Earlier this month, Apple updated its guidelines addressing the use of marketing and advertising in iOS push notifications. Companies may now leverage app push notifications for marketing purposes to customers who’ve opted in to receive them from their app. Employing a coherent and timely messaging strategy across channels like email, push, in-app messages, etc. will help your brand’s messaging to stand out across customers’ device screens. Let’s discuss how brands can apply push notification best practices to increase engagement from users, reduce opt-outs, and optimize cross-channel marketing strategy to adapt to the evolving mobile landscape.
Consider these precautionary steps before building new campaigns:
- Assess and Review: Audit all existing campaigns to make sure messaging and content is relevant in terms of brand guidelines, current events around the world, timely promotions, etc. This is particularly important now, when we are faced with a global pandemic that has altered how many organizations do business. Trust in your brand can dissolve quickly when consumers receive messages that are not relevant or sensitive to the current state of affairs.
- Quality Assurance: Develop and maintain a robust QA process or checklist of items to review before the launch of any campaigns. This helps cross-functional teams and individuals in your organization to adhere to the same guidelines and standards for all campaigns and reduces opportunity for errors or cluttered messaging. As an example, holding regular QA stand-up meetings for multiple team members to review content can help ensure quality and enhance the cohesiveness of a team.
- Review OS Guidelines: Review the latest updates from Android and Apple to ensure your message can be delivered in the way you intended. Push notification guidelines change frequently and can have an impact on whether or not your customers see your message.
Follow these campaign best practices to create valuable push notifications campaigns for customers while automating production processes:
- Audience Segmentation: Identify a target audience for each campaign. Maximize the use of a customer data platform like Segment or mParticle, in tandem with a robust product analytics tool like Amplitude or Mixpanel, to analyze your customer data to create cohorts based on similar actions or preferences. By using these tools, you can tailor push notification content to different audience segments based on historical behavior (e.g. watch history, past purchases, acquisition source, engagement with cross-channel messaging, etc.).
- Measure: Set a purpose and conversion metric for each campaign. Determine a metric, like app opens, purchases, logins, etc. to craft a clear call-to-action, measure campaign performance, and identify the best-performing campaign types for your brand.
- Automate Personalization: Scale quickly and reduce repetitive campaign production tasks. By using a powerful customer engagement platform like Braze or Leanplum to manage your digital communications, you can build advanced campaigns that meet your brands needs. Embed conditional and/or liquid logic in your custom campaign builds to auto-populate variables and/or user attributes like first name, birthday, email, or change messaging or language based on criteria like call-to-action based on the conversion event for the targeted audience or browser language.
Additional Tips and Tricks for Setting Up Intelligent Messaging:
- Employ frequency caps to ensure that you’re not bombarding your customers with too many or redundant messages on one or more channels. For instance, you may set the maximum to 2 non-transactional emails and 3 push notifications to be sent to any one customer within a seven day period, if this is a reasonable cap for your brand and industry.
- Add exception events to make sure push notifications only get sent if the customer hasn’t completed the conversion action intended from the push before deployment. For example, you can set up a triggered “abandoned cart” push notification to deploy 3 hours after the cart abandonment event, but exclude any customers who complete the transaction within that 3 hour window, to reduce unnecessary or repetitive messaging.
- Apply suppression filters to ensure that customers do not receive overlapping messages from similar lifecycle campaigns. These filters will make it easier to determine which messages will be prioritized and delivered to customers, especially when they meet multiple target audience criteria and are eligible for similar types of messages.
All the while, make sure to maintain a holistic view of your cross-channel messaging marketing. As more brands optimize and scale their marketing through push notifications, and therefore, cross-channel marketing, mobile users will have higher expectations and standards for valuable notifications to keep enabled on their devices. Brands that proactively manage their marketing communications and employ best practices will see higher success from their campaigns and deliver higher value for their customers across all touchpoints.