Personalize customer experiences at scale – a push notifications primer!

By Anuradha Chandrasekaran
30 November, 2022

We’re almost wrapping up 2022, and businesses are constantly looking for new ways to reach their customers. With so much competition, it’s more important than ever to create a personalized experience for your customers. One way to do this is with push notifications.

Push notifications are a proven communication and marketing tool that allows businesses to reach their customers directly. By understanding your customer and tracking their behavior, you can anticipate their needs and create a personalized experience for them. According to Airship’s retention study, brands that aren’t currently sending push notifications can increase app retention by 190% by just using push messages.

Notifications are one of the most powerful tools at a marketer’s disposal. They allow businesses to reach out to customers with relevant, contextual information that can result in better customer experiences and business growth. However, notifications can also be misused, leading to loss of relevance and engagement. It is therefore important for businesses to understand the power of notifications and have a well-defined strategy based on customer understanding to maximize meaningful engagement. What makes for a successful notification strategy?

1) Customer journey (how does a brand want their users to interact with the app)

2) Customer data (past purchases, cart abandonment, engagement on content)

3) Mapping notifications to current point in customer journey

4) Frequency and timing of notifications

5) Segmentation (personalizing the message to different customer segments based on user data)

6) A/B testing (testing various versions of messaging to provide insights into what works best).

Let’s take a look at six types of push notifications that can be used to drive personalized user experience:

1. Geo-targeted Push Notifications

Geo-targeted push notifications are based on the user’s location or movement. For example, if you’re a restaurant chain, you could send a push notification to customers who are near one of your stores, offering a special deal or promotion. Or if you’re a clothing retailer, you could send a push notification to customers who have been near your store but haven’t entered it yet, tempting them with a sale.

Starbucks is a well-known coffee chain with stores all over the world. The company uses geo-targeted push notifications to send out updates about new store openings, discounts and other special offers to users near the store location. This helps create a sense of familiarity and community among Starbucks customers.

Geo-targeted notifications are an extremely effective way to drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. According to Localytics, retailers who send geo-targeted push notifications see an average increase in visit frequency of 26%. In addition, 61% of users said they are more likely to open a push notification if it is relevant to their current location.

2. Marketing Push Notifications

Marketing push notifications are designed to promote a certain product, deal, new app feature, or the company as a whole. These notifications should be short and sweet, and only include the most essential information. For example, a clothing retailer could send a marketing push notification that promotes a new collection and includes a link to the website where users can learn more about the products.

Personalizing a mobile app’s push notifications can result in a 30% sales increase, according to experts. Amazon is one company that has found great success with personalisation. The business distributes daily promotions to different client categories based on purchase and browsing behavior. They know that a client is more likely to buy a stroller after buying a car seat than a radio.

Since marketing push notifications are intended to generate sales, it’s important to make sure that the offer is compelling and relevant to the user. According to a report, when retailers include discounts in their marketing push notifications, click-through rates increase by 150%. In addition, 62% of users say they are more likely to open a marketing push notification if it includes an offer or discount.

3. Reminder Push Notifications

Reminder push notifications remind users of an incomplete action. For example, if you’re running a promotion that expires within 24 hours, you could send a reminder notification shortly before the promotion ends. This type of notification is particularly useful for reconnecting lapsed users. According to Google Insights, reminder notifications have an average open rate of 45%.

H&M’s tailored upselling alerts win clients’ hearts and wallets. Using past purchase data, the firm suggests complementary things which they provide at discounted rates. If a user bought pants from their shop, they’d get a notice on their phone recommending a shirt or blouse to go with them. And hence they send reminder notifications to buy the complementary products before the offer ends. The approach has been so successful that H&M plans to roll it out globally this year.

4. FYI Push Notifications

FYI (for your information) push notifications are more formal and polished than other types of push notifications. They’re designed to educate and inform users about new app features or updates, or about topics that may be relevant to them. FYI notifications typically include images or videos in order to capture the user’s attention.

P&B uses push notifications to increase customer loyalty and drive sales. For example, the P&B app sends users alerts about new products, special offers, and event updates. Nike is another good example. The company encourages users to compete against friends in challenges and track their progress over time via push notifications. This type of personalization helps keep Nike top of mind for athletes of all levels.

Since FYI notifications are not intended to promote any specific product or service, it’s important that they provide valuable information that is not available elsewhere on the app or on the company website. Recent report indicates that when companies send FYI push notifications that contain interesting and useful content, conversion rates increase by 46%. In addition, 43% of users say they are more likely to open an FYI notification if it contains useful information rather than promotional content.

5. Trigger Push Notifications

Trigger push notifications are automated messages that are delivered when a user starts or abandons an action in the app. For example, if you’re running a contest in which users must enter their email addresses in order to participate, you could send a trigger notification when someone starts filling out the entry form but doesn’t complete it. Or if you’re running an online store, you could send a trigger notification when someone adds an item to their shopping cart but doesn’t checkout within 60 minutes.

For example, Zara reminds buyers to check out once they’ve added an item to their cart. This is a great way to increase your conversion rate and make sure that buyers don’t forget about your product! The company also sends a message welcoming users to the site and telling them what they need to do next when someone signs up for an account. This is a great way to make sure that new users know exactly how to use your app!

Trigger notifications are extremely effective at reengaging users who have already shown some level of interest in your product or service. Trigger notifications have an average open rate of 54%. In addition, 36% percent of users say they are more likely to open a trigger notification than any other type of notification.

6. Content Notification

If you create content, there are some topics that are worth pushing via mobile notifications. For example, if you have a new blog post out, you might send a notification about it to people who have subscribed to receive them. Or, if you release a new video, you might send out a notification about that as well. Sending content notifications is a great way to ensure that people see the stuff you’re creating without having to constantly remind them about it yourself

Allbirds is a young startup that sells eco-friendly shoes online and through pop-up shops. Its strategy for using push notifications is a little different than the others on this list – it relies mainly on content marketing rather than discounts or product updates. Allbirds sends its subscribers interesting articles about fashion, sustainability, or travel – anything that might be relevant to its target market of young urbanites who care about the environment.

Final thoughts

As we come to the end of this blog post, it’s important to consider the implications of push notifications. They can be extremely helpful in terms of customer retention and driving conversions; however, they can also backfire if not used correctly. It’s vital that brands create a well-thought-out strategy for implementing push notifications, as this will be a key differentiator in an increasingly competitive market. What do you think is the most important aspect of a successful push notification strategy? Let us know in the comments!


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