How to Use Push for Customer Re‑engagement
Re-engaging is what builds customer loyalty.
Winning a customer is easier than keeping a customer, if you don’t regularly re-engage with them. Web-based push notifications, in particular, are a useful way to stay in touch with your most interested and engaged customers. Here’s how to keep a customer once they buy from you, no matter what kind of customer they are.
What Do You Know?
Any relationship is founded on knowledge, and re-engaging with customers starts by asking what you know about them. Even a customer who’s made just one purchase can tell you quite a bit about themselves. Take what they’ve bought, for example; if you’re selling cloud services, and they buy a business subscription, you can safely assume they’re interested in business-level products. If they paid for it with a company card, it might be enterprise-level products.
Of course, you should be careful how much you infer from the information you’re given. Beyond a certain point, you’re ignoring what makes a customer unique. But a little thought goes a long way.
Why Did They Opt-In?
Browser-based notifications are particularly useful for re-engagement because they’re opt-in, and tied to the browser, not the platform. When a customer clicks “allow,” they’re informing you they want to hear from you regularly. So take a moment to consider the value proposition of opting in. Did you promise them VIP material, exclusive sales, or quick updates on new products? Why they opted in is not just a guide for what you should push out now, but a look into what they’re most interested in.
Brick and mortar or entirely online, it’s re-engagement that keeps customers coming through the doors.
What Else Might Interest Them?
Affiliate and third-party marketing is another approach to re-engagement, especially in industries where new products and services need time to be carefully designed, or where you have to be judicious in what you share with external parties. A good example is a car dealership. If a private consumer buys a car, they likely aren’t going to want to buy a new one a month later. But it’s safe to assume they have at least some interest in everything that goes with it, from insuring their car to fueling it to replacing parts to, at some point, trading it in and buying a new one. Affiliates and third parties you work with can engage with customers while offering useful services in their own right.
What Do They Click?
Another vital aspect of push notifications is that they offer a rich channel of data to analyze. What do various segments click among the notifications you push out? How long do they stay on the links you send? What do they do before and after they click on that link? Again, every customer is unique beyond a certain point, but, for example, if you push out word of a sale on aftermarket car parts, and a certain subset of your customers not only click, but also buy a specific part, you’ll need tools in place to spot this, and to drill deeper.
Push notifications offer a simple way to keep the interest of your most engaged, and most curious, customers. To learn more about the power of push, sign up for a live demo.
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!
If A Page Lags On Opt-Ins, Can You Fix It?
Are opt-ins down? Then here’s what do.
Ideally, every page drives a significant number of opt-ins to your browser-based push notification campaign. But when it comes to opt-ins, not all pages are created equal. If one page, or several, on your site, are lagging behind in opt-ins, can you come from behind? Perhaps. But it might also not be necessary.
Where’s The Page?
The first question to ask is the relative “depth” of the page on your website. Web traffic is rarely equally distributed among every page on your site, and some pages just are sleepy towns next to the vibrant metropolis of your home page, especially ones you have to click through a page or two to get to. In this scenario, it’s useful to look at percentages. If your home page and your lagging page have the same percentage of opt-ins, then it’s probably the page, not your offer.
What’s The ROI?
Another point to consider is the value of your opt-ins. If a page gets relatively low opt-in counts but pulls in high conversion rates, you’ll want to see if that approach works on other pages with higher traffic. Or perhaps this is the page your really dedicated customers go to; for instance, Facebook’s log-in page likely sees a lot of raw traffic, but you probably go straight to your profile.
Low opt-ins doesn’t mean low ROI.
What’s The Value?
Let’s say you’ve answered the first two questions and your page really is lagging. The first place to start is the value you that you’re offering. It’s not necessarily that you’re offering a bad value proposition; it’s just a question of audience. If your sales page sees a lot of traffic, and your value proposition is about the latest news in your industry, you likely will have better luck with your weekly sales campaign. Approach it from the perspective of your customers; why are they on this page, and what do they do next when they arrive there?
Sometimes this can be as simple as letting the page load. If your push request pops before anything else loads on the page, your issue might be as simple as customers assuming it’s a pop-up ad.
What’s The Copy?
Sometimes it’s also a question of the copy you’re using in your pitch. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and consider the value that you’re pitching to them. Is it clear what they’re getting? Do you make it clear what the frequency of alerts will be? Is there a compelling reason to sign on? Take a moment to address this and see what the effect might be.
Finally, remember that in some cases, you can finely tune absolutely everything, and you likely won’t see a dramatic change right away. Sometimes this has a straightforward reason: A page is drawing your best customers, and they’ve already opted in. Or perhaps they’re on a mission; if time spent on the page before clicking away is low, then it might simply be they don’t stick around long enough to pay attention to the pitch. Remember, this is a long game, and things can shift over time. But take your time to develop the perfect pitch, and you’ll see better opt-ins soon enough. If you’d like to learn more about browser-based push notifications, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
Using Notifications To Auto-Renew
Push notifications make it this simple.
If you sell subscriptions or just products that customers need to reorder regularly, you know that making the resubscription or reorder process as simple as possible keeps your numbers up. And that, in turn, can make push notifications highly useful to maintain your revenue. How can they help, and are there any drawbacks?
Push Notifications And Subscriptions
The system itself is simple, so much so that if you offer a subscription to anything, you should have browser-based push notifications available as a reminder system. Once the customer opts in, you automate a notification that goes out a few days or weeks before their subscription is about to lapse. If you offer auto-renew for subscriptions, you can configure the alert to let them know the subscription has been renewed. Usually, you’ll push out either a link to quickly renew a subscription; sometimes it’s as simple as just clicking the link or a link to the invoice.
This solves a number of problems, the most basic of which is reminding customers to renew their subscriptions. One of the disadvantages of the subscription model, as anyone who’s used it can tell you, is that you spend quite a bit of time and energy reminding customers about their subscriptions. Push notifications are also handy for alerting customers to shifts in subscription prices, offering news on how their subscription has had new features added, and other news as needed.
These notifications add a lot of value for both your customers and you. But like any problem, there’s more than one way to fix it, and often you need more than one tool to solve the overall problem.
How can you boost subscriptions?
One Part Of A Multi-Part Solution
The first issue is that not everyone is going to opt-in. This can be for any number of reasons; they prefer email, their browser doesn’t format push notifications well, they just don’t “do” push notifications. So, first, be sure to include multiple ways for subscribers to be reminded, so they can configure it how they’d like it.
Secondly, you’ll generally need to set up a “reminder structure.” For example, some services will send a renewal push one week out, then a second three days out, a third the day it’ll end, and finally a followup a week after it lapses asking for feedback, automating it so those who resubscribe are left out of each succeeding push. It’s an effective sub-campaign, but it is one you’ll need to keep a careful eye on and write a bit of fresh copy for every so often to maintain that personal touch.
Finally, it’s unlikely 100% of subscribers will sign up for notifications, so you’ll need to rely on multi-channel marketing to keep retention numbers up. That said, offering multiple channels is a good way to get a better sense of your customers; if they prefer push notifications, you can ask them to broaden their notifications beyond just reminders.
Browser-based push notifications are a superb way to keep your customers up to date, and they’re especially powerful with subscriptions. But they need to be used the right way, and they should be paired with a set of other tools to ensure every subscriber has the opportunity to renew. To see the power of browser-based push with your subscribers, get a free trial of Pushnami!
Optimizing Notifications To Site Traffic
What are your users telling you?
Site traffic can tell you a lot about your customers and your potential customers. Everything from the site they visited before they came to yours, to where they go afterward, to how long they spend on your site can let you shape and define how your business runs online. And the same is true of optimizing your browser-based push notifications, from picking the right value proposition to finding the right pages to offer them the opt-in in the first place.
Where Do They Come From?
The site your customers arrive at your business from can tell you a lot about them. One of the most common ways to figure out spikes in traffic is to look at this, for example. But don’t just pay attention to spikes, but the long-term trends. If a specific web forum, a social media presence, or another type of site is driving steady traffic, it’s worth taking a look at how your business is presented there, and why this audience is interested in your business in the first place. If they’re coming to you for a specific product, or if you’re being recommended for specific services, it’s worth keying your push notification values to those.
When someone comes to your site, what does it tell you?
What Do They Do?
It’s a fairly common and logical strategy to put push notification opt-ins on your homepage, but that’s not the only place to look. For example, if people don’t stick around your home page for long, but instead click on a specific link, go to a specific how-to, or otherwise immediately follow on, think about what that’s telling you about your audience. One of the most obvious examples is if they go straight to a specific suite of products in the store—that tells you what they value most, and you can design your opt-ins accordingly.
What Do They Tell You?
Both regular customers and potential customers will weigh in via multiple channels to let you know what they think: They send you emails asking questions, they tweet at you with suggestions, and so on. You should be reading these already, but as they pile up, they can tell you a lot about your customers and people who are thinking about shopping with you. Do they want more sales? Do they want more information about upcoming products? Do they use your products in a specific way and want to know more about that?
Do They Leave?
Another question to look at is where they go from your web page. For example, if somebody comes from a competitor’s webpage, goes to your store page, spends a little time on it, and then goes to a competitor’s web page, and you see this pattern consistently from users, then you’ve got some comparison shoppers on your site. So what value can you offer to get them to drop the shopping and buy from you? A first-time discount? A price-matching guarantee?
Remember that you’ll often see multiple patterns of behavior on every page, and there’s rarely a perfect value proposition for each page. So look for the most common one that makes sense and remember to keep checking the traffic; what people want shifts over time. Want to see how push notifications can change your business? Sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
When Opt-Ins Go Up, Find What Works
Which key unlocks more opt-ins?
Browser-based push notifications thrive on opt-ins. So when opt-ins go up, it’s always attention-getting. But opt-ins can happen for a variety of different reasons; determining what caused the spike will be key to a stronger push notification campaign.
Where’s The Spike?
It starts with the page where you’re seeing this opt-in spike; this, in of itself, can tell you quite a bit. For example, if a sale page sees an uptick in opt-ins, clearly there’s something on the store that’s driving the spike. But don’t stop there: Look at the value you’ve promised for opting in. What are you offering that this new traffic is so excited for? And can you transfer it to other pages?
Are They New?
Next, check if these are new visitors to your site, or if something has tipped the balance for regular customers to take the next step. You’d be surprised how often customers who stop by regularly, yet don’t opt into more messaging, can be converted to loyal customers with the right value proposition at the right time.
Conversely, if you’re seeing a lot of new traffic, and that’s driving opt-ins, you should follow it back and see where they’re coming from. For example, your store might happen to be featured in a popular blog out of the blue, and that blog does you the favor of linking through to your shop. Other times, you may have found a new audience via your multi-channel marketing.
What makes your new customers happy?
What Are They Doing?
No rise in traffic happens in a vacuum. Spikes in traffic are usually accompanied by rises in other metrics. Sticking with our store example, look at sales before and after the spike, as well as what pages have seen a knock-on boost from the traffic. Often, that alone can tell you quite a bit, and if you’re moving more of a product, that’s also a clue as to what your new customers are going for.
But remember to put it into the context of the value you’re offering. If you run a camping store, and there’s a run on, say, camp stoves followed up by a surge in opt-ins for promises of getting the best camping deals first, there’s a lot more to dig into there. Why this particular product? Why do your sales stand out? Can this value proposition be replicated elsewhere?
Do They Stick Around?
A traffic spike is always a welcome surprise, but it’s also one worth monitoring. When new customers find a site they love, the question is always how long they’ll stick with it. It’s important to remember that you can’t please everybody, especially when you’ve just met them, so you may see a slight bump in opt-outs a few days or weeks after the spike.
But for those who do stick around, look closely at what they’re doing, especially their conversion rates and where they’re highest. These metrics offer some valuable insight into how you’re seen and which value propositions work best.
Want to see how browser-based push notifications can raise your company’s profile? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Why You Should Ask Every Customer To Sign Up For Push Notifications
Always ask, always.
One of the best aspects of browser-based push notifications is that they’re opt-in. As a result, you get a list of your most dedicated, most engaged customers to interact within a powerful marketing channel unlike any other. But many of those new to notifications find themselves wondering just who they should ask. The answer is everyone.
You Miss The Shots You Don’t Take
To be clear, not everyone who visits your site, and not even everyone who buys from your site regularly, is going to opt into getting browser-based notifications. There can be all sorts of reasons for this, ranging from a personal policy of never opting in to just that they’re satisfied with how your relationship as customer and business operates now, and they see no need to change it.
At the same time, many businesses are worried about seeming too aggressive in their sales tactics. Are we emailing customers too much? Is our social media presence a little too self-promotional? Does our brand feel organic and friendly, or is it forced and awkward? Everyone dreads getting the red S, for “spam,” burned onto their marketing presence, especially in an environment where even a minor misreading of the room can get a business buried on social media.
All this can add up to a strategy to limit where you ask customers to opt into your push notifications, and sometimes, this strategy does make sense depending on how you implement them. If you’re installing push notifications strictly so your users have a useful tool for tracking packages or to get a reminder to renew their subscriptions, and that’s all you’re interested in using them for, that’s a great way to add value and build customer loyalty. But you also miss the shots you don’t take.
Everyone can get to yes.
Leave A Door Open
It’s worth remembering that people hate spam and loud marketing pushes because they’re impersonal and in some cases almost abusive. We’ve all felt the discomfort of high-pressure sales tactics laid on us by a salesperson who views us as another hash mark under his or her name, and we all, reasonably, don’t want our customers to feel they’ve been put in the same position.
But think through the value for your customers. What do you want to do? Create a “VIP list” to give them first access to sales? Ensure that they’re the first to know about new products? Offer seasonal coupons and other values to your most engaged, most loyal customer base? Or, put another way, think of this as a transaction where your customer is paying you a small amount of their valuable time and attention. What are you offering in return?
Being able to answer this question lets you open the door to asking for the opt-in, every time. It’s not rude or aggressive to ask for a moment of somebody’s time, as long as you respect their time and don’t abuse the privilege. At root, if you’re looking to offer browser-based push notifications, you’re looking to offer value, not pushing your customers around. Ready to see the incredible power of offering value? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Should You Make An Offer For An Opt-In?
Does a free gift mean better opt-ins?
For many sites, part of the value of opting in for browser-based push notifications is you get a free gift. This could be a coupon, it could be a free ebook discussing your industry, or any of a host of other little digital freebies or gifts that can easily be pushed out. And it can entice people to opt in; the word ‘free’ can get almost anybody to try anything once. But should you offer a free gift in exchange for an opt-in?
Free Can Be Expensive
The main concern with offering a free gift is that you’ll get “junk” opt-ins. Either people will opt in, use the freebie, and then immediately opt out, or they’ll opt in to get the free gift and then just ignore your notifications, dragging down your conversion rates before eventually bumping up your opt-out metrics when they purge a bunch of warnings. But while this can be something of a factor, it’s less of one than you think.
There are three basic groups of people when it comes to opting in: Those who will say yes no matter what, those who will ignore the alert and keep going, and those who are on the fence. You can offer the “no’s” a Maserati and they’ll still turn you down, and the “yes” crowd sees the value in your notifications without any sort of sales pitch. So your free gift is aimed squarely at the maybes.
Inherently, they’re not sure, and a free gift may, in truth, sway them to sign up before they discover that they don’t want the notifications. But a well-run, respectful campaign isn’t going to alienate a customer, in the vast majority of cases. Even if they opt out, they’ll still keep you in mind.
But the maybes who sign up and discover they love it are worth far more. They’re well worth a customer who decides “Thanks, but no thanks.” So, what to offer and when should you offer it?
Is a gift worth it?
Best Practices With Free Gifts
- The first question to ask is, if you are going to offer an incentive, what incentive aligns with the value you’re offering for your push notifications? If you’re promising sales alerts, for example, offering a coupon aligns well with your value.
- Remember that your audience are “maybes,” not entirely certain they want to opt-in. Make sure any incentive you offer, and any followup campaigns, confirm they made a good decision.
- Pick an incentive that’s useful regardless of the context. Free e-books, for example, should be general interest enough to be readable for those interested in your industry. You don’t need to hard-sell your products in your free gift.
- Automate the free gift, where you can. If it’s an ebook, for example, they should get a link to download it the second they opt in. Coupons should be usable the minute the opt-in goes through.
- Keep a close eye on metrics when offering a free gift. If you see a lot of immediate opt-outs, or if your opt-out metrics tick up, re-examine the value you’re offering and the campaign you’re running.
Want to see the power of a free gift 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!