How to Build More Effective Drip Campaigns in 2019
Drip marketing harnesses the power of automation and segmenting by sending out a set of messages on a schedule or tied to certain triggers. If you sign up for a service, you’ll almost always get a thank-you message, followed a day or two later by some form of follow-up. Drip marketing, however, can be far more than just common courtesy. Here’s how to get more from it in 2019.
Audit Your Schedules And Triggers
As noted above, there are some fairly common forms of drip marketing: Sending a survey to customers after they make a sale, the thank-you message for signing up, the “new customer discount” message, and many more. Since these are automated, there’s often an attitude of “set it and forget it.” Instead, look closely at the metrics over time and collate them with other data. If your new customer discount message, for example, isn’t converting, it’s time to revisit it; or if it converts, but time spent on your site is low, you need to reconsider how you introduce your content on the landing page.
Similarly, you should revisit your schedule list and trigger list to look for new opportunities. If you find customers are buying first one product, then another, for example, you might consider creating a trigger promoting that second product.
Segmenting is fundamental to any marketing initiative. As your segments become more precise, especially through your value proposition for browser-based push notifications, you should look at those segments and see if your drip campaign fits their needs. If you sell outdoor gear, you should market differently to hikers and rock-climbers, after all. Remember that you may find segments within segments; some rock climbers prefer to use an indoor gym and are buying equipment from an outdoors shop, for example.
Create A Roster Of Messages
Another way to boost your campaign is to regularly freshen the text. In many cases, the drip campaign will be your first active engagement with a new customer, and canned text can feel alienating in some situations. Instead of one greeting message, write several different ones the program can cycle through and push out. This should also be tied to your segments, with different sets of messages for different segments.
To keep text fresh, run A/B testing as well. A/B testing is useful not least for tracking possible changes in your customer base over time, especially if what once worked is losing its effectiveness. For messages that have modest success, or have roughly the same results, consider adding them to your roster above.
Drip messages should be carefully tracked on metrics you need most. For example, if you’re promoting your blog with drip marketing, the time spent on your blog by a conversion is crucial to understanding how effective your campaign is. Especially if you haven’t revisited the metrics you’re tracking in a while, you should take the time to examine them closely.
Every customer is unique and comes to you through a different path. Drip marketing will help you sustain them through that journey. To learn how browser-based push notifications can drive your drip campaign, sign up for a live demo.
The State of Push Notifications in 2019
Push notifications will be on every platform, and more important than ever.
Multi-channel marketing will only become more important in 2019. Social media, video, audio, email, and push notifications, among others, form the anchor of any effective marketing strategy. However, push notifications will be particularly crucial for multi-channel strategies throughout 2019, especially as we consider the shifting fortunes of other marketing channels in 2018, from plunging app download rates to social media executives dragged in front of Congress to account for their misuse of data. In this piece, we’ll survey the state of the industry and discuss where it will head over the coming year.
Notifications Will Become More Important
Direct contact with customers will be one of the driving forces in marketing in 2019. Facebook’s public struggles over how it shares data, scandals over its repeated data leaks and ongoing problems with its reported metrics to publishers and producers, have combined with decreasing user bases and general contempt towards social media as the “middle-man” in the engagements between customers, companies, and brands. Especially as Facebook has attempted to shift away from supporting brands to promoting personal content to retain users, the value of mediated contact has diminished. In its place, direct contact has taken over. Email messages and notifications to interested customers, abandoned cart notifications, and other approaches will be key.
The news industry, in particular, serves as a microcosm of how direct contact will anchor multi-channel marketing strategies. Newspapers and TV outlets will still use social media and sites such as YouTube and Google News to host content and collect passive views, but largely their audiences for articles are collected through direct contact. Notifications are pushed to phones and desktops, newsletters are sent to email boxes, and other direct-marketing techniques are employed.
Social media will retain a degree of importance in marketing. It remains a valuable place to store content and offer a passive channel for casual browsers to engage with and potentially convert to passionate consumers, especially in places like the news sphere. But direct contact such as notifications will continue to rise in importance, especially as it seems unlikely the social media industry will reverse its problems in the new year.
E-commerce and other industries will embrace app-free push.
Browsers, Not Apps
Apps are in eclipse as a keystone marketing tool. The app marketplace has struggled in 2018 as the most popular apps are mired in scandal, such as concerns over inappropriate or undisclosed data collection, are slowing the adoption of apps and raising security concerns. Apps are increasingly seen by users as tools they use, not necessities to be downloaded, and the potential for leaked data has made consumers less confident about their need to install an app.
While data on app notification opt-out is difficult to collect, it is almost certain more customers and potential customers have disabled notifications as they seek to unplug and focus on more relevant tasks. There are also indications that the “opt-out” nature of app notifications has further damaged their credibility in the eyes of consumers. Increasingly users are pushing back against demands on their time and attention.
Furthermore, in many industries, there’s simply no use for an app. While the background check industry thrives on information, it often needs to get information quickly to its subscribers with a minimum of friction. Browser-based technology is platform-agnostic and the information will arrive wherever the customer is, not where the app is.
There is still value in the app, provided it’s approached correctly. The travel industry is proof of this, where companies such as airlines use a mixture of phone apps and web apps to deliver important information, offer upgrades, and otherwise keep customers engaged. However, it should be noted that these crucial notifications can be received independently of the app; the app is a convenient tool for those who need it, not a requirement to get on a flight or book a room.
Apps can provide useful tools to engaged and loyal customers, but “useful” is the keyword. If an app has no use beyond sending marketing messages, consumers can, and increasingly will, use browser-based opt-in communications. Expect the shift of browsers over apps to pick up speed in 2019.
Data management will be key.
Segmentation Takes Prominence
The affiliate marketing industry thrives on segmentation, and we have seen repeatedly that effective data management and careful segmentation has driven push notification campaigns to over-performance. Affiliate marketing depends in particular on urgent calls to action and thoughtful pitches to specific audiences, and push notifications are an ideal tool.
As the affiliate marketing industry goes, so will much of the marketing world in 2019. Segmentation will thrive in particular as it does not demand more information from consumers than what they’re willing to provide. Customers are fully aware that their purchase history, time spent on your site, and how they arrived at your site are scrutinized. This alone, paired with the data that regularly flows in from push notifications as audiences engage or not with the information presented will allow affiliate marketing and other industries to craft more effective marketing messages.
Nor should businesses forget the “self-segment.” The employment industry, in particular, has worked hard to develop this. Job seekers now explain their career path, preferred industry and title, and other useful data that drives notifications. Over time, recruitment sites learn about trends among job seekers and can guide their other client base, recruiters, using those trends.
Notifications will do the searching for customers.
Efficiency Will Be Fundamental
“Informational” push has always been part of a good marketing plan. Informational push, such as shipping dates and notices of payment, offer efficiency to busy customers who simply need to know the information without having to open a paper letter or email. However, some industries have been slow to consider informational push as a method of contact. That will change in 2019.
The insurance industry is a case in point. Allaying the nervousness of their policyholders is always a problem, and the insurance industry has found that informational push, such as informing when an invoice has been cleared or that an accident report has been received, has done much to solve this problem. It has also opened up a new and thriving field of affiliate marketing, as relevant third-party offers and upsells for different forms of insurance catch on.
The automotive industry has shown similar engagement. By tying service alerts, recalls, and regular mileage checkups to push notifications, it has increased customer satisfaction and loyalty while driving more business to its dealerships.
As life speeds up, and everyone values their time more, using notifications to enable speed and efficiency will drive opt-ins and customer satisfaction.
Platforms matter less than efficiency.
“Navigation” Will Take Over
Finally, it will be more and more important to consider “navigation” in marketing messages and push notifications. “Navigation” in this context means showing the customer where to go, instead of encouraging them to choose a particular direction. A common example of this in the e-commerce sphere is the price shift. Users will configure their options so that once the price of a product drops below a certain point, they’ll receive an alert to consider buying it.
2019 will see many shifts in approach, style, and needs when it comes to push notifications and their place in marketing. Customers, both on the personal level and in B2B applications, value the company that can not only do the job or sell the product, but that does so in a way that makes the life of their customer more efficient or easier in some way. Informational push, navigational push, and the personal touch will be what drives browser-based push notifications to new heights in the coming year. Ready to learn more? Sign up for a live demo
How to Use Push Notifications to Boost Affiliate Site Traffic
Notifications get attention.
Affiliate marketing needs engaged, thoughtful consumers. Browser-based push notifications are ideal for recruiting the visitors most likely to engage with your affiliate marketing, boosting traffic and the effectiveness of your site. How? It’s due to effective use of the platform.
Create A Funnel
Browser-based notifications are “opt-in.” Visitors are prompted by a small window to either accept or decline notifications. This is usually paired with a short statement about frequency and value (i.e. “weekly discounts” or “daily insights.”) App-based notifications are usually automatically enabled, meaning you have both engaged and apathetic customers. With browser-based notifications, only the interested will continue receiving messages. The messages are also tied to the browser, not the smartphone or tablet platform and the app downloaded onto it, so you don’t lose members of your list when they get a new phone or delete the app.
A customer opting in is someone who has considered your value proposition and wants to keep hearing from you. Simply meeting that value proposition will increase traffic. Use different value propositions on different pages of your site; the opt-in rate will offer an effective metric for future campaigns. Remember to apply the data you gather to your value proposition, to shift it slightly over time and have more customers commit.
Segmentation is key to any modern marketing effort, but in affiliate marketing, push notifications offer a powerful head start. When a customer opts into receiving your notifications, you learn:
- How they got to the site, including search terms
- What value proposition appealed to them
- Time spent on site
- Where they go next on your site, or elsewhere
From there, as your campaign unfolds, what they click, and don’t click, and what they do afterwards will allow you to sort them into specific segments and fine-tune your approach to each.
Push notifications give you an attentive audience.
Remember Relevance, Timing, Clarity
Push notifications need to be relevant to your segment, they need to clearly communicate what you want that segment to do, and they must be timed in such a way that your segment can engage with your message. If you want your segment to watch your latest video, rush hour is not the time to push. Over time, as you test different days and times, you’ll learn what’s ideal for each segment. Remember, however, that all of these variables can “drift,” so study metrics closely.
Fresh copy is often key to an effective affiliate campaign, especially when you have only a handful of actions you want your customers to engage in. Writing copy, however, is a valuable tool for careful testing. A/B testing is a method where one variable in the copy is changed, be it the placement of a comma or a single word. The unchanged copy is sent to a randomly selected group making up half of the segment, while the changed copy is sent to the other half.
A/B tests should be done constantly. It enlivens copy and can yield insights into your segments. Be wary, however, of reading too much into one test. There are sometimes “wild” results, which must be considered.
Ready to drive affiliate traffic higher? Sign up for a live demo.
Mobile vs. Browser-Based Push Notifications: Which is Better for Your Affiliate Business?
Apps aren’t the only way to reach mobile customers.
Your customers are never in one place long, yet always in reach. Mobile technology means affiliate marketing can reach your most dedicated customers wherever they are. But not all forms of push may suit the needs of affiliates, or those running the network.
Mobile Push Notifications
Apps have been sending notifications from the beginning of the smartphone revolution. But mobile-exclusive notifications, which are usually app-based, have some points of concern for affiliate marketing. Reach is crucial, and there is substantial friction limiting the reach of apps.
Customers need to have installed the app, have enabled that app’s notifications, must be in full compliance with all notification policies (which vary from platform to platform), and which are tied entirely to that app. If it’s deleted or simply disabled, which may be difficult to track, you’ve lost a customer. Even the way notifications are handled by different operating systems may render your affiliate marketing efforts useless, as notifications are all dumped in one tray to be dismissed with a thumb swipe. This may also change between versions, meaning a constant process of catch-up and fall behind.
There are situations where mobile-exclusive notifications make sense. If you’ve seen regular success from the app, if your product is limited to mobile users, if the user base of the app lines up well with your goals, or if it’s a small segment of a larger notification campaign, it’s worth considering. But it should only be a smaller piece of a larger push strategy, and should not be the foundation of your strategy except under particular circumstances.
Go where your customers are.
Browser-Based Push Notifications
Browser-based notifications, by contrast, have several advantages. The notification settings are tied to the browser, not an app; when your customer signs into their browser, their notification settings come with them, making them easier to reach and your campaign less dependent on downloading an app. You can arrange different value propositions across different pages of your site, allowing you to track which value propositions matter the most, instead of having notifications automatically enabled. A simple dialogue box drops down from the top of the page, ensuring the attention of your most committed customers.
This browser connection also means that notifications will arrive on both mobile and desktop platforms, such as the notifications center in Windows 10. This makes your notification more likely to be seen, and acted upon. Unlike apps, which may have complicated permissions, the guidelines for collecting data from browser notifications are clearer and easier to follow.
The ‘platform-agnostic’ nature of browser-based push notifications will require you to pay closer attention to the timing and frequency of notifications. Your notification is more likely to be seen and to have the attention of your customer, so you will need to be sure they’ll be able to make the action you’re calling them to do.
Push notifications are just one channel in a broader marketing strategy that includes website design, targeted email, social media, and apps. But each channel in your marketing strategy must be chosen carefully and implemented with the right technology. To learn more about browser-based push notifications and affiliate marketing, sign up for a live demo.
Aligning the Buyer Journey with Your Push Notifications
Your neighborhood plumber has been knocking on your door for months trying to sell you his services. Annoyed, you turn him away and tell him to never come back. Three weeks later, your pipes burst. Right solution; wrong timing.
Compare this to how you send browser-based push notifications to your target audience. Your messaging may be right and even provide a solution they likely need, but if you aren’t delivering it at the right time, your marketing campaigns will fail.
If you want to use your push notification campaign to knock on your target’s door at the exact time they are expecting you, you need to consider what stage of the buyer journey they are in.
What Is the Buyer Journey?
The consumer’s buying journey defines which path consumers take as they approach making a purchase. Each stage is significant as it informs how and when you should send push notifications and what messaging will appeal to your buyers.
In its simplest form, the buyer journey consists of three stages:
In the Awareness stage, the consumer realizes he has a problem and knows he needs a solution, but he hasn’t started searching for one yet. He may not even know if his problem can be fixed. He is just beginning his journey and is not yet aware that your product can solve his problem.
When consumers enter the Consideration stage, they realize that solutions exist. At this stage, they may be researching to weigh all of the options so that they can choose the best one.
During the Decision stage, consumers have identified a solution, but they need to make a decision on which company to give their money to. For example, if consumers are looking for a lightweight solution to solve their hardwood/rug cleaning problems, in the decisions stage, they already know that a cordless multi-floor vacuum is the answer. All that is left is to choose the brand.
Knowing your consumers’ buyer journey stage allows you to improve their experience with your brand messaging by custom tailoring their push notification messages. This increases sales because you will be personalizing their experience, providing the right messaging at the right time exactly when the consumer needs to hear it.
Let’s take a look at how you can personalize your push notifications to increase conversions.
Tailoring Your Push Notifications to the Buyer Journey
Nearly 79% of consumers said they will engage with a brand’s promotions and offers if they are directly tied to previous interactions. Consumers want to feel like they are valued and not just a random subscriber in a sea of millions. Personalizing your push notifications can bring you one step closer to this reality.
Push notifications give you segmentation options that allow you to personalize your messaging based on the pages people have visited on your website (and the ones they haven’t). Here’s how this works:
Awareness Stage Strategy
As we explained, in the Awareness stage, consumers may not be aware that your solutions can help them. They are strictly in a discovery phase and gaining education. This is why you want to avoid any sales-focused (product promotions) messages. Your focus should be to disseminate more educational material that will help them arrive at a solution. Here is an example of how to structure the campaign.
Target people who have visited your blog and/or homepage, but not yet visited your product, pricing or checkout pages. When they subscribe to your push notification campaign, send them links to your top educational blog content that solves your target’s top problems and quells their concerns. At this stage, all you are doing is helping them to get to know you and build trust in your brand authority.
Consideration Stage Strategy
Maybe your consumers visited your product and pricing pages and have browsed through FAQs and even contacted support. This means they have moved to the consideration stage, and they are evaluating their solutions. To capture prospects moving through the consideration stage, send browser-based push notifications that include product information. To entice clicks, include social proof like customer reviews and industry mentions. This way, you are not forcing your products in their faces, but showing them how many other people love and use your products.
Purchase Stage Strategy
This is where you want to get the most aggressive with your campaigns since consumers are close to making a decision. Maybe prospects added items to the cart but abandoned those items before making a purchase. Or they moved through checkout but never completed the purchase. Use your push notifications to retarget them immediately after they leave your site and remind them to complete the purchase. Send time-sensitive discounts with your message as this is a powerful way to entice shoppers to close the deal.
Your products may be perfect and provide valuable solutions, but if your message isn’t targeted to the right people at the right time, your consumers will never take the steps to interact with your brand. Get personal with your push notifications and supercharge your conversions.
If you want to learn how you can personalize your push notifications to improve your marketing, we would be happy to give you a free video tutorial and a live demo. Sign up here to get started.
8 Businesses Using Push in Their Marketing Efforts
Browser-based push notifications go anywhere a browser is.
When considering marketing channels, businesses have one simple question to ask themselves: How can I use this for maximum effectiveness? Push notifications, especially when they’re browser-based, can offer some of the most powerful connections you have to your customers, regardless of your industry. Here are just a few examples, from the biggest success stories on the internet to companies that are quietly overtaking their industry, one push at a time.
Diablo Media makes use of push as part of its deep and detailed performance marketing strategy. Diablo carefully studies each client and looks at which channels will most benefit each one, from social media to push, and then optimizes their campaigns over time for maximum ROI. Browser-based push is ideal for their strategy thanks to its opt-in nature, which makes it the channel many customers choose to join, and ideal for many of their clients.
This retailer, which brings the fashion houses of France to the wider internet, built a brand turning over $1 billion a year in apparel in part through the simple method of reminding people about items they’d left in their cart. A short, polite, personal touch saw abandonment rates drop, and sales go up.
JetBlue pioneered a type of informational push we now take for granted: Telling us when our flights are due. If you’ve ever used the airline, you know that the day before, you’ll get an alert about your flight; whether it’s on time, whether the particulars have changed, and so on. Furthermore, for important flights, JetBlue was the first to let you sign up for more detailed notifications that kept you in the loop as your flight traveled, so you knew about changes instantly. That we expect this as part of air travel now tells you the sheer power of push.
Job In A Click
In a hiring world where recruiters are busier every day and automation is a fundamental part of the process, quickly finding and applying to jobs is often the best way to secure a position. Job In A Click uses push notifications to alert their users to jobs. Users can get a job alert anywhere they have a browser, on desktop or mobile, and quickly decide whether they want to apply. It’s a win-win: Recruiters get the most highly motivated candidates, and job seekers can use notifications to stay on top of the applications.
Browser-based push notifications reach customers anywhere, any time.
There’s any number of lessons you can draw from the success of Netflix, but one of the most fundamental is its many, many tools for increasing engagement. Among the simplest? A push notification that lets you know when a show you’ve enjoyed in the past has a new season. Simple? Yes. But it works, especially in the highly competitive world of television viewership, when even big fans of a show can be lured away by other entertainment.
Car Found Me
Buying a car can be a tough experience, especially if you have specific needs or are searching for a specific kind of car. Car Found Me uses push notifications to connect car shoppers with the cars they’re most looking for. Dealerships find it particularly useful because notifications are so focused; they know that by posting their cars on Car Found Me, those cars will go out to the most engaged, interested customers. Customers, meanwhile, don’t get bombarded with emails full of cars they don’t want, just the cars they do.
Knowing that there’s nothing new parents are more interested in, or sometimes more concerned about, than their new baby, The Bump has created a simple, adorable campaign. On a regular basis, it pushes out little facts about the growth and maturity of a new baby. It engages new parents and also puts their mind at ease as they see their baby’s developmental milestones come and go.
Credit cards have become some of the most narrowly focused financial instruments available to consumers. Cards tied to loyalty programs, cards that earn airline miles, cards that help college students build credit, and other cards are commonplace in the market, but it’s getting harder for cards to stand out. GoBankCards takes the frustration out of it for consumers with push notifications; customers explain what they’re looking for, and as the best interest rates and limits become available, they get a heads up.
As you can see, push notifications are powerful, flexible, and, when customers have the option to use browser-based tools that let them tell you what they most want to hear, some of the most effective marketing any company can deploy. With smart data and strategy, businesses can rise to new heights with push notifications. To see it for yourself, get a free trial of Pushnami!
iOS 12 and Grouped Notifications: What it Means for Push
The lock screen is about to be a lot less cluttered.
After years of fans hoping, Apple is finally giving iPhone users the notification tool they’ve been demanding with iOS 12: Grouped notifications. This is great news for users, but it may not necessarily be such a positive for browser-based push notification campaigns, especially if they’re caught flatfooted. Here’s what you need to know about grouped notifications, and how to adjust your campaigns.
What Are Grouped Notifications?
As any iPhone user knows, each notification is singular on the iPhone. If you get a dozen emails in a row, those emails each get an individual notification. This has its uses, of course, such as ensuring that you see each email individually. But if you have a lot of notifications, you can get buried, and if you have a campaign going, you can get lost in the crowd with your customers.
Grouped notifications change that by putting together all notifications of the same type. So, instead of each individual email, you’d get one notification that you have twelve emails. This has been commonplace on Android for years, at least to some degree, but it’s new on iOS. As a user-facing feature, it’s very handy, although it’s not clear yet whether this is the new standard for Apple or if this will simply be an option iPhone users can flip on and off.
Still, the impact on a push notification campaign is significant. Instead of being an individual notification, you now might be in a group of them. This has pros and cons, and you have to consider them both.
When they hit allow, how much will they see?
Pros And Cons Of Grouped Notifications
The biggest pro is that you won’t get lost in the noise. The iPhone tends to just shove notifications that aren’t acknowledged into a notification tray that users may or may not check, depending on the customer and their habits. Apple has also been poor at informing users just where they can find this tray; if you own an iPhone, did you know you had one?
So, that browser-based notifications are grouped together is potentially a good thing. Instead of being hidden somewhere, it’s one notification to open. And since browser-based push is opt-in only, that means your customers are highly motivated to open that group notification.
The question is, how does your notification stand out against the others? The downside of grouped notifications is that it can be survival of the fittest; once a customer chooses one to click on, the rest are more or less out of luck. This makes understanding each customer and what appeals to them particularly important. A notification really has to grab them, communicate one clear, vivid idea that speaks to them right away, or it’s going into the dustbin.
All that said, don’t worry too much. Few customers subscribe to so many browser-based push notifications that they have dozens to choose from, unless they’re specifically aggregating them. And the notifications will also be on their desktop browser, giving you a second shot, so to speak. But iOS’s grouped notifications make it clear that good copy and smart segmenting are going to be what makes the difference on Apple’s platforms going forward. To learn more about browser-based push notifications, get a free trial of Pushnami!
Give Your Robots A Checkup With An Automation Audit
Every robot needs a checkup.
Automation is wonderful and steadily changing how we market ourselves, crunching the numbers, organizing the lists, and in some cases sending out the browser-based push notifications all on its own. But any robot, left alone, will eventually fall off the track a little bit, and that’s what makes an automation audit so important.
What Is An Automation Audit?
At its most basic, an automation audit is looking at what you’ve automated to make sure that it’s still functioning properly. It can either be on an annual or semi-annual basis, you can do it on a running basis, or you can run one as complaints pop up.
As to why it’s necessary, it’s important to understand that all automation really is, as a tool, is a set of rules your computer follows, to the letter. These rules can be almost absurdly complex, much like the programs running your computer themselves. However, as anybody who has played a badly designed board game can tell you, the rules only work until they don’t. Similarly, there’s the problem of GIGO, short for “garbage in/garbage out.” If you start with bad data, or problems creep into your data over time, then things will go off the rails quickly.
The good news is that automation is already well done, and constantly improving. You’re unlikely to come across something going completely haywire. However, the audit is more likely to uncover places where you can polish your campaign, in a multitude of ways.
Automation needs humans to manage it.
Automation Audit Best Practices
- Have a road map of your system in place. What’s automated, what isn’t, and why? What automation needs a human to respond to it, and what fulfills itself automatically? Finding this will often unveil places where you could be more effective, either on a human or an automated scale. This will also be useful going forward if you decide to add more automation or tweak your infrastructure.
- Follow the marketing rule of eating what you serve; that is, you should be getting your own push notifications, at least insofar as it makes sense. There’s no better way to spot and stop a problem than being on the receiving end of it, after all.
- On a regular basis, such as weekly, pull a random selection of your push notifications that have been automated and do a quality check. For personalized results, for example, ask yourself if this is the best option or if you can tighten the rules up slightly.
- Don’t hesitate, especially with informational push like package shipping notices, to ask your customers what they think. Customers with a high volume of orders, for example, usually need the information, but might appreciate a different approach, such as a summary of orders or custom order pushes.
- Finally, keep on top of the technology. Automation is changing quickly, with new tools and features added to the tools you already use every day. It’s likely if there isn’t already a way to automate something, there likely will be one worth considering soon.
Ready to see the power of automation and browser-based push paired off? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Should You Push A QR Code
You find them in the environment… but how about in your notifications tray?
The humble barcode has come a long way since it was first introduced to consumers in the 1970s. It’s cheap, it’s simple, and as phones have proliferated, a more complicated version called a QR code has started to make its way into modern life. Easily scannable with an app, and readable off a phone screen, a QR code can be a useful marketing tool. And with rich notifications, you can push one out. But how often should you combine these two marketing channels?
Does It Scan?
When using QR codes, you need to take a customer-focused approach. One of the big problems with the QR code fad we all remember is that it essentially expected users to whip out their phone every time they saw a sticker or found one in a magazine, fire up a custom app, scan the barcode, and then go to the website or download the app or whatever other action. That’s too many steps, and unsurprisingly, only the hardest core of customers bothered.
But notice where we do see QR codes. They’re popular with digital ticketing, you often find them at the entrances of stores, and in other applications where the user presents the code to someone else. This is the right application because it’s designed around the customer‘s convenience. It makes life easier for them in some way, by putting a coupon at their fingertips, by speeding up the line to enter somewhere, by giving them a receipt to scan for a return instead of digging through their bags and wallets. And in those situations, pushing a QR code is the smart move.
You find them in the paper, but how about in your push strategy?
Here’s an example of QR codes done right. Let’s say you’re a local coffee shop looking to boost foot traffic during the afternoons. You’ve got a solid base of regulars on your push list, and the majority of them are mobile-first users of your notifications. So, if you’ve got the scanner in your store in the first place, you could push out a free upgrade on their coffee size as a rich notification, with a link that directs them to a page with the code on a mobile-optimized site as well. Just have them scan the code and place the order!
Another example might be in-store pickup of an order. You push out a code, again with a link to a page with the code, and use the code as an extra layer of verification along with photo ID. Or if you’re a concert venue, fifteen minutes before the show you push out a ticket code to everyone who bought a ticket.
The key here is to think of QR codes as one of the tools in your marketing toolbox and to use them to make life easier for your customers. If you anticipate their needs and think about how they can use these codes, it’ll make doing business with you easier, and show that you appreciate them. It may not be a tool you use all the time, but it’s one worth keeping handy. To see the power of push in action, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
The Importance of Segmenting Your Opt-In List
It all starts with the list, but the list is not where it ends.
On the surface, a large opt-in list for your browser-based push notifications is a wonderful thing, especially when paired with low opt-out rates. It means you have a good value proposition and are holding to it over time. Or does it? Conversion rates might tell a different story. It doesn’t matter if you have a million customers opting in for notifications if none of them click through. This is why segmentation is so important.
All List, No Conversions
Of course, there’s something to be said for an audience. But unless you’re working entirely in informational or other push categories where engagement doesn’t matter, there’s still the question of engagement. Some would argue that sheer numbers can make up for low conversion rates, but that is, at best, playing the ball game to tie.
This is where segmentation comes in. In fact, a modest, well-segmented list is usually worth more to a business than a giant list that’s poorly segmented. To understand why, let’s say you have a simple value proposition: Sign up for weekly push notifications to get alerts on weekly deals. And, true to form, you deliver on that value proposition, but it’s just a generic “BUY!” message.
Buy what? What do your customers want to buy from you, and how do they want to buy it? Pay attention to the notifications you get from shopping, and you’ll find retailers never tell you just 20% off, but 20% off something specific; for example, a book you browsed on the site, or an item you buy on a regular basis. This is why segments are important: They offer focus.
A long list doesn’t mean your work is done.
One Clear Idea
The fundamental value of browser-based push notifications, as a marketing channel, is they communicate one clear, loud, urgent idea. They work because they’re specific: Click this link, and get this discount. Your product has shipped, click for the billing slip. They grab your customer’s attention and direct it to a specific channel.
Segmenting works here because while your customers may be united in a group as wanting to patronize your business, they are unique individuals with differing needs. Plenty of people buy nails from hardware stores, but the mom finding treehouse supplies for her kids is a very different customer from the professional contractor doing a last-minute supply run for her job site. They could be similar in some respects; they could both be moms, for example. But you need to understand the why of each, and segmenting helps you do that.
In turn, once you have those segments, it gives you a path to better focus your notifications. A big list gives you a lot of segments to work with, but it’s ensuring all those segments feel heard that will get the most out of that list.
Any push notification strategy is about balance. It’s not enough to just reach a wide number of people who want to hear what you have to say—you have to say something that makes them urgently want to engage with you. So, build your opt-ins, but look closely at who’s coming in, and how you can have that spark of inspiration that makes them a loyal customer. To see how push can engage any customer, get a free trial of Pushnami!