The word ‘digital’ is closely associated with computers. Digital can mean anything from e-books to the games that are being played on the web. Web masters, web entrepreneurs and audiences acquaint themselves with news, trends, surveys, videos and photos by using digital media. Newspapers, e-books, magazines, documents etc., come under the ambit of digital media. Digital media elements are used by digital publishers.
Mobile visitors account for a very big chunk of a clear majority of mobile publishers’ traffic. Bustle, known for its premium newsletters and 80 million+ monthly active readers, has been overhauling its push notifications campaigns and strategy.
Mobile app users of The Guardian can opt for weekend read notifications. This allows the established publisher to push and promote its long-form articles.
Curious to know how local publishers can leverage push notifications for mobile sites?
Willing to explore the suggested best practices for local publishers?
Here’s an interesting insight into what digital publishers can do to improve customer engagement and retention rates.
Multimedia Rich Push Notifications
A few months ago, most mobile app users of popular digital publishers such as CNN, The Guardian, Bustle, etc., were not receptive to in-app messages. Therefore, the digital publishers have resorted to the new strategy of using multimedia elements in push notifications.
Many new mobile operating systems unfailingly support multimedia rich push notifications. Naturally, the attention time of mobile audience increased.
Custom Notification Icons
Another strategy that’s pretty much germane to the context of push notifications for mobile sites is adding custom notifications icons. For all intents and purposes, custom push notifications should be included in the app resources. This means that pre-configuration is mandatory.
Consumption of information by audiences is seldom symmetric and systematic. Publishers offer news on various niches such as sports, politics, finance, lifestyle, family, economy, science and technology, etc.
Different audiences have different content consumption preferences. Your mobile app should let your audiences subscribe to push notifications of their favourite categories.
Timing can make or mar your business prospects. It’s not a good idea to send push messages during the night. They can be sent post 9:30 AM, especially when the vibes are positive. Of course, it’s important to keep customers abreast of important transactions. Therefore, transactional push messages can be sent almost immediately post the completion of transaction(s).
Location Based Offers
Tie up push messages with location based offers. They have high engagement rates.
According to the popular mobile engagement platform Urban Airship, digital publishers are now sending 40 percent more push messages per month compared to 24 months ago.
It’s important to not over-do. Customer retention rates drastically drop if you keep nudging your audience every now and then. However, publishers who send at-least one push message every day to their target audiences have better retention rates than those who don’t.
CNN, the American media giant is offering its users enough provisions to control the frequency of notifications. CNN app lets its users chose from the following three options:
- 0-2 notifications per day
- 3-6 notifications per day
- 7 or more notifications per day
The opt-in rate for mobile push notifications among media companies stands at 60%. No doubt, this figure is way better than the value of many other industries. This brings me to the question – can it be improved? Of course, yes
Has the opt-in rate for mobile push notifications among media companies saturated? No!
As soon as your audiences open your publisher app, let them decide the frequency, template, preferences and content consumption patterns. Let them toggle on and off sections, sub-sections and categories. If they want stories, send them stories. If they want snippets, send them snippets. In conclusion, send what your audiences want.
Now that you are aware of the best practices for using push messages, let’s look at the commercial platforms for push notifications for mobile sites and apps.
This web based push notification services platform lets publishers schedule notifications and segment audiences based on various parameters. Here’s some good news for start-ups with less than 2000 subscribers – PushCrew is available for free.
If you are keen on cooking up custom magic by sending limited time push notifications with advanced multimedia rich content, go with this platform. PushMaze lets you schedule notifications. It has great filtering, segmenting and targeting features. And it’s extremely affordable.
PushMaze doesn’t sell your data to third parties. You have great control of your data.
This platform can engage not only mobile but also web users. It has many segmentation and advanced sorting features. For start-ups with fewer than 2500 subscribers, PushEngage offers a free plan.
This push notification platform works seamlessly with popular web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari. Are you a start-up with fewer than 3000 subscribers? You can use PushAssist for free.
Looking for a push notifications platform with real time tracking, localization, advanced segmenting and A/B testing features? OneSignal is your best bet. This platform is used by many big names. API is neat. Dashboard is clean and intuitive.
However, data is not secure. They may sell your data to third parties such as advertisers and research companies. They make BIG money by selling your data.
If you are on Amazon Web Services, it makes sense to go with Amazon Simple Notification Service (ANS). It’s good and powerful. However, it requires a lot of configuration. While it’s undoubtedly affordable, it’s a tough job to send non-system generated messages owing to the absence of admin interface.
Key metrics such as opt-in, app un-install and customer conversion rates should be monitored frequently. Always A/B test your messages. Give your audiences enough space, privileges and provisions to tweak the frequency, template and choice of categories. Push notification campaigns are hard to execute. But follow the best practices to witness positive results and use the best push notification services.
Do you have any thoughts to share and questions to ask? Shoot them in the comments. My best wishes are with you and your push notification campaigns.
Marry Ann is a branding consultant for PushMaze, a service that lets you send trackable push notifications for users. She mainly passionate about building brands in all aspect of online marketing.