Of Sexist & Other Offensive Push Notifications

A recent article published by Shareably shook us out of our comfort zone and got our attention (once again) to what ideal push notification content should constitute. What is surprising however, is that a (perceptively) socially responsible entity such as Fox News sends out a sexist push notification, and then gets trolled across the social media, mainly on Twitter. Here is a copy of their notification:

Fox News Push Message

However, let us put things into context first. In an 11th may, 2017 dated article titled: ‘Most men just want a woman who’s nice’, popular cultural critic and marriage & family author Suzanne Venker tries to drive home a point by saying:

“Most husbands have no desire to lord over their wives, but they don’t want to fight with them either. All they want is peace. And the nicer you are, the more likely they are to find it.”

Now that it is put into context, this kind of a seemingly innocuous statement would actually be well accepted, but way back in the 1950s. With the contemporary mind-set, especially of the first world urbania, this is no longer an observation that is acceptable to human sensitivities, especially during the age of equal sex empowerment and the effervescent human ego.

The point of this article, however, is not to judge whether this is an acceptable message or not, it is simply to put in perspective that any messaging that is even remotely controversial to the human psyche, should not be a part of your promotional efforts. Period!

So what is the kind of messaging that you should be exposing your users to, when sending push notifications?

Billions of messages are pushed every year by marketers to their current and prospective users via push notifications, to update them about their products and their promos. These messages may either be highly targeted & personalized or they may be general in nature; random notifications that are broadcast to most, or all users.

Opted-in push messaging is a highly personal connect. This is where customers have willingly authorized your business to apprise them of information that may be useful to them. This fosters not only brand loyalty and trust, it also keeps your customers asking and returning for more. Therefore, to make the best of this user-gifted opportunity, your business should use crisp, personalized, targeted and relevant messaging and avoid anything that can be ambiguous or may be construed in more than one way. It should not, in other words, be open-ended. Neither should it have any hint of sensationalism or off-topic reference. In brief, your messages should focus on delivering value, which leads to customer engagement, conversion and loyalty.

Following are some best practices for messaging that should yield the best results for your business:

1. Deliver an Outstanding Engagement Experience

Users should not be dreading the idea of receiving yet another push message from you — annoying and repetitive messages will soon ensure that your notifications are opted out-of. Your message should have the right blend of videos, surveys and pictures for a fresh, holistic and an entertaining experience related to the content of the message.

For example, when your ecommerce business sends out a push notification about a new product arrival, they can link directly to the graphical product specs page.


Also, emojis can help a dash of playful and a colorful visual element that helps your notifications stand out from others that are queued up on the home screen.

2. Keep the notifications highly contextual

This is the age of smart notifications. According to Forrester, better push notifications are needed today as messaging becomes fundamental to connected devices. Did you know that 84 per­cent of apps are not used more than two times? That means 84 per­cent of the money marketers spend on advertising their apps and building them is lost. This is mainly because these apps are not highly contextual or personalized.

According to Groupon testimony at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, mobile buyers spend two times more than non­mobile consumers.

Integrating a highly personalized push notification strategy for your marketing is key. However, it is best to consistently remind ourselves that the customer has the democratic prerogative to accept or reject these notifications. Businesses mustn’t fall into the same errors as email by bulk blasting and batching push notifications.

3. Use Geo-Fencing for Extreme Relevance

As we know by their very nomenclature, mobile devices are on the move, so it is but obvious that an individual’s location is naturally dynamic. With a change in location comes a change in context, and an opportunity to deliver something fresh and engaging through push messaging.

Location based push messages

For example, when a user attends a soccer match at his local stadium, you can send expanded and rich media backed coverage of the team, the playoff information, available sports merchandise or even a survey for feedback.

These are just some instances of automated and intuitive services that can provide utility and help your customers as they keep being on the move through their day.


As businesses strive to reach, sell to, and retain the customer in the current competitive landscape, it is clearly evident that only those businesses will survive that has a personalized relationship with the customer. This, per se, is not possible to be done manually, with huge volumes of customer and touchpoint data available to businesses. However, not doing anything in spite of possessing so much customer data is an absolute waste of available resources, as well. Make optimum use of the available data to deliver great customer experience.

With Gamooga’s omni-channel marketing engagement platform backed by a strong predictive analytics engine offering deep 1:1 personalization, marketing automation and Big Data analytics capabilities, your business can now enjoy the benefits that only the larger businesses have been doing so far, but at a fraction of the cost. Contact us to know how.