Building an Effective Push Notification Strategy

Building an Effective Push Notification Strategy

Push notification is definitely a powerful tool when used right. It helps to increase engagement by serving direct alerts on your content. However, many publishers are yet to refine their push notification strategy. An ill defined strategy makes the users turn-off push notifications altogether.

In this post, we will look into some of the best practices for push notification. Before we delve deeper into that, let us first get a clear idea of what it is and why it is so important.

What is Push Notification and Why is it Important?

Almost all smartphone users are familiar with push notifications. They are the pop-up messages from different apps and browsers that appear on the phone lock screen and notification page -

Push notifications can also be delivered through laptop browsers.

Push notification is a great tool to directly reach your audience, without the interference of any social media. It can also help build a loyal reader base.

All these are advantageous only when it is done effectively. It can equally annoy your users, prompting them to turn off the notifications once and for all.

A Push Notification Strategy that Works

A push notification strategy should look into the following -

  • Effective opt-in prompt

  • Push notification customization options

  • What notification to send?

  • When to send the notifications?

  • How many notifications to send?

  • Using data insights.

Let us look at each of these in detail -

Effective Opt-in Prompts

The opt-in prompt is when you ask the users permissions to send notifications. A simple “We want to send notifications” won’t work. The opt-in prompt has to enumerate the value the audience is going to get out of it, in a very ‘short and sweet’ manner. For example -

When to send the opt-in prompt message?

It is really irritating for the users to get a notification permission message right after they land on a page. The user’s first aim is to consume that content they came looking for and they should be allowed to do this seamlessly without any hindrance. The opt-in prompt should pop up after one of the following cases -

  • When the user has spent considerable amount of time on the web page

  • When they have clicked on another content link

  • When a user is revisiting your website

These actions show their interest in your content and are thus more likely to allow notification permissions.

Provide Notification Customization

Push notification customization options should show up once the users agree for it. The customization can be done on the following basis -

  • Topic of interest

  • Whether you user’s would like to see breaking news only

  • Time of the day, they would like to get the notifications

  • The number of notifications they would like to get in a day

Decide on the customization criteria that are relevant to your publishing. The New York Times, for example, has notification preferences on breaking news, top stories and other interest topics as shown in the picture below -

What Notifications to Send?

60% of users cite “irrelevant notifications” as the main reason to opt out of push notifications (Source:Kahuna). Thus, send only relevant notifications based on your user’s browsing data, location, and customization options. For example, a user reading mostly about lifestyle should get more lifestyle-related notifications.

Push notification is not just another distribution strategy. They should rather be seen as separate pieces of content by themselves. So, tweak your headings and subheadings in a way that works best for this format.

How many notifications can you send in a day?

When it comes to the number, go with the minimalist principle—less is always more. Don't bombard your users with 10-12 notifications and have them swipe them all away. Instead, Focus on sending 2-3 notifications that are most relevant to your users.

When to Send the Notifications

Different users consume content at different points of time in a day. It is always about achieving the timing. And in order to create a stellar user experience, you have to know the best time of day to send push notifications

Find when users actively engage with your content and send notifications during that period of time. Make sure to send the notifications daily during this same period of time. This will get the audience into a habit of reading your content.

You can also have exclusive content reserved for weekends. The Guardian, for example, sends out notifications on its in-depth long content pieces on weekends instead of weekdays.

Use Data Insights

Use data to measure the effectiveness of each of the above mentioned steps. See what is working, what is not and why and keep improving the process.

An application is necessary to carry out the entire process of push notifications- from storing data, writing messages to sending it out. Quintype’s CMS takes care of it all. Leave a comment below or email to [email protected] to get a free demo of this platform.