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Why Are Push Notifications Valuable and How Can I Get Started?

Phillip Reinhardt

Digital marketing is all about getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. The reason push messaging has become such an important tool for marketers is because it’s effective at doing just that. Instead of sending an email or a text message that needs to be opened, you’re sending a message straight to somebody’s mobile or desktop device. There’s no question whether or not they’ll see it; the only question is whether they’ll open it up.

Push messages that are sent strategically have an incredible click-through rate. Mobile push messages can have a CTR rate of almost 11%! Web-based push messages can push 6%. When you consider that email click rates tend to hover around 3 and 4% at their most effective, it’s clear that push messaging offers an incredible opportunity.

To help you make the most of your push messaging and maximize your click rates, here are four tips and best practices:

1. Utilize Visuals

Push messages give you a clear path in front of your target audience, but you still need to entice them to take the next step. Images and videos are a great way to grab attention immediately and convey emotions and stories that a small block of plaintext simply cannot. A recent study found that simply using pictures in push messages improved click rates by 56%!

Visuals tell a story in a way that one or two sentences simply cannot!

2. Make it Easy to Opt-In

Android users can be opted-in automatically when they install your application, but iOS users must manually allow push messaging. Since this opt-in rate is barely over 40%, you’re going to lose the chance to communicate with an enormous portion of your install base if you don’t encourage as many opt-ins as possible:

  • Take your time – you can only present the hard system notification once, so don’t do it right away. Use messages within your app to ask about push messaging, and present the hard ask if they agree.
  • Use your settings – allow users to go back and enable push messaging directly from their setting, where they’ll remember to look. Let them select what messages they want to receive, too, so if they want to opt-out of one message they don’t disable all of them.
  • Make the value clear – use push messaging to deliver valuable messages as often as possible. For example, you can provide order updates or important news. When a user looks for this information manually, make sure to let them know you can send it via push message next time instead.

3. Avoid General Broadcasts

Push messaging is extremely personal. Users don’t want to feel like you’re spamming their phone or desktop, and will likely ignore your messages or, even worse, opt-out. Several years ago, the research found that personalized messages received triple the click rate that general ones did, and there’s no reason to think that personalization has become less important. If your messages are timely, relevant, and finely targeted based on either in-app behavior or user demographics, you’ll find that your message lands much more often.

4. Test Your Timing

Push messages have a much shorter shelf life than email. If your message is ignored, users can’t go back and look at it again. This means that as necessary as timing is for email, it’s even more important for push messaging. By continually testing and optimizing your delivery time, you’ll have a much better chance of your messages getting opened and not ignored.

Push messaging is a simple, effective way to communicate with your existing customers and encourage them to take the next step down your marketing funnel. By following the tips and best practices outlined above, you can rest assured that you’ll enjoy strong performance and make sure your message lands.