5 Push Notification Best Practices to Skyrocket App User Engagement

What according to you is the difference between a winning marketing strategy and a mediocre one? 

Well, smart marketers need to act with a clear, pre-determined plan based on industry best practices, instead of instinctively shooting in the dark. Data is your oil, and actionable analytical insights are your refined fuels to propel your marketing strategy forward.

For mobile marketers who use push notifications as their strongest and most crucial channel for app user engagement, a well-designed push notification strategy is very important.

Many users enable opt in to receive push notifications during the first time app launch. But non-contextual, impersonal, and too many notifications do more harm than good. If the notifications that your users are bombarded with provide no value, it is obvious that they will find them irritating. Remember that your push notifications must add value to the entire app usage experience, and not be perceived as spam, thus resulting in drop-offs.

All you need to do is follow the proven mantras and see push notifications do wonders for you.

Here are 5 best practices that you must imbibe in your plan to skyrocket your app user engagement, one carefully acquired user at a time:

  1. Make it easy for your users to opt in/out

    Sustainable customer relationships are based on trust and transparency. Ask users whether they would like to receive push notifications a couple of days later after they install the app.

    Do not trick or force them into opting in for your push notifications. Let them know what kind of content you wish to send and educate them about the advantages of choosing to opt in. Also, keep it relatively easy for users to opt out. You can always re-engage them with in-app messages and ask them to opt in later. If you do not let them disable, you might risk losing the user altogether, through app uninstall.

    Push Notification - Image 01

    Learn how you can leverage in-app messages to encourage push notification opt-ins while delivering a seamless onboarding experience, right here.

    Did you know that using in-app messages in conjunction with app push notifications gives great results? Netcore Smartech explains it well in this blog.

  2. Personalise your push notification content

    Sending impersonal and generic push notifications become a sure-shot way of annoying your users and increase the risk of uninstalls. It is extremely important for you to know and understand your users closely and deliver content that is highly personalised and relevant.

    Content crafted based on your users’ historical behaviour and preferences, sent at their preferred time is bound to perform well and uplift your CTRs and conversions.

    Here is an example of a cab-hailing app sends a notification designed to encourage a dormant user to start using the app again. The message is personalised, and also contains an offer that the user might find useful. Based on whether this message works or not, these can help you gain a better understanding of what your customer might be looking for.

    Push Notification - Image 02

    This video serves as a quick reference guide on how can you personalise your push notifications to elevate your mobile marketing strategy.

  3. Craft meaningful and attractive notification copy

    Push Notifications are short-form content. Every word matters. Carefully crafted notifications that have the right length, tone, and flavor can go a long way in creating the desired impact.

    In the example below, a fitness app sends this notification on a Friday afternoon. The content is  light and fun, instead of being plain and machine-like, thus boosting the user’s connect with the app.

    Push Notification - Image 03

    Check out Smartech’s amazing tips that can guide you with writing killer push notifications. The essence is to write clear, concise, engaging, and relevant copy in sync with your campaign objectives.

  4. Constantly experiment with mobile A/B testing

    Batch-and-blast campaigns are things of the distant past now. Each push notification you send out is an opportunity for you to bring a dormant user back to your app, or nudge him/her to complete that transaction, or get him to relaunch your app.

    You certainly want to be doubly sure that the notification serves the purpose right. This is precisely where Mobile A/B Testing feature comes into the picture. Mobile A/B Testing is the calibrated process of comparing two or more variants of a push notification - for a particular campaign - to determine a better performing variant based on key metrics. These include open rates, CTRs, and/or conversions.

    Each variant is targeted at a percentage of your entire user base - defined by you - and the winning variant is then sent to the remaining relevant user base. Utilising this feature, you can experiment with varying degrees of personalisation, the copy of the notification as well as rich elements like audio, video, etc.

    Push Notification - Image 04

    Push Notification - Image 05

  5. Don’t overwhelm your users with multiple messages

    Excess of anything is bad. However good and relevant your notifications be, you do not want to bombard your users with too many push notifications. You could be running a number of distinct marketing campaigns, but if the recipient user base is the same, it is extremely critical that you limit the number of campaigns a user receives.

    Identify a cap that suits your user the most. A news and media app needs to send more number of notifications to its users (to keep them updated) as compared to a music or travel app. Also, keep optimising the cap through a process of data-driven experimentation and testing.

    If you are an e-commerce brand, your users would not mind getting frequent notifications during a sale period. This is precisely where Frequency Capping becomes a valuable tool, helping you orchestrate multi-channel customer journeys without having to worry about flooding users’ phones and inboxes with too much content.

Build a Push Notification Strategy that Wins

You now know the 5 most important tips a successful mobile app marketer should follow. Do it right, and you will see your key app metrics rise over a period of time.

Also remember that there is no set-it-and-forget-it approach to user engagement. You have to constantly experiment, based on your users’ past and real-time in-app behaviour, to hit upon the right mix. Your marketing investment is on the line, so why not make every dollar count by adopting the best-practices driven approach that helps you deliver personalised user experiences at scale?!

Ritu Poddar

Ritu is a Technical Writer & Content Developer by profession, and a Poet & Creative Writer by passion. She works as Assistant Manager, Content Development at Netcore.

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