10 Best Push Notification Practices for Engaging Your Customers Without Annoying Them
10 Best Push Notification Practices for Engaging
Customers Without Annoying Them!
In recent years, marketers have gotten excited about the potential of mobile push notifications
to engage with customers, and it's no secret why. Unlike email marketing, which was once the
most coveted customer engagement tool (before it was done half to death), a push is difficult
to ignore. Push notifications allow you to reach out to users just about any time, whether
they're eating breakfast, grinding away at work, or using other applications on their device.
Of course, this is also why the strategy has so much potential to fail. A marketing channel
that's so disruptive carries a lot of risk for misuse, and even giants like CNN, Spotify, and
Facebook have blundered their way into the headlines for doing so.
Getting it wrong runs the risk of not only annoying your audience into cutting off your push
access but can cause them to delete your app completely. Let's have a look at some tips on how
to push without pushing too hard.
1. Tell Them How to Break Up With You!
It's tempting to make opt-outs somewhat cumbersome to discourage “break ups,” but forcing
your prospects into communication destroys customer loyalty. Make opting out as easy and
painless as possible to retain trust and goodwill.
But don't assume the easy opt-out gives you a free pass to spam. Even if they can ditch you,
overdoing things still leaves a bad taste in their mouth concerning your brand.
That's why it's crucial to...
2. Test and Track
Know the results of what you're doing. Don't walk out there with a blindfold and swing at dead
There are plenty of tools you can use to analyze user behavior, discover what triggers opt-outs
or declines in engagement, and improve your push program accordingly.
3. Know Your Audience
Mobile devices provide an unreal amount of customer-centric data, so there's really no excuse
for ignoring your demographics. Know when your customers are awake and what the best
times to send are – early morning and dinner are usually bad for most audiences (but not all).
Stick with relevant content that pertains to them, and keep their location info in mind when
4. Always Create Value
This isn't all about advertising; think relationship-building and credibility.
Even simple things like transaction confirmations and updates about items on a wish list
provide an opportunity to touch bases and get your name out there without being overbearing.
Other opportune times include when instant actions are needed or when crucial info needs to
be delivered, such as a boarding gate change for a flight, in the case of airline carriers.
Or how about a simple “Happy Birthday!” message? Holidays are a great time to mix up your
5. Tailor to the Platform
The shortcut of using the same slogans and messages you use on your website can be
tempting, and repurposing can be a great way to save time and budget. But mobile is mobile.
It's more personal, and users expect high relevancy. Never forget your medium.
6. Put the Power in Their Hands
It’s imperative to make preference management easy or users may get overwhelmed and just
opt out completely. For example, make it possible to choose what types of alerts they get, the
format of messages (audio, video, badges, etc.), when notifications are on or off, and specified
quiet hours. This added control goes a long way towards building trust and minimizing
7. Give It To Them Straight
The biggest key to your push marketing is to be completely clear what's in store. Before they
opt in, people need to know why they want to receive messages from your app, what kind of
notifications they'll receive, and when you'll be sending them.
Spell out the benefits; your results will go up drastically on all levels.
9. Use a Signature Sound
A custom push sound that recipients come to recognize over is a fantastic way to build on your
brand and maximize the associated emotions. If you're providing value, your distinct tone
makes sure you don't get missed. Just don't make it an annoying one or abuse the
relationships so much your custom sound is something to be dreaded.
10. Plan Out a Comprehensive Strategy
Do not fly by the seat of your pants on this.
Not all push notifications are equal, and you want the more annoying ones or less relevant
ones to be less intrusive – that means timing becomes more important than ever. Push
cadence is important too; don't send too often, but don't wait too long or they'll forget who
you are and feel interrupted when you start contacting them again.
Scheduling features can be great for set and forget marketing, but make sure you plan for
notifications to expire when coupons do. No one wants to get hassled about out-of-date sales.
New Mediums Require a New Approach
A new marketing communication medium requires thinking differently about how you
interact with your customers, and the nature of push means emotions are overwhelmingly
strong, whichever way they lean. To use a cliché, it's a double-edged sword, and a sharp one at
Remember, they're giving you their trust by allowing you to interrupt them as you please.
Respect that trust, and your customers will respect you.