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How to boost your E-Commerce sales with Push Notifications

E-mail is the only marketing channel you truly need.

That’s a bold statement to make, especially in a blog post on Push Notifications – but hear me out.

E-mail marketing has a mean ROI of 3,000%. It drives 23% of all corporate revenue (in the average business). It’s the single highest-paying channel of all and you can’t afford to ignore it.

But there’s a “but” – and it’s a big one.

The Problem with E-Mail marketing

Today’s users spend 5 hours using the mobile internet every day. That’s more than we spend using desktop internet – and 92% of that time is spent inside apps.

This is especially important if you’re in eCommerce, because users spend more time shopping via apps (10.9%) than browsing the entire internet outside apps[1].
In other words, apps are a huge deal, especially in the retail sector…

And e-mail – a channel perfect for driving direct sales – doesn’t naturally increase app usage, engagement and sales.
This is obviously problematic. Mobile apps are the present and future of online sales: if you can’t drive them effectively, your business will stagnate and eventually decline until you figure things out.

Moreover, the app marketplace is getting busier over time. Waiting to get your own and market it effectively means giving your competition a head start. The old adage, “early bird gets the worm”, rings true here: the faster you arrive on the scene, the more you stand to gain.

This is where Push Notification marketing comes in. It is the single best channel for marketing apps, delivering:

- An 88% boost to app engagement (on average)
- 2-6x improved app retention in the first 90 days
- Open rates for push messages are as high as 69.57% in some app categories

Looking at these stats, you can see how push notifications are to mobile what e-mail is to desktop marketing: a high-ROI, high-engagement channel that you can’t avoid to ignore. Moreover, the performance of mobile apps compared to desktop and mobile sites is much better in terms of conversion, retention and revenue. Which means push messages will have more effect on the sales of your business.

Unfortunately, many marketers still haven’t figured out how to use Push Notifications properly. Over 50% of app users find push notifications annoying, which tells you how big the knowledge gap is.

In this article, we’ll help you do better and stay ahead of the pack by giving you advanced, insider tips on effective Push Notification marketing. The first is…

1. Use powerful words in Push Notifications

There are hundreds of power words that improve (and decrease) conversions. This article lists 355+. This shorter lists segments power words by platform, e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc. But what works on these channels, may have a negative effect on other channels.

The problem is, some of these power words can actually ruin the effectiveness of a Push Notification. For example: the word “win” has a lowly 0.61% open rate, indicating some scepticism among users.

On the other hand, you’ve got non-power words and phrases that work like gangbusters. For example, “get your…” has an 11.02% open rate; nearly 20x higher than the above mentioned “win”.

This illustrates that your usual go-to copy formulas and phrases may be ineffective – and vice versa. This is why knowing what to say (and not say) in your Push Notifications is critical. Here are 3 simple tips for doing this effectively:

- Track the performance of your messages and campaigns
- Follow the competition
- Experiment

Another way to maximize your open rates is through…

2. Personalize Push Messages by Segment

You already know that personalization works for e-mails, where it increases open rates by 152%. What you may not know is that personalization also increases Push Notification conversions by a whopping 300% (!!!).

To take advantage of this effect, it’s important to divide your audience by segment and cohort. (Segments are defined by user behaviors, purchasing actions and demographic/psychographic data. Cohorts are defined by registration/purchase period.)

Remember how certain power phrases got open rates all the way up to 11.02%? Well, the average click-through rate for Push Messages personalized for behavioral and profile data was… drum roll… a whopping 30.6%.

This massive number shows why segments, cohorts and personalization arekey to effective Push Notification marketing. And if you want to go beyond even the 30% open rate we covered above, make sure to read (and combine) the above tip with the following one.

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3. Know When to Send Messages

Different weekdays and times of day have different open rates. For example, a study by Localytics found that simply moving a Push Notification from before 10 A.M. to 10A.M.-1P.M. can improve open rates by 66%.

But that’s not what’s interesting here.

The interesting thing is that as recently as 2014, afternoons (1P.M.-5P.M.) were the best time to send push messages. In the same time period, the best day for push messages went from Friday toThursday.

What this means is that the times and days best for this channel change all the time. Make sure to experiment often, keeping track of times that lead to the most conversions and leads. And when you do, keep the last tip in mind. It can make the difference between a winning or losing push-message campaign.

4. Send More Messages

Not long ago, over 50% of all consumers viewed push messages as an annoying distraction. This has caused marketers to use the channel less in an effort to avoid losing users. This is unfortunate, because the fact is that the number of push messages has grown by 64% since the start of 2015. Users are growing used to them and finding them less annoying, not vice versa.

This means that sending a lot of push messages in your campaigns is increasingly important. Otherwise, you risk getting drowned out in a chorus of your competitors’ messages – and that’s something you must avoid at all costs.

To avoid annoying users, make sure to use tips 1-3 when sending more messages. The more personalized and timely they are, and the better your copy, the higher your ROI.

And there you have it in a nutshell!

These 4 tips will help you increase user engagement with your app – and maximize the number of sales you’re making (if your niche is eCommerce). Needless to say, what works for some businesses might not work for your business. This means you should always analyse your data carefully.

The only question is, do you already have an app?

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