Push Notifications – How to ensure they are engaging

By 11th September 2018 No Comments

We have all experienced some great examples of push notifications to our devices. Such as notifications that entice us back into the app to make use of a discount code! However, on the other end of the scale, we’ve all experienced times when push notifications were a little bit… annoying.

71% of app uninstalls are triggered by a push notification. That’s a huge amount and a harsh reality that the action attempting to engage the user back, is doing the complete opposite. The good thing about a push notification is that it reminds the user that the app is installed. The bad thing about a push notification is that it reminds the user the app is installed.

Executed correctly, push notifications can entice the user back and remind them to tap back into your app. Done badly, push notifications can come across as annoying and have the same effect on the users that spam emails would. Except uninstalling an app is far easier than unsubscribing from emails.

App users are people and it’s important to remember that the push notification goes to the person. They want to be engaged with. They want notifications that show up on their device to be fun and interesting, not annoying. The push notification should be designed in a way as to be attractive and exciting. It should be for people. With that in mind lets look at some of the ways in which push notifications can be beneficial and retain your users.

A great push notification example – The Saucey app

1. Make the Push Notification personal and relevant

One of the most important points to note when sending out push notifications is don’t make them generic. Push notifications should resemble a personal message. Something that the user thinks is important and catered just to them. The key is to send tailored, unique and personal push notifications. It’s crucial to not resort to sending ‘junk’ or things that don’t apply to a certain user.

Push notifications can be tailored to suit different segments of users and can even be based on the user’s personal journey. Thankfully there are lots of handy UX and marketing tools out there that can do this for you! For instance, if they are a certain way through a game, a push notification can remind the user to tap back into the game and complete their level. The same applies for retail apps. Push notifications can remind the user to check out their shopping or inform the user that a certain item is on sale.

2. Push Notifications should be timed accordingly

Remember, your users are doing things at different times. Some are at work, some are sleeping and lots of them are in different time zones! Depending on the time zone your users are in, you should send push notifications out accordingly.

Predict the right time to contact the user and consider different time zones. Assuming most people either set their devices to silent or do not disturb mode when they are asleep, how many push notifications do you wake up to, and quickly skip through in the morning? To stand out, its more beneficial to wait a few hours until mid-morning before you send out your push notifications. That way they don’t get lost in the sea of others.

The H&M app using personal push notifications.

3. Limit the amount of pushes you send in a day

When you see your home screen filling up with push notifications from the same app you probably don’t read all of them. That’s why it’s a good idea to limit the amount of push notifications you send out in a day. You don’t want the user to feel smothered or bothered by the amount of notifications popping up on their device, especially if they are marketing messages. They don’t want marketing push notifications to stop them from seeing personal messages and this can happen if you send out too many.

4. Use the correct terminology and tone of voice

The content you use for your push notification should always be the most interesting and enticing, whilst using as few words as possible. Users don’t want to read long paragraphs when something shows up on their device screen. Be precise and obvious, with a clear description of what the push notification is pushing.

Users like to be appreciated and recognised. After all, they are just people like you, your friends and family. If you know the name of the user, you can send personalised pushes. This stands more of a chance of catching the user’s eye when they see their name pop up. Lots of companies are now showing their users affection in the form of push notifications. Have you ever noticed some push notifications saying they miss you? That’s because it works and draws you back in.

An enticing push notification from Quizup

Done correctly, push notifications can be a great way to engage your followers and remind them how amazing your app is. However, done badly, push notifications can cause an influx of users hitting uninstall. Sending too many pushes will irritate your users and make them leave. However, a lack of push notifications can result in users forgetting the app exists, then thinking ‘oh I never use this app anyway, I should probably uninstall’!

Either way you risk losing users, but if you can execute great marketing for your push notifications then you should retain more than you lose!