in-app Ouija board that spells out discount codes. If you’re a selfie or face-time app, you can offer ghoulish filters for your users to play around with. Have you ever wondered what you’d look like as a zombie? As a vampire? Well, now’s your chance!

scary ouija board halloween

Halloween-themed Sales

The month of October is a banner time for eCommerce apps. No matter what your niche is, there is some way you can appeal to revelers. Start with the most obvious: Halloween costumes. If you are a fashion app or warehouse retailer, this is simple. Other apps may have to get more creative. But in a pinch, virtually any product under the harvest moon can be spun as a must-have item. Beauty products, jewelry, novelty joke items, hats, hair extensions, or other accessories can be the defining highlight of a generic costume.

And of course everyone needs candy for trick-or-treaters (or for themselves… no judgment here). Offer users some candy bars that might be in high demand with kids. And don’t limit yourself just to youngsters. The young at heart enjoy Halloween as well, and party hosts may enjoy being reminded that your app can serve as a one-stop shop for all their culin-eerie needs: gummy worms, candy corn, devil’s food cake, and anything else that might go down a treat at a party. Candles, bunting, sparklers, and more are all possibilities.

Haunted Travel Destinations

Whether your app is centered around travel, airlines, or tourism, there is a lot of excitement to garner with haunted cities. Raise goosebumps with a list of the most haunted cities in the country. If you are a hotel booking app, suggest a few ghostly getaways for adventurous users. Offer discounts for bed and breakfasts in Salem, Massachusetts, hometown of the notorious witch trials. Point them towards New Orleans for a ghost and vampire walking tour. Or send them to San Jose, California to visit the Winchester House, reputedly haunted by the ghosts of everyone ever killed by a Winchester rifle.

For a more local experience, it’s very easy to personalize content towards users in a specific area. Do a bit of research into local urban legends and ghost stories. Every city and town has skeletons in their closet – use them to connect with your user, and demonstrate your app’s usefulness.

haunted house spooky halloween

Safety Notifications

Of course, Halloween isn’t all fun and games. In fact, it can be a very hazardous time with regards to injuries and pedestrian road deaths. Soberingly, child road deaths are four times as likely to happen on the night of October 31st as on any other night of the year. And while the myth of heroin and razorblades in Halloween candy has been widely debunked, it always pays to be extra-careful on a night when throngs of children are running around in the dark.

While safety notifications are to be expected from, say, a local news app or a municipal authority, any app can send them. Weather or traffic warnings go without saying, with an added reminder to wear long underwear underneath costumes for chilly nights. A few visibility tips – such as having kids wear high-res reflectors or glow-stick jewelry – never go amiss.

Advise kids to wear face makeup rather than masks, which can block their vision. Motorists should always be extra-careful on Halloween, and keep an eye out for unpredictable pedestrians darting out in front of cars. And make sure, if you plan to have trick-or-treaters come to your door, the walkway is clear and with nothing to trip over, and jack-o-lanterns are safely positioned so that no gauzy costumes catch fire.

These are only a few tips on how to keep your kids safe on Halloween. (Others include keeping them away from cabins in the woods, abandoned insane asylums, and carnivals that only appear after dark.)

For more expert advice on how you can tailor your push notifications to encourage maximum engagement from users, contact the team at OpenBack. And have a happy Halloween! 🎃

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