Push notification services are great facilitators of communication. By all means, they are engines of revenue generation. It’s been long acknowledged by the fraternity of digital marketers that push notification services are now bestowed upon with the supreme status that email marketing scripts used to enjoy a few years ago.
Today, many emails are either trashed or flagged as spam. This brings me to the question – Are push notifications the next generation spam messages?
The main problem is that ill-timed and irrelevant push notifications suck. The decadence of ill-time and irrelevant push notifications can be attributed to the 21st century digital marketers’ inability to decipher the fine line of distinction between user experience and spam. Too many irrelevant push messages are of little user and hence, they are as good as spam content.
This article throws an insight into 5 approaches to enhance push notification execution in 2018.
Approach #1: Focus on push notifications delivery
It’s important to design an ideal push notifications delivery strategy. But how?
Gather pertinent real-time data such as user timestamps and user demographics. Understand their content preferences. Gain information on what time of the day users generally click on the push messages. Different users have different windows when they are most receptive to push messages.
A vast majority of times real time data will show you the way.
Is it possible to register every record and action of every user? Of course, Yes!
Do NOT send push messages when your audiences are asleep. When they wake up in the morning, the first thing they definitely would not like to see is your queue of messages.
Owing to factors such as bad network, OEM restrictions etc., failure of delivery can be a pressing concern. Push notification tools should unfailingly detect the failure in notification delivery and find a way around this hurdle.
This is where digital marketers should exercise great caution when making a choice from a range of push notification services or tools.
Approach #2: Send personalized push messages
Do you want to increase user engagement rate?
Do you want to enhance your average revenue earnings per user?
If the answers are a chest thumping Yes, here’s a piece of advice – Send tailored notifications. Here’s an example:
Case A: 15% discount on all restaurants and meals – grab the offer now!
Case B: Hey Richard, are you hungry? Just an FYI. You can get 15% discount on all restaurants and meals by using the code OFF15
Undoubtedly, the second case looks more compelling. Unfortunately, digital marketers just confine themselves to pulling customer names from their audience profiles and including a generic sales pitch. This brings me to the next question – What more can you include in push messages?
Your sales pitch can have something that’s very much relevant to your audiences’ interests. This is where it makes sense to personalize push messages based on attributes such as color, gender, age and events. For your information, events are previous engagements with your brand.
You can personalize your push messages based on the location of customers. Location based personalization can take intimacy and user engagement to the next level. Let’s say- Los Angeles is celebrating National Donut Day. If your audiences are in Los Angeles, your push messages should notify them of local donut shops and offers.
Approach #3: Do not use vibration in your push messages
People love their smart phones. They love to sleep with them. A day without a smartphone is a day without life. No doubt, smartphones are powerful. But there’s a caveat.
Messages are often accompanied by a vibration. A smartphone vibration is experienced as a physical sensation. If vibrations are overused or misused, you are likely to witness the wrath of your audience.
Let’s say – your audience is about to miss a flight or an important deadline. Vibrations make a lot of sense in pressing scenarios where there’s a lot of immediate productivity. However, if your push messages aren’t high-priority and have little value, your app may soon be uninstalled. In essence, let your audiences check your push messages on their own accord.
It’s important to use those push notification services that enable you to control the vibrations, volume and other settings of your push notifications.
Approach #4: Evaluation metrics do matter
Conversion KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are important. But digital marketers often ignore two important KPIs:
- Push notifications opt-out rate
- App un-install rate
There are many reasons that essentially lead people to opt out of push notifications. If your push messages are over-whelming and intrusively frequent, or irrelevant with little context, your target group is unlikely to think twice before opting out of your push messages.
When your brand loses its salience, reputation and equity, your app is likely to be un-installed. Be it mobile, web or wearable push notifications, your long term objective is to ensure that your audiences opt in and remain opted in.
In conclusion, it’s recommended to focus on the three KPIs.
Approach #5: Leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Any push notification campaign consists of three phases:
- Push message creation
- Push message content
- Push message delivery
Artificial intelligence and automation should be used in every phase of push notification campaign.
Let’s say- your app facilitates inter-bank and intra-bank transactions besides assisting audiences in paying bills, booking movie tickets, etc. You can use business intelligence and data analytics to identify the transaction trends and preferences of your audience. Artificial intelligence will shed light on transaction drop-offs and feasible solutions to skillfully cross-promote your range of in-app services.
It’s imperative for brands to focus on user flow. Right from on-boarding a new customer to forging sustainable and long-term relationships, focus should be on nurturing users, and transforming passive users into active users.
And yes, artificial intelligence and automation can be used to send dynamic push notifications. Dynamic product messages are best suited for personalized recommendations, price alerts & discounts, content suggestions and transaction reminders.
Push messages should have actionable CTAs. Get creative. Be genuine. Your push messages should be concise and un-ambiguous.
Focus on three important things – planning, great copy-writing and A/B testing. Done right, push notification campaigns can significantly improve the retention rates. Most importantly, choose the right push notification services tool.
Share your thoughts in the comments. If you have any queries or doubts, shoot them in the comments. I shall reply in a day or two.