Creating a Mobile Push Notification Strategy that Works

When you first read the title of this post, you probably thought…oxymoron! How can an invasive push notification on your phone be something you would ever look forward too! Stick with me because it may not be easy but it is possible to create a successful push notification strategy. The infographic below from Microsoft takes a deep dive into what makes a push notification strategy successful or ineffective.

The Problem with Push Notifications

First, let’s address the obvious. Most push notifications are not welcomed with open arms by users. However, this is because they are all too often generic mass notifications to a company’s entire list of users. For example, say you are a guy who signed up to receive notifications from a clothing store app you downloaded but the majority of push notifications you receive are about women’s clothing. This would be a common example of a push notification problem companies are experiencing. While it may be easier to send one notification to all customers instead of segmenting your lists, you will typically experience decreased engagement, app usage, and even possible decreases in sales.  As we see in the infographic below, there are 4 main reasons that mobile push notification strategies are unsuccessful:

  1. Only blasting generic notifications to all of their app users regardless of interests or behavior
  2. Assuming that users in your industry will interact with push notifications the same way that they do with apps from companies in other industries
  3. Only sending push notifications when it is convenient for your business…not your customer
  4. Overwhelming your customers with multiple messages each week

A Push Notification Strategy That Works

Just like with other areas of digital marketing, it is critical to focus on sending the right message to the right people at the right time. Using that as the focus of your push notification strategy, you can be very successful and create notifications that users will look forward to seeing when they pick up their phones. As described in the infographic, there are four components you will want to focus on:

  1. Customize your push notifications for specific demographics or audience behaviors instead of generic mass messages
  2. Research best practices and trends for your industry
  3. A/B test to determine what is the best day and time is for sending notifications in order to achieve the greatest interaction
  4. Scheduled out messages so that they don’t annoy the customer

The is not one single cookie-cutter strategy that will work for every business. As such, it is critical that you continue to test and adjust your strategy on a regular basis to determine what types of messages, segmentation, and scheduling results in the greatest number interactions, sales, app uses, etc. Check out the infographic below for more on what metrics to focus on when measuring the success of your strategy.

push notification strategy infographic