It’s a mobile-first world. As a result, protecting the customer experience even more important. Understanding how best to relate to your customer in a personalized and meaningful way is key. Can marketing actually help, not hurt, the customer experience? Push notifications are a great example as they have the power to both delight and repel. Thinking about implementing push? It’s your job to use them in a strategic way that actually enhances the customer experience.
Read on for 5 best practices to keep your push notifications on point:
1. Emphasize the important information – Simply put make sure your users have all of the important information. Don’t burden users with the excess, keep your messaging simple and to the point. Flight and traffic delays are prime opportunities to notify your users in real time. Waze and United Airlines have mastered the finesse of push. Imagine landing for your connecting flight, turning your phone out of airplane mode and receiving a notification that your gate has been changed. No more herding underneath the departures board at the terminal, now that’s golden.
2. Craft notifications to be as unique as your users – Notifications should reflect the unique interests of your users. Incorporate personalized recommendations and hyper-targeted content. Push notifications should be specific and reflect the user actions being made in real time. Take Netflix. They make sure their push notifications delight by utilizing data that is specific to their individual user’s browsing and viewing habits. Sending relevant update messages about the specific series they have been watching will delight your users while prompting them to engage further. Avoid generic onboarding messages as this may annoy engaged users and cause a spike in app uninstalls.
3. Fit your notifications into your user’s schedule – Timing is everything. Sending push at the right moment for each individual user makes all the difference. Deliver at the time the user wants to hear from your brand. This often coincides with the time they use the app the most. A time zone based delivery schedule may mean alienating some of your most valuable users who engage with your brand during non-traditional hours. Take two sample users “Marc” and “Andrea” and apply it to the Netflix example above. Marc uses the app Tuesday at 6am to watch Sherlock on his iPad. Andrea views House of Cards every Friday at midnight. If Netflix delivered updates at a classic movie going hour (ie. Sunday at 6pm) both Marc and Andrea and the millions of users like them, might miss or cringe at the ill-timed nature of the message.
4. Convenience is king – The goal of push notifications is to take the user one step further. Each message should make it even easier for users to engage with your brand. Leverage deep links to cut around the clutter and direct your user to the last and most relevant page in the app. In the retail space, cart abandonment is an all too common problem that can be easily solved with deep links. Eliminate extra steps and make purchasing as easy as possible. Deep links allow you to shortcut the path with your push taking the shopper directly to their cart. Swipe and purchase is all that is required.
5. Don’t over message – Marketing is the battle of quality vs. quantity. The push notification space is a new and exciting way to reach and engage with your audience however, going “trigger happy” will not delight your users or enhance their app experience. Utilizing an intelligent system allows you to prioritize which notifications your users receive along with how many. A best practice tip for apps with daily users: 1 notification per day, while apps with weekly users should limit notifications to 2-3 per week. In addition, A/B or A-to-E optimization will allow you to test different messaging so when you do send, your push notifications are on point.
As outlined in these 5 tips for best practices, push notifications are an exciting way to engage and communicate with your users. More importantly, when used well, push notifications can protect your user experience. Marketing is no longer merely about the masses. The focus has shifted and the individual is at the center. Push notifications can be a tool for aiding in the user experience, because they protect the user experience. So long are the days of generic “Holiday Weekend Sale” email blasts, push notifications done right allow your messaging to be as unique as your users.