Notification Actions— A New Tool in Your Messaging Belt

Do you remember the days before your iOS or Android phone had a notification center? Every time an app would update or you’d receive a text message, your digital experience would be interrupted by a pop up alert.

Push notifications became so prevalent that the pull-down Notification Center is irreplaceable (even if you never think about how important it is).

Aside from layout changes and the inclusion of more information, the Notification Center has remained largely the same for the last 5 or 6 years. That is, until recently.

Notification actions are one of the most powerful recent additions to long-standing notifications. If you make the most of them, they can remove friction in the customer experience and improve conversion rates.

Notification Actions Explained

Just because notifications are a universal expectation on mobile doesn’t mean notification actions are immediately recognized. They’re gaining traction, but it’s possible you haven’t noticed their prevalence just yet.

Rather than locking you into plain-text notifications that link to conversations, notification actions help you increase engagement within the notification center. The retail industry provides a straightforward example to explain what notification actions can do.

If you’re providing a concierge commerce experience through messaging, you’ll inevitably get to the point where customers are ready to check out. Typically, your messaging experience presents rich product cards and customers can confirm purchases within the conversation. But notification actions let you bring that functionality to the notification center.

We’re so used to push notifications and their links that we forget they’re just another small point of friction in the customer experience. Notification actions give users a series of buttons that can complete transactions without ever opening the app. Just tap “yes,” “no,” or even an emoji to confirm a purchase.

As customers receive more and more push notifications, it’s easy for your experience to get trapped in the “clear all” or rapid swipe/dismissal process. But with notification actions in place, you make a more direct connection with customers and drive true engagement (rather than just app opens).

Notification Action Benefits in a Nutshell

Retail transactions might be the clearest use case for notification actions, but there’s a time and place to use them for every messaging experience. Consider the benefits of notification actions more generally:

  • The ability to present calls to action (of any kind) before opening an app
  • Taking the friction out of menial tasks by making it easier to complete actions
  • Rapid lock-screen replies result in longer messaging sessions on the other side of the conversation
  • Let users mute conversations without digging around in their settings.
  • Even if this shuts off notifications, users will start to trust your experience more because you put control in their hands

Like standard push notifications, notification actions shouldn’t become a new form a spam. You have to sit down and think about the customer experience and how to best forge a relationship with messaging users.

But using notification actions is just one way to engage with users. If you want to learn more about creating a frictionless conversation experience, check out our full Messaging Best practices guide today.