There are many benefits to having a native app for your organization, no matter what industry you’re in. One of those benefits is the ability to take advantage of the functionality inherent to mobile devices — like push notifications. Using push notifications can help improve app retention rates — which is no small task in a world where losing 80% of users is expected. According to an app retention study from Airship, “brands that aren’t currently sending push notifications can increase their 90-day app retention by 190% by using push messages today!”
So, if you’re asking yourself, “Does my app need push notifications?” the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” However, it’s important to employ best practices for push notifications in order to walk the tightrope between engaging users and annoying them. Used selectively, push notifications can be the most important tool on your quest for better engagement and retention — but they can also do a lot more.
Five push notification best practices
The key to making push notifications work to your app’s advantage is understanding the best ways to use them.
- Keep it relevant. This is good advice for any messaging, but it’s especially true for push notifications, which — if used excessively — can feel intrusive. So, it’s important to use your push notifications to convey highly relevant, timely, and important information. You can also use specific triggers to prompt messaging. For instance, a retail app might send a push notification with a discount offer when it senses a user is near a brick-and-mortar location.
- Use rich media when you can. If you’re picturing a static, text-heavy message when you think about push notifications, think again. Images, action buttons, and even video can be included in rich notifications. Using actionable CTAs in your messaging can boost push notification outcomes by over 40%.
- Keep it personal. Consumers expect personalization in every facet of their life, but that’s especially true with in-app experiences where you’re connecting with your users on a very intimate platform — the device they keep in their pockets and on their bedside tables. Luckily, when someone downloads and registers for your app, you will begin collecting a lot of data about their preferences, so it makes it easier for you to truly personalize your message.
- Keep it timely. Not only does this mean you want to make sure the information in your push notifications is relevant at the moment, but you also want to make sure you send them at opportune times. At the very least, think about the time zone your users are in and make sure you aren’t waking anyone in the middle of the night with your messages. You should also pay attention to your user data to tell you when individual users are most likely to open your message, and what kind of messaging works at what time.
- Don’t neglect your opt-in strategy. Push notifications require you to get users to opt-in, and so you will want to think about your strategy to promote this feature to users. Make the value proposition clear and be open about what you want to send users. When they see what they will get in return, users are more likely to opt-in.
Examples of good push notifications
While it’s important to keep these best practices in mind when using push notifications — especially for retention and engagement — the truth is push notifications can also help bring actual value to your app users and perform important functions. In this section, we will explore three examples of good push notifications that make the most of this medium.
In its own words, “545 Madison boasts coveted office space in a major business and retail destination area. Originally constructed in 1955, the building was revamped and redeveloped in 2008, qualifying for LEED Gold certification.” Part of meeting the needs of a modern workplace entails having an app. The 545 Madison app allows tenants to do everything from order lunch to register guests, but the app also uses push notifications to let tenants know about important events.
If an elevator is out of service or scheduled maintenance is being performed, push notifications make it easy for 545 Madison to inform everyone in a timely manner. During the COVID-19 pandemic, push notifications have even been used to inform people in the building when a case has been detected.
The G2 Academy provides girls with world-class golf training in a competitive, distraction-free environment — and it also provides virtual training via an app. Users can chat with their personal coaches, track their progress, participate in challenges, and message each other. Like any app that provides ongoing training, G2 Academy needs to occasionally nudge its users to remind them to finish a course, input results, or just stay engaged. And push notifications are integral to keeping users engaged for the long haul.
As the global leadership organization for extraordinary chief executives, the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) has over 30,000 global members. With a vast membership spread out across the globe, YPO hosts many events each year, and while they had event apps, members often deleted the app when the event was over. YPO turned to enCappture to create a custom turnkey app that kept members engaged between events.
Push notifications are an integral part of the app, especially for event notifications. When event details change or a new one is announced, push notifications allow YPO to tell anyone who needs to know in a timely manner. There’s no need to bother people who aren’t registered for a specific event when there’s a change, and targeted notifications allow the team to keep their messages relevant.
But it’s not all about events! YPO can also send out renewal notifications to users whose membership is about to expire. And the beauty of doing this all with in-app notifications is that you don’t need to rely on people to see and open an email reminder — or hope the social media algorithms deem your messaging worthy — because you own the audience and can connect with them directly.
Are you ready to add push notifications to your app?
Used appropriately, push notifications are a critical part of an app’s success. If you are interested in exploring the ways a turnkey app from enCappture can help your organization provide value and stay connected with your members or clients, schedule your free product demo today.