Push notifications, the clickable rich content messages are not new to the marketers. From startups to established businesses and private firms to government agencies, you can notice alerts in every domain these days. Though there are many other marketing tools that businesses use, not all of them offer the kind of ROI that push marketing promises.
No doubt, emails have been in the market for a long time, and there is no such alternative to replace them completely. However, emails fail to provide some crucial paybacks that alerts offer without a hassle. For example, marketing emails generally fall prey to spam filters and hardly make it to the prospects’ inbox. Push alerts need not go through any such filters and ensure a 100% message delivery rate.
Push notification marketing in 2019
The application of push alerts is extensive and not limited to alert advertising alone. Businesses and organizations are utilizing push message services to deliver marketing, utility, transactional and location-based alerts. The most common examples of good notifications that we see these days are from eCommerce industry. Check out your phone and you will find an eCommerce alerts waiting for you to click on it.
Here is how some popular businesses industries are utilizing push notification marketing strategy for an array of intentions.
Push notification in eCommerce industry
E-Commerce industry is the highest consumer of alerts and utilizes an array of effective alerts like-
A. Transactional notifications in eCommerce – Used for merely informing the users and do not necessarily carry a marketing goal. For example-
- Purchase confirmation
- Order status
- Product delivery alert
B. Engagement notifications in eCommerce- Used to retaining the consumers for a prolonged period by keeping them engaged or feeding lucrative messages like offers and discounts. Such messages carry both marketing and conversion goals like- getting a sale, converting a lost sale due to shopping cart abandonment. For example-
- Abandoned Cart notification
- New product launch alert
- Flash sale alert
This is how an interesting abandoned cart messages from Ajio looks like-
Push notification in Content marketing
Digital marketers use alerts for promoting their contents like blog post, infographics, survey reports and new articles. For example, these creative push notifications will instantly grab an attention and bring traffic to the posted content.
Push notification in Travel industry
After eCommerce, travel and tourism industry is the second highest consumer of the push notifications. This business sphere provides an array of opportunities for creating effective alerts that attract attention. It enables the marketers to go for both types- Transactional and Engagement push notifications. For example,
- Price drop alerts on hotel and flight bookings
- Weather Forecast alert for popular destinations
- Change in flight schedule
- Last minute flash sale of tickets
- Alert revealing the belt number for picking up the checked-in luggage at arrival
- Flight departure time
- Alert for change in boarding gate number etc.
Check out these creative alerts from different travel and tourism businesses-
Push Notifications in Healthcare industry
Push notifications in healthcare industry have reduced different barriers and have allowed instant connectivity between the services and prospects. Businesses of all models are leveraging creative push notifications to communicate alerts that make lives easier. Here are few examples of healthcare sector utilizes-
- Stock alerts for medicines
- Medicine online order update
- Booking an appointment
- Reminders for upcoming appointments
- Take medicines on time
- Engagement alerts like price drop, discounts etc.
How to develop your own push notifications strategy?
If your business falls under any of these or some other industries, you must be wondering how major businesses manage to send accurate notifications? How notifications from some apps and websites get a howling click-through rate of more than 40 percent?
A study by kahuna has revealed that push notification statistics vary extensively across industries. The financial services experience a handsome performance while eCommerce and retail lay at the bottom.
How is this possible? When eCommerce and travel are one of the highest consumers of the push marketing strategies, they must display some attractive stats as well.
The reason resides in the differences in utility for these notifications. For example, financial alerts majorly entail updates from the banks, loan services and the stock market. The people opt for these alerts because they want to receive them and know what they are going to collect. They are majorly preference-based notifications. In simple terms, these are highly targeted and land to accurate people at the accurate time.
While in the eCommerce market, except for transactional ones, are promotional. One cannot rely on promotional messages alone to gather the desired ROI. There are few other aspects like audience targeting, timing, frequency and the location of the users, which affect the click-through rates. To experience a handsome ROI, it is highly critical to adhere to some basic yet imperative aspects.
An effective push marketing campaign goes one-step after another-
How to choose a push notification tool?
Choosing a suitable push notification service or tool depends on two aspects:
- The types of notifications and
- Budget for the push campaign
Based on the type of notifications, you can choose from two categories of tools: Web push notification service and In-app tools. A web push notification service sends alerts to your subscribers on their web browsers. The users on the desktop as well as mobile browsers will receive the messages sent through these tools or services. Your app triggers the in-app notifications and all your subscribers receive these them on their smartphones.
Coming to the second aspect- budget for your push campaign. You can choose between two options here: Pay-per-notification services or self-hosted tools. Pay-per notification services charge on a per-notification basis. For example, a popular push message service would charge $105 per 10000 notifications.
On the other hand, Self-hosted push notifications tools ask for a onetime cost and do not charge per messages. In simple terms, instead of subscribing them, you simply buy the tool itself.
How to perform audience research for push marketing?
It is very essential to understand your audience and their requirements. According to the most recent survey by localytics, 52 percent of the users, who receive a messages, say that alerts have become better these days. However, 48 percent still believe that notifications are annoying. Bottom line is- people have started liking them, but there is still a requirement of improvement in term of audience targeting for the push campaigns.
Here are a few aspects that can prove to be of great help while determining an appropriate audience for your push campaign-
Separate campaigns for in-app and web push notifications-
Very often people mistake push campaigns with email campaigns and apply the same tactics to target mobile as well as desktop users. Things go wrong when marketers ignore the extent to which a mobile user can be targeted and miss out some great aspects of micro-targeting in the mobile platform. We must understand that mobiles offer a deeper penetration into user stats and its benefits extend far beyond as compared to the web.
A better way would be to target your audience in two ways-
- Adopt separate tactics for Mobile Web Vs Desktop Web
- Apply separate approaches for In-app Vs Browser
The following point will help you to understand it better.
Define Your KPI
Though click rates and conversions present a big picture of the initial success in your push campaigns, they do not represent the long-term consequences. You should measure successful push message marketing on the metrics like –
- Level of user engagement
- Return on Investment (Time and Capital)
- Long-term conversion goals
- User or customer retention
If your push campaigns improving the performance of your business on the above aspects, then it is working fine. Otherwise, you need to check on your audience profile and targeting tactics. You can utilize the following tools to get a better comprehension of your audience-
- Google analytics- Use Google analytics to understand your audience on the traits like traffic source, New Vs repeat visits, Exit points, Sessions, Page views, User retention etc.
- Heat map tools- Use Heat map tools to understand what your users are looking for. By tracking their browsing behavior, you can uncover a great deal of understanding about your users and their pain points. A heat map tool can provide a better insight into the metrics like how far users are scrolling, how they are clicking on the CTA buttons and how they are exiting the website.
How to create engaging push notifications?
Once you are aware of your audience and understand their pain points, it becomes very easy to create alerts that interest them. By following some best practices, you can always create them highly engaging-
Segment the audience–
Categories your target subscribers on diverse aspects to ensure a higher level of push notification engagement. There are various tools and services which offer built-in functionalities to create segments on the contours like- Device, Geo-location, Time-zone, Browser type, Browsing history and Preferences etc. The more is the segmentation, the more notifications would become relevant for the audience falling under them.
Short and Precise-
Create short and precise. Unlike email, the attention span of the audience for push messages is only for a few seconds. Therefore, to grab the attention, it is very decisive to let the users understand the alert with just a glance at them. Utilize catchy words like Flash sale, Huge Discount, FREE etc.
Addressing pain points-
You need to address the pain point of the consumers. Understanding their needs, plan a campaign that offers a solution for them. Do not promote but present your business as an answer to their requirements. Consider pushing some preferences-based notifications as well.
Multimedia is always a pronounced tool to entice attention. It is great that we can utilize images in push notifications as well. Putting a creative image will grab an instant attraction of the users and would encourage them to click on your notification. Make use of not more than two images: one for your website or brand logo, and put another in the body of the notification. Something like this:
Most of the users ignore push alerts because they perceive them as automatically triggered ones. A good push notification is one that encourages an action. However, unless they are transactional, the automatically triggered do not engage the users to the desired extent. The best way would be to word carefully your messages like a human, instead of presenting them as bot-generated texts.
How to trigger successful push notifications?
Marketing campaigns do not merely aim at delivering the messages but also inducing some conversion-oriented actions. The readers may read your alert and simply clear the message without acting on it. To make sure your messages are bringing some action and returns on your investments, it is extremely important to trigger them at a perfect time and in perfect frequency.
Trigger in right amount
If you are just bombarding frequent notifications one after another, it will induce opt-outs and in the worst case – permanent deletion of your app. Therefore, it is very critical to give your users a time-gap while they think about and react to your previous notifications before you trigger the new ones. Irritating them would only encourage aggressive opt-outs.
Trigger at right time
People engage with push notifications at different instances depending on their time zone. It is very crucial to consider the time zones of your subscribers before sending a single alert to all of your subscribers. It is also understandable, that triggering a notification at mid-might will not perform as good as a message in the daytime would do. These things are understandable and do not require any hardcore stats to prove the point. However, you can go through an article on marketingland where they have talked about a research done by localytics on ‘best time to send them’.
Preference-based triggering is better than behavior-based notifications
Some marketers track in-app behaviors to trigger alerts. Behavioral targeting is crucial when you are re-marketing. However, it is not wise to rely entirely on them for all categories. The research by localytics has also proved that consumers do not like messages triggered by in-app activities.
About 50 percent of users just ignore such messages, causing them to use an app even lesser. They revealed that most of the behavior-based messages are irrelevant, frequent and annoy the users. Surprisingly, preference-based caused users to open the app more frequently as they were directly linked to what they have opted for.
Push notification marketing might be a new concept in the internet marketing, but not entirely infant. It inherits some of the best practices from its predecessor- Email marketing. We still need to follow those vital practices of email marketing that applies to all: Emails, Ads, SMS, and messages. By employing the best practices mentioned in this article, you can create highly personalized and valuable notifications for your consumers. Finally, just remember that segmentation is the key to success in marketing. A highly segmented campaign leads to a highly targeted campaign, which ultimately makes a way to highly successful campaigns.