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February 3, 2016

Tips to Get the Most from Your Push Notification Campaigns

Push notifications are a powerful tool to remind users about your app while they are not using it. They can be utilized when notifying users of a newly launched feature or new content they may be interested in viewing. Push notification campaigns must be run in such a way that you are able to achieve the most out of it in the long run. This article will take you through some tips you can put into use to get the most from your push notification campaigns. It is only after having an understanding of your audience that you will be able to give them the right content and features. Therefore, everything will start with getting to know the kind of audience you are dealing with.

Research has come to show that push campaigns are one of the best engagement strategies a marketer can put into use. This can be explained by the fact that they tend to give the clients much needed personal attention and can also be very specific when it comes to the audience. If you apply the proper tactics, you will be able to achieve greater customer loyalty and also increase the frequency at which your mobile apps will be used.

Unfortunately opt-in rates have fallen some recently due to the fact many marketers have abused push notification campaigns. Currently, opt-in rates are at about 50 percent. You need to make sure it is easy for your users to opt-in or out of your push notifications.

Here are some of the best strategies to get the most out of a push notification campaign.

Know the Users

This has a lot to do with building their trust. Have a good understanding of the personas of your users if you want your push notifications to succeed. This will help you deliver only contents that suits them. This will help you send messages they will want to open. Are your customers social sharers?  Are they in-app purchasers? Do you know which screens within your app they spend the most time on? What do their past push interactions tell you?

Developing personas for your users is an important tool to offering valuable, relevant and timely content. Write down your user personas and understand their app behaviors. Start thinking about your users as real people and you will be able to get inside their heads better.

When it comes to push notifications it is important that you do not utilize a “one size fits all” strategy. That is why personas are important — they help you identify important user attributes and create relevant profiles based on these attributes. From there you will be able to target different push messages to each group.

Have Proper Timing

Timing should never be overlooked. You do not want to send a push notification to your users at 3 a.m. You will also want to consider time zones so people get messages at the right time. Sending at 7 p.m. to each time zone, for example, is key. If you send them all out at the same time — like 7 p.m. Pacific Time, it could startle users on the east coast who are falling asleep at 10 p.m.

Remember to consider the timing when it comes to time of year or date. Sending push notifications based on specific dates, such as holidays, can help personalize your brand.

Consider the Language Used in Your Messaging

Always remember that app users who opt-in to your push notification program will expect relevant, important messages to come their way. Otherwise they will just choose to opt-out. Beyond that, the language you use in your push notifications needs to be clear and compelling if it is going to motivate actions from your users.

Language that conveys urgency and is relevant will be better at driving users back to your app. Also, make sure you choose links in your notification that guide users to the specific relevant screen not just your app’s home screen.

Opt for shorter messages as well. Not surprisingly, length is an important issue when it comes to in push notifications. Studies have found that push notifications with less than 10 words have the highest open rate (8.8 percent) [Applift].

Carefully consider each persona and decide what messages are really worth their immediate attention. Looking at things in the long run, you should see your notifications as a way to build trust with your users.

Don’t Overwhelm Your Users

Getting the frequency right is important when creating user engagement. You won’t want to annoy your users, so avoid sending messages too often. At the same time, you will want to remind them your app is there on a regular basis to increase engagement.

How often depends on the type of app you have and your users themselves. Users are comfortable with daily notifications from some apps but not others. You will need to get to know your users and how they respond to your messaging to find the frequency that works best for you.

Consider Location

As many businesses have discovered the past few years, mobile geo-targeted marketing can be very effective. Incorporating the context of a user’s location into your push notification program can be powerful.

With marketing, it’s all about relevance. Mobile allows businesses to leverage a user’s location to deliver push notifications that take into account the context of where the user is. Offering coupons and deals through notifications when customers are within the proximity of one of your stores is very effective.   Additionally, some businesses have found success geo-targeting their competitors’ locations, offering coupons or offers via push notification when one of their app users is near their competition.

Remember that the key here is that you must offer something that will benefit your users; otherwise they will choose to opt-out of your program. In a recent survey, 77 percent of those polled said they would opt-in to location based notifications as long as they received enough value in return [Swirl].


Kimber Johnson is the co-founder of ASPEN App Design, which is a sister company of Pacific App Design and Vanity Mobile Apps. He has worked within the web development, graphics design, mobile application development, marketing and advertising fields for more than 17 years.