Push notifications can help you build engagement, brand awareness and ultimately drive conversions, but how do you know what service you need?
Once you decide that push notifications can become a valuable part of your marketing strategy, you’ll search for services that match your needs and can provide ongoing value to your business. We outlined features to consider and the migration process.
How to choose a push service?
There are a lot of push providers on the market, so before making a final choice, consider what you are looking for. Here are some pointers:
Before you start considering features, check if the push service is easy to install and manage. Some enterprise push services might require getting in contact with their engineers or having your own tech team, while others offer an independent process. You can get started by comparing installation times to get some idea about how challenging the process might be. However, there are plenty of services that don’t require profound tech skills to install or run.
Try for free
Choose a push notification service that lets you test the waters before committing to a plan. The free trial will help you understand the product’s specifications and figure out whether it matches your needs. For maximum freedom, check that you’re deciding on a service that lets you make changes to your plan without contacting a salesperson. You’d want to be able to upgrade or downgrade smoothly.
What’s the sending volume
Depending on the type of your website, you can send from a few dozens to a few hundred thousand push notifications. Choose a service that lets you add a number of subscribers that matches your business needs and allows for growth without making a hole in your marketing budget. For example, with OneSignal you can send push notifications to 10,000 subscribers for $39 a month, while Gravitec lets you have unlimited users.
Does the pricing work for you
Of course, there’s no right or wrong pricing politics, when it comes to services, as different businesses have different requirements and budgets. However, push notifications are just a marketing tactic, not your whole marketing strategy, so you don’t want it to eat up your marketing budget. Choose the service that allows custom plans, has unlimited subscribers and push notifications amounts, and offers all the features you need.
Geofencing can be particularly useful to target customers in a specific area. It works only if a customer enabled location-sharing, but it is able to create an omnichannel experience. For example, if you have an online and a brick-and-mortar store, you might want to send coupons once customers are nearby. It will create a smooth experience for your customers and drive more sales. You can send push notifications to notify about happy hour, pop-ups, or today’s specials.
For a successful marketing campaign, you need to realize what’s working and what needs changing. Decide on a service that lets you test different campaign ideas on real users and then compare metrics such as open click rate, time spent on a page, and conversion rate. You can test various variables:
- personalization — see whether your customers care about personalization, or go beyond including a name, adding the information about their last interaction with your service.
- copy — test whether your audience likes emojis, short or long sentences, puns or no puns, etc.
- images — see if your subscribers respond better to images or GIFs, or maybe no images at all.
With testing, you’ll employ only techniques that get responses from your audience to get higher conversions and create an effective communication strategy.
Automation and scheduling
Automation lets you deliver push notifications right when you want them delivered, for example, once you publish new content or once a new user subscribes. The must-have campaigns include:
- drip campaign — it’s a great campaign for onboarding or re-engaging users.
- abandoned cart campaign — it will let you add a series of notifications to be delivered to people who abandoned their cart. The sequence usually includes a reminder, and then a discount encouraging people to finish their purchase.
- trigger campaign — it will be activated once users perform a specific action, for example, download a PDF or watch a webinar.
Scheduling allows you to plan your campaigns so that you don’t have to send all the messages in real-time. This feature can be useful to optimize time and, especially if you target an audience from a different time zone.
Segmentation and personalization
People expect personalization these days, so you can’t get great results if you send the same notification to all your subscribers. Choose a push service that will let you group subscribers based on their preferences, actions, or demographics. With segmentation, you can personalize your message for specific segments, such as your inactive users, users from Italy, or users who reached a level 10 in your discount program. Target specific segments and encourage them to complete the desired actions.
Adding images to push notifications can raise your CTR, so why not add more than one. Some services let you create a push carousel, much like you’ll find on Instagram. Combined with action buttons, this feature can create an interactive experience for your users.
Just like any technology, push notifications are always evolving. You want to pick a service that stays on top of changes, whether it’s GDPR compliance updates or IOS notification changes. This way you won’t have to go through documentation yourself to stay compliant and on-trend with the updates.
To figure out what’s working you need to see the push service’s analytics, as it’ll help you refine your campaigns.
Here are some metrics you might want to track:
- messages delivered
- number of users who engaged with your message
Using the analytics feature you’ll be able to make your campaigns more relevant and engaging for your users.
How to migrate to a new push service (on Gravitec’s example)
If you already use a push service but decide to migrate from a push service, like, for example, OneSignal, and switch to the one that matches your needs, you can migrate your subscribers to a new push provider in just a few steps. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll take one service and show you how to migrate to Gravitec.
1. Open your HTML code.
2. Look for the script, usually, services recommend pasting it right before the closing <head> tag. You can also use search as it contains the name of the service.
3. Delete the script.
4. To migrate to a new service, you’ll need to add a piece of script into the same </head> tag.
5. Verify the connection and subscribe to notifications.
That’s it. Your subscribers will need to visit your website at least once to be moved to the new provider in the background. This way you can make sure you only have relevant subscribers. All the new subscribers will be added to the new service automatically.
There are many push notification services on a market, however, they offer different features and are suitable for business owners with various budgets and access to tech specialists. Whether you’re building something yourself or have a tech team, you can start using a push notifications service to re-engage your customers. Here’s what to consider before taking a final pick:
- Check if it’s easy to implement.
- Try the service for free.
- Make sure it fits your sending needs.
- Check the pricing.
- Check for geofencing.
- Test the results.
- Automate and schedule notifications.
- Segment and personalize your messages.
- Add push stories.
- Check for regular updates.
- See if it has analytics in place.
If you already have a push service but found the one that matches your needs even better, you can always migrate to a new push provider.