Push notification apps are tools that businesses can use to engage, retain, and re-engage customers. From delivery to rewards, one little notification takes care of it all!
We all deal with push notifications on a daily basis. Apps and websites use them to tell us important things — mostly things that we agreed to be notified about. That’s one of the main benefits of push notifications in comparison to text or email messages: users can’t complain that they didn’t agree to receive them, and they have an easy and simple way to mute them whenever they want.
But that’s not the only benefit of push notifications. They are also a vehicle to more conversions and more user engagement — if used properly. If not, users can opt to ignore them, and all of their benefits will be lost.
That’s why it’s essential to have a good push notifications strategy, together with a proper tool, to help you drive your campaign to success. Here’s a handy table featuring the tools that’ll help you leverage those push notifications towards business success!
We all have overflowing inboxes, and we all love spam filters that collect the garbage, leaving only the messages that we need to read. If you’re a marketer, you have to figure out how to get a message reach a massive audience effectively, and by now you should know that sending emails is not the way to go.
Enter push notifications, those clickable pop-up messages that appear on your device’s screen, no matter what app or website you’re in. Push notification can be mainly grouped in these two categories:
In-app push notifications
Browser push notifications
In-app notifications appear only when triggered by an existing app on your mobile device, while browser notifications can be triggered on any device, as long as the user accepts to receive them.
All push notifications typically consist of a title, a message, an image, and a URL.
The “less is more” principle applies fully to push notifications: text must be concise, both to fit the device’s character limit and to let the user skim it; the image must be understandable and straightforward, and obviously, the whole content must be relevant to the user. There are also rich push notifications, which may add videos and up to three clickable links.
In order to keep the text within the boundaries, and to add charm and appeal to the message, you could replace words with emojis that synthesize a sentiment you intend to share.
Notifications can also be categorized according to their purpose. For example, there are reminder notifications, such as abandoned cart notifications, which are sent to e-commerce users to remind them that they put items on a cart, but they didn’t check out.
There are FYI (for-your-information) notifications, used to send relevant news to users that agreed to receive them, such as new job openings, product announcements, and so on. There are triggered notifications: automated messages based on predefined rules and real-time data collected after a subscriber enters a campaign funnel.
If you don’t want to spend all day pushing notifications by yourself, you will need a tool to automate as much of the message-pushing process as possible. Fortunately, there is a handful of tools that extremely simplify the setup and fine-tuning of your message-pushing strategies. Below you can read about the most relevant of them.
Categories & Types of Push Notifications
It’s interesting how a small pop-up message that’s pushed to a user’s mobile or desktop device can make such a difference! No matter the type of business, there are different types of these notifications a business can use to improve engagement and increase sales.
From sending a geolocation-based push notification for local store openings to rich push notifications that announce great deals, it’s a great marketing tool for businesses to engage users instantly.
Before we jump straight to the types of push notifications every business should leverage, let’s take a look at the different categories of push notifications that exist, depending upon the platform:
Web-based push notifications
Mobile app-based push notifications
Desktop-based push notifications
Push notifications on wearables like smartwatches
Businesses can rely on these push notifications to send alerts, reminders, or deals in real-time. Not only is the experience personalized to a particular set of audiences, but also it helps ensure the message or memo isn’t overlooked. Whether yours is an eCommerce business or an insurance/financial one, here are the push notifications you should consider:
#1. Order Push Notifications
When a customer places an order with you, you can send them an order push notification to confirm the order. In addition to order status, you should use this space to update them on the date of delivery.
Whether you choose to convey delivery date or not, here are the details your order push notification should always have:
Name of the user (preferably, the first name)
Name of the shop/store
Date & time of the order placed
Having the delivery data included is an added bonus as the customer can be prepared for receiving the delivery, reducing the chances of delivery failure because of no one being at home.
#2. Transactional Push Notifications
Similar to order notifications, transactional push notifications are the kind that update your user about a transaction made. In fact, they are triggered by a transaction done on your app or website.
A transactional push notification can be of 5 types:
Shipping updates like delivered or out for delivery
Account balance updates
Now, you might be wondering why should you opt for transactional push notifications for these events? Or, why are transactional push notifications necessary over in-app or in-web notifications?
Well, that would be because they help provide a seamless and personalized user experience. It’s crucial, especially at times when a user has overlooked the notification sent earlier. After all, customer satisfaction depends upon in great part on the customer’s convenience.
#3. Time-Bound Push Notifications
Time-bound push notifications are vital for limited offers deals. Sent within a specific time as the name conveys, time-bound push notifications can help businesses bring traction and visibility to an ongoing limited-offer deal.
With so many deals, offers, and sales running all the time, it has become increasingly difficult for customers to keep track of which sale is when. Help drive audience to your sales while reminding your users with a time-bound flash sale push notification.
Triggered push notifications are an excellent way of delivering personalized experiences to your user. In fact, triggered notifications are set off by preexisting conditions set by B2B or B2C marketers and app developers.
In fact, time-bound push notifications are perfect for flash sales as well. Your flash sale or limited-time offer push notifications should include the following:
Name of the company/shop/store
Time left for the flash sale or limited-time offer to expire
After all, if a customer doesn’t know what’s on sale they’ll miss out on a deal though they may have the willingness to pay.
#4. Geolocation-Based Push Notifications
Hosting local events, or want to invite users to a local shop opening? Use geolocation-based push notifications for local engagement. Many businesses make the mistake of announcing new store openings and local events to all their users, thereby spamming them. When this often happens, users end up unsubscribing from the brand/company.
If you’d not be blocked for being spam, and would rather want to invite loyal users to local events, you can use geolocation-based notifications. This will not only help you target the right audience for your event, but also avoid spamming users at a time that’s not aligned to their time zone.
For this, you’ll need to segment your audience by country and then specific regions. You can just choose the region and country specific to your business requirements to leverage market segmentation.
#5. Triggered Push Notifications
Using them is a great marketing tactic because it can help you target more individual users, and send them timely and relevant information only. This will improve their overall brand experience, and increase user engagement on your product(s) or service.
Moreover, triggered push notifications are brilliant for delivering personalized experiences, like:
Completing milestones with your brand, like placing their first order or 50th order
Achieving a customer loyalty goal with your company, like booking their 5th trip in the first 3 months
Giving them a birthday-special discount or anniversary-special offer along with a birthday or anniversary wish
Reminders for an upcoming event, they have signed up for
You can also send triggered push notifications to inactive users to reengage them!
#6. Promotional Push Notifications
Promotional push notifications, as part of your social media customer service and marketing, are one of the most common types of push notifications. Almost all businesses send them out every day.
In addition to sending promotional offers on products/services, promotional push notifications can be personalized to a particular segment of audience. You can roll out special deals for them, or showcase types of products that they tend to like or enjoy to increase sales.
#7. Abandoned Cart Push Notifications
eCommerce businesses need to send out abandoned cart push notifications to close deals and sales. While many businesses have abandoned cart campaigns/emails, most users might miss those emails or overlook those texts.
I’ll also recommend adding a sense of urgency to your abandoned cart push notifications by sharing a special discount or free shipping that expires in the next 30–45 minutes. This might inspire additional conversions.
In addition to incentivizing purchases or creating a fear of missing out, you can offer to help them with push notifications. Ask them if anything went wrong, or remind them of how many they loved the product. Or, turn abandoned cart leads to conversions by making your users feel special – tell them you love their style or taste, or compliment them.
You might think a reminder push notification is the same thing as an abandoned cart one! Well, that’s not the case. A reminder push notification works for all businesses and services, unlike abandoned cart notifications that only work for eCommerce businesses.
You can remind users to complete a purchase, renew their subscription, complete details on your website, or take the next action towards something. Reminder push notifications by Duolingo are quite popular!
When a user is inactive or would miss their regular streak, Duolingo sends reminder notifications to reengage you back in the loop. The passive-aggressive tone has been their latest marketing tactic, and it seems to give them engagement as well as brand engagement and social proof. Duolingo push notifications have been so popular that the company used Duolingo Push for a unique brand marketing campaign on an April Fool’s Day prank.
Moreover, if yours is a job-based website/hunt, you can remind users to fill up their applications, upload CV. Or, if yours is a fitness website and the user hasn’t logged in for their daily workouts, you can remind them to get back into the fitness regime. The same can be done for lessons of any kind: educational, or fitness-related.
#9. Rich Push Notifications
A rich push notification has rich media like audio, video, or other interactive elements that can help engage an audience better than standard notifications with just text or pictures. According to Google Studio, rich media ads or push notifications include multiple levels of content in one placement: videos, games, tweets and helps generate clicks, or raise brand awareness.
The best part about rich push notifications is you have three clickable CTAs in comparison to a single CTA in standard push notifications. You can also use emojis to convey emotions directly.
When you send a rich push notification to a user with custom layouts, you can stick to brand colors and formats. Moreover, rich push notifications give your audience a unique chance to interact with the media. It provides a visually different experience tailored to your brand.
However, there’s one thing you should keep in mind: Rich push notifications will look different on different devices, depending upon the capabilities of the device.
What Push Notifications Metrics Should You Track?
You can send out multiple push notifications a day. Unless you’re tracking their analytics, you’d never know what’s working and what’s not.
Hence, let’s start with the top 4 metrics you should be tracking to gauge the success of your push notifications:
#1. Opt-in & Opt-out Rates
You can track opt-in rates to see how many visitors are turning to subscribers to see if your offer is working. However, the opt-out rate is more important. You should keep checking after each campaign to see if your audience is liking what you’re sending.
Opt-out rates can also suggest a different approach, like you might consider sending lesser notifications or avoid sending a specific type of content.
#2. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
CTR is one of the most essential metrics to track to understand whether a specific campaign converted leads to subscribers or conversions. In fact, we recommend tracking the CTR of every individual push notification to see if this content fits with your audience, or if the type of push notification that works better.
This can help you figure if a promotional push notification works better in comparison to a rich push notification, or if you should just go for a geolocation notification.
#3. View Rate vs. Conversion Rate
View rate is the number of people who’re seeing your push notifications. Whereas, the conversion rate denotes the number of people who are taking the desired action.
While you’ll want to have a healthy conversion rate to know if the notifications are working, you’ll always want to have a 100% view rate to know people are seeing your push notifications. It’s a clear indication that there are no technical glitches in your way.
#4. Platform Distribution
We also recommend tracking platform distribution occasionally, to identify whether most of your subscribers are using laptops or mobiles. This will help you tailor specific experiences.
For example, Android mobile devices have the option to send sticky push notifications that aren’t manually dismissible by the audience. That doesn’t happen in Apple phones.
Developers can integrate OneSignal push notification tools with less than ten lines of code, using any development environment and the language of their choice. It reportedly takes no more than 15 minutes to set up the service.
Once it is running, you can almost forget about it, because notifications will be triggered based on user behavior. But before forgetting about it, you might want to create an optimal segmentation: OneSignal lets you create personalized messages and send them to the right audiences. The messages will also be intelligently delivered at the optimal time, with the aid of machine learning algorithms that decide when to send each message.
In case your website experiments a big surge in subscribers or your app becomes really popular, OneSignal will scale accordingly — it will send billions of notifications daily if necessary.
Pricing plans include a free option that allows for up to 30K web subscribers and includes all the basic features you might need to start sending notifications. If you need premium features, such as advanced analytics, intelligent delivery, a service level agreement, or a dedicated account manager, you will need to opt for the Starter plan (from $ 99/mo) or the Pro plan (from $ 500/mo).
OneSignal also has a WordPress plugin, which makes it easy to integrate with WP sites.
By adding just one line to your website’s code, you can integrate SendPulse service and immediately begin sending instant web notifications to all popular browsers, even on smartphones.
SendPulse takes care of the automation flow for new subscribers, and the creation of automatic notifications based on RSS feeds. It lets you create custom subscription requests, either by changing its looks or by picking the optimal moment to show them: immediately after a visitor enters your website, after he or she spent some time on it, or after the first click on a link or a button.
A set of professional tools lets you use additional user data to create personalized notifications and segment your subscribers by location or other details. With the use of A/B testing tools, you can put different versions of a notification to the test and see which one produces better results with your audience.
SendPulse service is free of charge if your subscriber’s database has less than 10,000 records. You can even earn money allowing advertisers to send targeted web push ads to your subscribers. If your audience grows beyond 10,000 subscribers, you can choose a paid plan, which also offers more features than the free plan. The price will depend on the number of subscribers.
Subscribers is an easy-to-use notification solution specially designed for marketers. It offers schedulable, dynamic, automatable, and custom push notifications that will keep your visitors coming back, even if they are not online while your message is sent. Notifications allow for rich content, which helps to showcase your products or services with unique imagery and custom action buttons.
The solution includes triggers for notifying specific situations in e-commerce apps or websites, such as abandoned carts, inventory changes, or trending products. Subscribers app also adds some specific marketing tools, such as customer recapture, coupon creation, tracking purchases, and other funnel activities that determine value attribution. Daily analytics complements the solution with easy to understand charts that consolidate all data in one location.
Installation and setup can be done with plugins and guides tailored specifically for WordPress, Wix, Shopify, Google Tag Manager, and more. The service is free for up to 200 subscribers. Paid plans allow for greater subscriber volumes and some premium features, such as the ability to schedule notifications in advance, get advanced customer support, and implement welcome drip campaigns.
VWO Engage offers to bring back your lost visitors at four times the conversion rate of email campaigns. Besides offering web push notifications, VWO Engage lets you reach customers through mobile notifications — without building an app — or through Facebook Messenger, engaging them via their most trusted network and helping to keep you at the top of mind.
VWO Engage focuses on re-engaging lost customers, bringing them back through personalized cart abandonment campaigns, and tracking unfinished purchases. It also aims to help you get the most of your advertising and marketing budget, by notifying customers about the fresh stock and new arrivals in real-time, promoting time-sensitive deals and saving on paid ads by retargeting visitors with web push notifications and Facebook instant messages.
VWO Engage is part of a bigger thing called the VWO Platform, which also includes VWO Testing, VWO Insights, and VWO Plan. Together, these sets of tools focus on gathering knowledge about visitor behavior, which in turn constitutes aid to conduct surveys, run experiments, and engage visitors.
Developers who continuously need critical transactional information could use Beams, a hosted push notifications API designed especially for them. Beams allow for flexible notifications delivery, triggering them automatically with every event in your app, using a single function.
With only one request, notifications can be pushed to iOS or Android devices indistinctly. The complete device token lifecycle is hosted and managed by Pusher Beams.
Beams offers high volume throughput and batch support, together with automatic scaling and support for common edge cases. The API is compatible with server SDKs in PHP, Node, Java, and other languages. A debug console lets you watch your implementation, while an insights dashboard lets you keep an eye on your delivery health. Among these insights, you can get notifications to acknowledge by devices and notifications opened by users.
Four pricing plans offer options for different needs, ranging from a free one, with unlimited push notifications and a limit of 2,000 monthly active devices, to an Enterprise tailored solution, with more than 50,000 monthly active devices, advanced open and delivery insights, and dedicated support.
A full-featured GDPR-compliant push service for web, iOS, and Android, with a single pricing scheme that covers all features, independently of the size of your wallet: a starting price of €1 per month plus €1 for every additional 1000 subscribers. WonderPush has a simple setup procedure can get you up and running in no more than 15 minutes.
To get the most of your notifications, WonderPush offers an interesting feature set, including real-time analytics that monitors your conversions, behavioral and time-based automation to help you drive users back to your app, segmentation that assures the right message reaches the right audience, and a friendly, fully-documented RESTful API to help developers take care of the fine-tuning with little effort.
WonderPush datacenter is hosted on Google Cloud, keeping European data within the European continent, which helps with GDPR compliance. The SDKs are open source, guaranteeing that the company won’t collect redundant user data. By using WonderPush API, you can determine how long your data will stay on their servers.
Use Them Wisely!
There was a time when people read every email they received. Until marketers started sending emails, indiscriminately, and spam filters became commonplace. Now, push notifications to constitute a modern and far more effective marketing tool, particularly because users can quickly mute and ignore them. That’s why they have to be used carefully.
The push notification tools we mentioned here make it easy to let your messages reach your audience. But that’s just one part of the job. Your part is to employ the knowledge you have of your audience to use these tools wisely, in order to maximize engagement and get the highest possible conversion rates.
Push notifications can help businesses improve real-time engagement and get more traction to specific sales and live campaigns. However, the most important benefit is increasing sales by increasing CTR. With an attractive deal, you encourage your users to complete a sale.
Have they abandoned their cart, or have they been inactive for too long? No matter the cause, push triggered notifications to reengage them back to the loop. You can use these for all types of businesses, and they have no limits! So, what’s stopping you from getting your user’s attention through these push notification tools?
If a customer wants to view the product, they should look at the product listing page. If they want to buy it, then put it in the cart. I mean, it’s basic common sense. Then why is cart abandonment such a big problem for e-commerce businesses?