Historically brands have been 'pushing' customers in many different ways: TV and radio ads, roadside billboards, or catalogs, to name a few. With the advent of the digital age, our devices and smartphones have become a sponge for information. Given that humanity has embraced a mobile lifestyle, companies make huge investments in creating mobile applications not just for convenient and one-click shopping; it is the direct line to the consumers. And if there is an effective channel that reaches the target audience, there also needs to be a relevant method for making them come back to you again and again. In this context, push notifications make an excellent contribution.

Push campaigns have quantitative and qualitative benefits. According to research by Urban Airship, push notifications boost customer retention by 3 to 10 times. In 2018 the average push opt-in rate reached 53.3%, and personalized push notification shows up to 40% CTRs (the rates vary widely across markets). Brands running push campaigns have 88% better app retention, 50% of mobile users find push messages helpful. The effectiveness of the tool is also reflected in customer re-engagement, conversion rates increase, user targeting, actionable metrics tracking, and brand consistency enhancement. All in all, push notification is like sowing seeds when planting grass. Working in a huge area has a high chance of having a bountiful harvest.

Types of campaigns

Push campaigns have many dimensions. That is, there are a number of use cases where push notifications can do a great job as multifunctionality is exactly why they represent value for e-commerce. Here we emphasize nine push-centric campaigns to be considered.

  • Time-sensitive campaign. Regardless of the vertical your business pertains to, push notifications can convey a message to the customer right now. For instance, an online retailer can inform its client about a hot deal that ends today or tomorrow.
  • Reminder campaign. Suppose the opening event is coming, you would not want any of your clients to forget about it. А push message an hour before will make sure the customer added the event to his/her calendar. Reminder push messages work when they are effectively targeted, enough data is accumulated, and people really care about the happening. Otherwise, the reminder would be nothing but annoying.
  • Location-based campaign. Location-driven push messages go far beyond the physical location of the customer; they also take into account interests and behavior, thus, they are deeply personalized for each and every client. Receiving messages about the concert at the nearby venue or special offer do monetize.
  • Promotional campaigns. Usually, the promo push campaign is related to e-commerce. Push notifications are capable of reaching the customers who are not using your app at the moment. In any case, you should not rely on a push campaign as the only way to boost outreach; it is an additional channel, not an independent one.
  • Onboarding campaign. The client who ends their first session with a clear idea of the app value and the way to obtain it will obviously engage with your brand. An onboarding push campaign serves to literally 'push' them to do that faster. Again, consider this type as a part of any multichannel campaign, but not the sole method. 
  • Re-engagement campaign. There is no need to be intrusive when the customer is engaged with your brand and visits the website consistently. But how about those people who are gradually slipping away? If the customer was one inch close to check out but got distracted and abandoned his cart, the worst thing to do is to let him go.
Tips for a successful push campaign

Think about your push campaign as a hammer. Provided it is used professionally and competently this instrument can help you to build and create a lot of fundamental things. But when the hammer ends up in the hands of an ignoramus and is used unwittingly — it turns into a weapon of mass destruction. Push notifications can make or break the business, they can engage or annoy. We suggest focussing on a prudent approach and dwelling on the key elements of a killer push campaign.

#Audience segmentation. The mobile marketing world is super competitive. Brands struggle to acquire and retain customers, so there is no single pattern to be used for everybody. A one-size-fits-all approach is no good. It takes diving deep in understanding your audience — who they are, what they like, what they want and expect. Generic push messages lead to low engagement rates.  

#Relentless data use. Push messaging is an exact science: it is all about data and numbers. Developing a grasp of analytics is essential as application open rates provide superficial information. As a marketer, you have to embrace all possible analytical capabilities.

#Testing plan. This point is born out of the previous one: comprehensive analytics serve to inform your decision making. Creating a push campaign is not based on what you think works best, in this exact science there is no room for subjective opinion. Push campaigning resonates with the clientele. In this case, split testing helps to experiment and see what works, what does not work, and consequently how to devise your own blend.

#Call to action. Creating a push message starts from a clear idea of how you want your customers to behave in the end. Excessive creativity can lead you nowhere because a push message is about clarity, sense of urgency, and specific action.

Wrong moves to remember

And of course, there are things that would turn your push campaign into anything but successful. Some don'ts to keep in mind.

Don't try to educate your customers via push messages. This channel is dedicated to encouragement and engagement, but not the education of your clients about all the awesome features of your application.

Don't overdo. On average, customers tend to opt-out because of high messaging frequency — they simply get irritated. And we know that irritated customers do not come back.

Don't forget to expire dated messages. Push messages are bad when irrelevant. Remember to use local time, add holiday customization, and define the right frequency.

Don't send messages without data verification. If you are not confident about the reliability of your data you should not send business-critical messages with sensitive information.

To sum it all up, push campaigns are effective and work well when created by pros. A huge percentage of success depends on the platform that will deliver a targeted push campaign. Extensive experience and ties with the prominent publishers are a key criteria. Moreover, having a personal account manager to help with settings and creativity is a guarantee the push message is relevant, valuable, and hits the right place.