Just like any new technology goes through an adoption curve, the rapid growth of mobile usage has yielded engagement lessons that can help marketers get the most out of their app. Push messaging is a useful app marketing tactic, but to engage users in meaningful ways, it helps to start with some best practices, then tweak campaigns from there. Here are four successful push messaging tactics for the media, ecommerce, social media, and travel verticals you can try today.
For each of these verticals, sending push messages to all of your users is a bad idea. When a push message isn't relevant to someone, they will view it as spam, and may turn off notifications from your app in their phone settings. To avoid this situation, you can segment users by in-app behavior and send push messages based on this criteria to create a more customized messaging experience and see greater results.
In this vertical, the most common challenge for apps is to convert passive users to active subscribers. Without the right incentive, those who casually view content on your app won't pay to subscribe for access to your best features and articles. Some media apps take the "paywall" approach, by either cutting out users part way through an article or shutting off certain pages or features. Though media apps can't offer all of their content for free, this is a guaranteed way to frustrate your users and potentially deter them from coming back to your app.
It's here that push messaging can offer a great way to convert users to paying subscribers, and to save the app experience from being tainted. By sending unsubscribed users a push message for X% off a subscription for a limited time only, you can, at best, turn many passive users into active ones, or, at worst, re-engage some latent users who may have ignored your content for a while.
eCommerce apps have the potential to provide a tailor-made experience for their users based on user behavior by alerting users of items or brand activity in-app that would be relevant to convert them. For example, if a set of users always flocks to Nike brand products in your eCommerce app, they would likely appreciate and engage with a push message about a new Nike product. You could even go one layer deeper to note which Nike products are most popular or which product category users visit most often, then send push messages about active sales or discounts.
When the app experience and messaging feels more customized to the user, re-engagement and conversion rates will rise. App users each have habits and hobbies. Tap into these to notify users of relevant deals and product changes for the most effective push campaigns.
For the vast majority of fitness apps, the target is to keep users engaged and working towards personal fitness goals. Though you can't physically motivate users to keep working out, record their progress, and achieve results, you can make it fun to do these things with your app, and complement the experience with engaging push messages. A great tactic for fitness apps is to use push for accountability.
For example, a running app with customizable distance goals each week, month, or year can use push messaging to encourage users – based on average daily running distance or other recorded data – by reminding them of how close they are to their goals or if they've forgotten to record progress (or run at all) in several days. This tactic both holds users accountable for their self-set goals and keeps users coming back to the app to chart progress.
Though most people look forward to reaching their destination, the journey is often stressful. Travel apps limit many frustrations by providing critical trip information to users via push messages. Things like flight status updates, airport security alerts, destination weather advisories, and other notifications save users from plunging into internet research to find answers to personal travel questions.
While other app verticals run the risk of over-messaging, travel apps can usually skirt this risk by providing relevant information at important moments during a user's trip. Don't start messaging users about new taxi services in the area, but do keep users "in the know" about potential delays that will affect broader plans as soon as possible.
Regardless of your vertical, creating personalized push messages based on user behavior is key to driving desired actions in-app. Depending on your app goals, you can segment users and trigger campaigns based on criteria to prompt subscriptions, sales, sharing, feature trials, etc. to help your broader app marketing strategy succeed.
What other push messaging tactics have worked for you? Let us know in the comments below.
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