Having a solid push notification strategy is not only good for a business but is also a very effective way to reach your customers and provide them with valuable and needed information. Push notifications are immediate and immensely helpful. However, using them effectively is key.
What Are Push Notifications?
Have you ever been looking at your mobile device, or computer screen for that matter, and see a popup message appear that has some informational text in it? Those are called push messages, or push notifications, as they are commonly referred to.
One of the main keys to push notifications is that a user does not need to be using a specific program or an app to receive or view the notification. App publishers for a platform like Apple can send iOS notifications at any time.
An Android push notification works the same way, as do push notifications for all the other platforms like Fire OS, Windows, and Blackberry. That being said, they all have their own separate service for pushing messages out to users.
It should be noted that browser notifications are a little different than in-app notifications. See, an in-app notification is only triggered if you allow it to be on your mobile device. You can choose to not allow push notifications from certain apps. However, if you do allow them, then you don’t actually have to be using the app to receive the message.
A browser notification can be triggered through browsers on any type of device, so long as a user has subscribed to receive a push notification.
Remember, push messages can be very important to both the user and the app or web application sending them. They are able to provide critical and important information. Some of the popular types of information they relay include:
- News Updates
- Content Updates & Releases
- Sports Scores
- Product Offers
- Order Status
- Tracking Updates
How do Push Notifications Work?
A “push” has several different ways of activating. One of the more common is when you visit a website and a small message pops up asking you to “Allow” notifications from the website.
Once you click the allow button, you’ll receive updates from the website’s creator. And you can opt-out of these messages at any time.
A good example of how push notifications work is YouTube. When you subscribe to a channel and click the “Notification Bell,” you’ll receive a push any time that channel’s creator uploads a new video.
Reddit also does something similar if you’re following forums that you’re interested in reading.
For the most part, it’s your target audience who want these notifications and are more likely to engage your content.
Push Notification Opt-In Rates
There are dozens of studies done each year over the value of push notifications, how they work, and how they affect opt-in rate. Some recent studies have shown us that there is an overall opt-in rate of 67.5% when it comes to sending push notifications. The statistics split like this:
- iOS: 43.9%
- Android: 91.1%
The big difference in the number from iOS to Android can be attributed to the fact that Android devices automatically allow push notifications, while iOS devices ask for permission.
Either way, you can see that the opt-in number is very impressive. This is one of the main reasons push notifications are so valuable. They lead to much higher click-through rates than other marketing methods.
It’s also another reason why YouTube offers something similar when you click the notification bell to receive updates from your favorite creator.
They simply work to engage an audience with very little input from yourself.
Let’s face it, there are some pretty intimate forms of marketing and communication out there. However, push notifications probably top the list here. You receive them, unscreened, directly to your mobile device or desktop computer. Let’s look at some best practices.
They are attention-grabbing messages, are often personalized, and appear on your device no matter what the circumstances are if you have allowed them. For these reasons, push notifications should be immediate, personal, and relevant.
Think of it as a tap on the shoulder.
They should never be intrusive or irrelevant. Think of it like this; if a user agrees to allow push notifications, then they are allowing you to send them notifications whenever you want. Use these to your advantage and make sure they are always relevant.
Use Them to Benefit Your Business
Now that you know a little more about push notifications, it is time to look at some ways to use them efficiently. Using them the right way will benefit both you (business, brand) and the person (user). Here are 7 ways to use them properly.
1. Increase Website Engagement
One of the best ways to use push notifications efficiently is to increase website engagement and even attract more sales at the correct touchpoints. These notifications allow you to stay in touch with your app users in a non-intrusive way, while still being able to offer them deals, discounts, updates, and specials.
Since you can give these notifications in real-time, you are able to increase the likelihood of engagement because what you are offering is current, relevant, and needs to be addressed right away.
Running a day-long special? Having a flash sale? These are perfect types of push notifications to send because they increase user interest and you already know that most people are getting the messages.
Some of the more popular ways to use these notifications to drive website engagement include:
- New Product Introduction
- Discounts & Sales
- Special Offers
- Coupon Codes
- Personalized Notifications
Be smart and savvy when you send push notifications. The type of personalized content that is in them will directly affect sales and website engagement.
2. Gain More Subscribers
Building an email list and gaining more subscribers is vital for any business, small or large. However, to do this, you have to get your customers to click on a newsletter link and go through the process of opting-in.
Over the years, we have seen how effective email marketing can be and how important it is to build a solid email list. Push notifications allow you to gain subscribers without ever having to ask for an email address or other information.
Users can subscribe to your push notification campaign with just the tap of a finger or the click of a button. Most push notifications ask one simple question in the first popup box.
As I mentioned earlier, this question is basically asking if you will allow these notifications to come through or not. If you click on “Allow,” then you have subscribed to a push notification list.
This is a simple and effective way to build a list for your brand, so use your push notifications wisely so people stay connected and interested.
3. Re-Engaging Current Users
A lot of mobile apps and desktop extensions have plenty of users. However, many of these users become dormant over time for one reason or another. Push notifications are a fantastic way to turn these dormant users back into active users.
A great example of this is the “items left in cart” example. Oftentimes website and app users shop products and add them to an online shopping cart. However, they never finish the checkout process for one reason or another.
Using push notifications to remind them that they have items in their cart is a great way to not only re-engage but also prompt them to complete a purchase.
There are other examples of this, and if used correctly, you will be able to get those dormant users back into the fold.
4. Personalized Brand Messaging
How important is offering your customers and followers a personal brand experience? If we stick to the numbers and the studies, we see that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a personalized experience.
There are several reasons behind this, but the main takeaway is that users enjoy something more catered to them on a personal level. If content is tailored to their needs and requests, then it comes across much better than content when it’s pushed that users feel is meaningless, generic, and irrelevant.
If you take a little extra time to personalize your push notifications, then you can be sure you are connecting to your customer base on a higher level. There are a few ways to figure out how to personalize a push notification. Check data and analytics for users using some of this information:
- Pages Visited
- Items Clicked On
- Past Purchases
- Time on Page
You can get all of this information from your Google Analytics account and track patterns needed. Using this information the right way personalizes the experience for the customer and increases the probability that they will make a purchase.
5. Messaging in Real-Time
Face it, the world of business is very competitive. In the online world we live in, it is important to get notifications and messages out instantly. Yes, there are email campaigns or other ways to connect with customers, but sometimes this is not a fast enough method.
Not only do push notifications allow you to interact with your users even if they have shut off an app or a web application, but they allow you to do it instantly in real-time. A push notification is an instant delivery system, so if there is something important or time-sensitive you need to get out, this is the best way to do it.
The only thing that would stop a notification from coming through is if the user has no internet or data connection on their phone or computer for any reason. However, once connection is restored, the push notification will pop through immediately.
This is why push notifications are used for things like weather warnings and amber alerts. These are important, time-sensitive pieces of information that need to be pushed through immediately.
6. Saves Valuable Marketing Effort Time
Marketing takes a lot of time and effort. Even when you have a solid business marketing plan in place, there is a vast amount of time needed to put the entire plan into motion. Think about it, you have to do all of the following:
- Create Newsletter or Email Campaign
- Write Engaging Copy
- Guest Blog
- Design Templates
- Create Offers on the Go
- Track Engagement
You will also need to deal with the hiccups and slowdowns you may face while implementing your marketing plan.
That being said, push notifications provide you a time saving and simple way to get around all this. If you are able to create an eye-catching headline and a relevant message for a push notification, then you are way ahead of the game.
Push notifications take out the middleman in most aspects of this. You can get in touch with your user, make a relevant, personalized offer, or deliver a relevant message. This is done in real-time, as mentioned above, immediately engaging the user. One click is all it takes.
When used the right way, push notifications allow you to interact with subscribers and customers, while at the same time saving you an enormous amount of time.
7. Use Geo-Targeting
As we have discussed above, push notifications are arguably the best way to connect with users on all levels. But, there are still no guarantees that a user will bite and be interested in your notification. For this reason alone, it is important to target the right audience even more.
To do this, you can use what is known as geo-targeting. When a mobile app requests to access a user’s location, they have the chance to give that information on a number of levels. They can choose not at all, while using app, or always in the background.
If they do allow location to be accessed, this information can be used to present location-based push notifications to someone. What this does is increase the likelihood that the notification is relevant to the user, simply because it will have something to do with the area they are in.
This is a targeted based model, and while not always accessible, can be a homerun if handled correctly.
Using push notifications as part of a well thought out digital marketing strategy can really take your business to the next level. There are so many benefits to using this type of marketing. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the ability to interact with your audience on a fast, personal level.
Using push notifications also saves a lot of time in your overall marketing effort. Since you take the middleman out of a lot of scenarios when you employ a push notification marketing method, you will be able to concentrate on other things to help your business run successfully.
I hope this article gave you a better understanding of push notifications and how they work.