Push Notifications: Dos & Don’ts for Your Brand

Push notifications can be a great way to spark engagement with your customers, increase conversions and sales, and create excitement around your brand. If these notifications are sent at the right time to the right people, they also decrease shopping cart abandonment for eCommerce brands. 

However, if you’re not careful, push notifications can drive away customers. If your messages are annoying or do not add value to your customers, people will unsubscribe (and may not return). Let’s take a look at how to use push notifications to engage your customers and improve sales, as well as a few things to avoid when employing push notifications.

When to Use Push Notifications

There are many positive ways to use this marketing approach that will spark engagement with your customers and increase sales/conversions. The key is to send updates which offer unique and time-sensitive value to your customers.

  1. Flash Sales: A great time to use push notifications is to inform your subscribers about sales offering big discounts that end within a brief period of time.
  2. Shipping Notifications: People like to know when their orders are on the way. Give subscribers the choice to opt-in to these personal updates at the time of purchase.
  3. Event Beginning Soon: If you have people sign up for a live webinar or video chat, it is an excellent idea to send them a reminder that the event will be starting in the next few minutes. You will increase attendance, and most people appreciate the reminder.
  4. Early/Exclusive Access: Offer your subscribers early or exclusive access to sales, services, or other special content. For the most conversions, pair early access with exclusive savings!

When NOT to Use Push Notifications

Push notifications can be disruptive to subscribers during their day-to-day activities. As a result, they have the potential to irritate customers if you’re not careful. It is best to avoid the following types of content:

  1. Pushing Sales: By pushing advertisement after advertisement, you will be taking advantage of your subscribers. Soon, you will find that you have far fewer subscribers than you had previously.
  2. Unoriginal Content: Don’t send content just to send content. Your customers do not need “teasers” of what’s in your blog or random company updates. A good rule of thumb: If it’s already in your newsletter or on social media, don’t put it in a push notification.
  3. Ordinary/Unnecessary Announcements: If it’s not time-sensitive, your subscribers do not need to be notified about it. Those types of announcements are best for social media.

Ways to Thoughtfully Use Push Notifications

A successful push notification marketing campaign is thoughtful and avoids irritating customers. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Offer easy ways to opt-out of notifications.
  2. Before customers opt-in to your notifications, let them know what they can expect. How often will you send them? What types of content will they include?
  3. Create a content calendar for your notifications to help ensure you are sending infrequent, yet valuable, content that your customers will appreciate.
  4. Be mindful of WHEN you are sending push notifications. The best/worst times will depend on your unique customer base. However, a general rule of thumb is to avoid early morning and after-dinner hours.

Test, Measure, Optimize, Repeat!

Listen to your customers and analyze the data you receive from your push notification campaigns. Track your successes and failures. What is engaging your customers? What is driving your customers away? Pay attention to the following data:

  1. When do users respond?
  2. What updates inspire/increase purchases?
  3. What updates result in site visits?
  4. How long do those customers stay onsite?
  5. When do users unsubscribe?
  6. What time of day (or day of the week) is the most successful?

To Sum it Up…

The most important takeaway is to offer value without being “pushy.” Give your subscribers value through special offers, exclusive deals, early access and time-sensitive information. Try to avoid annoying your subscribers with bland, generic messaging or poor timing, and always give them an easy way to opt-out of your notifications. If carefully planned and thought-out, your push notification marketing campaign can be an amazing way to inspire engagement and increase sales!