You have a scenario today wherein people are spending more time on their Smartphone, and less time on televisions, or other related channels. As a matter of fact, mobile ecommerce saw a user base increase by almost 50% last year. So how do you monitor the success, and channel it accordingly in the direction of improvements?
Every mobile app strives for being a vital part of users’ daily routine. There are virtually hundreds of apps present on the Smartphone of majority users. Hardly a fraction of those are used on a daily basis. To get your app among those selected few is one heck of a tough task. But, there is one specific area within a mobile app, wherein you can capitalize, and outperform other apps – “Push Notifications.”
Push notifications are those compact emails or mobile messages sent on mobile phones, informing users about new products or services, discounts or offers, updates, upgrades, in-app purchases, events and happenings, etc. They tend to be highly user centric, and keep users in constant touch with the app. So, what are the ways by which you can design killer push notifications?
Studying user behavior in response to push notifications
Before crafting an ideal notification, it is important to understand the nerves of the users. You cannot just go about creating a notification, without comprehending how users interact or react to an incoming notification. As per our study, we found that there are 4 types of users looking at a notification:
1. Newbie – They are completely new to your app. The next few minutes, hours, or days are going to decide, whether these newbie’s find your app worth their time or not. They are either going to stick with your app, or probably uninstall it right away. Herein, you have the best opportunity to build some loyal user base, by converting these novice visitors into engaging users.
2. Passerby – Among the ones who have installed your app, 23% users are such who stopped using your app after a while, as they no longer find your app worthwhile. Since, they have uninstalled your app, you can no longer send them push notifications. However, they still represent some value. They are the ones who know what is wrong with your app. Additionally, you can measure the actual success rate of users, through their churning rate.
3. Engaged – They are the real loyal users of your app, who are constantly engrossed with your app, and use it on a daily basis. They are the most important group of people, you need to focus upon the most. It is important to retain them forever by letting your app stay updated with latest trends and technologies.
4. Dormant – They are the ones who used to like your app, and use it frequently in the past. However, due to one or the other reasons, they have stopped using it, just because they have shifted their priority towards other apps, or probably not getting enough time to use your app. They need to be poked with creativeness and enthusiasm, so that they recall your app once again.
Catering users based on the demographical segment
After getting a jest of what kind of users you are targeting, it is equally important to ensure that push notifications need to differ for different segments of users. They should be customer centric, and a message for one should not be sent to another. Going ahead, there are some additional critical criteria you need to consider, while sending out push notification to specific users:
This is what we already discussed in detail. Just to add up some more things, you would not want to send ‘buy now’ notifications to newbie users, as it will appear spam to them. Instead, send notifications, telling them what the app is all about, and how to go about using it. This proves that you should have a different set of notifications for all four segments.
You also do need to consider how users react on a specific notification and about their preferences as well. They do not want every notification ready to always interrupt them. Try to understand the notifications that entice them, and the ones they are not willing to have. This can be decided based on how users go about using your app.
Although this is an often overlooked area, a device does play an important role based on the touch-points. Most users have a systematic routine of using apps on a daily basis, wherein they start with a certain app, go about using apps in the same sequence, and then end with the same app. This even applies to devices, wherein users might start with their phone in the morning while ending their day with tablets, or vice versa.
Do not send same notifications to same users having both kinds of devices. Not only they will feel caught in some kind of a spam, but also doubt on the credibility of app quality. Ensure to use the notification on any one device for a specific user, and that too depending on what the user uses most of the time in an entire day.
This is one critical factor among the five, which helps you send out notifications based on user location. Imagine, a user outside a superstore, and your app sends out a notification telling him (her) about the discounts or offers available in that store.
Location based notifications appear to be the most useful of all, since they are laser targeted, and highly relevant to the context. Airlines particularly have a major success with these, notifying users present on the airport, regarding the schedule, boarding, delays, or cancellations of flights.
Not all notifications are well received by users, even if they are relevant. Your app needs to mine the most relevant notifications out of useful ones, and then send it to users pertaining to those specific notifications. Imagine, a sports app sending out news updates regarding all teams, in spite of the fact that users need to only hear it out from their favorite teams.
Over saturating users with tons of information, will frustrate them, and they will feel lost, since it is now difficult for them to extract the updates about their favorites. Only deliver what is overtly required, even from the required ones.
Timing is another critical factor among the five. Sending notifications at the time when users are asleep, or probably busy working in their office, proves to be a disaster as either they go unseen, or if seen not really appreciated. Users love notifications at the time when they are ideal, or when notifications play an important role at specific times.
You really need to ‘push’ notifications with grace
Mobile app is a goldmine where in you can mine out valuable customers, and enjoy life long sales. Push notifications help businesses establish long lasting relationships with customers, without going over-board or under-board. When you are pushing across the notifications, you are literally telling your users to check what new you have to offer.
Image: close-up view of young woman looking at notifications on her mobile phone. All screen graphics are made up.