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  • Writer's pictureDoug Pittman

Make Your Push Notifications Stand Out!

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

With our last blog detailing the numerous changes to push notifications in the iOS 12 update, we thought it would be a good idea to actually map out what makes a regular push notification campaign a great push notification campaign. For most consumers, they see push notifications as disruptive and annoying due to some apps overeagerness to spam users with useless, irrelevant information. Many of the notifications we see come in sporadically throughout the day, serve little functional purpose to the user, and lack any meaningful information. How do we avoid falling into this trend and instead maneuver our campaigns to engage consumers rather than simply remind them of our existence?

Everybody is a Somebody

First of all, we need to remind ourselves that these push notifications shouldn’t be used as a blanket advertising attempt, but instead as a way to satisfy the wants and needs of our customers. Not everyone is the same- and as such, our notifications should canvas the different segments of our user base. We need to focus on the behavioral triggers of our customers to see what resonates best with them, whether it be more personal messages, real time information based off their location or set likes, or simply a jovial nudge focused on humor that seems more personable. With all the data available to us now, we can separate people based on their in app behavior, profile settings, and past engagement with push notifications in order to give us a more well-rounded idea/look into what approaches are more effective.

Never Be Late & Never Miss the Punch

Don’t you hate it when somebody shows up late to a meeting or lunch? We do too, and the same applies to your push notifications. Studies show that some of the most fruitful push campaigns come from deploying messages that are relevant to what someone is doing at that exact moment based off of location data; however, they should also be timely in a block sense, sending out pertinent notifications on a time-based criteria. Giving a push once the app is installed or a sign up process is completed is a great way to keep your app on the top of people’s mind in the present. Time-based notifications that come a week after installation or on a bi-weekly/monthly rate is another way to keep constant notifications in your repertoire that can potentially increase retention rates without being too encroaching.

Active vs Passive

As children, we all preferred books with large, colorful pictures that grabbed our attention and made us rush to the next page to see what came next- and we carry this propensity forward into adulthood. Passive push notifications that come in the form of plain, cookie cutter text boxes don’t captivate users like they used to. The novelty of regular push notifications has come and gone with the swipe of a finger; users want to interact with their phones, not read a mini-novella. People want to feel connected to their phone, and the best way to do this is through personalized, active push notifications that make our conversations with the user feel more real than artificial. By using utilizing personal information (a user’s name, location-based field, data-backed user preference) users will be more likely to open your push notification. To supplement this, once a notification is opened, you should be giving them links, information to fill out, or an incentive to go to your app and complete an action. Active participation in your campaigns are more likely to keep your app installed on a person’s phone and keep them invested within your brand.

To Conclude

After these three examples, it’s obvious that personalization is the biggest key factor to ensuring your future success in push notification campaigns. Everybody likes to feel special and in control, and in an era where everybody seems all to content to spam consumers with meaningless messages, it’s all too important we cater to these needs. Many companies such as BoardActive have begun to shift towards these more interactive campaigns and have seen considerable growth in their retention rates and app use sessions.


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