Being a mobile marketer in today’s hyper-competitive app ecosystem is a massive challenge.
You’ve worked incredibly hard to acquire users, secure app downloads, and deliver an amazing app usage experience backed by a great UI. You’ve been using a multi-channel marketing approach, spearheaded by the use of push notifications to power higher user engagement, monetisation, and retention.
But, your north star metrics continue to take a hit.
Your users continue to lose interest in your app with potential uninstalls around the corner. This causes your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) to spiral out of control.
Given the fact that push notifications are known to bolster user engagement rates by almost 90% and increase app user retention rates by 2X (as compared to users that don’t enable push notifications), you need to pay careful attention to the kind of push notifications your app is sending out.
These are 7 major errors that you may be making with your push notifications and how you can address them at the earliest (there’s always a solution to any problem!):
Mistake #1: Low degree of personalisation in your content
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a mobile marketer. Gone are the days of a batch-and-blast approach that targets your entire user base with an impersonal broadcast. Treating your entire target audience as a monolithic mass can cause you to often send irrelevant messages. This has a direct negative impact on your CTRs and user engagement in the long run.
Irrespective of what industry your app belongs to, a major lack of personalisation in your push notification content only sets you back.
Your push notifications need to by hyper-personalised with the following ingredients:
- User’s first or full name
- Content tailor-made to users’ historical or real-time in-app behaviour
- Content absolutely relevant and valuable to users
All of this can be facilitated by adopting a highly data-driven approach to your push notification engagement campaigns at every stage of the app user lifecycle.
You can then craft exceptional, high-conversion push notification messages that help you deepen customer relationships while driving higher app relaunches, transactions, and average session durations.
You can further benefit by leveraging the power of AI, including data-backed, high conversion keywords in your message content. These keywords are derived from in-depth user sentiment analysis based on historical interactions of your users with past campaigns.
Content optimisation adds another layer of intelligent personalisation to your push notifications, creating a higher propensity for eventual app relaunches and conversions.
Mistake #2: Poor user segmentation
Regardless of how personalised your push notifications are; your campaigns lose their effectiveness if they aren’t reaching the right users from the start.
In order to intelligently segment and target your users, you first need a unified view of your users. Based on the captured data points, you can segment your users based on demographic, geographic, behavioural, and device-related parameters, relevant to every campaign.
You can take your segmentation efforts to the next level by identifying micro-segments based on the recency, frequency, and monetary value of their in-app transactions with powerful data-driven tools such as RFM Analysis.
Don’t stop there though!
The application of complex Machine Learning algorithms now allow you to isolate smart user segments based on different user characteristics, behaviours, locations, browsing, and purchase histories over a period of time.
The better your user segmentation and targeting, the higher the chances of driving CTRs and conversions.
Mistake #3: Delivering campaigns at the wrong time
Does it make sense to ignore a user’s time zone and send him/her a push notification at 6AM when he/she is most likely to access his/her smartphone at 9AM?
By sending even a minor segment of your users push notification campaigns at the wrong time, you reduce the chances of overall success. Your push notifications are likely to be ignored or completely lost amidst the clutter of messages from other apps hitting their smartphones.
Such an approach increases the likelihood of creating a perception of you not caring about your users’ preferences, causing a growing section of your users to completely ignore your push notifications over a period of time.
It is important to take into account your users’ geolocations and time zones to improve your targeting efforts as part of a data-driven mobile marketing strategy.
This ensures that the largest possible relevant audience is nudged towards action at a time when they are most active on their smartphone and most likely to react.
Additionally, you can leverage the power of AI to identify when are the best times to send specific push notification campaigns to individual users, based on their past interactions with your campaigns. By optimising your send times, you ensure that the right message reaches the right user, at just the right time.
Such an approach adds another dimension of personalisation to your push notification strategy and also improves your KPIs, in terms of open rates, CTRs, and conversions.
Mistake #4: Sending out too many push notifications
You’re chasing user engagement. You’re craving user retention. And, you want to create more monetisation opportunities through repeat purchase behaviour.
But, do you really want to achieve this at the cost of your user’s privacy?
Overhwelming your users with too many push notifications, regardless of how well-crafted and relevant they may be, is a sure shot recipe for disaster. Not only does such an eager approach cause users to ignore your messages, but it can annoy them to a degree where they may do the following ways:
- Disable push notifications
- Display a reluctance to relaunch the app, i.e. activity drop-off
- Uninstall the app, i.e. churn completely
The simplest solution to this is to set a limit on how many push notifications identified segments of your users receive over a given period of time.
Frequency capping allows you set such a limit on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The beauty is that this is applicable to specific campaigns, automated customer journeys, or across global audiences.
This approach ensures that your campaigns remain personalised, relevant, timely…and, impactful while respecting your users’ privacy and peace of mind.
It’s simple. You effectively communicate and deliver value through your app and engagement channels, your users will respond favourably, helping you build a long-term relationship based on trust and respect!
Mistake #5: Neglecting creative content!
There can be a scenario where despite creating highly personalised, meaningful, and timely push notification campaigns, your open rates and CTRs don’t show an uplift.
Why might that be?
A major reason for this could be the lack of audio/visual appeal in your messages that actually help you stand out. Text-based content will take you only this far.
To maintain top-of-mind recall and nudge users towards immediate action, you might want to create more engaging and immersive push notification experiences.
In order to add greater impact to your push notifications, you can use rich elements such as images, GIFs, audio, videos, and emojis. Such elements don’t just grab your users’ attention right at the start, but are more likely to result in an open and app relaunch.
You also need to ensure that rich elements are used only when absolutely essential to drive user action and not serve as a mere distraction.
Whether you’re a travel, food delivery, media OTT, or hyperlocal services app, your campaign objectives and target user segments must dictate what rich elements you eventually experiment with.
Mistake #6: Lack of testing and experimentation
Your push notification campaigns are unlikely to hit positive marketing ROIs if you aren’t embracing the spirit of experimentation. Your user base is composed of diverse user personas that react differently to your marketing communication and app.
How will you ever know what content, images, or CTAs are working if you adopt a set-it-and-forget-it campaign?
As a mobile marketer, data is your fuel. Your sounding board. Your ultimate source of truth. And, in order to optimise your campaigns, you need to experiment continuously and “listen” to what your campaign reports are telling you.
Experimentation is made much easier through mobile A/B testing, helping you play around with individual push notification elements such as content, images, audio, videos, GIFs, emojis, etc. for testing on identified test audiences. Based on the campaign performance of the variants, you can identify a winning campaign that is automatically triggered to your remaining audience.
Similarly, split campaign testing is another valuable experimentation tool. The more you experiment and optimise your push notifications, higher the chances of moving the needle on your key app metrics.
Mistake #7: Ignoring low campaign delivery rates
The effectiveness of your push notification campaigns is reduced if they aren’t reaching large segments of your user base to begin with!
Poor push notification delivery rates across devices, especially on Android-powered Chinese OEMs, is a major challenge and unless you address this at the earliest, your user engagement and retention rates won’t show the desired uplift.
Don’t take this issue lightly!
When existing push gateways – FCM/GCM for Android and APNS for iOS – cannot be relied upon entirely to deliver your push notifications, you need to turn to out-of-the box solutions to help you.
Cutting-edge technology features such as Push Amplification help you render undelivered push notifications for each campaign directly on your users’ smartphones through the Smartech server.
This helps you boost campaign delivery rates and CTRs by almost 30% while consuming less than 1-2% of your users’ battery life.
Data-driven, personalised push notifications are the way forward
Remember that mobile push notifications will remain an effective channel of mobile engagement at every stage of the app user lifecycle.
You need to leverage this channel intelligently through a data-driven approach that places the user at the centre of your engagement strategy.
By avoiding these common mistakes at all costs, mobile marketers can develop a push notification strategy that improve the chances of elevating their key app metrics.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pradyut V. Hande
Pradyut V. Hande is a Martech Evangelist, Mobile Growth Expert, Digital Marketing Strategist, and Author having worked in leading startups and MNCs across the SaaS, Consulting, and Banking industries. He currently serves as a Senior Growth Marketer & Product Evangelist at Netcore Solutions, enabling brands deliver data-driven differentiated customer experiences powered by AI.