The State of the Push Notification in 2020
Isadora Teich wrote this article
You may have already seen that Apple has updated its guidelines for marketing and advertising using iOS push notifications.
But, what does this mean for brands, app marketers, and users exactly?
Let’s take a look.
New Marketing Opportunities for Brands
According to the new guidelines, companies will have incredible new marketing opportunities.
They can now use in-app push notifications to directly market to customers who have opted’ in’ to receive notifications from the app. This means, app notifications can now become an integral part of a wider marketing strategy, not just pertaining to the “in-app experience”.
In this blog post, we are going to explore some ways companies can best utilize this new opportunity for coherent and effective marketing in the constantly evolving digital landscape.
As you build new campaigns that include push notifications to users who ‘opt-in’, keep these important items in mind. They will help you create a solid foundation for a strong campaign.
First, take a look at all of your campaigns as a whole.
Is your messaging and content consistent?
Is all of it relevant to helping you achieve your current goals?
Are your timely promotions appropriate with the current digital landscape?
This can include everything from what your competitors are doing, to global events. You don’t want to appear to be directly copying another or out of touch with current events.
For example, we are currently in the midst of a global pandemic, where social distancing has become the norm.
Once Covid19 fully descended upon us back in March, it was incredible how fast advertising messaging changed across commercials and marketing content for most major companies and brands — seemingly overnight.
Carry over commercials detailing life ‘pre-Covid’ are obvious and tend to stick out, not quite matching the tone of right now. Advertisers working with major brands are savvy to this, and even now have been working over time to shift marketing messaging “back to normal.”
You need to do the same when it comes to marketing your app.
QA for Your Marketing Messaging
Do you have a quality assurance process?
It is important to invest time and quality in QA for your marketing efforts to ensure that your messaging is effective and achieves the results you want.
It is also a critical part of making sure that all of the members on your team are on the same page. If you have no clear companywide standards, it is very likely that different team members will have very different ideas about what is relevant or appropriate.
In order to unite everyone and maintain consistency, it is important to have clear companywide guidelines for content and a strong quality assurance process.
This will reduce errors, redundancies, and cluttered messaging.
Know the OS Guidelines
Make sure that you understand the latest updates from Android and Google. If you don’t have a Developer Account setup for the App Store and Google Play yet, click here for a step-by-step guide.
Keep on top of all updates, so you can take advantage of any new opportunities and can make sure that your messages reach the right people in the right way.
Push notification rules can change on a regular basis, and can affect who’s seeing your brand.
Want to Improve Your Push Notification Game?
Considering these new opportunities, many brands will likely get on board with utilizing push notifications quickly. With users likely receiving more notifications, you want to make sure that yours are effective and stand out in all the right ways. Push notification fatigue still exists, so here are some things you can do to make sure your push notifications hit all of the right notes.
Segmentation and Personalization
Both of these words have been big in modern marketing spaces, and there’s a lot of reasons why. In the old days of marketing when half the country tuned in for TV shows like “MASH,” it was easy to understand where your general audience was, who they were, and what could connect with them. It makes sense to craft generalized ads when you know a huge general audience will be looking at them.
These days, the market has changed. The market has become far more about niches. People subscribe to what they want and ignore everything else. People expect a more personalized experience based on their interests. Ads and notifications, especially from their favorite apps, need to have context and make sense for whatever relationship they have with that brand.
Segmentation can help you reach only the users that make sense for specific campaigns and use personalization for powerful results. If your push notifications feel too much like old school generalized advertisements, it will likely turn users off. You want to create a successful parasocial relationship with users, not annoy them with constant obvious sales copy.
Identify Your Target
When identifying a target audience for each campaign there are a number of things that you can take into consideration and tools you can use. There are a few customer data platforms and product analytics tools that you can use. These will help you get a strong understanding of customer data so you can group them based on their actions or preferences.
For example, you wouldn’t want to send a push notification thanking users for regular use to everyone, including people who maybe have not even opened your app for months. This will read strangely, and possibly even like spam. That’s why you want to use these tools to segment your audience and only send notifications continuing the appropriate conversations with the appropriate people.
Measure With Clear Objectives In Mind
Brands don’t create campaigns and send out push notifications for no reason. However, there are many possible goals for a marketing campaign and many metrics that can be measured. You don’t want to be so bogged down in endless possibilities and numbers that you lose your way.
Know your objective, and focus on communicating it and measuring what relates to it. For example, say you want to achieve more app opens. Craft your copy with call-to-action telling users to open the app. Then, measure how many app-opens result from the notification specifically. Over time, you can determine which type of notifications are the most successful with your users.
Make Your Messaging Smarter
One good thing about this update for both businesses and consumers is that it only allows brands to send push notifications to users who opt-in. This means that it’s unlikely for users to be constantly bombarded with messages from every app they have ever downloaded. While it may not seem like it at first glance, it also benefits brands. It means that the people who opt-in are already interested in hearing more from an app. This gives brands a built-in already interested audience to interact with.
However, this built-in audience can quickly disappear if you do not use your push-notification privileges wisely. Here is how you can ensure your messaging is successful.
Less Is More
You don’t want to overload your users with too many messages, or the exact same message on too many channels.
Remember, you don’t want to seem like spam. However, the exact limit of what is appropriate depends on your brand, product, service, and industry.
For example, if people sign up for an app that provides daily news updates, they would expect maybe once or twice daily messages, but not hourly notifications. This would likely be incredibly different for a niche cosmetics brand or an app for a restaurant.
Apply this philosophy across the board.
For example, you may want to send out reminders to those who put things in their cart but do not return to complete the purchase within a few hours. However, you would want this notification to exclude everyone who actually has made the purchase within that time frame. Sending abandoned cart notifications to people who have already made purchases will likely seem offputting to them.
This is why including appropriate exception events to your push notifications is important.
Remember, your push notifications should be just one part of a wider cross-channel strategy to interact with your audience. You want to proactively manage your marketing communications to be sensitive to the global climate, as well as appropriate and timely for your users. While these updated guidelines provide businesses with new opportunities to interact with their audiences, it will only be beneficial if they use push notifications the right way.
Is your business already using push notifications for your app? Do you plan to? Talk to me.
About ChopDawg.com: Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.
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