Push notifications are considered one of mobile marketing's most effective tools. Much like other forms of marketing, however, push notifications must be highly relevant to make an impact – many individuals already find the technology to be a distraction, and impersonal messages are rarely well-received. As such, brands are increasingly using targeting methods to tailor the timing, audience and subject matter of messages to achieve gains in both user engagement and retention.
One of the biggest benefits of push notifications is the ability for businesses to re-engage users who may otherwise have stopped using a mobile app. According to a 2015 Localytics study, the numbers are significant: "users who enabled push notifications launched an app an average of 14.7 times per month, whereas users who did not only launched an app 5.4 times per month". The 171% increase in app engagement shows that ensuring users agree to push notifications for a mobile app is vital to long-term retention. Furthermore, 65% of users return to an app in 30 days if push is enabled as opposed to merely 19% of those who opt out.
How does a company get the most out of push notifications? Further findings from the study provide insight:
Trust is important; companies must ask users to accept push alerts. Allow users to explore a mobile app and realize its value before requesting permission. The opt-in rate doubles to 70% when a user completes four or more sessions in a mobile app first.
The volume of push notifications is increasing, but so too are click-through rates; companies with a strategy to send highly relevant messages experience positive results.
Segmenting push notifications to better personalize communication is an increasingly popular marketing strategy and pays dividends; the decision to segment rather than broadcast messages has increased from 53.51% to 65.73% in 2015.
Mobile app users want personal, trustworthy, and highly relevant communication. In fact, the likelihood of a user completing a conversion event triples when the message "incorporates some kind of personalization". When using push notifications to engage and retain a user base, a better understanding of audiences gives businesses a significant advantage.
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