The Comprehensive Guide to Push Notification Marketing
It’s a harsh world out there for online marketers. Though the internet brings with it tremendous opportunity to reach more people, your targets are bombarded every day with dozens of messages from multiple brands through every avenue of online communication, including email, social media, and text messaging. You need a way to cut through the noise and get in front of the pack.
What if you could follow your prospects everywhere they search on the web simply by sending them small, targeted messages that connect them to your brand and boost your revenue? This innovative strategy is not only possible, it is available at a low-cost and accessible to businesses of all sizes and types. This guide to push notification marketing will explore why organizations around the globe are rolling out push strategies of their own.
Your Push Notification Guide
Browser-based push notifications are clickable messages that businesses can “push out” to subscribers while they are active online. These highly personalized notes are similar to push notifications that accompany mobile apps; however, these can be sent directly through any browser in real-time, delivering targeted messages to the right people—people who want to see them—at the right time. Focusing communication this way can triple your conversion rates.
Why Push Notifications?
Push notifications provide many benefits to businesses. These short, simple messages pack quite a punch—providing a straightforward, real-time, cost-effective way to engage with prospects and build a loyal audience of engaged customers and followers.
Here’s what you can expect when using push notifications:
Quick, Real-Time Messaging
Consider this scenario: You’ve got a 12-hour promotion, and you need to get the word out to as many prospects as you can during that short period. Let’s look at your options:
- Email – Email click-through rates range from 1-4% on average—if the target opens them. Emails frequently go undelivered or land in spam boxes. People also don’t see their emails right away unless they check them regularly. Compare that to the click-through rates for push notifications, which can range from 10-40% depending on the industry.
- Social Media – The effectiveness of social media for a promotion like this depends on whether your audience frequents a social site at the exact time you need them to. While you can strategize the timing of your posts, ultimately you can’t control how and when your target uses their own social media.
- Mobile app push notifications – If users don’t have the app open, they won’t see the messages.
- SMS – Text marketing is a good strategy since people check text messages quite often. That said, your users need to be on their phones and then click to open the message to receive your notification.
Though the above strategies are valuable, push notifications are superior since your messages appear wherever your prospects are searching, and they don’t require recipients to open a separate application. This contributes to higher clicks and engagement.
100% Deliverability and High Click Rates
Email deliverability is a common issue; an average of 15% of intended recipients will never see your emails. Push notifications, on the other hand, enjoy 100% deliverability. Opt-in rates for push notifications are also higher because opting in doesn’t require prospects to hand over a phone number or email. One quick click is all it takes.
High-Engaging Messages That Boost Site Performance
Since users don’t need to open an email or text message to see your push notification messages, it’s more likely the user will engage with your content—which also boosts site performance.
What do higher click-through rates, user engagement, and increased site performance equate to? The bottom line is that with push notifications, your marketing dollars stretch further because more of your audience will see your messaging and interact with your content. Your messaging should bring people closer to your brand and move them through your marketing funnels to purchase your product.
Got five minutes? That’s how much time it takes to set up a Pushnami push notification account and integrate it with your website properties.
In summary, push notifications can kickstart and elevate your marketing strategy. If you want to see how push notifications work and why they are so powerful for businesses looking to amp up their marketing, check out this video:
Why Use Push Notifications for Marketing?
Push notifications are a powerful arm of comprehensive marketing plans, as they can contribute to both short-term and long-term marketing objectives.
Push notifications can be a revenue driver for limited-time events and promotions, including occasions such as:
- Special promotions
- Limited-time discounts
- Seasonal sales
- Contests and giveaways
- Important company news and announcements
- New product launches
Push notifications also provide long-term marketing value. One long-term strategy is to build a core audience of engaged subscribers—those who love your brand and take action when you post new content. Push notifications can convert your website visitors into these loyal, engaged followers and keep them connected to your brand for the long-term. Plus, push notifications can reactivate users who have grown dormant, reinvigorating their interest and allegiance.
The Power of Personalization
One of the top benefits of push notifications is that they can be personalized to a user’s behavior. This gives you ultimate control over your campaigns and allows you to optimize notifications to target subscribers’ behavior, interests, and preferences.
As mentioned before, targeted push messages triple conversion rates. They are effective because users feel like they are part of a personal conversation instead of just being on the receiving end of a generic message blast. Also, personalization reduces opt-out rates because you are tailoring the message to your subscriber’s preferences.
How does it work? Set triggers to fire off messages when certain criteria are met. Here are some examples of how to execute this strategy in real-world scenarios:
- Your website visitor just abandoned their cart. Send them a notification (the quicker, the better) while they are surfing other sites to remind them to continue the checkout process. Offer a discount to entice them to complete the purchase. E-commerce companies love this revenue-boosting side of push notifications—reminders sent out via web push have been shown to significantly boost abandoned cart conversion rates.
- Your local brick-and-mortar store wants to get more foot traffic during specific times of the day. Set the notification to fire when a user is close to your store.
- Send notifications when users are likely to engage with them—which means not only strategizing release based on time of day in your local area, but also personalizing to time zones.
- Focus your messages to a tightly defined target audience so the content is relevant. You can do this by asking subscribers their preferences when they opt-in and by monitoring their on-page activities such as products purchased and pages viewed. For example, if a subscriber has been viewing baby strollers, changing tables, and diaper bags on your website for the last week, add them to an audience that targets people interested in baby products. This way, when you send blasts, you don’t send these users generic messages (which may cause them to opt-out). Send them notifications whenever you publish content around baby products or raising babies.
The beauty of behavior-triggered messages is that they can also be scheduled and automated, so the process is completely hands-off, putting time and money back in your pocket.
How Do Push Notifications Work?
Website push notifications require user permission before you can send them. Once users consent to receive your push notifications, they are added to your subscriber list, which means they will receive your future notifications. The best part is, users don’t need to be active on your website to receive the messages—they just need to be active on the internet.
Here is what this looks like:
When a user arrives on your website, they are given the opportunity to subscribe to notifications, as shown here:
Once they click “Allow” to give you permission, they are added to the subscriber list you set up with your push notification provider.
You can then send notifications to the subscriber. The messages will appear on the bottom right-hand side of the user’s computer screen. Here is an example:
When users click your message, they will be taken to whatever link you specified.
The Virtues of Push Notifications
Now that our push notification guide has shown you the power and potential of Pushnami’s platform, take a moment to consider how this channel can fit into your brand vision as a whole. Push notifications can contribute toward the fulfillment of various key business goals across marketing, customer service, and user experience sectors. How your organization specifically makes use of push depends on your brand virtues.
What are those virtues? Browser-based push notifications are immediate, communicate one idea extremely well and urgently, and—due to their opt-in nature—deliver that idea to your most dedicated and interested users. In and of themselves, they are wonderful. So how do they fit into a marketing strategy?
Let’s look at other common channels in a strategy. There is email marketing, for example, which delivers more detail about an idea and is also opt-in; there are social media channels, which are richer and more reactive, and tend to be better at building awareness than driving action; and there are all the channels of traditional marketing, from flyers and newspaper ads to big flashing signs at physical locations. So really, integrating a push strategy into your overall marketing plan starts with the channels and techniques you are already using.
Let’s say you have started funding a documentary video series for a cause. Your company’s name is in front of it, but there remains a question of how to get eyeballs on it. Social media will let you put up the video and keep it at the top of your presence, making it highly visible for those paying attention. But this method is passive; viewers have to come to the site. Push notifications, on the other hand, will get the video link in front of your biggest fans, the people most likely to share and talk about the video, regardless of their current activity or location. So while you will use other channels to get the video out there, the seed that will drive its ultimate success will likely be the push notifications you send out.
Building On Virtues
Once you have those virtues in mind, you will be surprised at just how often they fit in. Push notifications are sort of the fireworks of any marketing strategy. They are quick, they are visible, and they inspire people to one specific action. You might, for example, use them to lead into the launch of a new product after building it up on other channels. Any Apple user can tell you exactly when new products are arriving from their favorite company or when a new version of iOS is dropping.
So when examining your strategy, look for that one specific action you want your most engaged users to take—anything from sharing a video or buying a product to posting a review. Choose that specific action and use notifications to make it happen. This can either be the climax of a campaign or the inciting action—look at how albums are dropped, for example, with Spotify and Soundcloud using alerts to take users straight to the new content.
Website push notifications are a low-cost, effective marketing tool to add to your marketing arsenal. With high conversion rates, a low cost of entry, and easy setup, implementing this strategy is an easy way to increase engagement and sales and get more brand exposure.
Marketing with push notifications connects your brand with customers in the here-and-now. Not all push notification marketing platforms are built the same, and Pushnami is the leader in delivering cross-channel notification solutions to meet any business’ unique needs.
Now that you know all about using push notifications for marketing, discover what an AI-powered push platform can do for your brand. Request a demo of Pushnami today!
The Ultimate Guide to Using Push Notifications for Your News or Broadcast Media
People still love the local news, but they need help finding it.
Both the opportunities and challenges of running a media business have never been greater. 10% of Americans still get their news from a physical newspaper, but that’s still a decline from a decade ago. Radio remains a news resource but shows a similar decline. And local TV news continues to be popular, but its audience is rapidly aging.
All of these problems have been offset, to some degree, by the rise of digital media. Even as TV news has struggled to keep its audience, the digital platforms of local stations have seen the gap close between their TV viewership and their online viewership, especially as platforms like YouTube make it quick, cheap, and efficient to upload and archive news clips.
Online radio is seeing an explosion in listeners, although it remains an open question just how to monetize that and better understand a rapidly segmenting audience. And newspapers have found that having both digital and print versions of their stories allow them to reach much wider audiences.
There are still points of contention in the media landscape. Digital media lets you know exactly how many views an article gets and streams a news broadcast racks up, but it doesn’t tell you who’s watching or why. Just how much digital advertising should cost, and the overall financial model, is under dispute. But it’s clear the future of media in all forms is on the internet, and browser-based push notifications are ideal tools to solve many of these problems.
The newspaper is still part of many morning rituals, but it’s not the only way to get news.
Why Push Notifications?
Web-based notifications should be part of any news organization’s marketing plan for a few key reasons. The first is that a notification is urgent.
Much like a headline or a top-of-the-hour alert, notifications are designed to communicate one clear idea in a way that compels your audience to click on it. In many cases, you’re already writing strong, compelling copy for notifications simply by giving your clip or your article a compelling headline.
Secondly, when you set up notifications through your website, they’re opt-in. Media buyers and media managers know all too well the “shotgun” approach, where you send a narrowly focused message to the widest number of people in the hopes that a handful will hear it. Notifications, instead, ask people to sign on based on their specific interests.
If, for example, you set up notifications for local sports, you know that your articles will be sent to the segment of your audience most interested in what the home team’s up to. That drives the core audience, and it also makes it more likely they’ll engage with the article, commenting on it, sharing it on social media, and telling friends about it.
Third, they set the stage to better understand your audience. Push notifications, through a number of methods like A/B testing and tracking clickthrough rate, offer hard data on what your audience engages with and what it doesn’t.
Over time, and paired with other web analytics and careful sifting of the data you collect, you’ll be able to better understand what approaches most appeal to your audience, and have a better understanding of who’s clicking on what and why. Push notifications also pair well with marketing channels like social media, allowing you to put your story in front of multiple audiences in a variety of ways.
Getting on air is just the start.
For audiences, push notifications are useful tools that let them pick and choose the content they most want to engage with, and instead of logging into your site and poking around to find articles, the articles are brought to them.
When you work in the informational sphere, it’s particularly important to reduce what analysts call “friction,” the number of steps it takes to present an audience member with what they’re seeking. This helps them get the news more efficiently and, just as important, see you as a news organization that gets them the stories that most matter to them.
Web push is particularly powerful here because it’s tied to a browser, not a phone or a desktop; so as long as your audience uses the same browser, they’ll get alerts on both their phone and their computer.
Increasing Audience With Push Notifications
One important factor to remember with push notifications is that they’re extremely flexible and you can configure them any number of ways.
Let’s take, for instance, local election coverage. You can set up push notifications in five minutes on any web page and configure them to, for example, offer coverage on the local mayoral races with one click.
This serves two purposes. First, for audiences that come to your site for very specific types of news, it’s a useful convenience; with one click, they’ll get regular updates.
Second, it tells you what topics your most engaged audience members find the most compelling, and helps you direct precious coverage resources more effectively. If your analytics point towards more interest in a local race, you can give your audience what they need to better grasp it.
The news is still important, but how will it reach its audience?
And since push notifications are granular, you can use them to cater to the “long tail” of your audience and understand interests and connections that may not reveal themselves otherwise. Demographics are useful, but they only tell you so much about who’s reading, listening, and watching.
As audiences have more options to get their news and their entertainment, it’s becoming clear that you need to understand audience members as people, not numbers, and notifications will help you better understand what motivates them.
Amping Up Your Marketing with Push Notifications
Notifications can also be used, of course, to boost subscriptions. The subscription model is increasingly gaining attention not just from print media, but also from radio and television.
In many cases, it’s a “story-behind-the-story” model where longer form interviews and more in-depth pieces are put behind a paywall. There are other approaches you can take, as well, and push notifications can help promote all of them.
The most obvious method, of course, is simply to occasionally push out an alert that your “free” users can subscribe and get more out of your website. You might try copy like:
- You’ve enjoyed 4 of 5 free articles this month. Click here to get more.
- Subscribe now and support local news!
But there are more subtle approaches you can use as well. For example, you can put the first part of a multi-part story up for free, push it out to audiences most likely to be interested, and then have the rest available behind a paywall, or push out each part earlier for subscribers:
- Be the first to get the full story with a subscription.
- Read the rest of the story with a full membership.
“On air” means on the internet, social media, podcasts…
Even public media can use push notifications. For example, you can run a push “pledge drive,” where making a donation through a push notification gets the patron an exclusive item. Or you can run a pre-pledge drive push campaign where subscribers can gift subscriptions or other donations to friends and family. It can also be useful when launching a new project, like a new podcast, as you can get it out to your most interested listeners early.
Another approach is providing access to archival material. A news/talk radio station, for example, might digitize its old recordings and make them available to historically minded audiences sorted by topic and who’s involved in the debate.
Being able to track a politician’s evolving stance, the victories and defeats of a local quarterback, or how a social debate has evolved in the area over the years can be a big driver for subscriptions and engagement.
This needs to be balanced with other revenue streams, of course, and push notifications are just one part of what will be a large, ongoing marketing initiative to get subscriptions up and to draw attention. But it can be a powerful tool to remind audiences of the value of local news.
We need the news!
There’s no one solution to the challenges facing local news. The simple truth is that as audiences become more discerning, and as their needs become more complex, even the savviest media outlet is going to spend quite a bit of time playing catch-up.
Any media outlet is going to need to look closely at multi-channel marketing, offering multiple approaches to its content, and will need to dig deep both into the stories that matter most to their audiences and better understanding the many different concerns each member of their audience has.
Push notifications will be a crucial piece of this process. They help any media organization find the audience members who most want to engage with them; let that audience sort themselves into different groups to help that organization better understand their most committed viewers, listeners, and readers; and opens the door to new promotional approaches and opportunities.
The world of news and media is constantly changing, and the organizations that stand to benefit from that the most are the ones that can embrace new technology to change with it. Push notifications are on the vanguard of that, allowing you to bring the news and the content that matters directly to the audience that most cares about it, and ensuring that they spread the word. To see the power of push notifications in local news, get a free trial of Pushnami!
The 6 Types of Content to Include on Your E‑Commerce Site
Is your product high-quality and useful to your customers? If so, this is a good start and vitally important, but it’s not enough to scale your e-commerce business. You also need the right website content to promote and sell your products.
Below are six important website content components and what each piece entails. We also discuss knowing your target audience as this is key to developing effective website content.
Writing for Your Target Audience
Before you start crafting your e-commerce website content, you need to know your target audience. Without a deep understanding of your targets, your content will fall flat.
If you do not know your target audience, start by researching some of the below traits:
- Pain points (your product should solve these problems)
Incorporate your findings into your content writing so that it is more personalized to your audience. This will help create more trust and lasting connections (aka loyal customers and sales).
1. Product and Category Pages
Your product and category pages are highly important, and they should represent your company’s high standards and be optimized for your visitors and the search engines.
Use high-quality, professional product photos. To increase sales, showcase your products with lifestyle images. For example, if you sell fashion, display people wearing your clothes in their everyday lives. If you sell coffee mugs, take shots of women gathering socially enjoying their mugs or people feeling energized in the morning with a hot cup of coffee (in your mug of course).
The key with your images is to evoke an emotion and allow visitors to easily imagine what their life would be like when purchasing your products.
Optimize your product content by using keywords in your category and product descriptions. Use keywords that describe your products but that are not highly competitive. Focusing on long-tail keywords (tan plaid wool women’s scarf vs. plaid scarf) is a good place to start as they aren’t as competitive and will help you rank higher in the search engines with less effort.
2. Branded Content
Branded content helps your visitors connect to your message and story, which increases sales.
Start with a mission statement that defines why you sell your products, what your overall goal is, and what you stand for. Add “about” content (via an “About” page) that explains your company history and tells a story of why your business is so important to you.
This branded content humanizes your brand which helps break down the initial skepticism internet users feel when approaching e-commerce websites.
3. Customer Testimonials
You can tout the greatness of your products all day, but this will never replace the power of unbiased customer testimonials. Reviews provide social proof that your products live up to your claims.
Allow your customers to add reviews below your products. Encourage this by asking happy customers to leave positive feedback.
4. Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t let your consumers leave your online store with unanswered questions. Include FAQs on delivery, shipping, returns, refunds, customer service and any other topic your customer may ask about. To find out what your customers’ top questions are, install a live chat function on your website and/or ask your customer service team to monitor communication and pick out any frequently asked questions.
5. Product Guides
Product guides are not a necessity, but we recommend adding them to enhance the viability of your products. This could include everything from product uses and manuals to assembly instructions for highly technical product
6. Push Notifications
Push notifications are a valuable component of a comprehensive e-commerce marketing strategy. These short, punchy messages provide quick, real-time content notifications from your website no matter where your subscribers are surfing on their computers.
Use push notifications to keep customers updated on your latest discounts and product notifications, encourage repeat purchases and send company updates. And with 100% deliverability and high click-through rates (10-40% depending on the industry), these little content pieces can draw a lot of traffic and potential customers to your site.
Consider adding these content pages and messages to your website to encourage engagement and boost sales.
Push notifications are a low-cost, effective content tactic that yields high returns by attracting more customers and increasing sales for e-commerce stores. If you want to try website push notifications, test drive a campaign for free for 30 days to see how it performs. Start your free 30-day trial right here.
How to Build an Attention-Grabbing E‑Commerce Site
Even the smallest operation needs a great e-commerce site.
Boosting your e-commerce business starts with having the right website. And there’s much more that goes into it than just being on the web. Here’s what you need for an e-commerce site that turns heads and increases sales.
Put Design First
It starts with what’s under the hood. Your site should be designed from the ground up to be easy to use with a minimum of “friction.” Friction, in this context, means users should take as few steps as possible from seeing a product to buying it. Your site should work well on both full browsers and mobile browsers, should have easy-to-access buttons customers want to click, should have an effective and easy to use search engine, and should interact with payment apps like PayPal, where applicable. And also remember disability features, so any user can easily navigate your site. The easier your site is to use, the more likely customers are to use it. If you’re using a pre-designed platform, test it thoroughly and ask for customer sites so you can see how it works “in the wild.”
Have Appealing, Direct Visuals
Once the back-end is done, you can polish the front. Your site design should reflect your branding, but should also limit clutter. Think of it like your online store’s front window. What do you most want new customers to see? And don’t forget, you can and should have tools in place to reconfigure it for returning customers and browsing shoppers, so they can see things they’re most interested in first.
Retail or entirely online, e-commerce is the future.
Use SEO Best Practices
With SEO, the question is simple: What do people enter into search engines to look for the products you sell? Remember that Google’s algorithm, while complex, is a computer, and that information needs to be organized in a way a computer can understand. So use SEO terms not just in your website copy and URL, but as part of your image descriptions, in H3 tags, and also remember to use variations of terms and use them naturally. “Black hat” SEO doesn’t just drop you in the Google rankings, it turns off customers too.
There’s a multitude of ways to personalize your site for each customer, depending on what you know about them. If, for example, they come to your front page via a specific search term, you can use site automation to present items they might be interested in as the first thing they see. As you build loyalty with them, you’ll learn more about their interests through surveys, order history, and other interaction and can continue to segment and personalize.
Keep In Touch
Finally, give customers options to keep in touch, such as web-based push notifications. Remember this takes multiple contexts: For example, one list they might sign onto makes them part of your exclusive club, getting first access to preorders and sales. Another might offer them useful information, such as when their product ships or when new firmware upgrades or accessories are available. Offer multiple ways for customers to stay in touch with you, or so you can stay in touch with them, and they’ll keep coming back. To learn more about browser-based push notifications, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
The Complete Guide to Using Push Notifications for Your E‑Commerce Business
Push notifications go where your customers go.
E-commerce is the present and future of retail, wholesale, and everything in between. On some level, it makes sense, as anybody who’s had to laboriously fill out an order form, file an invoice, write a check, and wait for it to arrive at the store via mail can tell you. Using modern information technology and communications to file, send, and pay for orders is simply a matter of efficiency for most businesses.
That’s why there are at least 110,000 e-commerce sites active on the internet and doing a meaningful degree of business. As behemoths like Amazon expand into even more industries, it’s going to open up more opportunities for smaller e-commerce companies, whether they sell directly to customers or other businesses. And as traditional big-box retailers like Wal-Mart push physical retail into a variety of different e-commerce-like directions from in-app ordering to pick up items to same-day delivery of essentials, it’s going to build out the infrastructure available to all e-commerce companies, as well. The day is not so far away when a franchise location for a store is also its delivery distribution center and its delivery pickup location. Even stores like Starbucks, which can hardly ship you a latte, have been revolutionized by apps that let customers order while they walk to the store, grab their coffee, and walk out.
Reach customers no matter where they are.
The other side of the coin for many businesses is that with so many businesses chasing so many opportunities, standing out in e-commerce is difficult, at best. The back end of e-commerce is relatively simple, and even the staidest industries have at this point computerized their order forms and payment systems. Selling online is no longer novel, no matter what business you’re in. To stand out in e-commerce, you need powerful marketing that lets you segment, personalize, and communicate one crisp, urgent idea to your customers, and that’s where web-based push notifications can make a business stand out.
What Are Push Notifications?
At their most basic, push notifications are small bits of data that are sent directly to customers and users on the platform of their choice. If you receive a text message, for example, the alert you see on your lock screen is technically a push notification. This data can be quite literally anything that fits into the character limit, and some notification systems support “rich” notifications that let you push out images and videos.
Web-based push notifications are slightly different, though, from the notifications you receive on your phone. First of all, they’re not automatic. Instead, users opt into receiving them by clicking “allow” on a small drop-down window that can appear on any page on your website. This makes them a much more focused marketing channel, as instead of pushing blindly, the way most apps on your phone do, you’re pushing to an audience who specifically wants to hear from you.
Whether B2B or B2C, push notifications are powerful tools for any business.
Secondly, they’re tied to your web browser, not your device. If you opt in to push notifications on Chrome, for example, any device you own, where you’re logged into Chrome, will get that notification. This means web-based notifications can reach tablets, phones, laptops, desktops, and any other device that both supports the browser and its notification system. This also rewards focus, concision, and thoughtful delivery. Push notifications are best for clear, urgent ideas that your customers absolutely need to know, right now, no matter where they are.
What this means is that browser-based notifications are targeted marketing tools right from the beginning, and as you form a stronger connection with your customers, you can segment them further still. So, how do you tap into that power to form that basis?
Push Notifications And E-commerce Marketing
To begin with, there’s the obvious advantage of being able to promote directly to the people who care about it the most. One of the biggest challenges of any marketing effort is ensuring that the majority of your audience is interested in your message, and web-based push puts that front and center. When first working on a push campaign, ask yourself what most appeals to your customers. What do they buy? When do they buy it? What buying patterns do they engage in?
No matter which platform, push notifications reach their customers.
To that end, your push campaigns should be built around the idea of exclusivity, that the customer is a member of an exclusive club. Deals and sales that you run should be available only to people who sign up for push notifications, and you can either run exclusive sales separate from your usual discount marketing strategy, or run them as an extra percentage or coupon on top of your sales. If you don’t run sales, instead make certain aspects of information part of the exclusivity; customers can be the first to know a release date and preorder a product, or they can be the first to know a major update is coming and plan accordingly. Remember, value is not just about money but also about time; if you can save a customer either with your browser-based push, your customer will be very, very happy.
As you get to know your customers better, you can begin to segment and take different approaches depending on their needs. If you pay close attention to companies like Amazon, you see that they do this in a number of different ways, the most basic being pairing items and following up to see if you’re interested. But that’s just one way to use push notifications in e-commerce:
- Offer sales on new accessories, subscriptions, and other items that enhance the products your customers buy.
- When an order is complete, ask for feedback, to ensure customers know they’re being heard.
- Push out information about different creative and unique ways your customers are using your product.
- Alert customers to abandoned carts and incomplete orders.
- And don’t forget to be industry- and customer-specific. Ask yourself what you sell, what your customers are interested in, and think of all the different ways they can intersect.
And as useful as push notifications are for sales, that’s not the only way they can be used to help your customers. They’re also powerful for keeping customers.
Push Notifications And Customer Retention
Another aspect of push notifications is they can be used for any urgent or compelling bit of information a customer needs to know. One of the most basic examples of this is shipping notifications; many customers want to know when their product is on the way, and push notifications are a handy way to give them that information quickly, simply, and directly. If you sell products with a subscription, customers can configure an alert to tell them when they need to renew. Or, if a customer has set up an ongoing order that’s automatically fulfilled, you can alert them that the order is about to go through, or that the invoice has cleared.
Reach any customer, anywhere.
Nor is that the only approach you can take to customer retention. For example, especially with industrial products or other content along those lines, documentation, and information is often key to keeping those products up and running. Pushing out crucial updates your customers need, such as links to new user manuals, product safety materials, and alerts that a new firmware upgrade or overall improvement is available is both useful to the customer and keeps you at the front of their mind for when they need other products.
Informational push is only limited by the information your customer needs. If you sell products that need regular care, you can set up push campaigns that let customers know maintenance milestones are coming due, with handy links to any supplies they might need to keep their purchase in top shape. If your businesses works on an appointment basis, you can use push as an appointment reminder or confirmation, complete with a handy link that lets your customer click and place the appointment in their calendar. If your business offers pick-up, you can use push to let your customers know their order is ready. Restaurants can push a sudden open table out to their biggest fans. Movie theaters can push changes in schedule. If there’s anything your best customers want to know, push is the best way to let them know it.
Be in the right place, with push notifications.
This even applies to potential customers. They can sign up for push alerts for webinars or product demonstrations, set price alerts for products they’re interested in, or anything else you know potential customers are most interested in. Ask yourself what they’ve found most engaging, and offer it in push form.
As you can see from the above, browser-based push notifications are powerful, flexible tools in e-commerce. And they’ll only become more important as e-commerce keeps growing, and even retailers built around physical locations and foot traffic are developing e-commerce tools to help them grow and change. The future of commerce is both highly connected and highly electronic, and meeting your customers where they want to be will be fundamental to any sort of e-commerce success. With push notifications, you can go where they are, tell them what they need to know, and bring them to your storefront, with just a few words and a link. Ready to tap into the power of push? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Give Your Customers Something With Push
Even a small gift is appreciated.
There’s a number on our phones we always dread seeing. It might be a business acquaintance, relative, or friend, but no matter what, the conversation always comes around to how they want something from you. And, just like you let that number go to voicemail, your push notifications can feel the same way to your customers. How do you make sure they pay attention? By flipping the equation, and ensuring you give them something instead.
We use “give” in a loose sense, here. We’re not saying you should bribe people to open your push notifications. If nothing else, that’s counterintuitive. What we mean is that your customer should get something out of the message.
One of the most dangerous problems in marketing is impersonal marketing. Nobody wants to be seen as a unit to be squeezed for profit, and yet there’s always marketing does almost precisely this. At best, it means you fade into the noise that surrounds all our lives. At worst, it’s actively alienating to otherwise loyal customers. You don’t care about them, so why should they care about you?
“Giving” in this context doesn’t necessarily involve some sort of financial or monetary incentive, like a coupon, although it can. For example, if you notice customers consistently buy products in a certain category or have expressed interest in a certain aspect of your industry, you might push them a podcast, video or blog post on that topic. It raises awareness of your company, true, but from your customer’s perspective, you’ve passed on something potentially useful and it shows you’re paying attention. Even if they don’t click, they’ll notice and appreciate the effort.
Who doesn’t like a gift?
How To Give
The first, and most important, question to ask is how this push notification potentially makes your customer’s life a little easier. Does it tell them about a new feature? Does it save them money? Does it save them a little time? You don’t have to move mountains here, but remember that browser-based push notifications are for your most loyal and engaged customers. You know these people well, and while no push notification can work miracles, small actions add up to big returns.
Equally important is to ask what your customers value. They tell you this, in ways big and small, every time they interact with you, through what they buy, what they click on, what they email to you. Over time, you should segment them as much by what engages them as what they purchase or interact with. The more understanding you have of value for them, the stronger your relationship will be.
Finally, understand that you’re not going to hit the mark every single time. If marketing were that good, we’d never have to worry about conversion rates. This is a process you’ll refine over time as you gather more data on your customer and develop a better understanding of them.
When you focus on understanding your customers, good things happen for your business. To see how push can help, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
Be “Pleasantly Persistent” With Push
It pays to be persistent.
Persistence is often the key to business, but the line between polite and annoying varies from person to person and can be as thick as rope or thin as thread. The key, with browser-based push, is to be pleasantly persistent, while carefully monitoring where that line is for each customer.
What’d You Promise?
First, remember your value proposition. If your customers opted in expecting weekly alerts or notifications, it’s worth asking if you should step away from that value proposition over the notification. Some customers won’t notice. Others will object and may opt-out solely on that basis. So consider that as part of your pleasant persistence.
Persistent, Not Constant
We all try not to bombard customers with marketing messages. Frequency is often the key marker of persistent versus annoying; every day, at the exact same time, is probably annoying. But once every couple of days is a reasonable pace; it gives customers time to react without pushing them too hard. A good example might be a deadline to renew a subscription: Send them an alert a few weeks before it expires, a week before, a few days before, and push along a final renewal alert a few days after.
Words to live by when building a push notification strategy.
Change Is Good
The simple reality is if somebody thinks a machine is pestering them, they’re not going to care, or even be less inclined to react. After all, a robot doesn’t have feelings. It’s not going to be hurt if you ignore it. It won’t even notice the way a human would notice. So, while you may be automating these alerts, change the copy for each one, especially since you won’t be pushing it out daily in most cases. Even small changes to the structure, grammar, and wording of notifications can make a fairly big difference.
Is there anything that gets roasted more in pop culture than aggressive marketing? Pushy salesmen, screaming ad campaigns, and aggressive sales tactics are regularly the butt of jokes or presented as the bad guys—in part because people hate being bullied into anything. So, when working on your persistence, make sure you focus on being polite. It’s OK to be polite but firm, especially in cases where urgent attention is needed, but put politeness first.
Give Them An Out
As much as we’d love every customer to finish filling out their profile, to pick up those abandoned items in their cart, or finish watching a presentation, sometimes they’re not going to get to it. So, offer them an option to shut off these particular alerts. This is both for your convenience and theirs; theirs as they won’t get reminders they can’t use, and yours because it gives you another data point about both that customer and how to approach this concern in general. Even better? Where possible, make these alerts configurable, or offer tools like calendar alerts where they can add the point to their calendar, and shut off notifications after doing so.
To some degree, discovering the right degree of pleasant persistence will be a matter of feeling out your customers and finding where the line between persistence and annoyance lies for each of them. But by thinking about it from their perspective, you can often find exactly where that line lies, and stay on the right side of it. To see how pleasant persistence pays off, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
How To Test A Push Landing Site
Before you push, know it works!
One of the core goals of browser-based push notifications is conversions, and conversions only happen when your site is accessible. But there are several major browsers, with dozens of different versions, across a diversity of platforms, from Android tablets to chunky home desktops. This makes testing the site you push out a necessity, and fortunately, it’s easier than the scale of the problem makes it sound.
What Are Your Standards?
First, with any testing, the question to ask is what your standards are. Most sites will “translate” slightly differently across different setups for any number of technical reasons. The goal of testing is not to make your site look the same across every browser, because that might well be impossible. Instead, set goals that make technical sense: The text loads and is clear and readable, the images come across, the links work, and any redirects, such as clicking on a YouTube link, function. The standard question should be: Can your customer do what you’ve asked them to do, with an absolute minimum of frustration, regardless of how they access your site?
What Do They Use?
Much to the relief of your web QA guys, you’re going in with a rough idea of what your customers are using to browse your site. As a matter of course, you likely already collect data on which browsers, which versions, and which platforms are being used to access your site. Even if your site is entirely new, you can start with a look at browser market share, which several groups track across platforms, and use that as a beginning point, refining your testing as you go along. There will be edge cases, of course, that you should keep an eye on, but when you’re starting out, going with the most popular is usually a smart choice.
Before you push, test.
“Defensive,” in this case, is best defined as “thinking ahead to potential problems.” It should be said that things are better than they have ever been, in this space; if you’re using a modern browser and a relatively modern platform, you’re probably not going to slam into any huge brick walls, just stumble over the occasional pebble. But it will quickly become clear what common issues will keep coming up, especially if customers complain, so you should design with an eye to resolving them.
It will not surprise you to learn that there are plenty of tools out there that do this for you and help you debug pages and spot major issues. Especially if you’ve got a lot of browsers and versions to juggle, these tools can be a lifesaver; so try a few out, and incorporate using them into your page testing.
Keep It Simple
Much like your push notifications communicate one clear, urgent idea, the site you direct them to should do the same. Before launching a push notification campaign, look at the site and the elements you have and ask yourself what’s necessary. Sure, that video background is cool, but does what it adds to the site outweigh the risk the site won’t work for your customers?
Ready to push out your brilliant site? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Starting A Push Campaign From Scratch
Need a hand?
So, you’re working on your marketing plan, and you think browser-based push notifications will be a great tool to help you conquer your chosen industry, but you have no idea how they even work. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you get started!
Who’s Your Customer?
Before you do anything, ask yourself this: Who’s your customer base? What do they most value, and how can push notifications help them? Remember, browser-based push notifications can be used in any number of ways. For example, if you’re turning around a lot of shipping for your customers, you should automate shipping alerts to be pushed out through the browser as an option. If you’re running a lot of sales, you might consider using push to create a VIP list for exclusive coupons.
Plan A Schedule
Next, figure out a schedule that makes sense for you and your business. For example, do you want to offer daily deals? Weekly summaries? Occasional alerts? Ask yourself both what your customers most need from you in terms of frequency and what’s manageable. If you are your own marketing department, it makes more sense to adopt a schedule that you can fit onto your calendar than it does to try and come up with fresh copy every day when you’ve got a meeting with a major client in the next fifteen minutes.
Simplicity Is Better
Keeping it simple is often good for your sanity in a small business, and if you don’t want to get wrapped up in marketing when you’ve got products to sell, it makes sense to choose a handful of effective marketing channels you can easily manage—or ones that largely manage themselves. Browser-based push notifications, for example, allow you to write your copy, set a time, and then move on with your day; a good push service will collect the data, push out the notification, and give you a handy report. Even installing push notifications is easy; with Pushnami, copy five lines of code into your website’s source, and you’re done.
Get a hand up!
Choose Complimentary Channels
In tune with simplicity, instead of trying to launch every marketing channel under the sun, choose a handful that align with each other and complement each other’s strengths. Browser-based push notifications, for example, allow you to communicate one idea, right away, to your customers. Social media is a bit more passive, letting an idea linger in customer’s feeds longer. And email marketing offers more detail that customers can open at their convenience. Marketing channels can overlap and reinforce each other in any number of ways, so look at what makes sense for you.
Finally, it’s important to remember that no matter how effectively you choose and implement your marketing channels, results take time to unfold. You’re not going to suddenly take over your entire industry tomorrow. Don’t look at today’s performance, look at performance across weeks and months, and look at trends. If the trend is heading upwards, then your strategy is working, even if you feel the need to push that trend further upward.
Ready to launch your marketing strategy? Need to see browser-based push notifications in action? Sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
How Well Do You Know Your Audience?
Sometimes, the best campaign involves going back to basics.
Knowing your audience is fundamental to good marketing, and browser-based push campaigns are no exception. But it can feel a bit intimidating, at first, to get a handle on just who you’re talking to. Fortunately, you can break it down, step by step, to get a good sense of your overall audience.
The place to start, especially if you’re starting from scratch, is demographics. You probably have at least some sense of your target audience, and who isn’t in it. If you’re selling cloud storage on a B2B level, your target audience will be much narrower than if you have a consumer focus. That said, have an open mind, as you may find new markets as you do your research.
It also pays to take a look at your competition, on a macro level. Some industries are so big, or so niche, that you may not have a lot of challenges in your specific area, but look for those who at least touch on it to get a sense of who they cater to and why.
Begin with what you know.
Unless you’ve just launched your company, you probably have at least some customer data to look at: What sells quickly, who buys it, when they buy it, when your “busy season” is if you have one, and so on. There is an important component missing to this data: Why they do it. Unless you’ve got archives of customer surveys, you will have to find that out yourself. Also remember that this is a constantly growing data set, and the conclusions you formulate will need to shift over time. No customer base stays the same, and as new markets open up, you’ll need to revisit this and think about your conclusions.
Another way to get to know your customers is to listen to what they’re saying. Customers tell us what they think of us in all sorts of ways. They send us emails discussing their order, they tag us on social media with praise or complaints, they write us letters, and they casually mention things speaking to the sales team. While this needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as customers are more likely to contact you when they’re very happy with you or have a problem with their order, it’s still useful to look at the “edge cases” of customer satisfaction, so to speak.
Finally, it never hurts to ask. Getting a sense of your customer base is always worth the time and effort, and it can help you spot new markets and new approaches you might not have considered. If your B2B cloud storage company finds itself with a lot of consumer customers, for example, that may be a hint to shift focus.
Ready to see what knowing your customer and engaging them with browser-based push notifications can do? Get a free trial of Pushnami!