One is the loneliest number. And for your marketing, usually that one is email. With that in mind, welcome to the Plus One series where we’ll be going through the benefits of using multiple channels to reach your audience. Even adding just one mobile channel can vastly improve your customer experience. Last time, we talked SMS. Up now: push notifications.
For many of us, the lock screen is, above all else, the sacred timekeeper. The lock screen is also where we see one of the most useful and impactful marketing channels: push notifications. These oblong bubbles stay in our notifications until we interact with them in some capacity—be it an open or an ignore.
Push notifications are not a casual occurrence for users anymore, either. The average smartphone user receives 46 push notifications per day. Whether it’s an alert, a promotion, or a quick check in for some new featured content, push notifications have a daily impact on users.
The benefits for marketers are even greater. Push click rates are sometimes as much as 7x that of email and it’s been found that adding push notifications can increase app retention rates by 190%. If keeping users in your app doesn’t solidify the benefits of push, maybe these will help sway you.
Top Benefits of Push Notifications
The Possibilities are Endless!
Much like emails, push notifications have a variety of options to make them more engaging and enticing for recipients. And the beauty of these options is that there are varying levels and they all can be effective when used properly.
Stage one would be adding your brand voice to your push. It seems easy, but you have to remember that push notifications are small. Think of your push notifications as you would your subject lines—short, sweet, informative, and attention-grabbing.
One step up is emoji usage. It’s a baby step into imagery that can be the differentiator catching the recipient’s eye in a sea of text-based push.
Moving another step up, we get into rich push options. These include images, videos, and button options. Imagery and videos are naturally more engaging for users. They add a layer of information that gets a point across without words. It’s an efficient way to grab attention and interest.
Rich push buttons can be a game changer, though. Your business use case will determine which buttons make sense for you, but the possibilities are endless. Sharing content? A buy now button that goes straight to the user’s cart? The journey you want the user to take is impacted by these buttons, so use your deep linking capabilities wisely.
Tech media outlet CNET regularly sends engaging content through push notifications and is one of the rare media companies to include snippets of their videos via push.
If you’re trying to incentivize engagement, diversifying your push design, content, and intent can be a great way to retain attention.
App Engagement and Retention
Speaking of retention and engagement, for you marketers with an app, push notifications are a direct line for getting users back in the app. In fact, push can boost app engagement up to 88% and lead to much higher return rates within 30 days of enabling push. Over the course of the first three months with push enabled, retention has been seen to be four times higher than without push as a viable channel of communication.
If you’re giving users a direct link back to the app and reaching them through push on a regular basis, it stands to reason that personalized content via push will boost app usage. Your brand has invested time, money, and resources into making the app. With mobile usage increasing, you have to combine all channels available to you with your app development to make the most of it.
New York Times Cooking brings app engagement to the forefront by highlighting the community within their app. By showcasing the fact that users can communicate with one another about different ways to alter a recipe, NYT Cooking is taking something of interest to the user (a recipe) and reminding them of app features to improve their experience.
Apps shouldn’t be a one-time thing for users. Keeping your brand top of mind through push notifications makes sure users come back over and over again.
For All Campaigns, Always
Since push notifications stay in the user’s lockscreen, this channel is a great opportunity to test all of your campaign types. Whether it’s your welcome, promotion, cart/browse abandonment, or any other campaign, push notifications pair well with email and other marketing channels to keep a steady cadence, reach customers where they are, and personalize for the individual.
Department store Kmart adds push as a piece of its mobile welcome campaign. By acknowledging the download of their app, Kmart is showing they are paying attention. They also add a discount to drive further app engagement.
Fashion retailer ASOS incorporates push in their cart abandonment campaign. The use of a hand-waving emoji first catches your attention, but then opening the notification gets a large image of the item you abandoned, reigniting the initial mindset of purchasing the item.
Push notifications are versatile in design as we pointed out above, but their usage is equally flexible to fit any need you have.
The Best Talkers Also Listen
This goes for every marketing channel, but really the best customer experiences these days are built by those that are willing to listen to their customers. Feedback and zero-party data are integral to high-level personalization.
Besides, the more push notifications you send, the more likely they are to opt out. Let them choose.
Kmart is back here with a great example of how to let the user control their own journey.
Customers want relevant information and it sounds weird but they want it when they want it. Give them the freedom to choose, and they will not only be expecting your brand to show up at certain times, they’ll also appreciate you relinquishing some of the power to them.
Plus One New Message
Push notifications have the ability to be seen and consumed before the user even unlocks their phone. That’s incredible access to a consumer’s life. Add to this the fact that push notifications are remarkably flexible in design and usage, and you have a marketing channel that brings the power of email to mobile.
Using the above techniques, adding push to your marketing strategy gives you a new channel, yes, but most importantly it gives you the malleability to fit the lifestyle of the audience you want to engage with. Push fits your needs, but so too does it fit the needs of your customers.
Thanks for reading Part 2 of our Plus One series. Part 1 hit on SMS if you want to check it out. Stay tuned for next week’s edition covering In-App Messages and the Mobile Inbox. In the meantime, schedule a demo today to find out how to add push to your toolkit.