What Does An Awesome Push Notification Look Like?

As mobile users, we likely all have a push message horror story or two. Like the time that news app sent you updates on the president of Zimbabwe’s election campaign at 4 am or the mCommerce app that seemed to be promoting their “final day flash sale” every day for two weeks.

Yes, it seems that many app marketers are still learning when it comes to perfecting the art of the push notifications.

But what does a perfect push notification look like?

Tips on a Perfect Push Notifications

1. Doesn’t make push mandatory.

Truly great push notifications are upfront and honest with users, telling users right off the bat (usually as part of the app onboarding process) what types of messages they will be sending, how frequently push notifications will be sent, and letting users opt-out if they’d prefer.

Transparency with app users helps to increase push message opt-in rates and boosts engagement.

2. Sends relevant, personalized push messages to segmented audiences.

Broadcast messages are so 2010. Today, app users want personalized messages that are relevant to their specific interests and preferences. Segment your app users and send them to website push notifications that speak to them as individuals.

3. Uses enticing CTAs with value-driving offers.

Promote special discounts and sales via push messages to excite users, and couple them with winning CTAs to drive home conversions.

4. Pays close attention to seasonality and timing.

Great push messages pay attention to the seasons. Consider sending push notifications oriented around certain holidays or cultural events (such as Black Friday or 4th of July).

Push messages should also never forget the importance of timing – Sending a user notification about the weather at 8 pm rather than in the morning when it’s relevant to planning their day is poor timing.

5. Uses rich features at its disposal.

Android devices allow you to incorporate images and even embed in-app actions within push notifications. Don’t ignore these features simply because they don’t work for iOS.

Additionally, even iOS devices should consider incorporating emojis into push messages, as they’ve been shown to dramatically improve push CTRs.

6. Is tested like crazy.

When it comes to making your push notification the best it can be, A/B testing is an absolute must.

Test everything – from copy length and content to CTAs and punctuation. Be sure to test one thing at a time though, so you know what’s making an impact.

7. Makes use of marketing automation.

Save yourself some serious manpower and harness app marketing automation to bucket new users into specific segments. Then craft tailored push notifications and nurture campaigns that speak to those groups of users for some killer app marketing.

8. Measures the metrics that really matter.

Just like your Twitter follower count, app downloads are largely a vanity metric. Instead, look at the metrics that make the most sense for your biz.

For an app like YouTube, that might mean the number of videos watched, and for Pandora, it might mean the number of songs listened to. The best metrics to measure are those that matter to your app and its value.

9. Finds the right frequency.

Even good, valuable web push notifications can come off as spammy when they are sent too often. Unfortunately, there’s no magical push frequency, as the appropriate number of push notifications vary between apps.

For example, users may want to push notifications from a social app every time a friend posts new content or shares an update. However, a mCommerce app could easily come off as spammy sending notifications with that same frequency. Test, evaluate, and see what push frequency works best for your app.

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