Not all engagement is good. Marcin Kasz hit the nail on the head when he explained, “beacons are useless…when leveraged improperly.” Sending bad notifications or at the wrong time can actually be much worse than not sending any message at all. That’s why understanding push notification best practices is vital to success.
It’s easy to assume you understand what your users want, but, without proper analysis, these assumed wants are often entirely wrong. Customers don’t want a bunch of deals—they want the right deals, and they want them at the right time. Here’s our 4 favorite beacon push notification best practices.
Push notification best practices #1: Deliver useful information
Buyers don’t want to be told how great a deal is; they want to see it for themselves. They want to access information for themselves and feel confident that it is true. Instead of fighting the shift, try giving users what they want.
It’s not shocking when a customer whips out a smartphone and begins comparing prices. In fact, JD Power’s 2014 New Autoshopper study found that, of customers using their phone at an automotive dealership, 42% simply looked up basic model information. That means customers looked up completely basic information. This development points to one of the most important aspects of modern retail: transparency.
Shoppers crave transparency
Up to 90% of shoppers use their mobile devices in stores, and 54% use those devices to perform price comparisons. Sharing real, solid information with customers will generate more purchases in the long run by creating a sense of transparency. Businesses should aim to send more than just specs and deals. They should consider including impartial reviews or ratings to help the customer on their journey and perhaps even offer further information that would enhance the product. Instead of just sending a deal for a particular food product, an app could suggest relevant recipes. Add value.
Push notification best practices #2: Targeted messaging
Product pyramids and banners simply cannot compete with the smartphone. Retailers must add not just more digital components to their campaigns, but smarter components. Businesses must understand what the customer wants, make it readily accessible and carefully tailored. Using digital content and more specific proximity information, retailers can send promotions to customers that fit their in-store behavior and position.
Beacons can employ and generate data like nothing else—why not use it? Put this push notification best practice in play by addressing your customers at the right and in the right place.
This means two things: better segmenting and a better CTA. Proximity and previously assembled data should be used to better address customers and give them an offer they don’t want to refuse (because they love it and the product is right in front of them!).
Beacons engage London commuters
For example, Proxama used beacons to talk to passengers on London buses. They delivered valuable updates and promos at the most valuable moment. In the end, Proxama found beacon-based real-time travel update notifications received a 44% click-through rate.
Use data to know your customer, and use beacons to talk to them at the moment it matters most.
Push notification best practices #3: Craft creative promotions
There are countless ways to interact with customers. Offer advice. Bring relevant information. Share awesome discounts. But not all messages are going to excite users. Would you get excited about these messages?
- Hello [insert name here] welcome back. Now buy this product!!
- Hey there, we are trying to sell more smartphones, and you should buy some!
- Hello female! We have some female items on sale today!
The problem with many campaigns is, simply, lack of creativity. Basic campaigns to blast users with push messages and sales pitches can have returns. But being smarter will have better returns.
How House of Blue Jeans got creative
House of Blue Jeans, now rather famously, used beacons to make fitting room mirrors smarter. They didn’t just offer ads or promos, but the chance to find relevant items or even take and share photos. Not surprisingly, they found customer’s try 90% more product items on the Interactive Mirror than inside the traditional fitting room.
With the IoT and beacon technology, it’s vital to understand the possible KPIs. Don’t just use beacons to direct users to one product. Use them to create several options that branch in different directions. The push message may lead to obvious, directly related products. It may lead to other services, focus on collecting data or finding long-term returns by simply offering pure value to the customer.
Push notification best practices #4: Face your darkest metrics
Have terrible opt-in rates? Can’t keep customers coming back? It’s tempting to blame the system or give up, but analyzing and tweaking your app and system is a hassle you’ll have to face. You need to be positive your app works the way users want and that you’re using it as part of a truly omnichannel campaign. Don’t just branch in all directions and hope a sleek mobile app will magically work.
Focus on great UI, intuitive systems, and content that works for your customers. Finally, respect the opt-out. Some customers will want to get out of your system, and they should be able to do so with ease instead of jumping through hoops and asking twice.
If you respect your user and analyze your best and worst metrics, you’ll find the sweet spot to keep customers engaged.