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What Are Rich Push Notifications?

In 2020, we studied the mobile marketing strategies of over 20 brands and found that only 70% of brands incorporate push notifications as part of their marketing strategy. Just 19% of those utilize rich push notifications—a practice that’s been found to increase open rates by 56% over text-based push notifications.

In this article, we’ll look at what rich push notifications are, and some best practices for incorporating them into a successful cross-channel marketing strategy.

What Are Rich Push Notifications?

Push notifications refer to messages that pop up in the user’s notification center, regardless of whether they’re logged in to your app. They are an important part of your branded app experience, and an especially important part of your cross-channel marketing strategy. Push notifications have a click-through rate seven times higher than email. 

Standard push notifications incorporate only text—but with rich push notifications, you can incorporate rich media, including images, GIFs, videos, audio, deep links (to a specific web page or screen on a mobile app), and interactive buttons. 

The types of rich push notifications you can send vary based on your users’ platform. Android users can only access images, while Apple users with iOS 10 or higher are able to receive notifications with other media types.

You can segment your notifications by device type, ensuring that only those able to display your rich push notifications will receive them. However, as your rich media may sometimes fail to load, make sure that your written content makes sense without visual cues. On iOS, you can also add alternative captions in case your rich push notification fails to deliver.

These messages may be used for both marketing and transactional purposes. For example, you might use rich push notifications to promote a new sale and give a discount offer. You can also let the user know their item has shipped with a rich push showing an image of the item. Push notifications can be paired with other types of messaging, including email and SMS, for comprehensive personalized messaging that responds to a user’s position in your buyer’s journey.

Examples of Rich Push Notifications in Marketing Campaigns

Here are a few ways to successfully use rich push notifications:

Embedded Video. Rich push notifications provide a perfect opportunity to include short video clips in your messages to be viewed right away rather than on a website or in your app. As one example, the NCAA introduced rich push notifications in 2017 during its March Madness ad campaign, using video clips of exciting moments from the games to engage their user base. The rich notifications outperformed standard text-based notifications by almost 18%.

Push Action Buttons. A push action button is a visual CTA button that makes it easier for the user to engage. You can add up to four distinct buttons, such as linking to social media platforms or product pages, or even using it for transactional steps in the buyer’s journey. For instance, an airline can send a check-in alert with action button options for checking in immediately, snoozing the reminder, or checking in at the gate.

Push Stories. Push stories allow you to add interactive image galleries to your notifications. This is ideal for showcasing your products, and can be highly personalized based on each unique user and their interests. For instance, if a user has recently been to a product page for a pair of sandals, you can provide suggested product recommendations of similar styles from the same brand.

Incorporating Rich Push Notifications Into a Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy

Rich push notifications are a powerful tool for engaging audience members who have opted in to your app notifications. But, using a platform like Iterable,you can maximize their impact by using them as part of a cohesive and personalized cross-channel marketing strategy..

By properly managing user data, including demographics, purchase history, and event-based data, you’ll be able to build detailed user profiles that you can use to send highly personalized cross-channel marketing campaigns

For rich push notifications, you should also keep in mind the device types of your user base. Apple and iOS devices require users to first opt in to notifications to receive your messages, while. Android automatically opts users in to receive push notifications.

You can use planned campaigns as opportunities to send sequenced messages to your users across all of the channels they use, and customize follow-up steps based on what actions they take. If a user doesn’t open your email, follow up with a rich push notification and an SMS message with the same or a similar promotion.

You can also trigger campaigns in direct response to user actions. For example, if a user clicks on a product page on your site but doesn’t make a purchase, you can send a push story that includes a carousel of dynamically-generated product images similar to the one they clicked on, tied in with an email marketing promotion. Every engagement they have with your brand will be tracked across all your channels, and can trigger a corresponding message. While they’ll receive messages from multiple channels, each message will be part of a unified strategy that effortlessly moves them through their customer journey.

Today’s consumers engage with brand content across multiple devices, and often start their journey on one device while finishing on another. By incorporating rich push notifications as an engagement channel alongside email, SMS, web push, and even direct mail, you’ll be able to leverage the right technology to meet your buyers where they are with the content that most appeals to them.

Iterable is a cross-channel marketing platform that powers unified customer experiences and empowers marketers to create, optimize and measure relevant interactions and experiences customers love. Leading brands, like Cinemark, DoorDash, Calm, Madison Reed, and Box, choose Iterable to power world-class customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle. Discover our growth marketing solutions for personalization, increasing customer engagement, and more. Discover our platform and schedule a demo today.