Push Notifications and In-App Messaging – A Strategy Comparison
You’ve read that push notifications and in-app messaging both need to be a part of your marketing arsenal. And they do. Executed the right way, they can lead to higher clickthroughs and conversion rates. But before you can start reaping those rewards, you need to develop a strategy for each medium. This post helps you to make the most out of push notifications and in-app messaging.
Push Notifications and In-App Messaging – The Opt-in Distinction
Your users need to first sign-off on an opt-in before you can start sending them push notifications. This is the first big hurdle marketers need to cross before they can start hitting their audience with their most creative push notifications. As much as it is an obstacle, it is also the first sign that somebody wants to hear from you.
You don’t face the same impediments when dealing with in-app messaging. Users are already inside your app. That gives you the opportunity to communicate with them without rules laid down by third parties. An added advantage is that you can tailor these messages based on actions users take inside your app. For example, users who check out the pricing page on your app can be sent a notification about a time-bound discount. It is a lot easier to time in-app messages in a targeted manner.
Re-engaging Dormant Users vs Engaging App Users
In-app messaging can only be sent to those who are already in your app. On the one hand this is great because, hey, you just got somebody to click on your app and spend time inside it. You now have a captive audience to which you can send targeted messaging. In-app communication is a lot more impactful because users have already shown a degree of intent by spending time within your app.
Push notifications, as we mentioned earlier, are sent to users who have opted in to receive messages already. So that’s a positive sign. These kinds of messages can be sent at any time to any user. You can send them via a browser or their phone’s notification panel. The advantage is that they don’t need to already be in your app in order to see a message from you. But push notifications are a lot more likely to be seen as intrusive if they are poorly timed or don’t contain relevant content.
Push Notifications and In-App Messaging – Content Comparison
Given their distinct characteristics, SaaS marketers should use bespoke strategies for the content of their push notifications and in-app messages. Since push notifications may go out to people who haven’t visited your website or used your app for a while, the focus should be on bringing them some kind of value. Is there an interesting development in the industry that people should know about? Maybe you have a new blog post your audience could benefit from reading. Keep your push notifications as non-salesy as possible.
In-app messaging, on the other hand, can be integrated with the UX design of your application. They can provide little nudges that help your users navigate the app easily and find the things that they need to get started. These messages can also be designed to lead users through a conversion funnel. That may mean sending free users reminders about expiring trials or paid users a message about the extra features in a higher tier.
The Segmentation Challenge
One thing push notifications and in-app messaging have in common is that they work a lot better when they’re personalized. Sending different sections of your target market different messages based on the segments they belong to is a surefire way to create higher converting marketing communications. The way you create those segments will differ based on whether you’re using push notifications on in-app messages.
There’s a very clear way to segment an audience that’s already using your app – their actions inside it. People who have just downloaded the app will fall in one segment, long-time users will fall in another segment, those who make more than five purchases a week may be put in another segment, and so on. Because they are already using your app, you can create categories based on their actions within it.
Push notifications are open to a much wider variety of segmentation. You might, for example, group users based on their geographic location. This is something that news websites do all the time in order to send updates to regions where people are most likely to be interested in them. Segments can also be created based on operating system, device usage, time zone, language, etc. All of those can come into play when deciding the ‘what’ and ‘when’ of your push notifications.
So to recap….