How Push Notifications Are Changing the World of Online Marketing

Push Notification Overview

Find out how push notifications can seriously amplify your marketing campaign, boost brand awareness and customer engagement dramatically.

What exactly are push notifications? Push notifications are brief alerts or messages, sent to mobile phones and desktops in real-time, that update clients and users of any promotions or general brand news. When push notifications are used properly, they can trigger a hike in consumer interest and strengthen sales figures and results.

Traditional marketing techniques involve email campaigns, advertising through social media platforms and groups, or Google and Facebook ads, outbound text messages, and phone calls. All these various marketing methods allow for a variety of business campaigns to reach and appeal to different audiences.

Companies with an online presence employ most if not all of these marketing techniques in order to draw existing and potential clients closer to their brand. With push notifications, a new advancement in the world of marketing, making its mark, businesses now have an exciting and promising new technique at their disposal.

Push notifications originate from mobile applications and were created by the tech giant Apple as a way of bridging the communication gap between a mobile application and its user.

Push notifications have the potential to become the best way of increasing return on marketing investment (ROMI) because of the way it offers easy and instant engagement.

In contrast to SMS messages, push notifications:

  • Allow users to first decide whether to allow or deny the push notifications permissions and secondly, to choose the type of alerts that they prefer.
  • On the other hand, text messages do not allow for such flexibility and can be difficult to opt out from.
  • SMS campaigns drive expenses upwards when compared to the relative economy push notifications provide in terms of the cost of sending an SMS compared to the cost of sending a push notification.

However, used abundantly without limitations, push notifications can become overly intrusive for the user, and can, therefore, lead to negative results such as pushing consumers away from the brand.

Could push notifications oust email campaigns?

Nowadays emails alone are inadequate when businesses deploy a marketing campaign. Marketing through mobile devices is taking the center stage in the 21st Century as consumers engage with and react to real-time notifications, that are simple, brief and easily accessible. The immediate interaction that push notifications grant users is preferred by most users.

Robert Gibb, Localytic’s content marketer, in a recent survey observes the following results:

According to a recent survey we conducted with 1,000 smartphone users in the United States, push notifications are better today than they were a few years ago. More specifically, 52% of respondents said they’re better, 38% said they’re the same, and 10% said they’re worse.

Web Push Notifications
Web Push Notifications

So, marketers are getting better at communicating through mobile, but there’s still room for improvement. When asked if push notifications are helpful today, only one in five respondents said yes. The remaining respondents said they’re only somewhat helpful (three in five) or a complete distraction (one in five).

Bottom line: The perception of push notifications has improved, but their value is still lacking.

Users prefer apps that send push notifications based on stated preferences over in-app behavior

Based on this survey, push notifications that add the most value are ones triggered by a user’s stated preferences. About 49% percent of respondents said these types of notifications cause them to use an app more. Notifications triggered by in-app behavior are most likely to cause them to use an app less.

To read the full survey click here.

As technologies change and user interfaces develop and evolve so do online marketing methods. Push notifications are gaining user preference and engagement, making it an important vehicle for increasing brand awareness and consumer engagement.

So, what are the advantages of push notifications?

  • The fast and immediate transmission of push notifications offers real-time interaction between business and client. The ability for customers to react to updates, offers, and announcements instantly help with overall user engagement which then raises sales results.
  • Push notifications are not compulsory, giving users the choice as to whether they want to receive the notifications or not. This discreet and unobtrusive marketing method gathers users who are genuinely interested in receiving your business notifications which should then increase the percentage of consumer appeal.
  • With a range of different advertising push notification networks out there, adopting push notifications for business marketing campaigns has never been easier. A few examples of such networks include:
  • Megapu.sh
  • Richpush.co
  • Propellerads.com
  • Ad-maven.com
  • Datspush.com

How can I maximize sales results through the use of push notifications?

By keeping the frequency of push notifications at a discreet level. Research and analyze client response and interaction data in order to optimize your marketing campaign and enhance its full potential.

  1. Push notifications: at the right time and place.

“So, why is there such a negative stigma around push messages as annoying, intrusive and ineffective? Because like all great marketing, they have to be useful, relevant and engaging to work. We examined the click rate across over 100 million push messages. Click rate is defined simply as the percentage of users who actually click the push message when they receive it. For reference, the average click rate across all apps is 5.5%.”

Taken from Localytics.com

Business analyst at Localytics, Dave Hoch says that push notifications get better response results when sent during the week rather than when sent during the weekend.

Mobile Push Notifications
Mobile Push Notifications

Push message click rates are fairly consistent throughout the week but drop on the weekend. During the week, the click rate average is 5.8%, but for the weekend the click rate drops down to 3.5%.  This means there’s a 66% higher click rate on push messages that are sent on weekdays. Tuesdays and Fridays, in particular, seem to be the most popular for actual click-throughs.

Taken from Localytics.com.

Take advantage of click rate peaks and send push notifications during the rush hour of user activity.

  • What time of the day should I send push notifications?

According to Localytics research, sending push notifications during the afternoon saw the highest percentage of click-through rates with 6.7 percent, followed by morning delivery of 5.3 percent click rates and evening delivery of 4.6 percent click rates. So, sending your push notifications during the afternoon could optimize and improve your marketing campaign as users seem to be more responsive during the afternoon period.

  • When it comes to word count, less is more.

Localytics examined the relationship between click rates and word count in push notifications. The survey’s findings are as follows:

  • Wordcount of 21 or more = 3.2%
  • Wordcount of 11 – 20 = 4.9%
  • Wordcount of 10 or less = 8.8% 

So, less equals more in this case. Keeping the word count as minimal as possible improves click rates. Push notifications should be simple, precise and transparent; meaning the message you wish to convey to your client needs to be straight to the point and condensed.

The next finding according to a Localytic’s study found that push notifications with declarative statements had double the click rate percentage when compared to push notifications with rhetorical or direct questions. So, what does this mean? Avoid using questions that increase the word count; instead, state exactly what it is you want the user to engage with.

Emotive words that convey the idea that ‘time is of the essence’ are key to increasing click rates and user engagement. For example, “today’s exclusive deal ends soon, click here so you don’t miss out.”

Not all users are the same. Use analytics tools to divide your users into categories based on user behavior and style. That way you can send personalized push notifications to your users based on their preferences which in turn should heighten user responses to your marketing campaign.

How push notifications can boost your marketing campaign according to lukepeerfly.com:

  1. It is a new traffic source!
  2. It is not saturated by thousands of affiliates and companies yet!
  3. It is relatively cheap.
  4. It is a step up from Pops (which has been oversaturated for years now).
  5. It is permission-based: users give permission to websites/apps to send them notifications. This leads to higher engagement and conversions.
  6. Users do not have to be on the websites/apps to see the notifications.

Use push notifications with care

While using push notifications can be immensely beneficial to your marketing campaign, if overused it can wreak havoc on the overall success of your campaign. For example:

  • Ensure the user is well-informed beforehand; what does this mean? Well, make sure the user is notified of how frequently he or she will receive push notifications from you before they allow or deny the push notification request.
  • Timetable your push notification so that users are not intruded upon. Use the findings from tracking analysis of user behavior to pinpoint the best and optimal times to send your push notifications to get the highest possible response, and to single out the type and style of content that receives the most attention.

Make your push notifications relevant to the user and their context; for instance, sending a user a push notification in the morning about buying a cup of coffee whilst making their way to work could increase engagement.

Final word As a new marketing technique push notifications are a useful tool with heaps of promise especially since they can be sent to users regardless as to whether they are or aren’t browsing the website or app at that time. Push notifications offer quick, simple and instant engagement with users who voluntarily choose to be recipients. Therefore used conservatively, push notifications can be a great tool to have in any arsenal of digital marketing.

Affiliate Marketing Guru

With many years of experience in the world of digital marketing, Ben combines his love of affiliate marketing with an international outlook on the real estate markets. From his start in the legal profession to his transition to the world of marketing, his passion for what he does is the driving force behind his success.