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Win New App Users With the Perfect Push Notification

August 2, 2017

by Andy Floyd

Push notifications can increase app engagement and improve the user experience when used correctly. Learn how to create perfect push notifications for your app.

Nearly 40% of consumers abandon an app after downloading it, making it important for businesses to make their app part of a user’s daily routine.

Push notifications are the building blocks of a mobile marketing strategy. They keep your app and business on top of potential customers’ minds and create a fluent journey back to your app.

In fact, users who enable push notifications are 171% more engaged with the app.

When used correctly, push notifications provide an opportunity to engage and communicate with users.

While working for one of the UK’s leading app development agencies, B60, I’ve seen where companies fail and succeed in their app marketing strategies. This article helps you create push notifications for your app by outlining the fundamental steps you must follow:

  • Start with the framework
  • Identify mobile app user groups
  • Create customer-centric messages
  • Develop compelling content

Send 2 Types of Push Notifications

There are two types of push notifications apps should send: transactional and engagement.

Transactional Notifications deliver information that users require at a specific time, such as notifying users a package has shipped or their flight is delayed.

Amazon transactional notification

Online retailers like Amazon send customers order updates through both transactional push notifications and texts.

Engagement Notifications deliver information that drives users to complete key actions, such as making a purchase or sharing something via social channels.

ASOS engagement notification

Retailers like online clothing store ASOS send consumers engagement push notifications about sales and events.

Determine App User Engagement Levels

Group users in three groups: those who are always engaged, those who need to be re-engaged, and new users. Identify these groups of users by how often they use your app.

  • Engaged users open your application a certain number of times in the past 30 days
  • Users to re-engage have not installed your app’s latest update
  • New users have never received a push notification from your app

Engage New Users

Focus on engaging new users by sending a push notification that offers value.

For example, Pizza Hub welcomes new app users by offering a $5 discount.

Pizza Hub push notification

New app users will appreciate a push notification like the one Pizza Hub sent because the notification offers immediate value and motivates the user to open the app a second time.

Reinvigorate Dormant Users

Dormant users once used your app but lost interest as they downloaded other apps.

Dating app Tinder created a push notification to target users who are inactive for more than a month: “You haven’t swiped in a while.”

Tinder push notification

The notification reminds users of the app and encourages them to revisit it.

Personalize Push Notification Messages

It's important to understand how consumers use and interact with your application before creating a push notification.

Segment your audience based on in-app behavior because push notifications perform better when they are personalized, according to a survey by Localytics, a mobile app marketing company.

In fact, over 65% of push notifications are sent to segments rather than broadcast to all users.

Here are three ways to personalize push notifications.

1. Send Notifications When Users Are “App Active”

Consumers want to receive push notifications on their time, not the brand’s, so it’s important to know when users are “app active,” or browsing their smartphone or tablet.

It’s nearly impossible to create a one-size-fits-all definition of being app active, so you must choose which match your business's goals. Here are common stats to track:

  • Frequency of logins, by type of device and/or platform
  • Engagement with content like reading to the end of the page and clicking links page views
  • Content sharing on social media
  • Responses to offers, deals, and promotions
  • Willingness to share feedback

Food delivery service GrubHub sends push notifications when users are app active, providing real-time status updates on users’ orders: “Breaking News: Your GrubHub order is being prepared.”

GrubHub push notification

Even though the in-app purchase is complete, GrubHub sticks by its users and continues to provide value by monitoring the delivery time. This is an example of an app providing an excellent post-sales experience.

2. Send Location-Based Notifications

Use geofencing to learn when app users are near one of your stores and send them push notifications with user-specific deals.

Geofencing establishes a virtual fence around a predefined geographic area, which you can target with push notifications. When one of your app users enters or exits the area, you can set your app to push a message to the user.

A geo-fenced notification from Neoshop, a boutique that sells startup-made products, lets the user know there’s a shop nearby, offering a special in-store discount.

Neoshop push notification

Location-based push notifications remind users that a store is nearby and encourages them to visit.

3. Keep User Behavior in Mind When Creating Messages

App users engage with apps in different ways; some will use certain features more than others, so cater push notification messages to users’ in-app behavior.

Netflix takes this approach, sending messages based on what users watch.

Netflix push notification

Netflix sends notifications when a show you watch releases a new season.

Compelling Content is Key

Push notifications have the ability to catalyze immediate action, but users will only take action if the message itself is both relevant and compelling.

A small fitness club with 300 members sent its members a push notification that invited them to bring a friend to an upcoming bootcamp.

The message said the session would be free, and it got an incredible response: 26 new guests attended the bootcamp and nine signed up for a club membership, resulting in $9,600 new revenue.

When it comes to creating content for a push notification, there are three key elements to consider.

Personalize the Message for Your Audience 

Make every message count because users want relevant and personalized push notifications. Craft messages with an end goal in mind: What action do you want a user to take?

Airfare analysis app Hopper crafted a clever message that encouraged users to book flights to Los Angeles while prices are low.

Hopper push notification

The push notification drives a user who has browsed flights to Los Angeles to book the trip.

Use Approachable Language

Use concise and compelling copy to encourage users to act quickly.

For example, Jet Airways uses approachable language, like “a gentle reminder” to remind users of an upcoming flight, and wishes them a safe journey.

Jet Airways push notification

Jet Airways’ message is concise, personalized, and creative, which the user will react positively to.

Invest in Push Notifications to Increase App Engagement

Send push notifications to increase app engagement and improve the user experience. Make sure your push messages provide value to users; otherwise, uninstalls will rocket.

Surprisingly, push notifications require planning.

First, you need to research your target audience: who they are, when they are most active, and how they use your app.

Second, consider your business’s goals, and test which messages help you achieve these goals.

About the Author

Andy Floyd, B60

Andy Floyd is a highly commended tech blogger and two-time finalist at the UK Blog Awards. He is the marketing manager at B60, one of the UK’s leading mobile consultancy and app development agencies. Andy has contributed to a number of top tech publications, including The Guardian and TechCo.


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