Marketing Campaigns and Push Notification Templates for E-commerce Apps

By Pulkit Jain | 28 April 2020

As an e-commerce mobile marketer, you will find yourself asking questions like “What is the best time to send a particular notification?”, or “What kind of data do I need to track to send relevant messages?”, or even “What kind of notifications should I send to my users?”. In this article, I list down three marketing campaign ideas that you can consider adding to your existing workflow. I’ve also added 13 push notification templates that you can directly pick and use for your campaigns.

Though this article is ideal for e-commerce mobile marketers who have worked on platforms like MoEngage to create engagement campaigns and workflows, you can use the tips to apply it for food delivery and grocery shopping apps as well!

The three campaign ideas in this article are to help you increase user activation, convert cart abandons to purchases, and send follow-ups after an order has been placed. Let’s start with the first one:

Campaign and notification templates to increase user activation after mobile app install

  • Objective: To get a user to complete the signup process and make their first purchase on your app
  • Campaign duration: 7 days (1 week)
  • Trigger: App installation
  • User data you need to track: app launches, registrations/signups, products viewed, categories browsed, cart status, notification opt-outs
  • Preferred marketing channels: push notifications, email, SMS

Note: Every time a user meets the objective, they are immediately removed from this campaign.

15 minutes after app install

Our report on e-commerce app retention shows that users who complete a transaction within 24 hours of app installation are more likely to purchase again. These users also have a high probability of becoming your brand advocates.

If a user has completed the signup process but has not yet completed their first transaction in the first 15 minutes after installation, send them a push notification with a welcome offer. Note, if the user has opted out of push notifications, send a text message (SMS) or an email informing them of this welcome offer.

Upon clicking, take the user to your product section from where they can browse and complete their first purchase.

Tips:

  • You can personalize this offer by sending them a code that has a few characters of their name. For example, Alex can receive an offer code ‘ALEX20’ for a 20% discount on their first purchase.
  • By adding an expiry time on your custom offer code, you can create a sense of urgency in your users. For example, ALEX20 can be set to expire 24 hours after creation.
  • Use acquisition data to personalize your discount offers. For example, if a user has installed your mobile app after viewing an ad of shoes on Instagram, the discount should be offered on a selected collection of shoes.

You can use this template for your push notifications:

Welcome <first_name>! Use <personalized_code> on checkout to get <offer_amount> off. Hurry, offer ends in <expiry_time>. Shop now!
Push notification template to drive  first purchase

Push notification template to drive the first purchase

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24 hours (1 day) after app install

If a user has not completed the signup process 24 hours after installation, send them a push notification nudging them to create an account and register with you. If a user has disabled push notifications, send an email or a text message (SMS) instead.

Here are a few ways to convince your users to sign up:

  • Provide free shipping to users who have completed the registration process
  • Give the option to save a user’s shipping address and preferred mode of payment for an easier checkout if they create an account
  • Tell your users that they would be receiving discounts and offers for upcoming sales, and notifications for whenever a new collection is added to your e-commerce mobile app

Here is a preset template for your push notifications:

Hey <first_name>! Create an account and unlock free shipping for your first two orders. Sign up now!
automation workflow template to increase user signups

Push notification template to increase user signups

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If you have any trending products that are available for pre-order, and the user has browsed similar categories, you can send out notifications to new users within 24 hours. Pre-orders are a great way to increase sales, active users, brand affinity, and eventually retention. Sync up with your partnership teams to time these campaigns for maximum ROI.

48 hours (2 days) after app install

To all users who haven’t performed a transaction on your mobile app 48 hours after installing, send notifications informing them of your top trending products. It doesn’t matter if your users have signed up on your app, send these notifications to everyone.

Visual assets add flair to your notifications. More and more e-commerce brands have started sending rich media notifications (adding images and videos), and have observed a higher click-through rate (CTR) than text-only push notifications. Implementing these also gives you an edge over your competitors who aren’t doing it already.

You can directly use this push notification template:

Hey <first_name>, <product_name> is the new fad! Have you gotten yours yet? Order now!
Rich media push notification template to drive first purchase

Rich media push notification template to drive first purchase

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As your user and inventory list increases, manual recommendations get less and less feasible. This is a classic build v buy dilemma. You can either:

  • Invest resources in developing machine learning algorithms to drive product recommendations or
  • Use tools like MoEngage that can recommend relevant products automatically based on data

To get more info on this, you can check out our webinar on app retention where we spoke about this dilemma:

96 hours (4 days) after app install

Take the same segment of users you targeted 48 hours ago, remove the users who completed their first purchase, and send them another notification that showcases your top trending products. This is an opportunity to induce FOMO in your users – the desire to stay connected with what others are doing around them.

Leverage your users’ browsing behavior and customize your notifications accordingly. You can pick the latest browsed category or the first category that attracted the user in the first place for these notifications. Remember to run A/B tests (split tests) to prove your hypotheses.

Push notification template you can use for this:

Hey <first_name>, everyone has grabbed their <product_name>. Hurry and get yours before stocks run out!
Push notification template to induce FOMO in your users

Push notification template to induce FOMO in your users

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144 hours (6 days) after app install

Our report on e-commerce app retention shows that users who do not complete a transaction in the first week, have a very low retention rate. This means that this is your last opportunity to drive purchases from your mobile app users.

Identify users who haven’t completed their first purchase 6 days after installation, and send them a push notification offering them a discount. The discount can be offered by marketing it as a ‘first order discount’ or a ‘welcome bonus’.

Here is a template for the push notification you can use for this:

Hey <first_name>, get a flat 20% off on your first order. Hurry, offer expires in 24 hours!
Push notification template to drive first purchase in 7 days

Push notification template to drive first purchase in 7 days

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Campaign and notification templates to convert cart abandons to purchases

  • Objective: To get a user to complete a transaction on your app
  • Campaign duration: 4 days
  • Trigger: Item added to a cart
  • User data you need to track: App launches, products viewed, categories browsed, cart status, notification opt-outs
  • Preferred marketing channels: Push notifications, email, SMS

Note: Every time a user meets the objective, they are immediately removed from this campaign.

1 hour after an item is added to cart

When a user adds items to their cart, it denotes an intent to purchase. You need to capitalize on this before they change their mind. If a user has not completed a purchase one hour after adding an item to a cart, send them a reminder through a push notification.

As a general rule of thumb, you can give a higher priority to trigger-based campaigns than scheduled campaigns. This ensures that your communication is always relevant and focussed on high-intent users.

You can personalize this notification by adding the name of the user in the message.

Check this push notification template out:

Hey <first_name>, you left something behind. No need to worry – we've saved your cart for easy checkout.
Push notification template to convert cart abandons to purchases

Push notification template to convert cart abandons to purchases

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5 hours after an item is added to cart

If your earlier notification has not been delivered, use other communication channels to deliver your message. There can be several reasons behind an undelivered notification – maybe the user has opted out, or their device was not connected to the internet, or maybe a frequency cap was enabled on the campaign from your end.

Emails and text messages (SMS) are a great way to notify users about abandoned carts. Here are some interesting stats about cart abandoned emails from MooSend:

Statistics about cart abandon email

Statistics about cart abandon email (Source: Moosend)

24 hours (1 day) after an item is added to cart

Even after receiving the above notifications, if a user has not proceeded to purchase the items in their cart, send them another reminder 24 hours later.

This can be a price drop alert, where you offer a small discount to nudge your users to complete their purchase. You would ideally want to create a price buffer before you do this. This buffer will determine how much discount you can give without it causing a big hit to your revenue. A rule of thumb is to always have your cost of acquisition (CAC) lesser than a user’s lifetime value (LTV).

Use this push notification template for this:

Price drop alert: Hey <first_name>, there is a flat 15% off on <product> valid only for the next 12 hours, hurry!
Push notification template for price drop alerts

Push notification template for price drop alerts

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It is also a good idea to invest in social advertisements at this stage, particularly retargeting ads. Use the information you’ve collected (product name and category), to create image/video ads for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or the Google Display Network.

This advertisement will be shown to all users who have abandoned the particular product or category in their cart. Hence, it is a good idea to run social campaigns for products that are in high demand, or that have a high abandon rate.

96 hours (4 days) after an item is added to cart

The last reminder in this campaign is to be sent four days after a user has abandoned their cart. A good way to convert cart abandons into repeat purchases is by showcasing user reviews.

Deeplink the customer reviews to your notification, so when a user clicks on your message, they can directly check out the positive reviews for the product they’ve added to their cart. If there are multiple products, pick the one with the most positive reviews.

Here is a template you can use:

Hey <first_name>, users are raving about their <product>! Check out the reviews and get yours now!
Push notification template to use product reviews to drive purchases

Push notification template to use product reviews to drive purchases

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Campaign and notification templates to inform users about order status

All the notifications in this campaign will be trigger-based according to the live status of the shipment.

  • Objective: To get a user to complete a transaction on your app
  • Campaign duration: Depends on shipment status
  • Trigger: Purchase completed
  • User data you need to track: Product name, product category
  • Preferred marketing channels: Push notifications, email, SMS

Note, it is important to map the status of the order to a platform like MoEngage that you’re using to run your campaigns and communication channels. Without this, your notifications will be sent at the wrong time and can lead to an increase in customer support tickets.

Immediately after an order is successfully placed

As soon as a user places an order (in case of online payments it will be right after the payment is done), show an in-app message to confirm that the order is successfully placed. Also, make sure you send an email with the following information:

  • Order number or invoice number
  • Mode of payment
  • Order details – Product name(s) and quantity
  • Expected date of delivery
  • An option to talk to your customer support team

Since all of this information cannot fit into one text message or a push notification, you can use this template instead:

Hey <first_name>, your order is successfuly placed! View your order details here.
Push notification template for successful order placement

Push notification template for successful order placement

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When the user clicks on this and opens your app, you can show all the above information.

As soon as an order is shipped

Send an update as soon as the order is shipped from your warehouse by mentioning it is on its way. If you have live-tracking enabled, you can share the link with the user.

Use this template for your push notification:

Hey <first_name>, your order is shipped and is on its way! You can track the live status here.
Push notification template for when the order is shipped

Push notification template for when the order is shipped

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On the day of the delivery, hours before the order is delivered

At this point, it is a good experience for your users if you inform them the order is due to be delivered in a few hours. You can also give the option to your users to drop their delivery off with their neighbors if they aren’t available, or delay it by a few hours according to their convenience. It is also a good idea to send this via email – office goers are more likely to check their emails as well.

You can use this template for your notification:

Hey <first_name>, your order will be delivered today! Not at home? No worries, inform us here.
Push notification template for order delivery heads-up

Push notification template for order delivery heads-up

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On successful delivery

Make sure you send a push notification, an email, and a text SMS to inform the user that their order has been successfully delivered. Now is also the right time to ask for a review of your app on the app store listing. Also, do not forget to give an option for the user to contact you in case they haven’t received their order.

Here is a template you can directly use for your push notification:

Hey <first_name>, your order has been successfully delivered! Not received it? Let us know.
Push notification template for successful order delivery

Push notification template for successful order delivery

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On order cancellation

When a user cancels their order, it is important that you acknowledge it, and then ask them the reason behind the cancellation. You can do this via a survey form that you can send via emails, or you can create the survey inside your app, and drive users there via text messages (SMS ) and push notifications.

Users tend to be more responsive when you give them a list of reasons upfront instead of asking them to explain the reason behind the cancellation. Here are a few points you can add to your form:

  • Found a better offer elsewhere
  • Have no need for the product anymore
  • Wasn’t available to collect order during the time of delivery
  • Product was expected to be delivered sooner
  • Received bad reviews from a friend/family member
  • Ordered as a gift for someone else and they
  • Other (ask the user to explain this)

You can use this template for your push notification:

Hey <first_name>, your order has been canceled. Let us know where we went wrong by taking this short survey.
Push notification template for order cancelations

Push notification template for order cancelations

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You can also give some incentives for users to fill this survey – like maybe waiving off delivery fee for the next order.

Next steps

Make sure you bookmark this article to make it easier for you to refer to the ideas and templates here. Go back to your automation platform and see how you can implement these campaigns into your existing workflows. If you need any help with specific messages or templates, you can reach out to us here.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a disruption in many industries all over the world. What business impact has the coronavirus had on the online shopping industry? Know here.
  • Segmentation is the key to delivering relevant messages and a high ROI on your campaigns. Read segmentation tips here.
  • Want to drive repeat purchases from your existing customers? Here is a five-step guide.
  • Interested in exploring a data-driven approach to app retention? Check this out.

Do you want us to come up with more campaign ideas, workflows, and notification templates? Comment below and we’ll pick it up!

About the Author
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Pulkit Jain

Engineer • Marketer • Tech Geek • Movie & Comic nerd • Avid reader • Gamer • Cyberlibertarian | Driving growth through content at MoEngage

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