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Top tips for crafting a push notification strategy

May 2, 2017
Top tips for crafting a push notification strategy

This week Econsultancy gave us some incredible statistics about mobile marketing. Quoting a recent report by comScore, it was argued that ‘mobile devices now account for a majority of consumers' digital minutes’, with ‘apps represent[ing] more than 80% of mobile minutes in all markets studied.’

Marketers have long been discussing the rise of mobile marketing, but it still lags behind other digital platforms when it comes to planning strategy. One way to engage users with your mobile offering is to use push notifications, and so this week we have top tips for crafting a push notification strategy. 

What are push notifications, and why do you need a strategy?

A whitepaper by mobile analytics organisation Tune (for Marketing Week) defines push notifications as ‘the messages sent to a user on a mobile device when they are outside your app’, the kind that pop up on your lock screen to tell you that you have a friend request on Facebook or there’s a sale at your favourite department store.

But have you ever thought about when and why these notifications appear? Tune suggests that ‘the purpose of push notifications is for them to be succinct, attention-grabbing, and informative messages that add value to the end user.’ Quite often these notifications are tailored to your current location, since, as Mobile Marketing Magazine noted, ‘84 per cent of millennials [are] more likely to take action when notifications are tailored to their current location.’

And yet despite their value as a marketing tool, Tune suggests ‘there’s still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to push notifications, with many brands simply asking users to accept notifications without telling them why they need them.’ So how can you increase engagement with your app and reap the rewards of mobile marketing?

1) Segment in order to personalise

One of the main mistakes made by brands is to send generic, unimaginative and impersonal push notifications to all their users. With consumers becoming increasingly annoyed by the barrage of advertising they are faced with on a daily basis, targeting your notifications is a must.

Marketing Land suggests that one way to create this personalisation effectively is to segment your users. Based on insights that ‘users are three times more likely to convert from a push message when it’s personalised,’ Marketing Land suggests starting ‘by segmenting users based on their in-app behaviours or known information about them from your CRM.’

The article continues ‘the real gold comes at the next level of segmentation, when you segment audiences by both user profiles and behaviours. The average click rate for push messages sent based on behavioural and profile data is an impressive 30.6 percent’, compared to an average of only 7.4 percent for ‘send to everyone’ notifications.

2) Emojis can breed engagement

Love them or loathe them, emojis are here to stay. Even though these little images are a staple in many a mobile user’s linguistic arsenal, marketers have been warier about using them in their social media and mobile strategies.

Yet an article by Forbes contributor and mobile marketing expert Momchil Kyurkchiev has argued that, after analysing ‘2.6 billion push notifications […] the data showed that when brands added emojis into their mobile messaging, they could capture more user engagement.’

Many of Kyurkchiev’s statistics make a strong case for including emojis in your push notifications. Among the most significant were:

- By adding an emoji to a push notification, open rates were increased by 85%.

- Using an A/B type test to compare conversion rates, push notifications with an emoji had a 9% increase in users who clicked on the campaign’s call-to-action.

- Even when compared to other visual marketing tools like images, when it comes to push notifications, the emoji variant outperformed the image version by 9%.

Kyurkchiev explains these results by pointing to research which shows that the brain recognises emojis as nonverbal information, and therefore processes them as emotions. By linking positive emotional responses with the useful information conveyed in your push notification, engagement and conversion levels can be increased significantly.

3) Show users why they benefit from opting in

When downloading a new app, it is customary for users to be asked ‘do you want to allow x app to send you notifications?’ In the haste of wanting to use your new download, or even in the knowledge that you could regret agreeing in the very near future, many opt out of receiving notifications.

When understood from the point of view of the user, this attitude makes perfect sense. Why would you opt in to receive notifications you cannot see any value in? What benefits do you get from opting in? By only asking if users want to allow notifications, brands are missing a perfect opportunity to show their consumers why they should opt in.

Business2Community suggests it is important for marketers to ‘showcase why they should opt-in for push notifications and how it will improve their mobile experience.’ The article suggests ‘be specific – a simple, but a definite reason to opt-in works better than a few vague ones,’ for example a message like: ‘”Opt-in for real-time rush hour traffic alerts” shows the customer how they’ll get value from the app and gives a clear reason for opting-in.’

By following the above tips for crafting your push notification strategy, you can ensure that engagement levels and customer loyalty levels are kept high. If you’re in need of some creative inspiration for your own push notifications, check out MarTechAdvisor’s article ‘Creative Push Notifications You’ll Want to Steal for Yourself’.


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