Masterclass six – A guide to integrating and communicating with push notifications

Welcome to lesson six of our omnichannel masterclass. App acquisition can be costly. But with most users uninstalling or never returning to apps that they don’t use within 90 days, it is money down the drain if you are not also working to engage and retain your users. This is where push comes into play, with just a single push notification increasing app engagement by 88%. Furthermore, a campaign of push will not only perform for the single time you user becomes re-engaged with your app, they will also start to build app usage into their routine, forming a habit that will see steady growth as your require new users, instead of a plateau from churn. With app users spending more per transaction and holding a higher lifetime value over your other customers, we can see how important push notifications are, but what do you need to know about them?

Content

There are two main things of note when it comes to formatting your push notifications. Firstly are the micro nature of their content. Not having very many characters forces you to be creative. The most effective way to do this is to segment your audiences so that you can effectively target your users with personalisation that is relevant to them. For example, using a push notification for an abandoned basket, mentioning their name and perhaps product that they left behind.

The second is to keep in mind that a push notification with a deeplink that takes you straight to a place in the app or store is essentially jumping queue from delivered to click, bypassing the need to get by open rates.

Integration

As ever, it pays to be with a provider for your push notifications that also powers your messaging on other channels so that the same store of centralised data you have on your customer can be accessed at all times for more powerful communications. In addition, having all of your integrations in one place means that you are reducing surface attack area, making you less vulnerable to hacking and man in the middle attacks.

A good provider will offer you SDKs to take away technical hardship and allow you to start sending push on your app in minutes.

iOS vs Android considerations

One important thing to note is the permissions that are granted using iOS apps compared to Android. Android users are automatically opted in to all permissions on apps, including push notifications, but can revoke granular accesses in their settings. Apple users on the other hand need to be asked to turn push notifications on. What’s more, once this permission has been asked, it cannot be asked again.

For Android users, the best thing to keep in mind is best practice anyway – only send push notifications that have value for your users. Don’t abuse the power of push and your users wont be turned off of your brand because of it.

For Apple users, keep in mind that you do not have to seek permission at the same time as other permissions for push notifications. It may be better to let your users dip their toe a little in your app and experience it, before a few days later sending them a message that explains the value of push notifications for them and asks if they would like to turn them on. Remember, this is your only chance to get this permission, so think about your wording here carefully, and why you would want to turn push on in your favourite brands’ apps.