How to Improve Your Push Habits
Your push habits are important, so how good are they?
We all like to think we’re unique, but stop and think about your average day, for a moment. We’ll bet there’s a lot you do almost completely on autopilot. You probably take the same mode of transit to the same places every morning and night, and you probably don’t shake things up too much. And in our daily lives, that’s fine: Why change up coffee places when you’ve got a morning to hurry through? But in your push notification campaigns, sometimes these habits are a problem.
Are You On Autopilot?
We develop habits with push notifications for any number of reasons. They can be from customers positive feedback, what the data is telling you, due to marketing automation, or simply because you’re busy and when you get to your desk to get things done, they happen. But no matter how it’s happening, you need to ask yourself two things: One, did this habit develop due to clear, logical evidence that it benefits your push campaign? And two, if it is that or was the case, does the data still hold up?
This is important as certain key metrics of push shift over time. For example, the “golden hour,” the optimal time to push a message in a given day or week, moves around the clock or calendar over time, as customers are slowly pushed away from that time by a surfeit of text messages. The platform of your browser-based push notifications may also shift subtly, but importantly, over time; if the overall trend is pointing you toward an all-mobile audience, it’s time to adjust your strategy.
So, how do you find your habits? And how do you encourage better ones?
A little self-awareness goes a long way.
Fixing Flawed Habits
The first step to getting into better habits is to start a new one: Namely, review the data coming in from your push notifications on a weekly and monthly basis, looking for overall changes in the data and other aspects worth considering. Data isn’t completely bulletproof, of course, but it’s a great starting point, and it can often tell you what’s working and what isn’t.
The next habit to get into, if you’re not into it already, is A/B testing. Remember, A/B testing works best when you’re testing something of substance, like a different link to your site, different approaches to the same campaign idea, and so on. Try to think of and implement several different A/B tests in a given week, and look at that data as well.
Finally, regularly re-evaluate your push campaign and ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Does the data back up the frequency and timing of your notifications? Do your conversion rates justify the content? Does the strategy push you towards a broader goal? And if none of that is true, is there a bigger reason that you’re doing it?
Habits don’t change overnight, but how we push and what we push should always be up for a change. By constantly reevaluating our approaches, we can constantly build better push notification campaigns. To learn more about browser-based push, get a free trial of Pushnami!
What’s The Line Between Engaging And Annoying?
Be what your customers want to you to be.
It’s very easy to be annoying. Depending on the mood of your audience, be they a fellow commuter or your entire customer base, it can be almost effortless. Unfortunately for browser-based push notifications and their marketing, you can’t read the room just by looking at somebody’s face. So how do you know you’re being engaging, not pushing into annoying?
The good news is that if customers are annoyed with you, they will let you know fast with your metrics. If you see an ongoing dive in conversion rates, if your opt-outs are going through the roof, or your opt-ins are slowing to a crawl, that might be an indication that you’re pushing a little too frequently.
That said, you shouldn’t jump to that conclusion immediately. There are a host of reasons these things can shift and it’s important to look at every single factor. For example, if a competitor has shut down, well, you might have just lost an audience reading your copy for clues to your marketing strategy. But if you conclude it’s something you’re doing, then start working on correcting it right away.
The next question to ask is what your frequency is, versus what frequency you promised. If you said every Tuesday, or weekly, or biweekly, and sure enough you’re pushing out on that schedule, then you’re catering to what you offered. But if your frequency is off, the sooner you correct it, the better. Remember, your frequency is part of your value proposition when your customers opted in, so proper frequency is keeping up your end of the bargain.
Customers shouldn’t wonder why you contacted them.
Another question worth asking is how your timing is coming together. As we’ve noted before, the best time and day for contacting your customers can shift over time, as more people discover that particular “golden hour” and wear the sheen right off of it from overuse. If you’re hitting customers consistently at what’s supposed to be a good time, and your metrics aren’t there, it may be a good idea to shift to another time of day and see if that works better.
That said, sometimes the data doesn’t quite have all the clues. Often one of the big challenges for push notifications is that, over time, a brand can shift from one market target to another. Think of Timberland, the outdoor clothing company that spent years being famous for simple no-nonsense outdoor gear which also has an enormous audience in the hip-hop scene. There’s not a lot of marketing overlap for construction workers and tastemakers, and sometimes a brand shift can leave former customers feeling a bit left out. If you know a brand shift is coming, look closely at your current content and approach and consider how you can make the shift more gradual, or at least signpost it clearly.
In the end, this is as much an art as it is a science. Just keep your audience’s needs front and center, listen to what they tell you, and you’ll deliver clear, relevant push notifications every time. To learn more, sign up for a live demo.
What Matters To Your Push List?
What makes your customers feel heard?
We all, at root, want to be heard. Is there anything more satisfying than explaining something to a person and having them just get it? Being heard is especially important when it comes to browser-based push notifications and customer service, because the more customers feel heard and understood, the better they feel about getting your notifications. So, how can you know what your customers are telling you?
Read Their Emails
The first method is reading customer feedback and asking for it if you want more of it. Likely you receive at least a few customer emails a week, usually discussing customer service, or perhaps there are tweets, voice mails, or other forms of contact. If you want elaboration, you should push out a short survey with a small incentive for their time, and you should consider what they say in your push strategy. There are some drawbacks to suggestion boxes and customer surveys, in some senses. Mostly people only want to weigh in when you are doing something very right, or they’re convinced you’re doing something awful. So, enjoy the praise, and think seriously about the criticism, but don’t let it be the only factor.
Look At Sales
Another question to ask yourself is what your customers buy. It’s not unusual for a certain type of gap to be found between what customers say they want and what they actually buy. For proof, just ask anybody what their taste in music is at a party, and then scroll through their streaming history; we’re sure you’ll find a few bands they left off.
Again, this is an imperfect measure because if your customers don’t want to talk about it, it’s probably not a good idea to bring it up. And sometimes what they buy most is because of need, not desire; few people have a deep affection for nails, but hardware stores sell lots of them.
They may not want a hug, but customers should know you’re listening.
Watch Conversion Rates
In push notifications, specifically, there’s one data point that really tells you what you want to know in terms of customer satisfaction: the conversion rate. There’s not a lot of grey area between “click” and “didn’t click,” after all. If something shows a significant increase in conversion rates, it’s worth following up on.
That said, don’t go by the rate alone. Look at what happens after they click. Do they engage in the action you want them to take on the site? Do they do something else entirely? Do they just click away? The conversions you should most be interested in are the ones that clicked.
Think About Their Goals
Another question to ask yourself is what goals your customers are hoping to achieve with your products. What are they buying and what are they using it for? As well as you might think you know your market, you might be surprised at the uses some people are putting your product to. If some uses stand out, then it’s worth asking why they’re using it that way.
In the end, it’s about listening. If you pay attention to your customers and do right by them, they’ll reward you. To see the power of listening in action, sign up for a live demo 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!
Daily, Weekly Or Monthly: What’s the Best Frequency for Push?
How frequently should you push?
Frequency is one of the most important factors in push notifications. Especially with browser-based notifications, too frequent or too infrequent can lead to more opt-outs, the former for being annoying and the latter for letting users forget why they opted for the message in the first place. But what’s the sweet spot for frequency? Should you go daily, weekly, or monthly? Or only when you have something to say?
What Frequency Did You Promise?
Before you go forward, you should take a look at what your customers signed up for. If you promised weekly updates or daily deals, then you’d better be offering those. If you promised to only notify them occasionally, what would you expect “occasionally” to mean?
It’s not just that your customers might be a bit irritated that you’re pushing more frequently than you promised. You want to stick to the value you offered; if you pick up or slow down the pace of notifications without bothering to let them know why, the value proposition shifts. That can put you in a tough spot going forward, so if you’re going to change it up, make sure that’s clear.
What’s Happening Elsewhere?
Multi-channel marketing is incredibly useful, but it’s something also to be aware of with push frequency, especially if you’re using multiple channels to get out the same message. This starts when you launch the campaign; for example, if you highlight daily deals in your social media channels, and also have a push notification for them, you should be highlighting different deals in both.
It’s easy for audiences, especially ones very connected to your brand, to burn out a bit on your message if you’re not careful. If you’ve been pushing a particular campaign hard in some channels, lighten up on others. Or, construct a waterfall campaign, where one channel starts the push and others pick up the momentum.
Time to push!
What Are You Pushing?
It’s important to remember that push notifications are powerful because they communicate one clear, crisp idea immediately. It’s something everyone who gets the message can do, right when they read it, if they feel compelled to. Otherwise, it’s probably not worth sending.
Granted, that one idea can be a compelling one to hear over and over again, in different ways, of course. But before launching any campaign, you should look at your goals, and ask yourself what frequency it merits. For example, if you’re rolling out a week-long sale with different items of the day, featuring one of those per day is a good idea. Promoting your weekly newsletter, it might make sense to pull out one bit from it in any given week and emphasize that on a weekly basis.
Is It Effective?
Don’t forget, you’ve got data at your fingertips, and you can see if certain frequencies lead to better results along the metrics you’ve chosen. If your main concern is conversion rate, and you get the same raw numbers from daily and weekly, it might be worth asking if there’s a point to one frequency or another. As you roll out campaigns, experiment with frequency and see what works best for your customers. Want to see those campaigns in action? Sign up for a live demo 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!
Every Push Metric You Need to Know
What measures your performance best?
Which push notification metrics matter? In a world where you can quantify and analyze pretty much everything, it’s easy to get lost in a forest of your own making. Instead of getting all the data and trying to make sense of it later, though, you should choose a handful of metrics to measure, and truly understand what those metrics are telling you.
With browser-based push notifications, the opt-in rate is a key metric. It tells you how much your most engaged and interested customers want to hear from you. Opt-in rates are important to monitor not just because they increase the reach of your campaigns, but also they tell you over time whether you’re maintaining a highly engaged audience. If opt-ins begin to decline, you should look to freshen up opt-in copy and to move opt-in prompts to your most heavily visited pages. Also keep an eye, if you use multiple pages to offer opt-in, on which page gets the most opt-ins, and look at what might appeal there.
Just as important is the opt-out rate. There’s always going to be a handful of customers who are still fans, but just don’t need the alerts. Keep a close eye on both upticks, which may indicate a campaign is too aggressive, and also declines. When opt-out rates drop, it’s a clue that you’re offering major value to your customers and that your campaign is working.
Browser-based push notifications have one goal: to clearly communicate an idea or action. Clicking on the notification is usually the action in question. To be clear, fluctuation is common in clickthrough rates; even apps with enormous clickthrough numbers see peaks and valleys on a day-to-day basis. The clickthrough rates for one message in one campaign do not, by themselves, tell you all that much. However, as you gather clickthrough data over time, you can compare it to historical averages, and of course, clickthrough is a key metric in A/B testing.
Finally, you should monitor the metric that fits your end goal for your campaign. Do sales go up? Do you generate more leads? Are your social channels thriving? What are you looking for this campaign to achieve, and what metric tells you most effectively whether it’s happening? Ideally choose a metric with strong historical data, preferably granular data, so you can figure out just how much of an effect your campaign is having.
Ready to see how browser-based push notifications can power your marketing and sales? Sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
How to Choose the Right Push Notification Metrics
What is she doing on your site? That is what the right metrics will tell you.
Metrics matter, but which ones? Like any other form of marketing, push notifications have an enormous number of metrics from which you can choose. Clickthrough, time spent on site after clickthrough, user rate of purchase, what pages they visited next, and on and on and on. Every campaign will give you a sea of data, and you can collect all of it. But what kind of data should you be watching?
What Are Your Goals?
Which metrics you choose are determined by what you want your campaign to achieve. For example, perhaps you are launching a podcast to help you find clients and to promote your skills to the world, and you have had users opt-in to be informed when it launches. In this scenario, it is a question of what you most want to know. Do you want to know how engaged your loyal users are with this step, or do you want to know if they share it with friends and family? In the case of the former, you might only care about clickthrough; how many of your users clicked through, and how many listens and downloads of the podcast did you get? In the case of the latter, maybe you only care about clickthrough through the lens of social sharing.
So, before picking metrics, ask yourself what is going to tell you about success, or what you most want to know?
What Other Data Do You Have?
Any push campaign is part of a larger machine. In the podcast example, you are likely also sharing it over social media, posting it to your blog, and uploading it to podcast networks like SoundCloud. You can get a vast trove of data from those sources in addition to your notifications, so you need to pick and choose which metrics will interact with those other data sources. Are you comparing clickthrough to social media engagement to see which drives more interest? Or perhaps you are curious as to which form of engagement draws the most views. You might even want to know which podcast method your users prefer. Look at how the data you have fits together to form a fuller picture of the puzzle.
The right metrics tell you what your users are thinking.
Are You Cherry-Picking?
When working with metrics, remember the fundamental rule where marketing campaigns and computer programming intersect: garbage in, garbage out. It is easy to pick metrics that make you look good, or metrics that look at a tiny piece of the picture, sometimes without even noticing. A team can become so fixated on one aspect of the campaign that they miss the forest for the trees. So, as you pick metrics, you need to ask if you are simply picking the ones that are most appealing to you, instead of the ones that will tell you what you need to hear.
What Is The Larger Picture?
Push notifications are a river that flows into an ocean of data. So what is the larger picture emerging out of it? Keep in mind, the value of browser-based push notifications is that you market to your most engaged and most interested users. How does that response, for example, compare to the rest of your campaign?
As you can see, choosing metrics is about a lot more than just picking some data points. To get a sense of how browser-based push notifications work in the wild, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami today!