It was in June 2009 when Apple launched the very first push notifications service (APNs). A speedy 11 months later Google launched its own version of push notifications. Later Google then developed it even further and introduced rich notifications in 2013. Rich notifications took it one step further to deliver images alongside text. These notification made the message delivery system a much richer experience for users.
Push notifications are, at the most basic level, a method of communicating with people in a very direct way. Sometimes push notifications include urgency e.g. a promotion ends, or, the more favoured way. Urgency adds more value to users by introducing a new feature or for education purposes.
Let’s look at how using push notifications can enrich the experience for your app users without being a pain in the butt with them.
Yes, people do get irritated by push notifications
In a report by Synapse, people receive 73 notifications per day on average. That’s a lot!
It’s all in the name of growth. As app owners and marketers try hard to grab the attention of their users. The overall goal is to turn them into loyal revenue-generating machines.
When it comes to building your strategy, push notifications are a large part of how you communicate with your users. Working alongside email and in-app messages, it is going to create a much better experience for your users than if there were no signposts or messaging at all. However, you do need to be mindful of the messaging you send to your users. The trick is to not to overwhelm them. Definitely do not pee them off to the point of leaving your app – that’s just counter-intuitive.
What push notifications are used for
Push Notifications are for communicating with your audience. Simple Right?
There are many uses this functionality should be used to increase your app’s retention rates:
– Onboarding new users
– Prompting them to take action
– Moving them down your apps funnel
To name just a few ways.
When it comes to push notifications there needs to be some creativity that goes into communicating with your users. Just pushing out messaging for the sake of it is not going to cut the mustard.
How to create value with push notifications
Push notifications continue to provide value to your users even after they have been acquired using organic or paid means.
Your messaging, in-line with your apps funnel, will be able to achieve this a lot better than just free-wheeling it. The methodical nature of scheduling and sending push notifications need to tie in to not only what the user must do but also the value they get out of the app.
For example, in an onboarding flow, you want to set up automation triggers. These triggers speak to users based on what they have or have not done. If a user has abandoned the registration flow then you must give them the motivation to complete it by telling them WHY it is important in the app. Otherwise, it is just another step that they have done in every other app they have signed up to; think about the differentiation between your app and everyone else’s.
More on automation in just a little bit.
How do you avoid annoying users to the point of uninstalling your app?
A lot of this comes down to what we have discussed above. It is all about value.
The probably more crucial element to this is watching out for the number of push notifications you send.
Using your engagement solution (and/or your tracking and user analytics tool) you can physically watch to see how people are behaving to your messaging strategy.
See more about this in our post about why an mCRM strategy is critical.
Push notifications must be analysed in order to see how users are reacting to times, days, or types of messaging. In order to figure this bit out, you need to find out what actions people are taking once they have received and opened your notifications.
After you have analysed the data, adjust your scheduling accordingly. Make sure you are not spamming your users every day just to get them to do something significant.
At the end of the day, people download your app for a reason. In 99% of cases, the reason they have downloaded your app is to solve a particular problem. If you have nailed your value proposition work in the first place then your conversion rates should be higher than if you were to arbitrarily acquire users. A confused mind will always say “no”, so if you have them in your app, the hard part is almost done.
It is important to send users on specific journeys through automation to avoid spamming and irritation. Just remember, there is no such thing as a linear journey when it comes to mobile marketing; you must consider many different flows and journeys for users depending on how they wish to interact with your app.
How do you leverage automation?
Automation is going to be your holy grail when it comes to utilising push notifications in the right way.
Think about it this way: every single person will do something a little differently than the last. So, by making sure you capture everyone in the right way, it has to fit into THEIR schedule, not yours.
The goal here is to have your users looked after 24/7 on complete auto-pilot. Segmenting customers with event and behavioural triggers help maintain proper communication. It means you don’t have to manually navigate through tens of thousands of profiles and the data that comes with it.
Think smart when it comes to automation, after all, you do want to have evenings and weekends to yourself, right?
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to push notifications. If you take away anything from this it is to think long and hard about your strategy. Think about how you are going to communicate, what you are going to say and at what times. Consider how you are going to A/B test with your customer cohorts and always keep in mind how much you communicate with them before ultimately deciding they are just not the user for you.
Don’t get bogged down with the thought that every install is going to lead to money in the bank. Focus on the experiences your user goes through and learn to add value at every step along the way. That is the key to successful push notification campaigns.
How Envision Digital can help you
Envision Digital is a mobile app marketing specialist agency helping app-first businesses grow significantly. Using a methodology that not only unites marketing and product growth but the value and experience of the user, promotes long-term cost-efficient growth that you can scale and see significant results from.
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