Digital Marketing

Use push notifications to talk to your customers

By Mark Ainsworth

Thanks to the internet, there are more ways than ever for businesses to reach their customers in order to boost conversions. Each option has different benefits, but they all offer a direct yet informal way to reach customers and improve the profile of your business.

 

Push notifications are clickable messages which you send out directly to your customers’ browsers (or mobile phones). A web push notification works on websites instead of mobile apps, meaning that they can be accessed from any device. Push notifications are one way that businesses can successfully reach customers, and one which is still not utilised by as many businesses as they should be.

 

Communication channels for business sites

 

Email

Email is a fairly old-school way to reach customers, but one which hasn’t waned in popularity over the years. Email marketing offers a fairly wide scope for businesses, allowing them to reach customers for everything from new products and deals to abandoned cart recovery and asking for product reviews.

Email allows any message sent to remain in the inbox of the customer, which gives it a step up over things like social media notifications, which disappear after a while when buried under new notifications.

 

Social Media

Social media marketing is extremely popular today because it allows businesses to reach a much wider range of people instantly. Almost everyone has some form of social media, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on, and people tend to visit their social media platforms of choice multiple times a day. The biggest downside of social media marketing is engagement, as most platforms have algorithms which make it hard to reach very many people, even of the followers and fans who have actively signed up to receive this information.

 

SMS

Text messaging is a slightly less popular option now, as there are cheaper and more up to date options. SMS is good for marketers who want to send time-sensitive information and have the message read quickly, as around 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery. However, a response is unlikely and you cannot include as much information in a text as you can with other channels.

 

Push Notifications

Push notifications are the main way in which mobile apps communicate. They deliver messages in real time and have a high rate of open and clickthrough – around double that of email. Push notifications are easy to subscribe to and out of, giving them the edge over SMS, which is often sent unsolicited.

Website push notifications are similar to mobile ones, but cover desktop internet usage. Although it is common for younger people to predominantly use their mobile phone to access the internet, desktop usage still accounts for 42% of internet time.

 

How do push notifications work?

For mobile apps, downloading and installing the app means that the user automatically gives the app permission to send push notifications. For websites the user must manually confirm that they are happy to receive these notifications. This means that if you have a website and want to send push notifications, you have to be smart about getting users to opt in.

 

How can you get users to allow push notifications?

  • Choose your moment. The moment a user lands on your site is probably not the right time to start asking them to accept notifications. Wait until the user has sufficiently used the page and has shown interest. In an e-commerce site, one example of a great time to ask them to accept push notifications is on an ‘out of stock’ page. You can ask the user to opt in to find out when the item is back in stock, and they will then be able to receive all your notifications in future.
  • Offer them something in return. Offer users a discount or free trial for allowing push notifications. People are far more likely to give something if they get something in return.
  • Choose the right type of opt-in. A one step opt-in is simple and easy to do, but a two-step opt in allows users to find out why they should opt-in, which might help you to get a better, more interested pool of users from your notifications.

 

How to optimise your push notifications

Once you’ve gotten a user interested enough to opt-in to your push notifications, you need to use this power sensibly. This means sending notifications that will be interesting and relevant to your users, so that they will keep wanting to receive them.

  • Make sure you’ve got good copy. Write clear, interesting and useful content for your notifications. Although this isn’t the main item that you want them to look at, simply a direction to another page, you have to grab their attention well enough for them to click through.
  • Be clear and succinct. The wording on your push notification has to be brief and to the point, and let the user know exactly what it is offering them on the other side of their click.
  • Create urgency. A popular marketing trick is to use scarcity to create a sense of urgency, so that customers will want to perform an action. Something like a flash sale signalled by a push notification which says ‘24 hours left’ or ‘stock going fast!’ can get users to at least click through to the next page.
  • Employ social proof. Social proof is huge when it comes to getting customers to behave in a certain way. An example of social proof for push notifications would be ‘more than 1000 people have already shared this Twitter post’. If people believe that something is already popular, then they want to be a part of it as well.

 

Send personalised notifications

Segmentation for push notifications works in exactly the same way as email segmentation. To do this you categorise your subscribers into certain groups, defined by actions that they have taken, or by the preferences they chose when opting in. You can then send the most relevant notifications to each group, so that they always feel as though they are being sent notifications that are important to them.

Simply categorising your groups into, for example, male and female users, means that notifications about products specifically for each gender always go to the people that are most likely to be interested.

 

When to send push notifications

One of the main reasons that people will opt-out of push notifications after they have opted-in is because they are too frequent. No one wants to be hassled by a company and putting pressure on them is guaranteed to lose you subscribers fast.

Push notifications are a high-engagement marketing strategy, so it is better to send less frequent and more important messages than to send more that are likely to be ignored. Monitor your earliest push notifications to see what click rates, bounce rates and opt-outs you are getting and this will help you to come up with the optimal frequency of notifications for you and your subscribers.

 

Conclusion

There are numerous ways for websites and companies to keep in touch with their clients, so many in fact that it can become confusing to navigate all the options and create a coherent marketing strategy.

At MaxWeb we can cut through the confusion and advise you how to put an effective marketing plan in place – we can ever right the content for you as well. Why not give us a call on 0151 652 4777 or email info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk to find out more.

 

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