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How to Increase Customer Engagement with Push Notifications

Mobile marketing may be new but it is one of the most important turning points in marketing history. Not only are people using mobile gadgets more than desktop computers, they are also more engaged that they have ever been. In fact, engagement is soaring this year with 50% of people opening their mobile phones as they wake up in the morning and 80% using smartphones to access the Internet. This leads to the lower effectiveness in other marketing channels such as blogging and email.

The popularity of mobile marketing calls for a redefinition of online marketing. As huge websites like Google is optimizing their websites and services per mobile, small business owners also need to do the same.

There are two ways to optimize your business for mobile marketing.

First, you can try to build a responsive website. A responsive website is a trend in digital design where a website conforms to the size of the screen where it is displayed. This means that a website should be able to expand and contract depending on where it is viewed. So whether a website is viewed on a desktop computer with a huge computer screen or the small screen of a mobile phone, it should look the same.

Another way is to harness the power of push notifications. These are the small icons that appear in your smartphone when there’s an update. You see this when you have push notifications turned on for an app. For Facebook Messenger, you’ll see a notification when someone messages you. In the Facebook app, you’ll see a notification when someone liked your picture. In Instagram, it’s when someone liked your picture or the pages that you have followed have updated. To put it simply, these notifications will inform the user about changes within the app. Usually accompanied by sound, these push notifications are very effective in getting a person’s attention and directing users back to a certain app or website.

There are different ways on how you can use push notifications. Here are the most common ones.

Send an Update from the App with Push Notifications

You may have seen how Facebook sends a notification every time someone messages you. This is how push notification keeps you engaged. No matter what you are doing, it sends you a mental reminder that something is up in the app and they need to visit it to find out what it is.

There are some companies that did this well.

First is The Bump. The Bump is an app for new mothers-to-be. It asks for the mother’s information and logs it into the app. It asks for the baby’s status by likening its size to a fruit. From here, the app delivers regular messages to the mother on the status of the baby depending on the day and time.

What I love about The Bump is it harnessed the power of push notifications by qualifying their leads before sending anything. They focused on providing valuable information. They didn’t just send their message blindly. The mothers-to-be who signed up to The Bump expected the notifications to come. Because of this, they don’t ignore it or see it as spam.

Another company that used push notification updates is JetBlue. JetBlue is an airline and it garnered positive reviews when they decided to use push notifications in a fascinating way – reminding customers a day before their flight. Since the notification is a gentle push towards something valuable (their flight), the push notifications are welcomed and the customers are really happy with the feature.

JetBlue did not stop there. It even has in-flight notification options that allows customers to know what will happen next. It did not keep customers in the dark and customers love it.

The result?

A stream of positive reviews that instantly got the airline in the map. Although the feature did not result in instant sales, people appreciate the extra effort that the airline took to show that they care and they are more than willing to promote the brand in return.

Aside from reviews, it seemed that the push notifications also helped the brand get more subscribers. Small updates may seem simple to do but so many companies are not doing it that something like this is always appreciated.

Sending Deals Through Market Segmentation and Push Notifications

It is common for marketers to think of sending deals the first time they hear about push notifications. But I am not talking about sending deals for the sake of doing it. If you do that, it’s called spamming. And no one wants to get daily deals no matter how big of a brand you are.

With this comes the need for market segmentation. This is where you divide your market based on their interests and just show them deals on items that matter to them.

This is what Netflix has done to win the attention of its market. First, it looked at all the user data that it had gathered. That along with the customer’s viewing history is enough information for Netflix to create a personalized message to its users. These personalized messages appear as push notifications. Netflix has found that a single update about the series that the user is watching is found to significantly increase user engagement. This goes to show how important data is in creating highly relevant push notifications. Before you should send anything, you should take the time to get to know your audience.

Another company that did this is Ticketmaster. Utilizing a user’s history and location, Ticketmaster sends updates on relevant events that the user may be interested in attending. Since the events are near the user’s location and it reflects the user’s interest, the push notifications is welcomed by the user. This results to higher engagement and conversion.

The power of segmentation is not only limited to websites with databases. It can also be used in eCommerce websites. One eCommerce website that did this is PLNDR. PLNDR is an online retailer of streetwear. They track user behavior by looking at the pages that the user visits. From here, it sends a deal that is related to the item that the user is looking at.

This results to better engagement and sales. In fact, PLNDR reported a 4% increase in sales and 20% increase in engagement.

Customer Retargeting with Push Notifications

Retargeting is the process of promoting products to your existing customers. The approach to marketing is slightly different because you don’t have to win a new customer. Instead, you just have to provide value in a way that will get them to buy again.

One company that did this well is La Redoute. La Redoute is an online fashion store that boasts to have $1 billion dollars in sales. Because of this, it is one of largest eCommerce websites on the Internet. One of the approaches that it uses in customer retargeting is trying to get people back into their abandoned carts. Cart abandonment has always been an issue for eCommerce website owners. This is where they add an item into the cart and then suddenly change their minds. When a customer does this, La Redoute instantly sends a push notification to the user to inform them about the items in their cart. This is very effective in getting them back especially if they are just diverted from buying.

What makes La Redoute’s marketing more effective is personalization. Instead of sending a push notification that there are items in their cart, the notification personal. It has  link to the user’s cart which they can click to complete the process.

According to La Redoute, this has increased their clickthrough rate by 200-300%. It seems that it works incredibly well because some customers just forget that they are adding items to their cart.

PLNDR is also doing the same thing. But this time, personalization is taken to the next level. PLNDR abandoned cart reminders will consist of specific notifications about the items that are added by the customer.

For eXtra, retargeting is a different thing. They use the power of push notifications to get people back to the website to purchase more items. Being an online retailer for electronic products, they receive a quick spurt in their growth. In fact, the website has been growing at a rate of 100% per year. They found that push notifications are so effective that it engages a customer at least 4x because of it.

Personalized Marketing Through Push Notifications

It is easy to think of push notifications as a means to spam your customer with deals just to get them to your website. But if you’re wise, you’ll know that this will only harm your chances of closing a sale. In fact, the more you push for a sale, the farther the customer moves away. You definitely don’t want them to turn off their notifications. That will only lower your conversions. So if you want them to come to you, focus on personalization instead.

These days, generalized marketing messages are no longer effective. You have probably seen those marketers who are targeting everyone. In the end, they end up targeting no one. Why? The Internet is now one big network. Gone are the days when geeks are the only ones who go online. With mobile Internet, almost everyone is online. With this, you need to tailor your message not only to appeal to the interest of your target market. It should be hyper targeted as if you are an old friend. Marketers agree in a 2014 marketing survey where 94% chose personalization as an important factor in meeting marketing objectives.

How do you craft hyper targeted messages? The answer lies in user data. You need to look at this data and get to know your customers as if you want to befriend them. From here, you should think of stuff that you can offer them so that you can have a relationship. That is what real personalization is all about.

The key to send powerful messages is through segmentation. You divide your customers based on their interests and you send semi-custom messages. If you have thousands of customers, you’ll hardly have time to talk to each one. So you need to create messages that are personalized to their needs but can also be sent automatically.

Personalization can be simple or complex. Some brands can divide their customers into two simple categories such as male and female while others have to be super specific. Some brands even take the customer’s location into account. It is called Geotargeting. Taking the customer’s location into consideration will also affect how you time your messages so that they can be sent in a time where your customer is more likely to read them. No matter what you choose, what’s important is to implement it. After all, marketers who used it reported a 54% increase in conversion.

NOTE: While automated messages is unavoidable because of the huge number of customers in the online space. Be sure to keep your messages family-friendly. For example, My Pet app received negative news when someone reported it for giving her 9-year-old daughter some ‘offensive notifications’. Although it was all for humor, the brand exposure was a flop.

Are you ready to have push notifications for your business? There are many ways to do this.

First, take a closer look at your user data. This is valuable in crafting personalized marketing messages.

Second, try to look at some tools that can help you implement push notifications without coding a new app. There are now some online solutions that you can use to do this.

Always give your customers the chance to choose how to be notified. Don’t limit it to one type of notification.

Also, don’t forget to provide value. No one wants to listen to a business owner that only cares about himself. You have one shot to show your customers that you care. Don’t spoil it. Don’t spam them with messages that they don’t need.

Do you have some tips in using Push Notifications for business? Feel free to tell me all about it below.
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8 Response to "How to Increase Customer Engagement with Push Notifications"

  1. Comment From Jamie Stuart

    Push notifications are huge these days. With the large majority of people glued to their cell phones, it only makes since. It is one of the best ways to reach people.



  2. Comment From Jan Starks

    The ability to do personalized marketing is key with push notifications. Netflix does a great job of letting me know when new seasons of my favorite shows are streaming.



  3. Comment From Tony Jilson

    On page push notifications are also good to use. The surprised be at first, but they are a good way to reach people that are always online.



  4. Comment From Hanah Usart

    I have found that I look forward to all my push notifications. It really is a great way to reach your customers in an instant.



  5. Comment From Scott Flanigan

    The ability to send someone a link to their shopping cart with the items they never purchased is huge. Your customers can pick up right where they left off.



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