If there is anything that I have been anticipating for long, it is certainly the arrival of the COVID vaccine. Reading news articles on the same have become a part of me. And believe it or not, Huffpost has kept me engaged in this pursuit for way too long by its timely push notification strategy.
Statistics reveal that about 42% of mobile users keep their push notifications enabled on their devices. And hey, I’m one among them.
I want to get product updates, reminders, breaking news...basically, any information that I need to act upon quickly. This exercise is so reflective when I place myself on the consumer shoes and introspect as a retailer, considering that I can increase engagement by up to 88%.
But I’ve also learnt that push notifications would work only when you understand how they benefit your users. And that’s just what I’m going to relay through this guide by walking you through the purpose of push notifications and share some best practices for optimal results.
Use the Table of Contents below to navigate to sections of your choice.
Table of Contents
Well, folks around have given push notifications, different definitions. But what do you think is right?
It’s all of them, actually.
Let me now show you how to break this down.
Push notifications are:
- Messages sent by an application or a website to the user’s device
- Messages sent to users in real-time
- Messages that contain rich media content such as videos, images, GIFs
- Personalized messages that drive a desired action from the user
So, ideally, push notifications are those short and sweet messages that pop up on your device (mobile or desktop), nudging you towards some action. Let’s be honest, your customers are busy individuals. So, it’s likely that they forgot about the great offers you had announced a few days ago via e-mail. Or, they could have forgotten about the cart they have abandoned after adding a lot of items to it.
Now, if you want your customers to stay updated with your latest offers or if you want to remind them of the impending items in their cart, push notification should be your go-to. It is truly a great way to engage your customers and reduce their churn.
One of the benefits of using push notifications is that you can time the message and also customize it depending on the situation. For instance, if your customer has abandoned his cart, he would get a push notification encouraging him to make the purchase. On the flip side, if your customer hasn’t used your shopping application for quite some time, he can receive a personalized message simulating him to use the application.
That said, push notification is a powerful marketing strategy. But it can also get intrusive if done wrong. Look at the image below, you’ll understand what I mean.
If your push notification strategy involves dark humour, I hope that your target demographics is the matured and silver-haired. Come on, how would you react when your daughter comes to you crying “Papa, My Pet called me horrible and the worst owner that it ever had!”.
While from a consumer stand, you could immediately abandon the app, think of how it would affect you from a business perspective.
Pretty bad, right?
That’s why like all marketing strategies, even while endorsing push notifications, there are certain guidelines to follow.
Let me show you how to use these push notifications judiciously.
Map Your User’s On-Site Activity with Other Actionable
Imagine that you are running an e-commerce website. Here, you can set the opt-in to trigger post a visitor views an item or browses through multiple products. This exercise would illustrate that the user finds value in your products and would benefit from your push notifications.
Find the Best Page to Launch the Opt-ins
If you are an online retailer, then you might want to strategically set the opt-ins to trigger customers towards a specific action. You can give the option to enable promotional push notifications when your customers are on the checkout page.
Tell your customers that through these push notifications they could track their orders quickly, get product recommendations, etc. You’ll see more people enabling push notifications this way.
Write Concise Permission Messages
To craft compelling messages that would direct your users to take the action steps you want; you must first delineate your target audience. Study their demographics and fabricate your messaging accordingly.
Also, you need to mention what your users get by opting to your push notifications. For instance, it could be 10% off on premium items, and so on. Next, be transparent about the frequency of your push notifications. Ensure to tell your customers that you respect their privacy and that they could definitely turn off the notifications any time they choose.
Last, and most importantly, give a catchy headline to grab your users through this message.
Use Actionable Call-to-Action Buttons on High Traffic Pages
Let’s say that you have an online retail website. Lure your visitors to subscribe to push notifications by offering discounts, product updates, and the likes. This works great, especially for your first-time customers.
But be sure to place your CTAs on the top of your homepage. This would give the best visibility. And at the same time, set it in such a way that it doesn’t cause the page to look cramped.
Here are two things you should A/B test specifically:
- The placement of your CTA button
- The colour and hue of your CTA button
Believe me, they can go a long way in augmenting or crashing your push notification opt-ins. Here’s an informative article on how psychology is impacted by the colour and placement of CTA buttons.
Hold On! Check this Out Before You Go!
While you work hard to bring traffic to your site, were you aware that the majority of them exit even without performing any desired task – say subscribing or buying a product?
This simply means that your customers are not being engaged with your website sufficiently. So, that's a lost opportunity.
However, if you have an exit-intent strategy with push notifications, you’ll see a hike in the subscription rate and a decline in the bounce rate.
Now, you might be wondering what this exit-intent technology is all about. Basically, it identifies the perfect moment when a visitor is about to leave your site to launch a pop-up message. You can customize this pop-up message with a voucher or a discount or anything enticing enough to ace your new subscribers.
So, if you have an e-commerce website, you may use an exit intent pop-up to offer personalized product recommendation with an option to sign-up. You can combine this with discounts on similar products that your visitor browsed. While this not only cross-sells your products, it also sparks a genuine interest in your site and gives you higher visibility to thereby encourage your visitor to sign up for your push notifications.
La Redoute does a great job with push notifications. To give you a background of what they do, well, they specialize in French-style fashion and offer a diverse range of products with a turnover of over $1 billion. This makes La Redoute one of the largest e-commerce apparel retailers.
Now, if you are in the e-commerce space, you know how real cart abandonment is. To combat this and retrieve lost customers, La Redoute commenced a push notification campaign.
Each of these notifications is highly personalized; linking the user to their cart where they could complete the purchase.
And you’d be wowed by the results.
La Redoute’s promotional push notification strategy had a click-through-rate that was 2 to 3 times higher than that of classic mobile ads.
The key takeaway here is that you could leverage push notifications for reviving abandoned carts.
Personalize your messages.
Send vibrant images of the items that your customers abandoned for whatever reason.
Dramatically augment your conversion rate.
Alright, an insight into La Redoute’s push notification strategy has helped you understand that they revive cart abandonments.
Is that all?
Let me show you what else promotional push notification can help you achieve.
Customer Retention and Activation
You might have potential users who have downloaded your mobile application, but they might not be using it. And push notifications are all you need to transform these inactive users to active ones.
Urban Airship conducted a study, according to which, high-value push notifications are said to increase retention rates by 3 to 10 times. Into the bargain, the retention rate for users who opt-in is much higher on average.
So, through these promotional push notifications, you can offer your users thoughtful reminders, personalized offers, and so on.
Increase Conversion Rates
If you want to create a sense of urgency, then timely promotional push notifications are all you need. As in the case of La Redoute, their campaign helped customers act upon their last action quickly.
Similarly, with push notifications, you can also trigger immediate purchases. Send your users informative messages. Apprise them of any special discounts or limited time-offers in your e-commerce platform.
The good news?
You can close sales with a single tap!
Here’s an example of how you could use Ingage to increase conversion rates and sales. We are basically sending a reminder push notification when after a set time, the customer still doesn’t check-out after adding items to the cart.
Increase Customer Engagement
Personalization is the name of the game these days. Only when your push messages are relevant, they would gain user attention (who normally tend to get spammed by various other applications).
Understand that behaviour-based messaging is a must if you want to keep your customers engaged throughout their interaction with your brand. When you deliver push notifications based on a user’s action on your site or the application itself, you ensure that your messages are timely, personalized, and highly relevant.
As a case in point, using Ingage, you can target special events like birthdays and anniversaries and push notify product recommendations with special discounts.
It’s crucial to understand that customer segmentation based on their on-site activities or other touchpoints are essential to a successful promotional push notification campaign. While your customers and users choose whether to opt-in to your push notification campaign or not, make it pleasant when they do.
Follow the best practices above.
Use a tool that suits your business and especially one that’s scalable.
You’ll witness your churn rates declining while your user base upscales rapidly.
For any clarification, do feel free to drop me a line.