How push notifications help engage customers
Push notifications are a great way to stay in touch with consumers.
Did you know that over 3.5 billion push notifications are sent every day? That's a lot of notifications! But why are they so popular? Because they are one of the most effective ways to keep your customers engaged.
Would you like to know more? Keep reading!
What are push notifications?
Do you know the previews of WhatsApp messages, SMS or alerts that you have received new emails that appear on the screen of your PC or smartphone? These are all examples of push notifications.
Basically, push notifications are direct messages that pop up on a mobile device (or a computer).
Companies can use push notifications to send timely updates on new products, events, special offers, or ask customers to perform a specific action, such as downloading a coupon. In other words, push notifications allow companies to communicate directly to a customer, even when they are not using the company’s app or browsing its website.
They are sent through what is called a "push notification service" to which a consumer decides to subscribe. However, they can control the types of notifications they receive, as well as how often they receive them. For example, they can turn off push notifications for an app or website, even without unsubscribing.
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years. But what does it mean?
In short, customer engagement is the set of interactions, through various channels, which aim to intercept, involve, convert and retain the customers. The goal is to create long-term relationships in which they can experience a positive customer journey.
Indeed, every company should be aware that today the customer experience is as important as the quality of goods and services. That’s why they should aim to create long-term relationships with their customers. In fact, it is this relationship that generates that trust that transforms users into customers. However, to be effective, the relationship must be continuous, interesting, and - of course - engaging.
There are many ways to achieve this: from sharing engaging content on the web to providing excellent customer service, but also by creating a loyalty program and sending personalized communications through push notifications.
Why are push notifications so effective for the engagement?
So, the more interactions a user has with the brand, the more likely they are to become a long-term customer. Companies can facilitate this process with push notifications. In fact, push notifications can keep a company top-of-mind and ensure that customers return to the website or app frequently.
But, do they really work? The statistics speak for themselves:
- 55% to 60% of all mobile users opt into push notifications. (Source)
- Push notifications increase engagement by up to 88%. (Source)
- Push notifications boost retention rate 3 to 8X. (Source)
The phenomenon of abandoned carts
A practical example of the effective usefulness of push notifications is under the eyes of anyone who runs an e-commerce.
All e-commerce suffers from the problem of abandoned carts, i.e. users choose products, add them to the virtual cart but then do not complete the purchase.
La Redoute, one of the largest fashion e-commerce retailers, used push notifications to retrieve these types of users through the mobile app. They sent highly personalized messages and led the user to the cart to complete the purchase. And it worked! The click-through rate on push notifications was 2-3 times higher than classic mobile retargeting ads.
How to use push notifications to improve your customers engagement
Here are a few ideas:
- Inform about special offers, new products, events, etc.,
- Redirect users toward your social media profiles,
- Share valuable content,
- Restore abandoned carts on e-commerce,
- Encourage users to download coupons,
- Involve users in real time contests,
Encourage users to share reviews or UGC (user generated content).
What to do for effective push notifications
If you are considering starting a push notifications service, pay attention to the following details:
1) The opt-in
The opt-in form is what will convince the user to subscribe (or not) to your push notifications. So, build it well!
First, you need an engaging message explaining why they should subscribe. If they agree, send a second message to confirm their intention. If they refuse, don't give up: try again a few days later. Sometimes the timing can make a difference. However, don’t be pressing otherwise, you could damage your brand reputation.
Second, find the right place to put your opt-ins. It depends on the path your users and customers take on your site. Usually, high-traffic pages guarantee a higher conversion rate.
We've already suggested it: timing is key.
If you contact users when they are too busy, they may ignore your notification. The same when they sleep. So, is there an ideal time to send push notifications? No, it depends on what you want to achieve, who your audience is and where they are.
You can get an idea by analyzing user behavior on your site, e-commerce, social networks or app. Consider not only when more users are online, but also when purchases are made or on which pages/sections or which pages do they visit.
Push notifications are direct messages and you need to customize them. Moreover, they interrupt people while they are doing something else, so they should be relevant to the recipient's interests.
Personalization requires data analytics, that is the collect and analysis of customers’ personal and behavioral information. The more information you have, the more you can segment users to send them the most appropriate message.
4) Your whole strategy
Push notifications alone can’t do much. You need to incorporate them into a broader multichannel strategy. For this, you must not only know the people you want to reach but also your goals. Do you want to increase the sales on your online shop? More subscribers to your video courses? Make a new product visible as much as possible? Or more traffic to the website?
You can't count on just one channel to do so. As Google explains with its Messy Middle, the customer journey today has become chaotic and you need numerous touch points to develop engagement.
So, pay close attention to all the channels you use and be sure that you are creating a positive customer experience in each of them. Imagine what a user might think if they decide to click on an attractive push notification and then land on a sloppy website or a malfunctioning app! It is almost certain that they would quit and you would lose a potential customer.