Push Notifications Are Critical for Messaging User Retention

We live in a mobile-first world now and messaging has emerged as the universal communication experience. As a result, push notifications have become a fact of life.

Now, push notifications are the keys to improving user retention and reactivation in any mobile app—and especially messaging apps. But have you ever heard the saying that marketers ruin everything? Some businesses are giving push notifications a bad name.

In their purest form, push notifications help pull users back to your messaging experience. However, there’s plenty of room for error. If you want to realize the true potential of push notifications, you have to use them the right way.

How Marketers Are Falling Short with Push Notifications

Have you ever downloaded a retailer’s mobile app just to find out they’re trying just a little too hard with push notifications? If so, you’re not alone.

According to research from Localytics, 52% of mobile app users find push notifications annoying and distracting. The remaining users find push notifications useful at times, but marketers are starting to make push notifications an unwelcome part of the digital experience.

The problem is that 35% of push notifications are generic, broadcast marketing blasts that go out to the entire user base. When push notifications are irrelevant to so many users, it’s no surprise that they aren’t as effective as you’d hoped.

But does that mean we should give up on push notifications? Of course not. By personalizing push notifications, you can make your messaging experience far more engaging.

Taking Push Notification Personalization to Another Level

The Localytics research found that conversion rates saw 300% improvements when push notifications were personalized according to user preferences. However, you can improve upon traditional personalization with the help of a messaging experience.

Even when you make mobile app push notifications more targeted, they still aren’t as personal as they could be. You might see conversion rate improvements by pushing special offers to specific users or offering discounts based on location—but there’s still more you can do with messaging.

With a messaging experience, you’re engaging in 1:1 conversations with your customers. This means every push notification you send is 100% personalized to a specific customer. There’s a fine line between personalization in the context of a customer conversation and higher-level personalization based on general location or certain settings.

As you deliver more and more value through push notifications, you’ll overcome the notion that notifications are annoying and disruptive, Instead, your customers will engage with the messaging experience more frequently and drive business value.

A Word of Caution—Make Sure Push Notifications Have Deep Linking

This last tip on push notifications should go without saying. Have you ever tapped a push notification only to have it bring you to the main menu of a mobile app? Forcing users to hunt for the right conversation rather than linking directly to it can introduce engagement-draining friction to the whole experience.

Make sure your push notifications are set up for deep linking into conversations. Your users will appreciate the seamless transitions and you’ll be rewarded with greater engagement.

Push notifications fall short of expectations when businesses are relying on them as the sole means of engagement, retention, and reactivation. Great messaging experiences require the right mix of tools and strategies to maximize engagement.

If you want to learn more about designing a truly engaging messaging experience, check out the full Messaging Best Practices Guide today.