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7 push notifications marketing tips to drive business

Push notifications marketing: entrepreneur using his phone while drinking a cup of coffee

Key takeaways

  • Segment your audience based on Android and iOS devices, as Android users automatically opt-in to mobile push notifications and iOS users do not
  • Consider using emojis and fun, casual language to boost your click-through rate 
  • Don’t bombard users with notifications immediately after opt-in, and consider lowering your cadence if you see a boost in unsubscribes

Push notifications marketing is an advertising strategy where businesses send notifications to users via desktop, mobile, or tablet devices. These notifications appear to the recipient even if they haven’t opened the business’s app or website.

According to at least one survey, over 77% of companies use push notifications to keep customers and website visitors engaged, with brands sending 1–5 notifications to their audience per week. Survey respondents cited push notifications as more efficient at driving engagement than any other marketing channel, including in-app messages and SMS (text) messages. To boost your outreach, learn more about push notifications, how they work, and tips for running your own push notifications marketing campaign.

What is push notifications marketing

Push notifications are clickable pop-ups that appear on a person’s phone or web browser. Since these notifications don’t require a website or app visit to appear, they can drive additional traffic (and sales) for businesses.

There are two types of push notifications:

  1. App push notifications: These notifications appear on smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and other mobile devices. The user must have the business’s mobile app installed to receive these types of notifications.
  2. Web push notifications: These notifications appear on desktops, typically through major web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. Visitors must grant permission to receive notifications by checking a pop-up box (e.g., “[website name] wants to send you notifications”).

Why is push notifications marketing effective?

Push notifications marketing is effective because it can be personalized to the recipient and deliver your business’s message, all without needing to be opened. The push notification pops up for the user, and even if they don’t click on it, you’re still able to deliver a personalized alert— whether it’s an upcoming event or a service sale.

When compared to email marketing, open rates for push notifications are similar to those for email campaigns, ranging from 1.1–16.8% on Android and 1.1–10.2% on iOS devices (Push Notifications & Mobile Engagement: 2021 Benchmarks report by Airship). 

However, email just delivers a subject line, requiring the user to click in to see the message. And most email marketing platforms can personalize the body copy, but few can personalize the subject line. The efficiency and personalization of push notifications makes it a powerful way to deliver your message without any user action.

7 tips to launch your push notifications marketing campaign

Push notifications marketing: entrepreneur using her phone

Want to use push notifications to engage consumers and ultimately land more sales? Implement these tactics to drive customer engagement.

1. Implement personalized push notifications

Personalization is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, no matter which channel you’re using. According to research by Deloitte, 71% of company leaders say personalization is a key component of their consumer engagement strategy.

To increase user engagement, send personalized messages to the end subscriber. Calling out an individual by name isn’t enough. You can collect customer data (following current data privacy laws) on subscribers’ likes, dislikes, interests, and ecommerce buying history to tailor each notification to the products, services, advice, or deals most likely to capture their attention.

2. Make it fun

Stiff, boring copy won’t get high engagement in push messages. Instead, draft your copy like you’re texting a close friend—using emojis, abbreviations, and casual language—as long as it fits your brand personality.

Pushwoosh, a push notifications marketing agency, shared a case study where a client saw a 40% increase in their click-through rate (CTR) by using emojis in their push notification campaign. If you’re still in doubt, consider implementing an A/B test, where one segment receives a message with emojis and the other does not. For the sake of accurate data, don’t change the messaging other than the use of emojis.

3. Ensure your website and landing pages are up to date

Every notification should contain a clear call to action (CTA). Depending on your content marketing strategy, you might encourage mobile users to increase app usage, follow you on social media, leave you a review, or add a product to their online shopping cart through your ecommerce website.

To increase your conversion rate (the percentage of people who make a desired action, whether it’s making a purchase, filling out a form, or RSVPing to an event), all your website landing pages should be up to date, easy to navigate, and offer a positive user experience. Be sure to update your website and other online platforms, like your Yelp Business Page, prior to launching your campaign so customers have reliable places to learn about your business and leave feedback. Update your business details, including your products or services and store hours, upload high-quality photos, and respond to customer reviews to demonstrate your level of service.

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4. Tweak your timing

Research shows that the average person sees upwards of 6,000 advertisements per day. To respect your audience’s time and mental capacity, don’t fire off a notification the minute they opt-in. Instead, wait a few days before sending your first notification. If you notice an uptick in unsubscribes, consider reducing your cadence to one notification every two weeks and see if that improves subscriber retention.

5. Make your pop-up messages useful

The vast majority of your audience isn’t likely primed to buy. Sales experts claim that it takes eight touches to make a sale, meaning the lifecycle of your marketing campaign will extend beyond a single message. 

Rather than implement a series of transactional messages (where the only value you offer consumers is a special offer or coupon code), see if there are other ways you can be of service. Leverage your notification service to send tasks (e.g., look up weather reports, refill prescriptions, or make an appointment), abandoned cart reminders, news updates, surveys, or content that may be of interest to your audience.

6. Segment your audience according to their device

In the above section, you may have noticed how open rates for Android were notably higher than those for iOS devices. Here’s why: On Android devices, mobile push notifications are automatically enabled when a user downloads an app. On iOS devices, the user must grant permission before receiving notifications.

This key difference results in a notably different opt-in rate, which is the percentage of people who grant permission to receive notifications—51.2% for iOS compared to 81% for Android, according to the Airship report). Therefore, it’s crucial to segment your list and develop a different opt-in strategy for these two segments. Consider offering a can’t-miss deal or downloadable freebie to Apple users to increase opt-ins.

7. Always test your strategy

Gut instincts should only take your decision-making so far. Instead, every shift in your marketing strategy must be backed by cold, hard facts.

To optimize your push notifications strategy, test various tactics and track the corresponding user behavior. Make changes to copy, messaging, design, and even fonts and colors to see how it impacts your mobile marketing strategy while staying aligned with your brand personality. Experiment with different opt-in tactics, approaches to segmentation, and welcome notifications to see which methods reduce opt-outs. Lastly, continuously refine your campaign cadence and the CTA of each message to discover which approach deepens your connection to your audience.

Launch your push notifications marketing strategy

Employees looking at a phone

Push notifications connect businesses to customers through pop-up messages. Since new users don’t need to be on a business’s website or using an app to receive the message, it’s quickly becoming a preferred communication channel among marketers.

Now that you know what push notifications are and how they work, it’s time to integrate them into your larger digital marketing strategy. Continue to develop your strategy by learning how to implement a digital marketing funnel to drive profits for your small business.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.