Should You Be Using Push Notifications For Your Business?
With mobile internet usage overtaking desktop usage last year there have been discussions about the direction marketing strategies should take to maximize results. One of the questions that has popped up is should you be using push notifications for your business? As a mobile app developer we are familiar with the usefulness push notifications have to engage mobile users, but how effective would they be for a multi-channel marketing strategy?
Adaptation is a key when it comes to the marketing game and today we will discuss if using push notifications for your business might be a smart variation for your current marketing strategy.
What are Push Notifications?
For those who are not familiar, a push notification is a way that an app can send you a message. Typically this concept is focused around mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones since they are the primary user of apps; however it is important to note that you can also run Android apps on Windows if you are so inclined.
Notifications can come in a variety of ways with the most common being the Badge notification which puts a red badge over the icon with a number denoting the total number of notifications awaiting you.
There are also Banner notifications that go to the screen, Alert notifications that pop up on the screen until removed and there are even messages that simply appear in the notification center and nowhere else.
The idea behind push notifications is to provide a combination of value and convenience to users. By providing information a user might want they can help drive actions and increase engagement.
Why use if for business?
The primary reason to consider using push notifications for your business is that it offers a fantastic way to communicate with your users that is becoming more and more the accepted norm. With over half of smartphone users enabling push notifications, most likely a business has a direct line of connection with a portion of their users.
With push notifications you can:
- Promote special offers
- Promote products and services
- Notify or deliver valuable new content
- Re-connect after abandoned ecommerce carts
- Notify users of social media channels
- Increase engagement
Keys concepts for push notifications
Like almost anything in the marketing world, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. For push notifications here are a few key concepts to consider before you dive headfirst into the pool:
- Personalization – Take the time to focus on personalization within notifications rather than firing broad shots. If you gather enough data then you should be able to segment your active market sufficiently to personalize notifications properly.
- Moderation –You want to build trust with your audience that when you send a notification it is for a good reason and something they will find value in. If you overuse the tactic then it becomes an annoyance people will ignore.
- Timing – You should aim to send messages when customers are the most receptive to them. Overall this will take some testing to find the sweet spot for your target audience or even within segments. Generally speaking you should start by sending messages in the afternoon on weekdays. Evening and nighttime should be avoided unless data supports your users are night owls.
- In Sync – Make sure any push notifications are part of your overall marketing strategy so that you are not inadvertently flooding users across multiple channels. For example, if you send out push notifications to 1000 users, those users should not then receive the same offer via a Facebook notification or email.
- Positive Messaging – Messages should typically be positive and upbeat along with carefully crafted to consider the demographic of the users receiving the messages. The wrong tone can quickly alienate users if they feel your brand is being harassing or inappropriate.
- Easy to Opt-Out – People do not like to feel trapped in a situation as we all know from email marketing. Make it easy for people to opt-out if they wish.
The bottom line is that if you can, you should be using push notifications for your business. It is a great way to stay connected with your users, foster trust and increase engagement. But, make sure you consider the key concepts we have outlined to avoid pitfalls that could annoy or irritate users. It is easy to turn a good concept like push notifications into a spam annoyance if you aren’t providing value to your users.
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