APIs for Push Notification Newbies
You hear about them all the time, but how can APIs help you?
What is an API? You hear them discussed constantly in code circles, in marketing circles, and everywhere else on the internet. However, have you noticed that nobody talks about what they are or how they tie into marketing efforts? If you are new to the behind-the-scenes works, here is what an API is and how it ties into your browser-based push notification campaign.
APIs Are Tools
The acronym stands for Application Programming Interface. Think of it like this. You go to a bank and use an ATM. The API, in this metaphor, is the keypad and screen of the ATM; it is what you use to tell the broader machine of the bank what you want. It sends the request, and, if everything lines up, it will give you the results you want.
APIs are everywhere. If you have scheduled an appointment somewhere and seen it automatically added to your Google calendar, you have seen an API in action. Once you understand the concept, you will see them everywhere. They are used to share content from websites on social media, they are used to process your credit card when you buy something, and they are used in a host of other ways, large and small, that speed things up. So why do APIs matter, specifically, for browser-based push notifications? It does not just stop at the form you fill out to send the message; you can use them in a variety of ways.
APIs Reduce Friction
“Friction,” in this context, is the amount of work a user has to do to complete a task, be it buy a product, schedule an appointment, or what have you. As an example of APIs, suppose you are running a hair salon and are using push to encourage people to book and confirm appointments. Suppose a customer comes in on the same day and time every week. You could configure your notifications to prompt that customer to confirm they will be in this week and use an API so that when they confirm, it adds the appointment to their calendar automatically.
Or perhaps you offer some form of subscription. You can prompt your customer to renew their subscription in the notification, and use an API to offer “one-click” renewal. Perhaps you use them to automate shipping alerts so your customers know exactly where their package is every step of the way. These are just three examples; for any idea you might have or challenge you need to overcome, there is likely an API you can implement.
APIs can make your notifications more powerful and more effective.
Drying Out Waterfalls
Just remember to think in terms of the virtues of browser notifications. They are one idea, delivered with urgency, so the APIs you use should enable anybody who clicks to do something right now. Whether you are offering a shortcut that just gets information on their calendar or helps them buy something or another idea that makes life easier for your users, that should be at the forefront of your mind.
In the end, APIs are useful tools. With a thoughtful approach to how they work and what your audience needs, you can use them to make your browser-based push notifications more effective. Ready to see how these notifications make life easier for you and your customers? Get a free trial of Pushnami today!