It has become challenging to get customers to click through messages and engage with them. People don't want to be bombarded with irrelevant and unwanted emails anymore. As a result, many businesses are adopting a more flexible means to deliver messages and engage customers. This is where push notifications come in.
Push notifications are a suitable alternative because it works by requesting permission from users. As this marketing trend continues, we have written an in-depth guide that will provide insight into the best push notifications practices and how you can make it work for your business.
Before we begin, what are push notifications?
Table of content
- What are Push Notifications?
- Types of Push Notifications
- What are Push Notifications Used For?
- Why You Should Use Push Notifications
- Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Push Notifications
- Push Notifications Best Practices
- How to Convince Users to Opt-in For Push Notifications
- Getting Started With Push Notifications
What are Push Notifications?
Push notifications are pop-up messages that appear on a user's screen or browser, often delivering messages or offers that drive your users to act. Good push notifications are external triggers that prompt action or initiate an emotional need in people.
This emotion could be any of the three optimal drivers for human behavior:
- Seek pleasure/avoid pain,
- Seek social acceptance/avoid rejection or
- Seek hope/avoid fear.
Push notifications are served to impact these motivations and nudge the user to take action. For example, your users could leave your email unread or even forget to complete a purchase online. You can use push notifications to send offers that will incentivize them to return to using your product or service.
Another scenario is if your user hasn't used your product for quite some time. A push notification is a great way to remind them to return to using the app. Push notifications have proven to be a powerful marketing tool. Studies reveal that push notifications can drive app engagement by 88% and lead to 48% of mobile users making in-app purchases.
No doubt, push notifications can generate a great result only if done right. Read on as this guide provides insight into all you need to know about push notifications.
What are Push Notifications Used to Do?
We've explained what Push notifications are. In this section, you'll learn their various purposes. Here are three of them:
- Driving a customer to make an in-store purchase: push notifications can help create a seamless purchase process for your customers. With an enticing one-liner, you can send push notifications that remind users of special offers and new stocks that you have available in store. All they need to do is click on the link that will drive them to your site.
- Provide real-time updates: with push notifications, you can send live updates to your users. You can inform your user about a recent upgrade to your product and can provide customer billing information.
- Engage with your customers: the increase in mobile apps keeps growing. Today, you'll find that most people use up to nine apps per day. This shows that you need to keep users engaged with your app, else you may lose their attention. With push notifications, you can send personalized offers and important updates that will keep users coming back to your mobile application.
Types of Push Notifications
There are two types of push notifications, namely:
- Web push notifications, and
- Mobile push notifications
1. Web push notifications: are pop-up messages sent from a website. These alert messages enter a desktop or mobile web at the top or bottom right-hand corner of the screen. The good thing about web push notifications is that users don't have to be on your website to receive these messages. They only need to be active on their browser.
Web push notifications are usually used by B2B brands and marketers to drive users to act on their website, thereby causing increasing engagement and conversion. However, you should note that these messages are delivered after the user has granted access to receive such messages.
2. Mobile push notifications: these instant messages usually pop up on mobile apps. They can only be triggered if the user has downloaded and installed the mobile application on a device. These notifications show on three locations on your mobile device- lock screen, notification center, banner. Just like web push notifications, they are only possible when the user opts-in for messages.
Why You Should Use Push Notifications
Push notifications are a must have for the modern day SaaS Company. Studies have proven it to be even more helpful than email. If you're not using push notifications, then you're missing out on an opportunity to generate more click rates and conversions.
Here are six reasons why you should implement it in your marketing strategy.
- Increase in high-quality leads:
One of the significant challenges businesses deal with is generating low-quality leads due to various factors. In most cases, customers are not willing to provide any personal information. However, with push notifications, users don't have to give any personal information.
A unique ID for each user is derived once they have agreed to receive notifications. This way, users will be more willing to opt-in, knowing that they won't have to drop personal information.
2. High click-through rates
When it comes to emails, there are usually challenges to driving high click-through rates. Push notifications, on the other hand, have high CTR due to their visibility. When shown on a screen, they quickly grab users' attention leading to more CTR.
3. Increased user engagement and sales:
Push notifications can lead to more engagement and sales. It is because you can notify a customer about a pending customer purchase or inform a user about recent updates, discount offers, or blog content.
4. Increase in web traffic:
When customers leave your site, you need to give them a good reason to return. With compelling and engaging messages, you can send push notifications to drive users back to your website from anywhere on their browsers. You can include personalized offers and discount offers to keep users engaged and drive more web traffic.
5. Improved reach to users:
Push notifications are more likely to reach better, unlike emails and text messages. It's common for people to skip reading their emails or text messages due to varying reasons. Push notifications are usually displayed directly on the user’s desktop or mobile screen.
So there are more chances of reaching the user. Popular web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera Mini, support push notifications. So, limitations are reduced to a great extent.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Push Notifications
While push notifications have proved to generate more results than most other platforms, it's only possible when done right. Most marketers are quick to adopt push notifications due to their rising popularity, and the truth is that most of them fail to apply the best practices.
Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when using push notifications:
1. Sending users too many notifications
Sending your users too many notifications is a total deal-breaker. It could destroy any chances of building trust with your users. People can quickly get irritated when you bother them with too many messages. It could lead to subscribers not engaging with your brand or even converting. Also, it could result in a drop in the number of subscribers. To prevent this from happening, you need to understand your audience, their preferences, and goals. Once understood, you'll be able to send personalized offers at a time that suits them best.
2. Sending users irrelevant offers
It's one thing to send too many notifications and another thing to send messages that can't help users in any way. Subscribers’ opt-in for your service so that they can get information and offers that will help them. So, when you send them irrelevant messages, what do you think will happen?
They won't hesitate to opt-out of your service. You will not only lose out on potential web traffic and conversions, but you'll also create a bad reputation for your business. Instead, focus on delivering messages that are specific and relevant to the user. This way, you'll have a better chance at driving more engagement and sales.
3. Not automating notifications
A big mistake you can make is not scheduling and automating push notifications. You could end up sending your messages at an odd time, and this could lead to fewer clicks. You need to ensure that you get a better idea of your users' day-to-day activities and time zones so that you can send messages when they are most active on their devices.
Plan and schedule your messages at a particular date and time. Also, consider the time zones so that you can segment your audience list according to their time zones. So, you don't end up sending a push notification when a user is in the middle of work activity.
With Engage, you can create automated push notification sequences and send your messages to your customers at the right time on autopilot.
4. Not tracking the right metrics
When it comes to measuring performance, what matters is tracking the metrics relevant to your business goals. It may be easy to get carried away with all the analytics data, but you need to focus mainly on the web actions you think will drive business goals. It could be a discount offer, ad click, form fill, etc.
Analyze your web analytics data to check your website activity. Don't just focus on click rates but identify the users that visit your site through push notifications and how many of them have completed your preferred actions.
Other metrics you can track include:
- Opt-in rate.
- Delivery rate.
- Click rate.
- Conversion rate.
With Engage, you can keep track of the results from the messages you sent to your customers.
Push Notifications Best Practices
Push notifications are one of the best ways to improve your overall marketing strategy. But how do you make it work for your business? Here are six push notifications strategy you can apply in your business:
- Use emojis for more engagement:
Emojis can make a push notification more click-worthy and visually appealing. Studies found notifications with emojis saw an 85% increase in open rate and a 9% increase in conversions. However, it is employed the right way.
Inserting the wrong one could leave your user with an unpleasant feeling which could lead them to opt-out. It's good to insert a bit of humor, but you should know when to draw the line.
2. Use compelling content:
Your content must be in line with your audience's needs and preferences. Identify what they need and tailor your content to provide the answers. In this way, your push notifications are more noticed. Here are additional tips to bear in mind:
- Keep your content detailed and concise: don't beat around the bush with unnecessary content. Your notification message should be specific and give the user an idea of the action to take, with a clear CTA.
- Timing: the time you send your push notifications can make a difference in whether your user reads it or not. You don't want to disturb your user at 2 AM with a push notification. Understand what time would work best for your user and adjust your push notification schedule accordingly
3. Include social proof:
Let your audience know about other users that have attained a level of satisfaction from your product or service. You can include a link to your social media page so users can opt in to view it.
4. Segment and personalize your messages:
When you send generalized messages to your audience, they'll find it hard to relate to it. It could lead to fewer click-throughs. Understand your audience and identify key attributes that will help you segment customers and send specific messages that won't easily connect with your audience.
Your customers may have permitted you to receive your push notifications, but that doesn't mean you have to send pushes at every single opportunity. It could lead the user to opt out or uninstall your mobile app. Send notifications only when necessary so you can give your audience a great experience after opting in.
6. A/B test your push notifications:
If you want to discover what type of notification engages your audience the most, then A/B testing is the best option. With a/b testing, you can segment your notifications into two parts and test the one that generates the best results.
How to Convince Users to Opt-in For Push Notifications
Convincing users to opt-in for push notifications can be a tricky process. Most users have engaged already with a minimum of 4 apps. Furthermore, users are usually prompted to opt-in after they have installed a mobile app on their device. It is the window of opportunity to deliver valuable content to users. So how can you convince users to opt-in for push notifications? Here are four best practices:
- Start your app's user experience on the right foot:
Then ensure that you provide a value splash page that pops up after the user opens your app. Use the opportunity to reveal your app's best features and the benefits it can provide to users. As a result, users will be more likely to opt-in.
2. Create pre-permission messages to capture interest:
A permission message asks the user whether they want to opt-in for updates. The user is provided with two options: "Okay" or "Not Now." If the user selects "Okay" they'll be redirected to the main permission page.
If the user selects "Not now," then you should wait and send the request again after they have become more familiar with your brand. It ensures that you still have another opportunity to get the user.
3. Let users become familiar with your brand before asking them to opt-in for push notifications:
Users are less likely to opt-in for notifications if unfamiliar with your brand. Avoid taking a generic approach by asking users for permission immediately. Users don't want messages from an app they haven't gotten to experience fully.
An exception is popular established brands. Instead, let your users get familiar with your brand before requesting their permission to opt-in for push notifications.
4. Time permission requests based on user activity:
You can send permission requests based on the specific actions that users have performed on your app. For example:
- Viewed product: You can set a permission request that would automatically send, once a user views products on your app.
- Some sessions: Also, you can set a permission request that would automatically send, once a user has reached a particular number of sessions.
Getting Started With Push Notifications
Push notifications provide one of the best ways to engage your audience while driving conversion and click-through rates. Remember that push notifications can only work when you apply the best practices. Don't hesitate to follow the best push notifications practices outlined above.
To understand your target audience, run tests and send push notifications at the right time and day, you need to power your entire marketing campaign with a marketing automation tool.
Engage is an Email and SMS Marketing automation solution that you can use to get started with push notifications for your platform or app.
With Engage, you can:
- Keep track of how customers interact with your product (platform or app),
- Create unique customer segments from this data, and
- Send personalized messages to your customers via email, SMS, push Notification and In-App messages.
Sign Up for Free HERE.