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!
The Best Metrics For The Short Term
When looking at the short-term, pick these metrics.
Any marketing campaign, browser-based push notifications included, needs to have a long-term plan. But also, it’s worth looking at the short term to have a sense of where your campaign is heading. While you shouldn’t make big decisions based on short-term results, you should take a look at your campaign up close to see what’s happening. Start with these metrics.
Opt-Ins and Opt-Outs
In particular, keep an eye out for sudden spikes in opt-ins. You’d be surprised by what can drive these; anything from a good deal on a product you sell to a blog entry that links back to your company can tell you multitudes about the direction of your campaign. Keep a sharp eye out for rises, but don’t worry as much about dips, especially if dips in your opt-ins coincide with dips in your site traffic.
Opt-outs are also worth tracking, especially if you see them spike. That means you should dig to see what, exactly, may have caused the increase in opt-outs.
Short-term or long-term, you need to keep an eye on conversion rates no matter what. Again, peaks and valleys are what you’re looking for here, especially as you get your campaign going and begin A/B testing. Often, when testing different ideas, conversion rates are your strongest hint as to what works better, and that makes monitoring them particularly valuable. What’s clicking and what isn’t can sometimes be a subtle difference, so it’s worth watching.
In a world of immediate data, what matters most?
It may not be tied directly to your push notifications, but site traffic is a metric worth being aware of, because it often dictates so many other metrics with browser-based notifications. Remember, browser notifications require users to opt-in to get them, so if nobody is visiting your website, nobody has the option to sign up for your notifications in the first place. It’s also important because you should be aware of the overall rates of opt-ins for each page you offer them and compare it to your overall traffic and the general response to that page. If you’re selling a lot of products, and customers are coming back, but they’re not opting in, that’s an indication you may need to shift the value proposition of your notifications.
While this is likely less important in the long term, especially as you stick to a specific frequency, it is worth looking at early on. If, for example, a customer who opts into notifications gets a dozen automated ones for each order they place and then opts out, that might be an indicator you’re pushing a little too hard. Conversely, if you’ve got entire segments that are going without a notification for a week, it’s time to either push something to them or focus on the other segments those customers are in. Frequency can tell you quite a bit about what your campaign is actually doing where the rubber meets the road.
It’s easy, especially in the short term, to get overwhelmed by data. So, take a moment and look closely at what data matters most to you. To get an idea of what a powerful push notification campaign can do for you, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
Choosing Metrics For The Long Term
What stands out?
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the short term. Sudden peaks and valleys grab our attention, trends need to be analyzed and hopped on, copy needs to be written, notifications need to be pushed out. But your browser-based push notification campaign does need to think in the long term, and it helps to pick metrics that let you examine the big picture. Here are the ones you need to be looking at.
The universal metric for any browser-based push notification campaign is opt-ins. It has to be; if people don’t opt-in, then you don’t have a campaign! However, looking at the long term can tell you the overall effectiveness of the campaign, and how your push notifications are being used.
To some degree, especially if you pursue multiple strategies, this needs to be a little more granular. If you run a weekly sales alert, have a shipping alert system, and also push blog entries and other content, that’s three very different audiences that need very different analysis. But they do interact. For example, if your sales are popular and get a lot of opt-ins, but your blog pushes have a more modest audience, that’s worth analyzing more closely. A low number isn’t necessarily bad if, say, the ROI on your blog audience is twice what it is from your sales audience. But in order to figure that out, and determine the exact value, you need to know the overall numbers.
Planning pays off.
You also should look at opt-outs over time. Subtracting your opt-outs from your opt-ins can give you a much more realistic number, and the trend line of your opt-outs can also tell you a lot. It’s rarely as dramatic as a drop to almost zero, and you will need to be granular about it, the more complex your campaign is. If, for example, one campaign sees low opt-out triggering, while another is driving subscribers away, the answer to your problem is obvious.
And, of course, it can be complicated; sometimes customers opt-out for a while and then return. But figuring out the overall trend can tell you a lot.
We know this seems obvious, but it’s worth asking what your conversion rates are and how they’re doing. We often look at conversion rates in terms of individual campaigns, so you might be surprised if you put them together over time and see what the bigger picture is.
For example, you might have started low and steadily risen to a specific plateau. Or perhaps you started with a fairly high rate and have seen a slow, steady, upward grade over time. No matter what the overall trend, you should look at it closely to see if you like the direction, and doing so can help you reconsider your overall approach. Keep in mind this also needs to be put in the context of your opt-ins. A conversion rate of 1% on one million people and a rate of 10% on 100,000 customers is the exact same number, and those ten thousand customers might be incredibly valuable.
This is just a starting point: Depending on your campaign and goals, you might want to pick a few other metrics to track. But with these, you’ll have a solid base for understanding how it’s all fitting together. To see how browser-based push notifications can build trust with your customers, get a free trial of Pushnami!
Is It A Blip Or A Drop?
What is the data telling you?
If life were perfect, all data would offer us nice, smooth curves, steadily rising and falling paired with perfectly chosen metrics. Life, alas, is not perfect, and when you look at reports for your browser-based push notifications, you see what data scientists call a sawtooth, with peaks and valleys. Metrics swing wildly from day to day and week to week. So how do you read the data from your push notification campaign?
Once you work with any sort of data that comes in, you know that it’s not consistent. That’s especially true when you’ve got new data coming in every day, which can tell you wildly different things. And, adding to the problem, unless you’re constantly surveying your customers to get a sense of their mindset, it’s not clear what variables might be affecting the data. Is your big sale driving a sudden rise in conversion rates? Or is it your marketing that’s working especially well? Or does it have nothing to do with your efforts at all?
It is true that the modern day has managed to do away with some uncertainty. Browser-based push notifications enjoy a particularly focused data set, as everyone on your list has chosen to receive your message. As long as your expectations are reasonable, you can have a handle on how they perform.
But in turn, that makes sudden swings cause for even more confusion. If, say, your conversion rates go up, or your opt-out rates drop, you’ve only got a limited set of variables, but which one is working? It’s enough to drive you crazy, so take a step back.
What’s the data saying?
Keep in mind, the smooth curves and straight lines we see in presentations and in stock photos are extrapolations. Any set of data, unless it’s been deliberately massaged or is from a very specific set of disciplines, is going to be, in raw terms, a sawtooth. It’s not the moment-to-moment changes you should be concerned about.
Instead, you need to keep an eye out for the longer trend. For example, when running a campaign, pick a handful of metrics and where you’d like to see them head. Opt-ins should go up; conversion rates should rise, and so on. Then, run the campaign and look at the data. Did you hit your targets? If not, what happened? If everything is a plateau, overall, that’s not the worst thing. But if there are declines, then it’s time to ask what’s going on.
It’s easy to look at the trees and forget about the forest, especially in business, where success is built around high numbers with profit and low numbers on expenses. But just like one great sales day won’t save a business that’s building up red ink, one bad day on the metrics isn’t a sign to hit the panic button. Instead, collect data, look your campaign, and do A/B testing on the variables you’ve got in play. Nobody enjoys those perfect smooth curves, not in reality. So don’t worry about the peaks and valleys; look at where your campaign is heading. Want to see the power of push notifications in action? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Follow Up For The Best Results
Following up is key.
It’s the most fundamental lesson of business, of marketing, of life, really: Always follow up. We follow up with friends on dinner plans, with our co-workers on meeting agendas, and in many ways, large and small, every day. And that’s as true of browser-based push marketing as anything; when somebody opts in, you should instantly follow up. But what should you say?
Why Follow Up?
There are some important technical reasons to follow up. The most basic is that it lets your newly minted customer know that the process has actually worked and that they’re subscribed. Otherwise, they might be confused, and might not expect your next notification. The second is that if the notification fails, they can configure their browser to ensure that they’ll get the notifications. And, finally, it’s just good form to acknowledge somebody who does you a solid. Remember they’re volunteering to hear from you, so pay them a little nod for doing so.
But there are other reasons as well. Generally, when somebody opts in, they have a moment to engage more with your company and are highly interested in doing so. That’s the kind of golden opportunity you rarely get with any marketing tool. So you shouldn’t waste it, but that raises the next question: What should you push?
What To Push?
That depends on a few factors. The first is their value expectation. For example, if somebody opts-in for push notifications for simple informational alerts like package shipping or invoice clearance, their value expectation is going to be different from somebody who opted in from your web store’s clearance page. Ask yourself, what’s the value your customer believes is being offered? How can you meet that value?
Step two is always follow up.
Leave A Door Open
The second is the overall goal of your push notifications. Are you looking to increase conversion rates? Sell more of a specific product? Drive traffic to your blog or podcast? Increase foot traffic at a brick and mortar business? Ask yourself what somebody who has just opted in to push notifications would be most likely to be interested in, what would grab them right away and get them to click. It can be as simple as a coupon, or it can be a product demo, as long as it aligns with your goals.
The third is to consider what tone it sets with your customer. If the value you offer matches the value promised, and the goals you’re driving towards work with your customer, then you’ve set the proper tone.
And remember, you don’t have to have just one message for every page. You can tweak your immediate reply across all the pages on your site that offer opt-in, so you can offer far different values depending on where they opt-in. Customers on your clearance page can get a different offer than those who opt-in on your blog. And keep an eye on conversion rates; value can shift over time, and you should tweak your value propositions accordingly.
Browser-based push notifications can offer you some powerful tools to connect with your customers, right from the start. Want to learn more? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Choosing The Right Metrics For Page-by-Page Opt-In
What’s the measure of success?
Browser-based notifications need your most engaged customers to opt in. And, ideally, you’ll have your site configured to opt-in for notifications in any number of ways, from asking to offer various alerts to pushing out coupons to other offers of value. But which metrics should you use to figure out which pages are making the best pitch?
Yes, it seems obvious, but it’s important to look at which pages have the overall highest opt-in. However, it’s essential to measure this not just in raw numbers, but percentages. For example, it’s likely that your main page gets the most traffic and, just by sheer raw exposure, gets the most opt-ins for your browser-based push notifications.
But what percentage of visitors opt for notifications? How about pages that require a bit more work to visit, like a specific Google search or clicking past the homepage? Do they see similar percentages? Higher ones? Lower ones? Look at the value you’re offering with each of these percentages, as well. You shouldn’t make the same value pitch on each page, but instead, try different ideas on the pages of your site. If one idea is working better in the percentages than others, you should look closely at why.
Quantity, as any community manager can tell you, is easy to get. The bigger question is quality. To see quality, you should look closely at your conversion rates from each opt-in.
It’s true that this is a bit hazier than the raw numbers of opt-ins or the percentages that result from each page. No campaign has a perfect, 100% conversion rate. But if you compare conversion rates of campaigns across the various places your customers opted into, some interesting patterns might appear. For example, if the opt-ins you get from a product page get a higher conversion rate than the customers you gather on your list from the main page, it may be worth asking exactly what about that product page brings in so many engaged customers.
Who checks the box?
Just like there’s no 100% conversion rate, there’s also no 100% retention rate. Customers will opt out for a host of reasons, from switching browsers to simply having too many notifications bombard them from too many sites, and it’s worth following up to ask why they’ve opted out. Use their feedback to make adjustments to your campaign.
But it’s also important to look at the numbers and percentages of where they opted in, too. If, for example, you see an unusually high number of opt-outs from customers who opted in on a page with a specific value proposition, you should ask yourself if you’re promising too much when you ask for the opt-in, or if you’re offering something that feels different from what you promised. Keep in mind, of course, that it may not be you: You can offer the value you promise perfectly, but your customers’ eyes may simply be bigger than their stomachs.
Metrics are key to understanding the effectiveness of any campaign. Choosing the right ones will tell you not only how effective you are at getting customers to opt-in, but how well you follow up. Ready to see how browser-based push notifications can connect you to your best customers? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Use Push To Boost Conversion Rates
There’s no such thing as 100% conversion. But there’s always a higher place to reach.
“How do I increase my conversion rates?” is the eternal question for any business on the internet. And you’ll see businesses try everything from common-sense approaches to wacky ones to boost conversions. Fortunately, browser-based push notifications are ideal for increasing conversion rates. In fact, they’re built around them.
Push Notifications And Conversion Rates
If you’re not familiar, “conversion rate” is the percentage of customers who make the desired action on the part of the marketing team. That action could be absolutely anything, from buying a product to watching a video to subscribing to a podcast; it all depends on your business and your marketing campaign.
Push notifications are ideal for this because they’re all about communicating one idea—simply, clearly, and crisply. There’s no room for distraction with a push notification. Browser-based push notifications are particularly powerful because they’re opt-in, so your most loyal and engaged customers are the ones getting the message.
That said, it’s worth remembering that inherently, conversion rates are about “friction,” that is, how complicated the action is and how easy it is to complete. For example, reading a sentence has low friction. Depending on the sentence, you can probably get a high conversion rate just by pushing it out. Buying an entire line of products, on the other hand, is a much more “frictional” task. Even if your most loyal customers want to buy the whole thing, they need to have room to keep it somewhere and space on their credit card to buy it. There is, in other words, no such thing as a 100% conversion rate.
That said, getting that key idea in front of your customers really helps. So, what are the best ways to boost conversion rates with push notifications?
The higher, the better!
Best Practices With Push Notifications And Conversion Rates
- Decide your action first, and set reasonable metrics for it. Keep in mind the overall difficulty of performing the action; buying a tractor is a bigger “ask” than just having customers read about it.
- Remember that your action needs to be one clear, concise idea. If you can’t ask it of somebody in one sentence, then you need to either break the action down or choose another action.
- Before pushing, or launching any campaign, test for how simple the action is to complete. Ideally, when the notification is clicked, it will take a maximum of one or two clicks to finish the action.
- Push notifications work best as the “tip of the spear.” Conversion rate boost campaigns should be a multichannel affair, supported by social media and email marketing as well.
- Like any other campaign, look closely at your marketing segments to write copy and design campaigns accordingly. There is no “one-size-fits-all” for a conversion campaign.
- Study both mobile and desktop traffic and consider the action you want taken. Is it easy for heavy mobile users to take?
- A/B test during the conversion campaign. Often fresh copy and new angles can make a huge difference.
Conversion rates are important, and designing a campaign from the ground up to bolster them is often key to a successful broader effort. Ready to see how push notifications fit into your campaign? Get a free trial of Pushnami!