How to Increase Push Notification Opt-In Rates

By: Kahuna | October 13, 2015 | Field Notes, Mobile Marketing
Improve Push Notification Opt-In Rates

If you’re a mobile marketer, this is an all-too-common situation: you create clever, highly-engaging push marketing campaigns but the majority of your app users never see it due to low push opt-in rates.

Those powerful push messages would drive app engagement, retention and revenue but if users haven’t enable push, your hands are tied. Or are they? I’ll share some proven tips on how to improve opt-in rates for push notifications.

First, it’s helpful to understand how opt-in rates vary by device and by industry. While the average opt-in rate for iOS devices is 42%, the average Android opt-in rate is 78%. One reason for this difference is Android has automatic opt-in for app messages while iOS apps must request permission before messaging users. Google is changing the permission model for Android apps with the latest version of Android, so it will be interesting to see what impact that has.

When a user clicks “Don’t Allow” because they don’t see the value of push notifications, it’s not easy to reverse the decision. That’s why it’s critical to find the right way to ask users for permission to send push notifications.

When it comes to the opt-in rates by Industry, Travel and Transportation companies have the highest opt-in rates of those viewed (78%), followed by Utility & Productivity (70%), Gaming (69%) and Finance (66%). As discussed in Kahuna’s Mobile Marketing Index report, there is an inherent value that users associate with notifications that come from the industries with the highest opt-in rates. To increase opt-in rates for any app regardless of industry, focus on when you ask and how you ask and for permission.

When To Ask For Push Notification Permission

Request permission at the right time. Ask the user to “Allow” notifications when a user needs it; don’t just slap it on at the end of your tutorial screens. Consumers have an established bias: They only want to receive push notifications that are immediately relevant to them. Ensure that each message you send is timely and relevant to the user at that moment. Sending a message that is outdated, even by just a few minutes, will cause confusion and mistrust.

How To Ask For Push Notification Permission

You must explain why notifications should be allowed by clarifying the app’s virtuous actions that will add value to the user experience. Productivity and gaming applications have the second and third highest opt-in rates (70% and 69%). For both of these application types, consumers understand that notifications drive value by letting them know if and when certain actions are required.

Level Money’s onboarding strategy focuses on getting users to take key actions that will improve their app experience, such as adding a bank account and adding a budget. “We want to make sure the consumer has the experience of setting up Level and getting it running. Then they can put the phone back in their pocket, and let it tell them when to look at it,” said Jake Fuentes, CEO of Level Money.

Yummly made its onboarding experience especially effective by focusing on personalized messaging. It’s important to integrate relevant customer data in order to message relevant offers that truly interest the user. Yummly onboarded its users by leveraging personalized push notifications. This catalyzed a sticky product experience and drove new user conversion by 1300%. In addition to benefiting their opt-in rates, Yummly’s personalization techniques helped increased their user engagement by 43%.

Omnichannel Messaging and Opt-in Rates

Push notifications are one of the most powerful channels brands have to communicate with users and these tips will help you boost your opt-in rates. But remember that push is not the only channel, as those who haven’t enabled push can still be reached through other channels like email or in-app messaging. That’s why successful brands aim to deliver a delightful omnichannel experience.

Hopefully, you’ve improved your push notification rates with these tips but don’t start batching and blasting. Push notifications aren’t the perfect medium for all your messages—If you send me a newsletter via push, your app will quickly get deleted. An omnichannel experience is focused on giving the user the right message, at the right time, on the right device, through the right channel.

In a webinar with VentureBeat, Gee Chuang, CEO and Founder, Listia, explains that omni-channel messaging crucial. The key to building a successful user experience is to ensure consistency across channels. Winning brands embrace an omnichannel engagement strategy that’s built specifically for their channel-agnostic customer base.

If you have a successful onboarding campaigns and follow the opt-in rate enhancements, you’re likely to improve you opt-in rates and decrease your opt-outs. Remember to constantly track all of these metrics.

Tell us about your experiences with boosting opt-in rates. We would love to hear from you!

Vanessa Snow is a seasoned Customer Success Manager who leverages her experience working with fortune 100 companies at PricewaterhouseCoopers to address the strategic mobile and marketing needs of her current customers. After PwC, Vanessa transitioned to start-ups and excelled in the world of SaaS and Mobile driving value and adption within two high-growth start-ups that have disrupted their respective industries: Blue Jeans and Gametime. Vanessa’s positive energy and passion for technology is inspirational—as is her love for international travel and global adventures!

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