Push notifications: how to make them more effective

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One of the communication and engagement tools most used today in mobile marketing, but also on the web, are push notifications. The challenge as marketers is to make these push notifications more effective and stand out from the competition and the other mobile communication channels (sms, email, etc.) that exist. If you want to discover some tips to achieve this, stay with me, but first of all and in case there are any absent-minded people in the room, let’s see what are the push notifications.

What are Push Notifications?

I have to tell you that I would be surprised if you got this far mainly because of the title of the article and you still don’t know what push notifications are. In any case, I’ll tell you that push notifications are the direct messages sent by owners or managers of mobile applications to the users of those applications in order to keep them informed and retained.

Once we’ve seen what push notifications are, do you want to know why they might be useful if you ever find yourself in the position of having to send one?

What goals you can achieve with push notifications

  • Keep the user informed: as I indicated in the definition a couple of paragraphs above, you can use push notifications to notify the user about (upcoming) news on your app, product, company, or service.
  • Increase the frequency of use: If you send notifications with calls to action that involve returning to your app to perform an action, you’ll get many users to increase the frequency of use of your app. And remember that this is a very important value to improve your positioning in the marketplaces.
  • Avoid abandoning… and uninstalling your app: closely related to the frequency of use. With push notifications, you can prevent your app from becoming a living dead person about to be uninstalled by encouraging them to return to it from time to time. Maintaining a good balance between installations and uninstallations is also key to their positioning.
  • Improve ARPU (Average Revenue Per User): Sometimes it is better to keep in touch with old customers than to focus on attracting new ones. With push notifications you can send promotions to those existing customers and launch upselling and cross-selling actions. This way you will get more out of each customer.
  • Increase recommendations: Not only downloads, but also recommendations are very important at the moment when the customer must make the decision of whether or not it is worth downloading your app. With push notifications you can ask all your users or just the segment that interests you most about them to rate your app on the marketplaces.

Now you know what things push notifications can get you. Let’s see how to improve them to make them much more effective.

Making Push Notifications More Effective

  • Be clear about your objective before you start: not just to send push notifications, but for any type of action you take: if you don’t know what you want to achieve, it’s difficult to measure the success of your action later.
  • Segmentation, the key to success: sending the same message to all users will not work for you. Each person is different, so it’s best to follow your entire audience based on shared characteristics to get a successful notification.
  • Adapts the message to the user’s behaviour: similar to the previous point but at the “god level”. If, in addition to segregating by socio-demographic characteristics, you are able to send notifications according to the user’s behaviour with regard to the application, you will surely get a “match”.
  • Don’t burn the user: although users are increasing their tolerance of push notifications, if you go too far sending messages your customers can go from love to hate. Try sending several a week as long as you have something of value to communicate.
  • Take the A/B test: unfortunately, you never know for sure if your message will work, so it’s best to do comparative tests. Take an A/B test with a small sample and then send the message that works best to the rest of your audience. You’ll see how your numbers keep getting better and better!

What kind of push notifications you can send

  • Rich push notifications: Not just text and images, you can also include gifs, videos and sounds in your notifications. That way, you can be much more creative.
  • Onboarding: if your app or a functionality of it has to overcome a certain learning curve, you could create for example an onboarding with gifs that guides the user through your app.
  • inAPP messages: You can also use push notifications when the user is inside your app. Send alert messages, banners, interstitials, etc. that push the user to perform the action you are looking for.

As you can see, you have more and more options to make your push notifications a success. It’s up to you to take advantage of these tips and make your messages help you achieve your goals.

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