13 Push notification best practices
How to enhance user engagement
Push notifications power 🚀
Nowadays, push notifications are considered by many as the most powerful and successful marketing tool ever. Indeed, they can be marketers’ ace in the hole to retain their mobile users. Through push notifications it’s possible to collect customers data in order to reach them again, sell them new products, tell them about new services. Their goal is to make a connection with customers. One of push notifications’ plus points is that it’s almost impossible to ignore them, because they occupy a physical space in our smartphone. However, their misuse could have a really harmful effect, leading users to turn off notifications. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the main features of effective push notifications:
- Customization: address one single person, not an audience, and customize content based on what’s relevant for each user;
- Action: provide users with a clear goal, i.e. a practical and intuitive action users can perform and benefit from. Actions need to clearly tell users what to do step by step and what the result will be;
- Timing: push notifications are more likely to reach their goal when they’re triggered by users’ behavior, location, or preferences.
At first, you can focus on customization and action, because without these two elements the chances that your push notifications will be ignored are really high. Remember that your push notification goal is nudging users to click on it, and perform the action you’ve suggested to them. If they lack customization and actionable items, they could even have a negative impact on users, leading them to turn push notifications off, or worst of all, uninstall your app. At a later stage, you can try to craft * timely push notifications, which is the most difficult feature to implement, since you need to previously gather data on users’ behavior, location, and preferences.
When customers opt in for your push notifications, it’s almost done! 👏 You’d have the chance to send customized messages directly to their devices. Make sure your push notifications deliver as much value as possible, solve customers’ problems, and meet their needs. This way, you’ll boost customer engagement, increase conversion rates, and get loyal customers 🤩. How to do that? Let’s find it out together!
Tricks to boost user engagement through push notifications 📱 🎉 💥
1. Get push notifications opt-ins ✅
Users’ permission to send them push notifications plays a key role in your marketing strategy. At this point, you should’ve clear in mind push notifications’ multiple benefits for your company’s success. So, never forget to make sure to make a great first impression. Unfortunately, you rarely get a second chance! If users have a poor first experience, they won’t hesitate to uninstall your app. That’s why you should focus on creating an effective onboarding strategy without being intrusive. The onboarding process consists in outlining all the app’s main features the first time users open it. Remember to quickly show users how your app can meet their needs and help them reach their goals, and you’ll soon establish a strong relationship with them. You can even craft a catchy and appealing message for your splash screen to nudge users to opt-in for your push notifications. Being the first thing that is generally displayed when opening an app, an engaging splash screen is the secret to draw new users’ attention and strengthen your brand awareness. Its main goal is to amaze users and convince them that it’s worth getting to know your app. Finally, if users allow you to send them push notifications, it’s done. Instead, if they say “no”, try to ask them again later on. Remember to address users politely and smartly. You’ll have better chances of increasing opt-ins’ rates.
2. Allow users to personalize their experience
Create a user-friendly control panel and let users customize the content they’ll receive. They’ll really like it, and appreciate the effort you put in establishing a strong relationship with them, based on delivering great value. Let users tell you what they’re interested in and want, how much of it they want, and when they want it. I also suggest that you allow them to choose the kind of information they want to receive, select which days of the week they want to receive messages, and specify those days in which they don’t want to be bothered. This way, you’ll be less responsible for invading users‘ privacy, because they would be the ones choosing what they want to get. In turn, you can exploit all the user data you gather to send them custom push notifications. Awesome, right?
3. Deliver an outstandingly engaging experience 🤩
Push notifications’ main goal is to encourage users to take action or engage in your app. If you’re really good at crafting effective push notifications, users will perform the suggested action and even look forward to receiving more! Thanks to modern and innovative tech platforms, you can guarantee users a unique and entertaining experience sending them push notifications with rich media such as images, GIFs, videos, pieces of news, and surveys related to the message content. What are you waiting for? Go and start writing new rich push notifications and get ready to reap the benefits! Another way to make push notifications more engaging is by adding interactive buttons inviting users to perform a specific action, such as: “Buy now“, “Shop later“, “Tap to show now“, “Press for more“, etc. Finally, you could also add emoticons to your messages to give them a colorful and playful touch able to entice users to open your push. And if you combine rich push notifications with interactive buttons and emojis, you’ll take on the world!
4. Send location-based push notifications 📍📲
Nowadays, users are on the move almost all day and every day – commuting to and back from work, travelling, going shopping, running errands, taking kids to school, etc. So why don’t you leverage users‘ changing location in your marketing campaign? By getting location-based data, you can target customers with context specific push notifications, providing them with a really engaging experience. For example, when users park near your retail store, send them a push notification with some special offers nudging them to enter the shop. This is just an example of an effortless technique that can deliver utility and value to your customers, encouraging them to establish a strong relationship with your brand.
5. Personalize push notifications for each user
I highly suggest you segment your user base and write customized messages to each person. You need to personalize your push notifications, and implement different content strategies based on your users’ stage in their customer life cycle, their profile (age, gender, location, etc.), favorites, or recently viewed items. This mass of data will help you create awesome and engaging messages that will make your customers feel special. This strategy will certainly encourage them to re-open your app and check out your latest offerings. So, it’ll be likely to boost user retention rates too.
6. Entice users with limited-time offers ⏱
First off, you should figure out what your users are interested in, what they value the most, and what will spur them to reuse your app. Then, you can focus on creating exclusive offers for them. Remember to find the right balance and tone. You’d be wise to avoid sending too many offers and find the right dose depending on your offer, target, and purpose. Don’t send them randomly to your users! They should be relevant for them, and remain limited offers. So, now get creative!
7. Encourage users to update your app 🆕 🎉
Wanna tell users about your new app updates? Do it with a push notification! Unfortunately, many people often don’t have automatic app updates turned on. But you don’t want your customers to miss your app’s latest features or enhancements, do you? So, write customized push notifications showing your new updates’ advantages. You could send your customers a message nudging them to update your app, thus keeping them engaged.
8. Reengage inactive users 😴 ⏩ 🤩
Have some of your most loyal customers, those who have recorded the highest use rates in a certain period of time, suddenly abandoned you? Ok, don’t panic! I know competition is fierce in the digital world, and there are probably hundreds of apps similar to yours. However, personalized push notifications give you a chance to reengage inactive users by showing your app’s new features, enhancements, redesigned UI, etc. Your ultimate goal is giving them reasons to come back. So, do whatever it takes to make your users understand why they should’ve missed you too!
Remember that push notifications are one of the most powerful mobile marketing tools. If they’re used wisely, they can contribute to your app success and reduce churn. The secret is sending these messages at the right dose: too few push won’t engage users, but too many irrelevant push could end up bothering your app users. Your goal is to increase your app retention rates, not pushing users to delete your app!
9. Interactive push notifications 🏃🕺🏻
Now it’s possible to embed push notifications with interactive buttons, giving your customers the chance to choose among multiple response options. This is an innovative way to interact and engage with users at a deeper level.
10. Provide special offers 🎉 🤑
You could send your customers a push notification with a coupon and add interactive buttons. So, users could choose to download or decline. It’ a nice trick that can be used to convert users into costumers. After that, you can send automated expiration reminders to make sure they don’t forget their discount.
11. Spark a sense of urgency through shopping cart reminders 🛍 🛒 🗒
Have users added some products to their cart without completing the purchase? Send them a shopping cart expiration reminder to encourage them to buy. You can draw your users’ attention and engage them through custom buttons like “View cart“, “Remind me later“, etc. You can also try to promote your brand and products adding a social sharing button on your push notifications. So, your customers will be more likely to tell their friends about a special sale you offer.
12. Spur your loyal customers to join your VIP program 😎
Push notifications with interactive buttons are magic! They can nudge your customers to enter your app where you can reward them with a special price for the VIP program. For example, when users’ location profile reveals that they’ve been in your store several times, send them an invitation to join the VIP program illustrating all its advantages.
13. Launch automated micro-campaigns 🛍 🛒
Christmas, Easter, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday are all special occasions to carry out specific marketing campaigns and provide customers with a series of exclusive offers. Your main goal is to get users opt in to a specific campaign, so that they’ll receive ongoing push notifications via your automated drip campaign. They’ll have the chance to check out your products, offers, and the like. The “opt-in” button allows users to set up their favorite product categories and, thus, receive personalized offers. This strategy will boost user experience!
Rich push notifications 🖼 🔊 📽
Rich push notifications are special state-of-the-art push notifications ensuring enhanced user experience. They’re equipped with pictures, GIFs, audios, short videos, interactive buttons, icons, and so on. Rich notifications are revolutionizing marketing campaigns! Indeed, they come with entertaining content that is shown to users if they click on the push, without them needing to open the app. They basically give marketers the chance to draw users’ attention, engage them and interact with them. For example, rich push notifications are perfect for:
- snippets of breaking stories
- calendar invites to events
- gifs from sports matches
- movie trailers
- songs videos
- maintaining brand consistency
However, remember to pay attention to rich push notifications limits in Android devices, and genereal data limits in push notifications.
How to leverage rich push notifications 💪 🚀
Rich notifications are so powerful because they enable you to engage with your app users while having it closed. This can be done through:
- Content extensions are details that can be shown to users without them needing to open the app. For example, they can be used when push include a calendar invite to an event. Users can click on the push, read the event details, and accept the invitation, all this without unlocking their mobile.
- Media attachments are images, videos, and sounds showing users personalized content.
What if users aren't able to see rich push notifications media? 😱
An outstanding user experience is the secret to companies’ success and the focus of an effective mobile marketing campaign. As I’ve told you in this article, push notifications have several advantages and contribute to implement a successful marketing strategy. But be careful! When you create rich push notifications, make sure all users can understand them, even without having access to the content, otherwise your work will be wasted. Let’s say some of your users can’t understand your message because they can’t see the related image. That’s a really bad user experience! There are multiple reasons why this could happen:
- users haven’t downloaded your app’s updated version;
- they’re using an outdated operating system;
- the image can’t be downloaded because of poor network connectivity or a busy server.
In any case, you should come up with a strategy that allows users to understand your push even if they can’t see the entertaining content you added. How to do it? I really hope to help you with these few tips:
- Write your push carefully: your message shouldn’t make reference to the content you’re sending, so that it’ll still work even if the media download fails.
- Segment your user base: you’d better target only those users who are most likely to be able to receive rich push notifications – for example, those who uploaded your app’s latest version.
- Create more text options: write two different texts – one that’s shown when the media downloads successfully, and the other one that ensures readability when the media download fails.
I know I’ve told you a bunch of stuff! And you’ll probably be like “OMG! I’ve got a lot to do! It’ll be hard.” But don’t worry, I’ve decided to write this long article full of useful content for you to understand push notifications’ multiple advantages.
Here’s a little recap of the 13 push notifications’ best practices we’ve talked about:
- Get push notifications opt-ins;
- Allow users to personalize their experience;
- Deliver an outstandingly engaging experience;
- Send location-based push notifications;
- Personalize push notifications for each user;
- Entice users with limited-time offers;
- Encourage users to update your app;
- Reengage inactive users;
- Interactive push notifications;
- Provide special offers;
- Spark a sense of urgency through shopping cart reminders;
- Spur your loyal customers to join your VIP program;
- Launch automated micro-campaigns.
By following these tips and coming up with a marketing strategy step-by-step, you’ll manage to enhance user engagement!
Now get on it!