Creative Push Notifications You’ll Want to Steal for Yourself
Mobile push notification are ubiquitous today but most mobile marketing teams don’t use them to their full potential, and sometimes they even turn off their users. So, based on their internal research, Momchil Kyurkchiev, Co-founder & CEO at Leanplum shares the best mobile push notifications from this past year
The average push notification open rate for iOS’s is 1.77 percent. On Android, it’s 3.48 percent.
With open rates so low, it’s crucial that mobile marketers reach their users with content that’s personalized and creative. The best app marketing teams draw from these strengths to fit engaging content into the limited space of a notification window.
Here are seven of my favorite creative push notifications from recent months, both from personal experience and around the web. No matter the app vertical, there’s always a way to write content that captures attention, while offering an enjoyable experience.
Best practices to steal for yourself: interactive content, behavioral trigger, emojis
Swarm’s messages consistently exhibit many of the push notification best practices.
This is an example of a behavioral trigger. The push notification was triggered when a friend checked into a new location nearby. The message bolds the user and venue names for easy reading.
The bread emoji before the restaurant name is also a creative touch, as Dinosaurs is a Vietnamese sandwich shop in San Francisco. Swarm uses unique emoji for each category of venue in their database, allowing them to add visual appeal to their notifications. Even better: in a recent study, emojis were found to increase push notification opens by 85 percent.
This message also doubles as an interactive push notification, so users can like the check-in or leave a comment without launching the app. This usability feature reduces friction by giving recipients a reason to remain opted in to push notifications.
Best practices to steal for yourself: location personalization, user preferences
Sunshine is a weather app that sends personalized forecasts based on user preferences.
In this example, the message says that “you’ll feel cold today,” but for another user, it might read something like “it’s mild outside today.” By telling the app when you feel too warm or too cold, you’ll receive customized forecasts that predict how the weather will affect you personally.
This feature is a key differentiator for Sunshine’s weather app, and the company has clearly invested time into content that fits user’s personalized data. By combining a location-specific forecast with user-specific names and preferences, the message comes across as personal and genuine.
Best practices to steal for yourself: timely content, personalization, emojis
Topman, a shopping app, found a way to include personalization and emojis into messages about timely new releases.
Whenever shopping apps release new lines of clothing, they need to alert users to come back to the app and explore. By adding the user’s first name, and some emojis that perfectly fit the use case, they managed to send an attention-grabbing notification.
The creativity of this message effectively entertains the user and offers new styles. It’s a simple call-to-action that doesn’t come across as overly promotional.
Best practices to steal for yourself: emoji, humor
QuizUp, a mobile trivia game, created this ingenious re-engagement message.
Reactivation campaigns serve to remind users of an app’s value before they abandon or delete it. This is usually a good approach, but it can get repetitive.
Surely, this user remembers why they downloaded QuizUp. It’s a casual trivia game, not a marketplace or service. The person doesn’t need a discount to regain interest in the app — a gentle reminder might be enough.
But this push notification reminds the recipient about QuizUp in an original and comical way. In the process, the user may remember what they liked about the app and re-engage. This is more effective than stating the obvious in a standard, “Hey, we miss you! Come back,” reactivation message.
Best practice to steal for yourself: item personalization
This retail push notification from Amazon adds color to an otherwise mundane shipping notice. By customizing messages for popular items like the Star Wars movie, Amazon provokes a better response from fans of the franchise.
This strategy is effective because the message is essentially tailored to the user without depending on user data. We usually associate personalized messaging with user attributes such as name, location, and purchase history. But this is a great example on how to personalize messages without user attributes.
In this instance, the copy is personalized to the specific item rather than the recipient. By assuming that the recipient is a Star Wars fan, the message is essentially personalized to her as well. Amazon is leveraging a user preference that adds a charming, personalized touch to an otherwise ordinary message.
Best practice to steal for yourself: personalization
Every dating app is unique. Some match users by geographical radius, by interests, by the opposite (common areas of disinterest) and so on. Hinge matches people based on their networks. The app analyzes your social media friends, and suggests matches with whom you have friends in common — but you probably haven’t met yet.
For this campaign, Hinge sent a hyper-personalized push notification. The message takes into account:
- The user’s hometown
- The user’s current residence
- Their odds of connecting with someone else who fits this criteria
It was so creative that one of our employees called out its brilliance after receiving it. And what do you know — she went back into the app to check out her new connections.
7. Buzzfeed News
Best practices to steal for yourself: emojis, timely content
This update from Buzzfeed News is a great example of how news apps can optimize their content for push notifications.
News apps typically send messages that simply repeat an article’s headline. But the purpose of a push notification is different; it should only provide relevant updates with a click through option to read the entire message or news article.
While “clickbait” headlines work well on social media where the goal is to attract readers to your site, they make less sense as push notifications. People who’ve opted in to push have already committed to following your brand.
This example presents all the key information in a single message with Buzzfeed’s relaxed brand voice while adding an interesting piece of trivia alongside the news. The message suits the medium; it doesn’t feel like a re-purposed news headline, clickbait or otherwise.
Through these examples, it’s easy to see that personalization is the key to push notification success. Whether you’re personalizing the message’s timing, content, behavioral trigger, or anything else, you’re taking a step in the right direction.
Next time you’re short on push notification inspiration, let these examples spark your creativity. Whether your brand voice is comical or professional, there’s always room to add extra detail to your messaging blasts. It’s those little details that add up to a better user experience.
For a quick run-down of how mobile marketers can write better messages, see this step-by-step guide to the perfect mobile message. With enough data, you can craft creative push notifications in any app vertical.