Push notification best practices for news and media sites

With push notifications, news and media sites can send the most relevant messages to their audience bases and educate them on the news as it’s happening. Once the reader subscribes to push notifications, they can start receiving things like breaking news alerts, editorials, city happenings and football score updates, whether or not their browsers are open. 

News and media sites can use push notifications to boost engagement.

As is the goal with most publishers, interacting and engaging with website visitors is king. Using push notifications as an engagement strategy can make all the difference. Push drives conversions for news and media sites by allowing users to send off segmentation-based, trigger-based and personalized notifications.

To all the news and media sites out there, here are some push notification best practices for your toolbelt: 

Be forthcoming 

Provide context or move over. Clickbait has left the building—or at least people are becoming savvy enough to avoid push notifications that come off as tasty bait in disguise. If alerts don’t provide enough of an overview that the person receiving them can’t take a pretty good guess what’s inside the story, the notification hasn’t done its job. Avoid using words like “unbelievable,” “amusing” or “shocking” as your audience has likely learned that these hype phrases lead to content that never lives up to the phony expectations they create. Hooks are fine (as long as they are not misleading.) Overdramatization as an ends to a mean is not. 

Multiple alerts a day is okay

Of course, overdoing the alerts can lead to your audience getting so fed up that they unsubscribe from your notifications indefinitely. However, not sending enough notifications on pressing matters can make your audience feel left behind (and they might think you’re behind, as well). Some alerts work best sent out in waves based on current events—particularly in breaking news cases.

Evolving stories such as a serious investigation, a safety threat or a scandal often call for a string of notifications as readers want to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. Be the source they can rely on when these things are happening so they can take note to deliberately visit your site for future goings-on. 

All breaking news and no play makes Jack a dull boy

Push notifications shouldn’t only go out for breaking news. Variety is the spice of life. Try pushing out reputable point-of-view accounts, event timelines, policy analyses and features. While breaking news alerts tend to secure great engagement, breaking news isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Try out some other types of content, too.

Keep your push strategy aligned with your email strategy

Engage your audience more effectively by keeping your push and email strategies closely aligned. Try coordinating your push opt-in call to actions (CTA) with your email capture. When your audience visits due to push, invite them to subscribe to a newsletter. According to Folio, one publisher experienced a 10X lift in conversion rates when customers “got push and email in tandem.” 

Don’t forget to collect and take advantage of the insights push notifications provide you. Push notification click-through rates can be a huge help when shaping your content strategy as the immediacy of push gives a quick indication of how a story resonates (or doesn’t resonate) with readers. Think about how these insights can help you decide things such as the lead article in your newsletter, the way you distribute content across social or where you want a story to appear on your homepage. 

Emojis work

Emojis can boost engagement immensely. Certain emojis can even elevate click-through rates for your campaigns. Just be sure the emojis aren’t disruptive, confusing or nonsensical.

Emojis can sometimes be used to replace certain words, or they can be added before or after the message. Here are some examples:

  • Your driver has arrived. 🚙
  • Are you our winner? 🏆
  • Get 15 percent💰off your next order. 💸
  • New 💬 comments on your page.
  • Did you read the latest🗞️?
  • 👇Who won city council?👇

Send push alerts to reach readers with news content that fits on mobile lock screens. Global publishers, city news outlets, online sports sites and even individual bloggers can start sending push notifications in a matter of minutes. Start your free trial today!