4 Tips for Your Push Notification Marketing Strategy

By Rhonda Bradley / 9 May 2018

Learn the best practices for push notification marketing campaigns that engage customers and create excitement surrounding your brand.

Push notifications are messages that pop up on subscribers' mobile devices even when they’re not in your app or on their phones. When used thoughtfully, they spark customer engagement and increase sales.

Push notifications can also drive customers away if you’re not careful. If your messages become annoying, people will unsubscribe and may never return. In this article, you’ll learn how and when to use them in a way that engages your customers and improves your sales. 

1.  Know When Not to Use Push Notifications

This style of outbound marketing is disruptive because it interrupts the user during normal activities such as working, eating, and socializing. So, it has the potential to irritate and annoy customers if you’re not careful.

Never notify subscribers with the following type of content:

  • Ordinary Announcements: Don’t send updates that aren’t time-sensitive.
  • Pushing Sales: Don’t take advantage of your subscribers by pushing straight advertisements.
  • Unoriginal Content: Never send updates to simply tease blog posts or share company updates. If it’s already in your newsletter or on social media, then it’s likely not appropriate.

Push notifications get a bad reputation thanks to brands that abuse them. Tread carefully when using push notifications as a marketing strategy.

2. Know When to Use Push Notifications

There are many ways to create notifications that build excitement and spark engagement. 

Send updates that offer unique and time-sensitive value, such as:

  • Flash Sales: Sales that offer big discounts and end within a short time period are a great reason to notify your subscribers.
  • Early Access: Offer your subscribers early access to sales, services, or special content. Pair early access with exclusive savings for an incentive that inspires customer loyalty and interaction.
  • Shipping Notifications: Personal updates that let users know when their products ship are a great reason to send updates. Be sure they opt-in to this type of notice at the time of purchase.
  • Event is Starting: When people sign up for your live webinars or video chats, send them a reminder a few minutes in advance. They’ll appreciate the reminder and you’ll increase attendance.

Use caution when you promote a product or sale. Be sure it offers unique value to your subscribers and creates excitement surrounding your brand.

For example, Amazon Treasure Truck offers flash sales to people who live in certain cities. Every few days, Amazon drives their truck around town selling one discounted product. Users have a limited amount of time to purchase the item and go pick it up at the truck’s location before the truck drives away and the deal expires.

Amazon Treasure Truck

Amazon Treasure Truck deals are open only to people who opt-in to text notifications. 

Amazon Treasure Truck text

Texts are another way to deliver push notifications since most users have their phones set to notify them as texts are received.

3. Use Push Notifications Thoughtfully

Push notifications require a higher level of thoughtfulness on the part of marketers. Avoid irritating your customers by following these guidelines:

  • Offer an easy way to opt out of updates.
  • Let customers know what to expect. Tell them how often you’ll contact them and for what purpose before they opt-in.
  • Use notifications within a well-planned marketing campaign. Create a content calendar to ensure push-worthy branding, messaging, and value.
  • Schedule notifications during “safe” hours. Send notifications when customers are open to hearing from you and avoid interrupting them at times when they may feel pushy. The timing depends on your audience, but in most cases, you want to avoid early mornings and after-dinner hours.

4. Test, Measure, and Analyze Push Notifications Closely

The most effective way to measure your success is by listening to your customers. The best input you receive from them will come in the form of data.

Track your success to learn what’s encouraging user engagement or driving people away. Look for data that offers insights on:

  1. When users respond
  2. What updates inspire purchases
  3. When updates result in site visits and how long user stays onsite
  4. When people unsubscribe
  5. What time of day is most successful

Watch your analytics closely so you can adjust your messages in a way that improves engagement and loyalty.

Offer Value Without Being Pushy

Successful push notification campaigns require time and care to implement. Offer your subscribers value through special offers, early access, or time-sensitive deals. 

Avoid annoying your customers with generic messaging or bad timing, and offer them a quick and easy way to opt out.

If you’re a product or service-based business, create excitement for your brand by following the tips above. Know when to use and to not use them. Create campaigns thoughtfully and analyze data to improve your messaging. 

Push campaigns are an excellent way to inspire engagement and increase sales of your products.

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