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How to send perfect push notifications in 3 easy steps!

Writing Push Notifications

The average smartphone owner has downloaded an average of 25 apps to their phone, but actually only uses about 5 of them. That means on average about 20 apps are just sitting unused… and likely to be deleted. So how can you ensure your app is getting the attention it deserves? The answer: learn how to send push notifications that can’t be ignored!

Push notifications arrive to your users home screen when your app is not open, promoting exclusive of mobile content, special offers or news. When a user taps on your notification, your app with automatically open! Push notifications are sort of like a doorbell – ring it and show users what they’ve been missing! Although most app marketers are already quite familiar with this concept, there’s still some confusion about how to use push notifications (and that has created quite a few myths about push). But generally speaking, push notifications aim at engaging users and bringing them back into the app by leveraging things like personalization & geolocation.

Now, let’s have a look at 3 easy steps to crafting and sending the ultimate push notification.

Step 1: Think about the message

Will you focus on breaking news, a special offer or new content? Or maybe you want to remind the users who haven’t opened your app recently of your great content. They key thing to think about is where the user is on the customer journey.

New users might need a little incentive to open your app, while loyal customers might just want a monthly message when a sale rolls around. Developing an mCRM strategy, like the one below, can help you decide what type of message is important for which type of user.

mcrm user engagement AppsBuilder

Also a quick note about drafting the perfect message: keep it short and sweet! Users respond best to messages that peak curiosity and make they want to know more! Also, don’t go beyond the 128 character limit when drafting your messages – otherwise the message will get cut down and won’t make much sense.

Step 2: Scheduling push notifications

Push notifications represent a unique mobile marketing channel, however it is important not to fall victim to misusing them. An unfortunately common trend for novice app marketers is to misuse push notifications, continually ping-ing users with non-critical updates. This practice not only exploits the feature, but also puts you at  risk of user abandonment (ie. users deleting your app!).

You’ve worked so hard at getting users, so make the most of push by being strategic. Again, you’ll want to refer to your mCRM strategy to define the right timeline to reach out to users.

A good schedule could be a push a week, which is enough to keep your app top of mind, but this really depends on the type of app you’ve developed. For example, if your app is for an event, you might ramp up to daily notifications closer to the date to keep participants informed about speakers, location changes, etc.

Remember: the line between providing useful updates and spamming is extremely thin. The best recommendation to not overstep the boundary is to put yourself in your users’ shoes and use your judgement wisely.

Step 3:  Location-based targeting

Want to pump up the volume on notification engagement? Then get local!

Push notifications can be targeted to send to a specific geo-location, like everyone in a certain city, or to users who fall within a specific geographic parameter (called geo-fencing), like a city block. Both can be used for specific campaigns where you want to target on a specific segment of users.

Want to get even more granular with your location targeting? Then use beacons! When these Bluetooth-powered devices are activated in a location (like a store, event space or office) they can sense when an app user are nearby, a send them your push notifications. For more on how to set up beacons read: Introducing Beacons: The Ultimate Tool for User Engagement

Need help figuring out which location-based marketing strategy is best for you? Check out this infographic!

Last words of advice

Push notifications are the app marketers best weapon for fighting low usage and low retention. Remember that you can send out push notifications to all the users who have enabled this feature when first installing the app as long as your app is live – so make sure you communicate the advantages to opting-in in your app store description.

Now that you know more about push notification best practice make sure that your messages really speak to mobile users with optimized content!

Image: Pete Oshea

The Ultimate Guide to Mobile-optimized Content

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