7 tips to write an effective push notification

In the noisy landscape of social media, internet browsing and text messages, writing an effective push notification that engages your audience is critical.

According to the Data & Marketing Association, 78 percent of customers will opt out of push notifications or uninstall an app if they don’t like the push notifications they are receiving. DailyStory is one of several platforms that offer the ability to send push notifications.

Below are seven tips on how to write effective push notifications that won’t turn your customers away.

Tip #1: Keep it short and to the point

You hear this a lot across many marketing channels: The shorter the better. But it’s fairly common sense when talking about push notifications. When was the last time you read (and engaged with) a long push notification?

In fact, for the highest conversion rates, you’ll want to craft a push notification that’s 24 characters or fewer.

Read through what you’ve written at least two times and tighten, tighten, tighten.

Tip #2: Don’t be scared … get creative!

Before you rush a push notification message, take a moment to jot down a few different approaches or angles to your message. Make sure the title is catchy, and that the body is crisp. Think about active power words and clear call to actions that a user can grasp from possibly just a glimpse of your message popping up on his or her phone.

Tip #3: Be clear about the value

You’re going to be tempted to share information for the sake of awareness, but resist as much as you can.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What’s the value of your notification to them? Would they be turned off by a more generalized message?

There should be a reason, an urgency, to your notification. Think about what you would like your users to do as well. What’s your call to action for them? Should they click on the notification? Why?

Get to the point of why you’re popping up on their phones, and take the opportunity to show them that they’re special. Maybe there’s an exclusive offer you can give them or special information (like behind-the-scenes photos of a relevant event).

Tip #4: Pump it up with more than just text

If you have access to rich push notifications, you can stand out from the crowd of push notifications popping up on the phones of your audience. Consider the possibility of including photos, GIFs, videos, etc. as part of your message. You also can play off of the attachment in the text itself, letting the image tell part of the story. Including an attention-grabbing image can improve a push notification response rate by 57 percent, according to Braze.

Emojis are another option to play with, which can help you reduce your character count and also help convey mood, emotion or theme.

However, be aware of the different devices and operating systems your users could be using. There’s always a chance that an image of any kind won’t work for some.

Tip #5: Emotions matter in your push notification

You’re not a robot, and neither are your app users. So, don’t be afraid to get a little emotional … whether it’s excitement, humor (just triple check that you’re actually funny), curiosity, any positive emotion will improve your user engagement.

Timing, wording and potentially your use of emojis can help convey the emotion you desire.

Tip #6: Ask questions

Questions. They’re a longtime go-to for any engagement-seeking writing, whether it’s on Facebook, email, you name it. But they have their place in the land of push notifications as well.

It’s because questions are a great way to start a conversation. They target our natural instinct to answer and hopefully are well-crafted enough to make a user pause to consider an answer and (even better) click on the notification to open your app to find out more.

Tip #7: Be a problem solver

The more useful your message can be, the better. You want to make the lives of your audience easier in some way. Think of how a calendar app reminds users of an upcoming appointment. What problem can you solve? What function can you serve for your users?

That’s the higher level. When digging into writing a message, you may actually want to get into the weeds of what problem your alert can solve. Think along the lines of: If this (problem), then that (solution).

No matter what approach you take, make sure to have someone take a second look before your push notification goes out. This may be more challenging in a small-scale operation (where everyone is likely wearing many hats), but can save you a lot of trouble down the road, where issues of spelling, readability and even whether something is funny (or offensive) can hurt your app’s credibility and spur the opposite response from your audience than you want.