When it comes to push notifications, there is no middle ground.
People either love receiving alerts or they don't.
Most people who dislike push notifications often say that their main gripe is frequency.
According to YouGov, around half of all American consumers feel they get too many notifications.
In contrast, only 38% say they receive just the right amount.
Frequency is a changing goal post depending on the push notification’s content.
Users seem fine with receiving news and information alerts a few times a day.
However, for brand promotions, only 19% of users prefer receiving brand alerts a few times a week.
18% are okay with a weekly reminder, while 17% want less than once a week.
At the extremities, 7% say they’re okay with a few times a day, while 20% don’t want any notifications.
Whenever users feel threatened with the number of alerts they receive, they often do something about it.
42% will change their phone’s settings will 39% will turn off notifications entirely.
8% will go nuclear and delete the app.
Which leaves the remaining 9% doing nothing about the situation.
A Delicate Balancing Act
As companies that employ web push notifications to get the point across, how do you achieve balance?
Competing for attention with rivals is hard enough as it is.
For starters, it’s a good idea to start a campaign on a solid footing.
Frequency and content go hand in hand.
Users tend to place value on each notification.
If they feel the effort of pulling out their phone and opening the message isn’t more than the value of the message, disabled notifications will follow soon.
This is the key takeaway: web push notifications should bring value to users.
If it doesn’t, it becomes a source of annoyance.
10 Web Push Notification Best Practices
With that in mind, here are some push notification best practices that might help craft a better campaign strategy.
Sending notifications shouldn’t follow a one-size-fits-all formula.
A little sensitivity to a customer’s needs could go a long way.
#1 Present An Offer Off The Bat
Instead of burying the promotion or special offer and then going with “We have a gift for you!” on the title, go straight to the point!
The message should be loud and clear at first glance.
Some people might be too busy or distracted to go over the rest of the message if they don’t see value in the title.
#2 Make The Information Useful
Retail web push notifications come in handy when announcing something customers are on the lookout for?
Is the company restocking a popular item? Is the size or color a user is looking for now available?
Even a simple announcement that stores will be open on a particular holiday might prove useful for some users too busy to check out schedules.
#3 Challenge Some Assumptions
This is a bit tricky.
Remember when California pushed a law requiring genderless toy sections?
This is an example of challenging some assumptions that only boys want toy guns and only girls want dolls.
Another more applicable example is the Flat Age Society.
Age is fast becoming an outdated retail segment in many products, especially fashion.
This is the reason why many brands are adopting an age-neutral campaign.
#4 Consider the Time
Let’s move to the business of sending notifications.
With all the talk of automatic sends and scheduled messaging, users still get annoyed a lot by web push notifications that arrive in the middle of the night.
Is it really necessary to send an alert at 12:01 AM across time zones?
Even if you manage to catch a customer wide awake, it’s not like an actual store will be open to take in business.
Figuring out the best times to send notifications will need work.
Web marketing guru Neil Patel agrees that the best time to send push messages is afternoons of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
#5 Even Better, Consider the Frequency
The more push notifications you send over the day, the more your retail value drops.
Stay away from campaigns that try to beat users into submission by flooding their phones with notifications.
Consider this analogy: is your messaging campaign more like gourmet food or fast food? With gourmet, you treat each morsel as an indulgence and take measured bites.
For fast food, you eat as much as you want and feel hungry in an hour.
It becomes nothing to look forward to unless the person will eat anything.
So, don’t cheapen your brand by feeding your customers too much.
#6 Capitalize on Events or Trends
Now and then, a piece of information becomes so passed around it becomes viral.
If you can capitalize on this trend while it’s hot, you can elicit some positive engagement from your subscribers.
Many local companies usually offer promotions when their local sports team wins.
The announcement usually starts with “Team Wins Over Rival! Get 50% Off!” This makes the sale a bit more resonating to the user, especially if the profile suggests a love for sports.
#7 Announce Price Drops and Flash Sales
Web push notifications are an effective way to promote flash sales as well as price drops.
A sudden sale or reduction in prices can often push customers that are on the fence into triggering the purchase.
Often, companies offer price drops or flash sales to boost revenue (usually at the end of a fiscal quarter) or reduce excessive inventory.
However, like everything else in this post, don’t overdo it.
While price reductions can trigger a wave of customers, frequent reductions can make them rethink their purchases.
The product might be seen as faulty, or lesser in value than its original price.
#8 Ask For Feedback But Don’t Rush It
Requesting feedback is a common thing to do nowadays. Even a simple visit to the website can elicit a call to leave comments or answer a survey, After, feedback is one of the easiest ways to get insights on what customers like and don’t like.
However, consider the timing when requesting reactions. Asking customers to complete a form after ordering may be seen as different compared to asking them after completing a delivery.
While many retailers jump the gun and ask for feedback within minutes of installing an app, it’s a good idea to give them some space to navigate their way around the app first.
#9 Take Care with Using Emojis
Around 99.18% of the world’s smartphones run on Android and Apple’s iOS. While these two operating systems are similar in many ways, one noticeable difference is their adoption of emojis.
Emoticons are a great means of expression, but when sending the same message to both Android and Apple users, the results may not be the same. As a result, exercise some restraint when deploying emoticons. The last thing a user would want to read is a bunch of plain squares, which means the emoji didn’t quite make it.
#10 Personalize the Message
This is not just about putting a user’s name on the front of the push message. Personalizing messages is about making that each subscriber receives only the notifications that they signed up for.
Personalization can be tricky, however. In many cases, it can re-engage users that seem to have fallen out of favor with the brand. A conceptual notification sent at the right time can do the trick.
Data analytics can help with this. By tracking the frequency of visits and preferred products, brands can send a well-timed notification informing the user that a liked product is available. Throwing in a sweetener like a personalized discount can help close the deal.
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