Don’t Be Push-y – How to Do Push Notifications All Wrong
Getting push notifications right is tricky. On the one hand it is nice to know that users have opted in to receive them, so you have the green light from the audience. But it’s still possible to create messaging that your target market sees as intrusive or unwarranted. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your push notifications don’t have the impact you want them to.
Use Generic Opt-in Prompts
You need users to opt-in to receive push notifications. That’s right, you need them to do it. The easiest way to get push notifications all wrong is by using generic, unoptimized opt-in prompts. Messing up at this stage ensures that all those push notifications you have in mind won’t make it out to the audience in the first place.
There are a few things you can do to create a compelling opt-in prompt, the first of which is to adhere to the fundamentals of good copy. Explain the value proposition and why you think it’s a good idea for users to receive them. Let them know when they’ll receive the notifications and how they can opt out of them. Giving subscribers a sense of control is important when trying to get the opt-in.
Not Personalizing Push Notifications
People are used to personalized surfing experiences online. Log in to Facebook and it reminds you it’s your best friend’s birthday. Amazon tells you which pillow covers are likely to go well with the sheets you just bought. Netflix knows exactly what you should binge-watch next. Given how the rest of the Web works, personalization is key to effective push notifications.
The way in which push notifications are customized will depend on what your core product or service is. If you run a news website, targeting users based on their geographic location is the obvious thing to do. E-commerce store owners can send push notifications based on actions such as purchasing a product or abandoning a cart. But whatever the industry, knowing your target market well is the foundation of a good push notification strategy.
Overlook A/B Testing
Want to make sure your push notifications have paltry click rates and don’t make a dent in your overall targets? Skip the A/B testing step. If you want to get them right, on the other hand, experiment with every aspect of your push notifications.
Start by testing the timing of your notifications. Experiment with sending them out at different times of day and gauge how your users respond. Move on to testing the copy. You can try to write a few different headlines and see what effect that has on click rates. Methodically testing the design and delivery of your push notifications doesn’t just enhance metrics, it will also guide your strategy over time.
Underuse Rich Push Notifications
Rich push notifications are notifications that contain more than just text. They let you throw in media such as images, video, and gifs. The guidelines for using rich notifications differ based on which browser or mobile OS you’re working with. But whether you use Chrome or Android to get to your customers, rich notifications are a dependable way to increase engagement.
The way you go about determining the content of rich notifications depends on the purpose of each message. A notification about a purchase doesn’t necessarily require a video to go along with. A video might work a lot better if it’s a notification about a new movie trailer. Again, A/B testing if your best friend when it comes to making such decisions.
Forget About Re-engagement
The great thing about push notifications is that they can reach your audience even when they’re not in your app. A lot of marketers focus so heavily on engaged users, that they forget about communicating with people who haven’t used their services in a while.
Dormant or inactive users should be one of the segments you target with your push notifications. It’s important to remind users why they downloaded your app and why they should come back to it. Doing this gives you access to a whole new section of the market who you can then combine with your other users once they’ve been led through a re-engagement campaign.