Don’t Push This Technology Under The Radar

Consumers spend more than 5 hours on smartphones. Tap them on the shoulder with push notifications and increase conversions

Adebisi Adewusi
April 14 2018

For a long time, marketers have used SMS and email to communicate with consumers. Now, the trend is shifting to push notification. According to IBM, push notifications sent during Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend in 2017 increased 128% year-over-year while email and SMS marketing was only up 7%.

Here’s a simple definition of push notification: A message sent out from apps installed on a mobile device. These messages alert the user with a message displayed on their home or lock screen. A push notifications can encourage users to download a coupon or remind a user about an abandoned shopping cart.

Why Should You Bother With Push Notifications?

In a  recent survey of 3500 consumers across all continents, Counterpoint Technology Market Research states that half of respondents spent more than five hours per day on their smartphone. US consumers spend nearly 50 minutes in shopping apps per month, or 10 hours per year, according App Annie. Since consumers are addicted to their smartphones and spend significant amounts of time on shopping apps, it only makes sense for you to reach them with push notifications.

As pointed out by Forrester Research, push notifications make the most of mobile’s unique benefits: intimacy, immediacy, and context. They help marketers like you offer relevant and personalized benefits to consumers while reaching marketing goals. And many consumers don’t mind receiving push notifications. 65% of customers are more likely to return to an app or website within 30 days when push notifications are installed. And about half of all users who opt in to receive push notifications find them to be useful.

Now that we’ve discussed their benefits, let’s examine how they can add value to your business.

Increase Mobile App Retention

While the average app loses 77% of its Daily Active Users within the first 3 days after the install, with push notification, you can get users to stay glued to your app. A study by Leanplum found that retention rates are higher for apps that adopt push messaging, versus apps that do not. The study also discovered that apps that send push notifications can increase their retention by 20%, and if they do so at an optimal time, they can see a 7x better rate by day 30. Let’s drill down to verticals.

In a data analysis of 63 million new app users, Urban Airship found that for retail apps, users receiving weekly push notifications have 2-5x higher app retention rates than users who receive no push notifications. Also, users receiving daily push notifications have 3-6x higher app retention rates than users who receive no push notifications. Here are are a few tips to make your mobile app a retention machine using push notifications.

  • Give Users Control: Allow users to control the amount of notifications they receive and when they receive them. You don’t want consumers complaining about you waking them up in middle of the night with notifications.
  • It’s Not About You: Deliver messages that are relevant to users of your app first, and then take sales into account
  • Deep Linking: Use deep linking to direct customers to relevant sections within your app. Apps that implement deep links have been shown to acquire 2x retention over 30 days.
  • Collect Data: Like it or not, users will churn. Use data to find out why users abandon your app so you can reduce app churn in the future.
  • Test: To drive retention, use A/B testing to experiment with the right combination of message and content that will appeal to users of your app

Learn how your users want to use your app and then provide content based on what matters to them.

Drive In-Store Traffic With Geo-Fencing

While a lot of noise has been made about the death of brick and mortar stores, the truth is consumers like to see, feel and try out items before purchase. So, brick and mortar stores aren’t dead, you just have to learn how to lure consumers to your store. That’s where push notification comes in. Using geofencing, you can set a radius for your push messages so that when your customers are in close proximity to your store, they receive your custom message even if they don’t open your app. Smart brands such as Target have found success with geo-fence push notifications.

Target built its Cartwheel app specifically to cater to in-store customers. The app lets shoppers know about deals going on at their local Target and allows them combine Cartwheel deals with other coupons, which creates a huge incentive to visit their store.  So far, Target’s Cartwheel app has generated over $3 billion in revenue for the company. Considering the fact that 61% of smartphone users say they’re more likely to buy from companies whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location, you can’t sleep on geo-fence push notifications. Quick note: Geofence push notifications aren’t meant to pester users with messages whenever they go. Your message should be timely and relevant if you want users to keep your app.

Keep Consumers Loyal With Enagement

It’s a known fact that consumers aren’t loyal. However if you keep them engaged that can change. Highly engaged customers buy more, promote more, and are exercise brand loyalty. Gallup research shows that a fully-engaged customer represents 23% more revenue compared to the average customer. Also, organizations that provide outstanding customer engagement see a 4x increase in top and bottom line growth, and a 3x increase in customer acquisition. Smart marketers use push notifications to increase app engagement and strengthen their brand.

US pharmacy retailer, Walgreens, uses push notifications to let consumers know when they need to refill medicine or to remind them about drugs they need to take on a daily basis. About 70% of Walgreens’ customers engage with the company through mobile platforms and 50% of digital sales are derived from the same source. Similarly, Netflix won the attention of its market by sending users relevant push notifications based on their viewing habits. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Netflix’s app topped revenue charts in 2017. According to reports from app store analytics firm Sensor Tower, the streaming video giant saw gross subscriber revenue of approximately $510 million. Just like Walgreens and Netflix, you can drive engagement with your app if you use push notifications to provide value to your customers.

Push notifications can help keep users glued to your app, drive in store traffic, improve customer engagement and ultimately make you some money.

There’s a thin line, however, between being useful and overbearing, so personalize your communications, adjust to their schedules, and give your users the final say.


Adebisi Adewusi

Adebisi Adewusi is a freelance B2B writer and a Huffington Post Contributor. When she’s not creating compelling content for businesses, you’ll find her capturing moments with her Nikon d600.

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