Today mobile apps are an essential part of any business and push notifications have become a standard channel of communication between the marketer and users. While this thought holds true, it is one of the most widely misused marketing channels as well (even though email tops the chart).
I see a lot of apps sending notifications on a daily basis, be it ecommerce, travel, entertainment or dating. Also some choose to set the notifications to come up as priority notifications, while some select a notification tone which corresponds to their branding. While the goal in almost all the cases is to somehow get the attention of the user, it’s not a pleasant experience; not always.
In recent times you might have noticed a lot of hype about facebook using chrome notifications for their mobile website; the primary reason behind it might be user engagement even for mobile web users of Facebook, but it showcases how powerful push notifications can be and its importance.
Why use push notifications?
The idea is to communicate with your users and encourage them to use your product, it is also about maintaining a communication channel with your consumers.
While the so-called Micro-Moments are really relevant; engaging with your consumers on a regular basis helps create a brand image and also remind them of the app’s presence on their smartphones. This makes it more crucial for marketers to do it right always and in a consistent way.
Like it said,
With Great Power comes Great Responsibility
This holds true even for push notifications.
Let’s talk about a normal consumer. A normal consumer with a travel app on their phone; might not book a flight or a hotel every day, while some other consumer might be interested only in hotel offers, whereas a frequent flyer might want to be informed about every single offer be it hotel or flight.
From the very looks of this example, you get to understand that you need to segment your users when you reach out to them. You can also choose to ask your consumer what they might be interested in from time to time and send relevant information.
Well again daily use products might want to engage with users on a regular basis but at the same time, your users might not be very happy about the same.
As of now, nearly 85% of the users on android don’t know how to disable notifications for Android, while marketers are enjoying the same, I doubt how long this can be exploited.
You have to be relevant to your consumers’ need. Not everyone is interested in all the products/services you have to offer. All users are not same.
Don’t just spam your users on every possible channel rather take their preference as to how they want you to communicate with them. Use appropriate communication channels for each user.
Your app notification redirection has to be fast and appropriate. It has to be frictionless. It should take the minimum number of steps the user.
Of online consumers, 69% agree that quality, timing and relevance of a company’s messages influences their perception of a brand 
If you were to send the same message and content to all your users, irrespective of their app usage, the metric that you might derive at the end of the marketing campaign might leave you clueless. Whereas if you segment your users well, the insights you find will help you understand your users better.
For example, Sending a notification for Offers on iPhone accessories to a user who uses a Samsung device; will that actually derive the value to your ongoing SALE?
Not every consumer prefers push notifications. Some even get irritated with your notification tone. You still send notifications to these users, whereas they might get eventually pestered and uninstall your app. A better approach would be prompt them for their preferences and then act accordingly.
You cannot just send push notifications at every hour of the day. You might also have users across timezones. You need to account for all these factors when selecting when to send the notification. Do A/B testing to find an optimal time and then select one.
Set expiry to your push notifications if possible, so that messages which were not delivered since the user was offline are not actually delivered to the user when they come online.
If you are a marketer or a developer you might have heard this word a lot these days (if not, then you seriously need to read this). It’s no mumbo-jumbo. It simply means appropriate navigation/content for the relevant action.
For example, you want your users to update the app and send a notification relevant to that to only the users who are on a specific version. The intended action of this notification should be taking them to play store to actually update the app.
Another key point would be personalizing the message or the content for every individual user. By personalization I don’t just mean using their names, even the content of the message, the coupon code can be personalized.
For example, you would want to avoid cart abandonment but adding what is in their cart in the message itself might be the right thing to do; because the user might not remember at that very moment what was the pending item in the cart.
Using the Segmentation, personalization, and deep links together in accordance with user preference creates a strong mobile marketing tool.
A successful push-based marketing will be that which meets the consumer’s needs, respects the user’s preference and serves relevant content.
 Google/Ipsos, “Consumers in the Micro-Moment,” March 2015.