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Last update: September 2020

8 mins to read - 2020/09/30

Creating Push Notification Campaigns: Mobile Marketing Playbook Part 6

Mobile engagement is both an art and a science. With 40+ unique data signals available through the OpenBack platform, you can experiment with your push notification marketing campaign. The more signals added at any given time will reduce the amount of projected audiences that can receive the notification. Because of this, we recommend between 2 to 3 signals per campaign, depending on the message objective, content and what is helpful for the user. As your campaign evolves, OpenBack provides full access to metrics and analytics so you can perform A/B testing and optimize your push campaign through trial and error. Here are the top factors you need to keep in mind.

push notifications digital marketing

Personalized Push Notification Marketing 

Personalization is the golden rule in mobile engagement. And customizing push notifications to a particular cohort of users can boost app opens by 800%. With the oversaturation of brands in the market, researchers have found that customers prefer brands that deliver human experiences. Brands that communicate with consumers on a one-on-one basis will make a more meaningful connection. Now more than ever users crave relevant and bespoke content, that caters directly to their unique experience, interests, and preferences.

Fortunately, user data is there to help you better inform your decisions on how to speak to them, and what type of content they will find valuable. Every action they complete online, every social media post, and every entry in their schedule and calendar can be used to categorize them into accurate segments. 

For example, supposing your retail app, Merch 4 U, has a user named Dana West. Dana is 33, and follows the band Smashing Pumpkins on Facebook. She has “favorited” their song “Disarm” on Spotify, and has recently booked tickets to see them live. It has also been a month since she’s opened the Merch 4 U app, so she may need some extra persuasion to keep her from churning. Everything we know about Dana can be combined to customize the following notification: 

push notification marketing for merch 4 u

Personalization – Segmenting by User Behavior

There is no one right way to approach personalization of your push notification marketing campaign. It requires consistent analysis of user behavior across the entire lifecycle. A user may belong to different segments according to certain demographics. And these demographics are always in flux.

For example, a user of a mobile game may be a 20-year-old college graduate, who is living at their parents’ house over the summer as they apply for jobs. This user will likely have a lot of time and not much money, and so is more likely to opt for free-to-play routes in the game. They may be more likely to provide value to the game by offering feedback in exchange for in-game currency, or by sharing their high scores on social media. However, in September that player’s device shows they have an alarm set for 7:30 am five days a week, and their device usage ceases at 11 pm every night. This person has clearly gotten a new job, and may be more open to paying for higher-tier gaming options. Your push notifications should reflect this change in their situation.

Moment of Delivery – Leveraging Data Signals 

According to our customer feedback, top data signals that get the best results include:

  • Device-side decisions and behaviors (projected by machine learning)
  • Time
  • Location
  • Whether the device is unlocked, which signifies that the user’s attention is already on the phone screen, a great time when the user may have time for your app

When getting familiar with OpenBack, start off using basic metrics like Time or Device Unlock for general campaigns. Then you can try experimenting with advanced signals like User Activity or Weather, when they make sense for a specific campaign.

Keep track of which combinations of metrics work best for engaging which groups of users. Record metrics, and then conduct A/B testing to optimize data metric combinations. With OpenBack’s in-depth metrics and analytics, you can access key data about your push campaign, such as Interaction Rate and Open Rate.

Unlike other push notification SDKs, which only tell you whether the notification has been sent or not, OpenBack tracks successful delivery to the device, and then how the user interacts with it, i.e. whether they click on, open, or dismiss the message. Click-through rates (CTR) are effectively customer feedback. They tell you whether your push notification successfully won users back. 

Push Notification Marketing Based on Global Events

Drive sales by referencing high-profile events that may speak to users. This could be news updates, promos, and content releases. Automatically send notifications to user segments based on their interests or behaviors. For example, say Taylor Swift has released her new album. Mobile apps can use this as a prompt for her fans to engage with the app, and possibly even make a purchase.

An eCommerce app can send users a push notification with a deep link to buy the album. A streaming app can send a notification directing users to stream the music video for her title track. A travel app can inform users of the itinerary of her upcoming tour. It can advise them of flight and hotel deals in cities where she will be playing. 

push notification marketing for travel savvy

Double Notification Reads With App Inbox

Push notifications are real-time and versatile, and they are indispensable to mobile marketing. They are instantaneous, disposable bites of information, but this is a double-edged sword. If a notification delivers at the wrong moment, or the user is distracted with other priorities, they may swipe it away and miss out on what you had to communicate. 

The App Inbox is a safeguard against this, providing a repository for evergreen notifications, or messages that users may want to return to at a more convenient time. For eCommerce apps having an ongoing sale, a coupon or discount code stored in the App Inbox could bring the user back to the app multiple times, rather than directing the user into the app once and disappearing. 

App Inbox can also be used as storage space for streaming apps to suggest new content their users might enjoy. Curate different playlists, based on your user’s previous streaming data. Or suggest upcoming series or podcasts that they might be interested in, based on their preferred subjects and listening history. Travel apps can arrange their inbox like a brochure of possible destinations your user might want to visit, with different ticket prices as sales arise. Like push notifications, the app inbox can be personalized and updated according to user preferences, but the developer has more freedom in terms of design and content beyond the constraints of push notifications that are solely for marketing. 

Push Notifications Moment of Delivery – Real-Time Marketing

OpenBack’s use of edge computing cuts out the need to involve a third-party cloud server in the push notification structure. This streamlines the process of sending notifications, allowing for optimized reliability and deliverability in real-time. This makes it the ideal platform for communicating to users in real-time. 

Marketers can use push notifications to offer time-sensitive marketing, breaking news, real-time travel information, invitations with a quick expiry date, and more.

push notification marketing for pokemon go

What’s more, with OpenBack’s unique patented platform, marketers can be confident that they’re reaching out to the user at exactly the moment that’s right for the user. This means that they can schedule and automate notifications with a higher degree of accuracy than has previously been possible. Leveraging data from users’ weekly schedules and calendars, marketers can block off hours that they know for certain notifications will go unread – i.e. when the user is sleeping, eating, commuting, or in work – and automate notifications to send during windows of time when the user is most likely to be home, relaxed, and scrolling through their phone. 

Marketing Automation and Frequency

Notification Automation is another feature unique to the OpenBack platform. This allows the app to keep delivering a particular notification until the user actively interacts. (Either they click or they dismiss, rather than just ignoring it.) If you have a critical notification that you need the user to read, this ensures the user will see it. For example, information about an important update or change to the app’s terms and conditions. Once the user interacts with the notification, the platform stops delivering it.

So, what’s the magic number? It can vary. Most likely, users will be happy to hear from recreational apps. For example, mobile games and social media, more often than, say, an app from their dentist’s office. Five notifications per day from the mobile game Worm Blasterz might be welcome… five notifications about dental hygiene, not so much. A user’s age and schedule also feeds into this. Teenagers are digital natives, accustomed to receiving most of their communications via smartphone. They will probably have more tolerance for notifications than a 40-something with other responsibilities.

Always keep in mind, mobile marketers should not be playing the numbers game. They should be keeping the user’s convenience in mind at all times. Only send out push notifications that they know the user will take value from. A/B testing is a necessary next step to figure out where your limits are. However, OpenBack provides options to customize global limits and select how often a campaign will deliver over time. 

To learn more about how OpenBack can help you optimize your push notification marketing campaign, and maximize click-through rate, get in touch with one of our experts.

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For our push notification best practices download the OpenBack Mobile Marketing Playbook 2020!

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