Push notifications: effective marketing tool for online retailers

Address your customers with a push notification

Push notifications are alerts sent to application users to their mobile device. They appear on their smartphone in form of a short text message complemented with the sender’s icon.

What messages can they carry? Diverse. In case of shopping application (m-shop) they can inform about a clearance start, new goods arrival or a new branch opening. Their main goal? To pass on the information, attract customers’ attention or entice them to visit the mobile app.

Push notification utilization in online shop

There are many ways how to communicate with customers. If you sell goods in your mobile app in addition to classic online store, a new interesting instrument emerges: push notifications.

What their power is:

  • To encourage inactive users.
  • To increase the interaction of active users.
  • To increase the profit and turnover from mobile devices.
  • To strengthen the brand awareness and businessman’s credibility.

And with minimum effort. Creating a push notification with a message and sending it to thousands of customers takes only a few minutes and often doesn’t cost anything.

But there is the fly in the ointment.

Hard come, easy go

Push notifications are displayed right on the users’ mobiles. They tend to perceive them more personally. They enthuse them easily but can as easily disturb them. If they find them bothering or unsuitable they don’t change the settings but delete the app itself. The businessman can lose a laboriously gained customer.

How to prevent this? Send only useful notifications which make the customers’ shopping decision easier. What to follow when preparing them? Your common sense. And our five pieces of advice and recommendation.

1. How often send a push notification

This is the hit every of our application users must know about! You think? Try to see it from your customers’ point of view. Ask yourself whether this type of message is really suitable for notification (wouldn’t it be better on Facebook or in a newsletter?)

This is how you should approach each notification before sending it:

  • Make sure your message is relevant. Relevant from the customer’s point of view.
  • Find out what was the last time you sent the last notification. A few hours ago? Two weeks ago?

Would you like to know how often you should send notification? It always depends on the mobile app type and the specific target group preferences. In general, the social networks message frequency is higher, sales apps frequency is lower. It is also true that users perceive frequent push notification as aggressive while the occasional as inconsistent.

2. Right timing? Tuesday to Friday, in the afternoon

According to experts from the Localytics, users read notifications more often when in need of a distraction at work or when their smartphone is within reach. Notifications sent on working days have 66% higher rate of reading. During the weekend, users’ activity is lower.  What are the optimal times? Between 12 and 17 pm. That is the time when the user has the opportunity to read it.

TIP: Don’t send notifications too early or too late. After the bedtime story and before the wake-up signal even a message about 99% clearance would be considered bothering.

3. Optimal notification length: about 10 words

The number of words displayed on a mobile varies depending on the device type. For Android the standard is 60-90 characters, for iOS maximum of 120. Recommended length of a notification is generally from 60 to 120 characters. Of course, there are exceptions. Some older Android devices with smaller screens can display only 35 characters.

Remember then that shorter messages are usually more effective. Experts state the optimum is about 10 words.

What can such a message look like?

For gourmand pets: 30% off on dry food. Try it

4. Hire a copywriter? Handle it yourself!

Media, internet, mobile: tens of thousands of words are flooding your customers every day. How to be noticeable in such an information noise? With quality and helpful message. Here are some practical tips:

  • Don’t beat around the bush. Be specific.

Apt and brief messages have a high chance of getting attention. With clearly stated bonus the user will get for opening the notification.

  • Evoke emotions. The desired ones.

An effective strategy is to create an impression of unique and time limited offer, using phrases like “only now”, “final days” or “first 100 orders”. Messages starting with the discount amount are also efficient: “50% off on bedlinen.”

  • No rhetorical questions.

Don’t ask “Do you search?”, “Do you want?” Say. Statements bear more information and are clearer than questions.

  • A trick has short legs. Manipulation doesn’t pay off

Some notification try to pique user’s curiosity with a question that can be answered only inside the application. The user clicks a message about 40% clearance in the online store only to learn that it applies to rompers size 48. That’s not the way to go.

  • Verbs? They add dynamics to the notification.

Action verbs like “visit”, “take advantage”, “buy” will intensify your message. Don’t be afraid to use them.

  • Details matter.

“30% OFF ON WOMEN CLOTHING, ONLY TODAY. DON’T MISS IT”. Something’s wrong, right? Format. It matters, too. The whole message written in capitals like in this case isn’t sexy at all. It’s OK to use this format for the reason why to open the message – the benefit itself: “DISCOUNT”, “FREE”, “TODAY” etc. Like this: “30% DISCOUNT on women clothes only today. Don’t miss it.”

  • Don’t shout at your customers.

Three exclamation marks. The characteristic sign of tabloids. We all know them, no one likes them. We recommend not to use them. One is more than enough. Some messages, like “New Mango collection: simple cuts, smoky colours. Have a look.”, don’t need any.

  • Homepage. Now what?

The user is impatient and want the information now. If they click on the notification and you lead them to a generic homepage, they won’t be happy. Do you expect them to look for something themselves? Maybe if they’re bored…

5. Don’t make a wild guess, evaluate

One part of every campaign is success evaluation. The same goes for push notifications. What indicators should be tracked?

  • Number of devices that were sent the notification
  • Notification reaction rate (opened/discarded)
  • Notification conversion rate

Even these basic information can give you the valuable feedback. If you combine them with A/B testing you can learn what your customers respond to.

Conclusion: Take your time with every notification you create. Carefully consider the topic, text and timing. It’s worth it. The general marketing rule – it is much easier to address the present customer than to gain a new one – is also true in this case.

Next time: how to make personalised notifications

What will the next article regarding push notification be about? We will focus on gender, age and location segmentation. You will learn how to target the notification and send them (manually or automatically) to only the users who left the basket or to those who spend over 200 € a month.

Previous Post
Learn the app users’ behaviour with Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce
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5 tips on how to start promoting a new app

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Push notifications: effective marketing tool for online retailers

Address your customers with a push notification

Push notifications are alerts sent to application users to their mobile device. They appear on their smartphone in form of a short text message complemented with the sender’s icon.

What messages can they carry? Diverse. In case of shopping application (m-shop) they can inform about a clearance start, new goods arrival or a new branch opening. Their main goal? To pass on the information, attract customers’ attention or entice them to visit the mobile app.

Push notification utilization in online shop

There are many ways how to communicate with customers. If you sell goods in your mobile app in addition to classic online store, a new interesting instrument emerges: push notifications.

What their power is:

  • To encourage inactive users.
  • To increase the interaction of active users.
  • To increase the profit and turnover from mobile devices.
  • To strengthen the brand awareness and businessman’s credibility.

And with minimum effort. Creating a push notification with a message and sending it to thousands of customers takes only a few minutes and often doesn’t cost anything.

But there is the fly in the ointment.

Hard come, easy go

Push notifications are displayed right on the users’ mobiles. They tend to perceive them more personally. They enthuse them easily but can as easily disturb them. If they find them bothering or unsuitable they don’t change the settings but delete the app itself. The businessman can lose a laboriously gained customer.

How to prevent this? Send only useful notifications which make the customers’ shopping decision easier. What to follow when preparing them? Your common sense. And our five pieces of advice and recommendation.

1. How often send a push notification

This is the hit every of our application users must know about! You think? Try to see it from your customers’ point of view. Ask yourself whether this type of message is really suitable for notification (wouldn’t it be better on Facebook or in a newsletter?)

This is how you should approach each notification before sending it:

  • Make sure your message is relevant. Relevant from the customer’s point of view.
  • Find out what was the last time you sent the last notification. A few hours ago? Two weeks ago?

Would you like to know how often you should send notification? It always depends on the mobile app type and the specific target group preferences. In general, the social networks message frequency is higher, sales apps frequency is lower. It is also true that users perceive frequent push notification as aggressive while the occasional as inconsistent.

2. Right timing? Tuesday to Friday, in the afternoon

According to experts from the Localytics, users read notifications more often when in need of a distraction at work or when their smartphone is within reach. Notifications sent on working days have 66% higher rate of reading. During the weekend, users’ activity is lower.  What are the optimal times? Between 12 and 17 pm. That is the time when the user has the opportunity to read it.

TIP: Don’t send notifications too early or too late. After the bedtime story and before the wake-up signal even a message about 99% clearance would be considered bothering.

3. Optimal notification length: about 10 words

The number of words displayed on a mobile varies depending on the device type. For Android the standard is 60-90 characters, for iOS maximum of 120. Recommended length of a notification is generally from 60 to 120 characters. Of course, there are exceptions. Some older Android devices with smaller screens can display only 35 characters.

Remember then that shorter messages are usually more effective. Experts state the optimum is about 10 words.

What can such a message look like?

For gourmand pets: 30% off on dry food. Try it

4. Hire a copywriter? Handle it yourself!

Media, internet, mobile: tens of thousands of words are flooding your customers every day. How to be noticeable in such an information noise? With quality and helpful message. Here are some practical tips:

  • Don’t beat around the bush. Be specific.

Apt and brief messages have a high chance of getting attention. With clearly stated bonus the user will get for opening the notification.

  • Evoke emotions. The desired ones.

An effective strategy is to create an impression of unique and time limited offer, using phrases like “only now”, “final days” or “first 100 orders”. Messages starting with the discount amount are also efficient: “50% off on bedlinen.”

  • No rhetorical questions.

Don’t ask “Do you search?”, “Do you want?” Say. Statements bear more information and are clearer than questions.

  • A trick has short legs. Manipulation doesn’t pay off

Some notification try to pique user’s curiosity with a question that can be answered only inside the application. The user clicks a message about 40% clearance in the online store only to learn that it applies to rompers size 48. That’s not the way to go.

  • Verbs? They add dynamics to the notification.

Action verbs like “visit”, “take advantage”, “buy” will intensify your message. Don’t be afraid to use them.

  • Details matter.

“30% OFF ON WOMEN CLOTHING, ONLY TODAY. DON’T MISS IT”. Something’s wrong, right? Format. It matters, too. The whole message written in capitals like in this case isn’t sexy at all. It’s OK to use this format for the reason why to open the message – the benefit itself: “DISCOUNT”, “FREE”, “TODAY” etc. Like this: “30% DISCOUNT on women clothes only today. Don’t miss it.”

  • Don’t shout at your customers.

Three exclamation marks. The characteristic sign of tabloids. We all know them, no one likes them. We recommend not to use them. One is more than enough. Some messages, like “New Mango collection: simple cuts, smoky colours. Have a look.”, don’t need any.

  • Homepage. Now what?

The user is impatient and want the information now. If they click on the notification and you lead them to a generic homepage, they won’t be happy. Do you expect them to look for something themselves? Maybe if they’re bored…

5. Don’t make a wild guess, evaluate

One part of every campaign is success evaluation. The same goes for push notifications. What indicators should be tracked?

  • Number of devices that were sent the notification
  • Notification reaction rate (opened/discarded)
  • Notification conversion rate

Even these basic information can give you the valuable feedback. If you combine them with A/B testing you can learn what your customers respond to.

Conclusion: Take your time with every notification you create. Carefully consider the topic, text and timing. It’s worth it. The general marketing rule – it is much easier to address the present customer than to gain a new one – is also true in this case.

Next time: how to make personalised notifications

What will the next article regarding push notification be about? We will focus on gender, age and location segmentation. You will learn how to target the notification and send them (manually or automatically) to only the users who left the basket or to those who spend over 200 € a month.

Previous Post
Learn the app users’ behaviour with Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce
Next Post
5 tips on how to start promoting a new app

Related Posts

No results found.

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