by Samantha Arigapudi
A cheap way to spice up your digital marketing efforts is by pushing your way into people’s phones. Push notifications get you front and center of a valuable space — the mobile phone in the hands of your target audience.
Push notifications are the perfect addition to your digital marketing campaign. They literally get your message on a phone’s home screen in basically real-time. Having a sale tonight? Let your customers know about it by sending them a push notification through your app. Push notifications, not to be confused with texts, can do so much for your digital marketing efforts.
How Push Notifications Work
Push notifications help you communicate and constantly re-engage users. They can be sent based on a consumer’s location or even time zone through your app—they are a great way to prompt a mobile user at the right place, at the right time. For example, the Target Cartwheel app will show up on a phone’s home screen reminding them to use their Cartwheel App because the app picks up your location and realizes you are near a Target.
Simply put: Push notifications are simple messages from apps installed on a device that wake up the handset and alert the user with a message displayed on the home or lock screen.
Why Use Them
The best push notifications tend to be personalized, contextual, timely and relevant. And in fact, your app doesn’t even need to be open for a notification to be sent. Also, notifications have similar guidelines as Twitter — they are limited to 140 or less characters. Some guidelines to keep in mind:
- Keep Consumers in the Know. Push notifications are a great way to reach consumers on the go at any time of day — which makes it all the more important to have a mobile-friendly site.
- Be courteous. Don’t be a spammer. When planning your communications, organize your messaging so that you are only sending when it’s really worth it. Start with two pushes per week and work your way from there based on user feedback and analytics.
- Keep it short, stupid (KISS). No offense, but users have an attention span shorter than goldfish. Make a big impact with few words because all you need is a swipe. As soon as they react to your notification, your app or site will launch anyway.
- Always have a CTA. With that short notification, always include a call-to-action (CTA) that is as straight-forward and as obvious as possible.
- Bring something to the table. Add value with your messaging, just as you would with all other channels. Use their purchase history, previous interactions through other channels and CRM information to create a personal journey for each customer.
With the Great Power of Push Notifications…
…comes great responsibility. Don’t abuse the system … this only leads the consumer into disregarding your notifications. Don’t replace them for email — don’t send company or weekly updates via push notifications.
Push notifications are easy to implement and when best practices are followed, can be a great way to interact with users. Don’t overstep your boundaries and cross the line into harassment. Back up your action plan and only enable push notifications when they are worthy.