June 14, 2018
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Push notifications are the building blocks of every great mobile marketing strategy, but sending the perfect push isn’t as simple as it may seem. If you are a mobile marketer or product manager looking to learn more about using push notifications effectively, you’ve come to the right place. This post is the fifth and final in the introductory series Push 101: A Beginner’s Guide To Crafting Great Push Notifications. Follow this series or download the full guide to master the basics and discover what push notifications can do for you.
So you just sent a push notification. Congratulations! It can be tempting to assume that your work is done, but alas, while the push notification has been sent to the user, the user’s experience with the push has only just begun. It is important to make sure the entire experience delights the user and catalyzes the desired outcome. It isn’t over until it’s over.
What happens to the user after they click through?
Push notifications have the ability to fast-track the user from passion to purchase and to catalyze instantaneous action. Every push notification should provide relevant and timely information, but it is equally important that personalization continues after the user engages with or clicks through the notification.
One great way to accomplish this is by utilizing dynamic deep linking. If your app is configured for deep linking, dynamic deep linking will enable you to extend the curated user experience and facilitate the desired user action.
Deep linking and dynamic deep linking in action:
Deep linking provides the ability to bring users directly into a specific static location within the app. Leveraging this technology will facilitate a seamless user experience, directing users further down the conversion funnel.
Dynamic deep linking takes this one important step further. Rather than directing all users to the same static page, dynamic deep linking allows you to send a user a specific page unique to that individual user.
E-commerce brand PLNDR uses push notifications to remind users about items left in their digital shopping carts. As you can see, each user receives a personalized notification referencing the specific item in their personal cart.
Through dynamic deep linking, each user can be directed to their specific shopping cart page within the app. This enables a one click-to-purchase experience, rather than requiring users to log-in or take additional steps to return to their mobile carts.
What if my app hasn’t implemented deep linking?
If deep linking has not been implemented, users will be sent directly to the app’s home page. This does not render your push notification ineffective or obsolete, as you can include a distinct call to action that will instruct the user where to go in the app.
How do I evaluate the effectiveness of push notifications?
Now that you have architected a cohesive post-push experience for your users, how do you know if the notification is a success? The basic formula for evaluating the effectiveness of a push notification is as follows:
Both aspects are equally important when evaluating the success of the push notification. Next, we’ll discuss which metrics to focus on and which to cast aside.
What metrics should I track to validate this?
1. Goal achievement
A critical part of push marketing is knowing how to measure its efficacy. The most important benchmark for evaluating Question 1, “Did the push notification drive users to take the desired action?” is goal achievement. The specific goal being measured should be defined well before sending the push notification, as different notifications will be driving toward different goals. Examples of “goal achievement” metrics include: social shares, purchases, revenue, sign-ins, cart additions, and more. Basic response tracking like open rates and click-throughs are not sufficient to gauge the effectiveness of the push notification.
Apartment List, a leading web and mobile apartment-hunting service, uses sophisticated goal tracking to ensure their notifications effectively inspire their mobile apartment-seekers.
In order to become a long-term, valuable customer, there are three things that every Apartment List user must do once they download the mobile app. These actions are: “find a listing,” “organize listing searches,” and “contact a listing”. The Apartment List onboarding flow is represented in the images above.
Here you can see how Apartment List focuses the content of their push notifications to inspire these key onboarding actions. Each of these push notifications is evaluated based on the specific goal it is prompting the user to complete. These goals correspond to the three onboarding actions – “find a listing”, “organize listing searches,” and “contact a listing.”
2. User Engagement
An important metric for evaluating Question 2, “Did the push notification enhance and enrich the user’s app experience?” is the number of users who re-engaged with your app after receiving the push notification. Every push you send should prompt users to re-engage at the next level, turning monthly users into weekly users, weekly users into daily users, and daily users into rabid users and brand advocates.
3. App Uninstalls & Push Notification Opt-outs
Another important metric for evaluating Question 2, “Did the push notification enhance and enrich the user’s app experience?” is the number of app uninstalls or push opt-outs that have been generated as a result of the notification. There can be a tendency to track only positive metrics, and this is a big mistake. Tracking the potentially negative ramifications of a push notification is the best way to know how users really feel about the push. When you are measuring this number in real time, it’s easy to adjust or cancel any detrimental push notification campaign before it’s too late.
Anything else I should know about best practices for tracking and reporting?
Push notifications are one of the most effective forms of customer marketing and should be evaluated with the rigor applied to traditional online marketing. Set the right goals and make sure you have reporting capabilities that reveal honest and actionable results. Your push notification system should take care of this for you. To learn more about Kahuna’s robust campaign reporting, please visit the reporting and analytics section of the Kahuna website.