We already know that there are many benefits of push notifications but the question is that how to avail all those?
Which are the push notifications best practices that you should follow so that you can take advantage of all the benefits of push technology and can increase the traffic, engagement and sales for your website?
Push Notifications Best Practices
1. Limit the Number of Push Notifications to One per Week
A person landed on your website, surfed some of your pages and then never came back. And in order to bring him back, you installed push alerts on your site. And the alerts proved successful in getting that user back to your blog. So it shows that the pushes are very much beneficial for any website’s success.
But here’s the catch. If the push alerts are so much important for any website then do we need to bombard the client’s computer and mobile phone with our messages?
No person will like to get his personal device (whether its smartphone or his personal computer) bombard with messages from anyone. If you are trying to do this then you are likely to get blocked by him.
The thing is that we should always work on push notifications best practices.
Let me ask you. If you are constantly getting daily 100 emails from any online group which hinders you to read your important emails then will you be happy with the behavior of that online group? I know your answer is NO.
Now my second question is that in this scenario what you will do? I think you will simply unsubscribe from that online group.
The same holds for your push subscribers as well. So, following the push notifications best practices, you should not keep on shooting their systems with so many messages. Infact, you should maintain a constant delivery with correct number of messages so that they can engage more with your website.
In order to support my theory, let me take you to some practical push notifications statistics as well.
A survey conducted by Localytics Team in early 2018 revealed how consumers respond to the push messaging alerts.
Back in 2015, people considered these pushing alerts as a headache for them and they used to unsubscribe from the web push notifications too frequently. However, this unsubscribe limit has reduced recently and now, consumers are happy with the messages. Having said that, if you are going to shoot their systems then they will remove their subscriptions altogether but normal firing works for them. I mean to say you cannot target their systems with machine gun but slow bullets will make them happy .
Let us get to some push notifications statistics from above graph.
• You can see in above graph that if you are sending single alert per week then in 2015, 13% of people used to leave your subscription while in 2017, the number got reduced to 10%.
• Similarly, if the number of push notifications was 2 to 5 per week then 46% of people used to unsubscribe from the messaging list in 2015 while this percentage dropped to 37% in 2017.
• However, if you are increasing the alerts-count to more than 5 then more people are disabling the alerts now as compared to in the past. When the number of pushes were in the range of 6 to 10 then 29% of people used to disable them while the percentage increased to 33% in 2017.
• Similarly, for pushes in the range of 11 to 20, the disablement percentage increased from 9% in 2015 to 11% in 2017.
• If the number of pushes is going beyond 20 per week then the percentage of people who disabled the push notifications increased from 4% in 2015 to 8% in 2017.
Further, it was concluded that if the number of mobile push alerts was high then people used to uninstall the app altogether from their mobile phones. And if you think this on your part then tell me that if any app on your mobile sends you too much messages then wouldn’t you be annoyed with its behavior?
Same holds for others as well. And the survey also proved this fact. The survey took 2 years in comparison – 2015 and 2017. And based on these 2 years, the resulting graph was created.
Some key points from the survey that was done on mobile apps users are:
• In 2015, if only single push was sent to users by the mobile apps then 6% of those users used to uninstall that app while in 2017, the number increased slightly by 0.1% and 6.1% of users uninstalled the application from their mobile phones.
• If the number of push notifications was between 2 to 5 per week then around 31% of people uninstalled that application from their phones while the number reduced to 22.3% in 2017. It means that mentality of many people changed towards the push messages and this is continuously changing.
• The percentage decline from 31 to 22.3 is a good change as 8.7% decrease is something that is really good. This 8.7% is enough to describe the mentality of people towards the new messaging system.
• The point to note here is that if the alerts count was 6 to 10 weekly then though there was decline in the number of uninstallations but the fall was not so much. In 2015, it was 32% while it stopped at 31.1% in 2017.
• Further, the survey revealed that if the bombardment of push service was between 11 to 20 then while in 2015, 17% of mobile users uninstalled the app but in 2017, the uninstallation percentage increased to 21.
• And on the last metrics, it was seen that if any application was sending more than 21 messages then 14% of users removed the app altogether from their smartphones while in 2017, the percentage increased to 19.5.
What we can conclude from the survey and the push notifications statistics is that although people are mentally getting shifted towards the pushes and their hatred towards the pushes has decreased gradually but still some users are not in favor of these push alerts.
Also, we can see that generally 2 types of users stop using mobile apps:
• The first set of people was which are fine with just single notification per week. We can see that the number remained almost stagnant in both the years.
• The second set of people included which were fine with more push notifications. The graph elucidates that around 20% of people stopped the apps due to bombarding of mobile push notifications while 6-10 notifications resulted in around 30% of people removing the apps from their phones.
2. Increase the Number of Push Notifications to Max
As you can see from the survey above that either you should limit the pushes to one per week or you need to bombard the customers systems with too many messages.
Though this bombardment can work in some industries such as if you have a website that sends the job alerts to college pass outs then every job-aspirant who wants to start his career as a fresher, will like to have more and more job alerts. So, here the maximum number will work.
But for some other niches such as blogging, seo and technology etc., this is not going to work.
So, be very cautious if you are thinking to fire your readers’ desktops and smartphones with alerts and think twice that whether you are following the push notifications best practices or not.
3. Send Location-based Alerts
Suppose you have a real estate website where you sell the houses to people looking for accommodations. Then if a person is looking for a house in Florida then would he be interested if you are sending him the accommodations messages of California?
Correct, he will not like that and he might unsubscribe in such a case. So, if you want him to remain active on your list then only send him location based alerts.
This is just an example of location-based messaging system. There are many other scenarios also where location based messages play a vital role.
4. Consider Preferences of Users
Many bloggers have multi-niche website. I have seen many technology websites where bloggers post about android, iPhone and other mobile related stuff. This is fine but those sites also publish on windows, mac and Linux related data.
Why a person who is only interested in android related tutorials would be interested in iPhone news? I think iPhone news will also suffice to those people because iPhone and android both are related to mobile phones but would that person be interested at all in knowing about Mac or Linux commands?
I hope you have understood what I want to highlight here. So, always keep cognizance of your user’s preferences and intentions. If the user has selected his preferences on your website and has expressed his interests then it’s your duty to abide by those preferences.
5. Send push notifications to new users within first 90 days
UrbanAirShip did an analysis in September 2016 in which it selected the mobile apps having downloads more than 5000 and which have sent atleast 1000 mobile push notifications in a single month.
And the analysis revealed that the apps which fail to send push alerts to the users who have downloaded those apps fail to get user engagement. And such companies are missing the money that they have spent on advertising acquiring those new customers.
So, it is must for any website or app to send the push notices to new customers within first 90 days of the date when users accepted to have the alerts in their browsers and smartphones.
6. Start with Weekly Push Notifications
If you are not at all sending any type of push messages to your customers then you need to act now. And the point to note here is that you should start sending the pushes on weekly basis in the beginning and not sending on daily or monthly basis.
The daily pushing might annoy your customers and the monthly can take them far away from your business. So in the starting phase, you should opt for transmitting the alerts on weekly basis. And further the weekly alerts increased the app retention of 90 days by 6x on android smartphones and by 2x on iOS devices.
7. Try for Opt-in Users
You should try your best so that users opt-in to your messages. The retention rate of apps can double if you have more users who have opted-in than the users who have opted-out.
8. Send Value in the Messages
You should send real value to your subscribers in the messages and then only people are going to signup to your alerts. Failing to do this will not even help you in getting new customers or if people have registered for your alerts then today or tomorrow, they will leave you.
And if you are giving good value in the alerts then you can have your app retention rates go up by 3 to 10 times.
9. Include Images in Pushes
Images always speak more than text. If you are a blogger then you know that how good pictures prove beneficial in forcing people to scan your site. The same images can prove a plus point for your messages as well.
It was seen that if you are including stunning photos then the open rates of your alerts increases by 56%. You can see that how whooping it is to include the images. So, try to include images as part of push notifications best practices.
I would recommend not including the pictures in every message but try to play it wisely. When it comes to posting articles on a blog then you should try to include pictures in every article but for alerts, try playing with different ways and see that how your customers are responding to the alerts.
Also try testing with different formats of images to be included such as png, jpg and even gifs. Gifs can prove more opt-in plus point to you as compared to png and jpgs.
10. Include Videos in Pushes
As I explained that images could boost opt-in rates by 56 percent, the same holds for videos as well. But do not include the long videos as alerts are something in which user is not going to sit and watch 1 hour movie. So some short videos, usually spanning to few seconds will work.
I have mentioned various push notifications best practices with push notifications statistics. Let me know which all practices you are following to increase the user engagement and sales on your desktop and mobile apps.
If you are not having pushes enabled for your apps or websites then consider purchasing from any one of mentioned below. We recommend all these.