In today's connected, digital era, marketers are working to engage consumers where they spend most of their time: their mobile phones. The average smartphone user checks their phone 63 times a day and unlocks their phone 150 times a day.
It’s no secret that consumers are glued to their mobile devices, but how do marketers reach them meaningfully? The answer is no longer just push notifications. Consumers expect more than one blanketed message sent to all app users, which is why segmenting push notifications is crucial for marketers today.
Push notifications are text or media messages sent to mobile phone users who have downloaded an app and given that app permission to send notifications. If your favourite app has ever sent a calendar reminder or a content recommendation to your phone, you’ve received a push notification.
Push notifications are one of the best ways apps can keep users engaged. App engagement is a constant battle, as over 90% of app users churn (uninstall or stop using an app) in the first 30 days.
Of course, there are many ways businesses can miss the mark with push notifications. Though push notifications have been around for more than a decade, most brands still don’t optimise them to increase customer affinity. Often, companies will overload their users with a digital deluge of information, sending content that is irrelevant and of little value at an inappropriate cadence. Consequently, over 70% of users delete apps due to annoying or excessive notifications. Worse than app uninstalls is the negative impact to brand reputation, which can have detrimental and far-reaching effects.
So how can businesses properly utilise push notifications to engage and retain app users?
First, brands need to acknowledge that not all users are at the same stage of engagement. Loyal users may have been using, interacting, and purchasing products from an app for years. Others may be downloading the app for the first time and have yet to engage beyond the first screen. It would be a critical mistake to take a one-size-fits-all approach and send the same message to every user. Instead, brands need to finely segment their users to develop strong, individualised customer journeys that keep users continuously returning to that app.
For example, for an ecommerce customer who is part of a loyalty program, a well-timed push notification offering a reward for inviting friends to the app may resonate. Alternatively, if there is a customer who has the same ecommerce app downloaded but hasn’t visited it in months, a message offering a discount or special offer may be more effective in nudging them to re-engage with the app.
When companies segment and group users by interests and behaviour, they can customise messages to resonate, cultivate positive experiences, and contribute to the bottom line. Not all users are the same, and it’s essential that an app’s value proposition includes well-timed communication personalised to a user’s wants and needs in a given moment. A good marketer will understand a user’s behaviour and preference data and will tailor push notifications accordingly.
Timing is everything. Push notifications sent at the optimal time of the day, week, or month when a user is most primed to interact, drive higher engagement rates. For example, if a user tends to allot a portion of their paycheck on the first of the month to a cryptocurrency purchase, a smart push notification would be sent on the same day with crypto recommendations.
Push notifications have a strong ROI (conversation rate and click-through rate) and high open rates when done correctly. Most customers download an app because they have the intention of using it, so they are often receptive to receiving and engaging with notifications. The trick is to masterfully understand users so the communications are received as value-driven, not spam.
Conscientious marketing teams should focus on ways to provide value to users before focusing on ways to derive value from them. It’s important to be considerate of users’ time and send messages that are relevant. Segmented push notification campaigns help brands nurture and retain customers in a thoughtful, strategic way. The best marketing teams are able to analyse user data to anticipate customers’ needs before they even know they want something.
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