10 tips for developing a push notification strategy

Hester Gras

Silverpop, an IBM Company, recently launched a white paper with 10 tips for getting started with mobile app push notifications. Although app retention has been rising, about one in five apps gets downloaded but never opened or activated on a mobile device and many apps get used only a couple of times. Push notifications can increase engagement with your app and help increase conversions by nearly 10 percent. Check out the tips below!

1. Determine the goal of your app

Think about the purpose of your app. Do you want users to engage with your content, make a purchase, or something else? How often do you want them coming back to your app? Answering these questions will help you develop your overall push notification strategy. 

2. Integrate your mobile app with your central marketing database

Capture your app data in a central marketing database together with other marketing data, so you can use them to customise content and interactions across all your communication channels.

3. Convince app users to accept your push notifications

Show your app users what benefits they will get for allowing you to send them push notifications. Provide more reasons to opt in via a dedicated push pop-up right before the official ask. Highlight the types of push notifications you’ll send, the value they’ll provide to the user, and how often customers might expect to receive them. 

4. Get the timing right

Incorporate local push timing into your strategy so that user segments get messages at one time regardless of location (to make sure you’re not disturbing their sleep). Also, think about customising your messages based on the time of year (holidays) to make the brand more personable.

5. Optimise the frequency

Don’t overdo notifications for advertising or promotional purposes: less is usually more. If you have multiple types of push notifications from a single app, make sure your user can edit their push settings easily for each type of notification. 

6. Incorporate narrowcast notifications to boost relevance

Use rule definitions to launch messages aimed at a targeted or segmented subgroup of app users. The criteria you use to segment can range widely, including mobile app interactions, customer demographics and purchase behaviours.

Consider sending 1:1 push notifications triggered location, for instance via iBeacons.
Consider sending 1:1 push notifications triggered location, for instance via iBeacons.


7. Use data triggers to send 1:1 push notifications

Individualised push notifications driven by a user’s actions or attributes can increase engagement. Consider sending 1:1 push notifications triggered by data/event, behaviour, location or profile. Combining general broadcast, narrowcast and 1:1 push notifications will enable you to maximise message reach and relevance.

8. Incorporate rich notifications into the push mix

Unlike simple text alerts, rich messages use colours, graphics and images and appear in an in-app inbox. The mobile app inbox offers the benefit of enabling you to communicate with app users without interrupting their normal flow of activities.

9. Trigger or change content in push notifications based on score

Using scoring can help you better segment your customers and provide more relevant push notifications. For instance, based on activity scores, you can tailor notifications to turn an engaged customer into a brand advocate or reactivate a disengaged customer who has an inactive score. 

10. Send time-constrained “vanishing” offers

Send time-constrained offers and single-use promotion codes to specific users to the in-app inbox. Then, when you hit a threshold where a certain number of these coupons has been redeemed, you could pull the offer back out of the inbox.

Incorporating push notifications into your messaging mix can help ensure you engage your mobile users via their mobile devices with the perfect content at the right moment. Which notification tactics do you use?

Download Silverpop’s complete white paper here.


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