Designed specifically for mobile applications, push notifications can significantly increase user engagement. For example, the study conducted in 2015 by Localytics shows that allowing notifications on an application increases conversion by 171% (compared to an app without them)!
Push notifications service has been growing in popularity, especially among those mobile app users who are used to calling themselves “forgetters.” It has become a common challenge for mobile users due to their identification as readers who can spend less than a second reading one piece of content while switching to another.
However, you must intelligently manage this communication channel to achieve your goals. This article will define push notifications, explain how they differ from other types of messages, what they are used for, and how to use them wisely.
What is a Purpose of a Push Notification?
A push notification is a short message sent from a server to the application’s users’ mobile devices. It lets you notify recipients of relevant news, updates, or special offers. Social media sharing can provide this information to many users in a few seconds.
Its primary function is to start a user session or to share instant messages. This allows a real engagement with your users because they can click directly on this notification. It’s even helpful if they’re not using their app because it’ll appear on their lock screen.
Even though push notifications are frequently perceived as intrusive, they generate cooperation. According to the Localytics study, users who enabled this feature opened an app 14.7 times per month, compared to 5.4 times for those who did not.
The use of an application decreases quickly after it is installed. However, when push notifications are enabled, usage drops more slowly: after 2 or 3 months, the retention rate with notifications is 37% and 11% without them. One reason for this reduction is that a large portion of the notifications is irrelevant.
Using push notifications can be tricky. You must understand how to send these notifications so that users do not feel spammed. They may unsubscribe from notifications or uninstall the application if they are bothered by push messages too frequently. 32% of respondents said they would stop using the app if they received 6 to 10 notifications per week. Read more about what to do and pitfalls to avoid to succeed with a push notification campaign.
As a result, the positive impact of notifications encourages brands to take advantage of them. In addition, if the user receives a compelling notification, he will be more likely to return to the application, potentially increasing loyalty.
How to Use Push Notifications Efficiently?
Understanding how to manage push notifications to engage more users is critical. So, we’ve compiled a list of the best practices for making your messages more appealing.
- Sending frequency. Your recipients are more likely to be surprised if your notifications are less frequent. This encourages you to take a measured approach: notify only if you have something interesting to share (for the user). This user-centric approach prioritizes quality over quantity. As a result, recipients are more likely to start a collaboration
- Delivery time. Notifications that arrive inconveniently are the most annoying to a user. Imagine waking up at 5 a.m. to a series of notifications on your phone… It is preferable to organize the sending of your push notifications in a flowchart, which will allow you not only to understand each campaign but also to manage delivery time efficiently
- Establishing goals. Unsubscribing or even blocking push notifications can result from a lack of relevance or personalization. It is critical to demonstrate to the user the value of your messages. You can segment each recipient based on the information you have on them. How often do they use the app daily? Have they purchased anything? This data will be your metrics. Cross them to target specific groups. User segmentation will allow you to set relevant objectives based on your target’s interests.
- Requesting permission. Even if the law does not require an opt-in mechanism, obtaining the user’s permission to send push notifications is required. Naturally, iOS and Windows Phone impose it, but Android includes an opt-out option by default
- Attractive design. It is critical to make a visually appealing notification for your target audience. You could, for example, use a short and memorable message to grab attention. Furthermore, catchy texting (-50% for shopping apps, for instance) should be your priority. You can also use emojis to animate your message and directly remind the recipient of the spirit or subject of your campaign. The user will be attracted by the visual design and, thus, more likely to click on it.
- Personalization. Did you know that half of all users find push notifications irritating? When a notification is too generic and repetitive, the user may consider it spam. To make the notification relevant to the user, make it personalized. You can, for example, include a specific context (triggering a push alert following a specific event or geolocalized one with a particular site, etc.)
The user should not get the impression that he is being solicited but instead receive critical information. Moreover, personalizing a notification increases the conversion rate by three times. To get the most out of this strategy, tailor your message to the user segmentation and the goal you want to achieve.
- Formatting. If you have the option, change the format of the notification. Insert an image or a call to action button that directs the user to a specific place in the application. This makes it easier to achieve your goal: liking, subscribing, purchasing, rating the app, calling, and so on
- A/B testing. Experimenting with and comparing various strategies can significantly improve user experience. Nothing beats putting different strategies to the test to see which produces the best results for your goals
To summarize, notify the user only when you have something interesting to share with them, and make your messages as personal as possible. You can segment your users based on precise metrics by tailoring your objectives to your goals. Finally, meticulously plan your notification distribution.
Push notifications are an excellent communication channel for app users and provide real-world contact opportunities for brands. However, they can be a deterrent for users who feel persecuted. Transforming them from unwelcome intrusion and distraction to a helpful tool in your business communications is critical. To increase mobile user engagement, use a targeted and relevant approach to social media sharing. Without a well-defined campaign, this danger is real. In this case, setting the objectives and limits of your purposes becomes extremely useful and necessary.