10 Aug, 2017

The Truth Behind Push Notifications and In-App Messaging


Using mobile apps have become a force of habit among smartphones users. Push notifications started out as a Blackberry tool to notify users of emails.

Smart businesses are integrating the mobile trend into operations by utilizing push notifications and in-app messaging.

“In 2016, users downloaded over 90 billion apps on the iOS App Store and Google Play, and they spent nearly 900 billion hours in apps.” TechCrunch reports. 

Push notifications is a feature that allows app owners to send direct customized messages to the consumer on the screen of their smartphone. In-app messages are similar to push notifications but instead of displaying the message on your home screen, the message is displayed in the app. CMO’s are using both of these tools to engage with their audience in an interactive and personalized way.

Before we look at best practice, let’s get one thing out of the way!

Customers do find push notifications and to a lesser extent, in-app messaging, annoying.

According to a survey done by Crazyegg, 52% of users find push notifications to be annoying so, they opt to turn them off.

When strategizing about the use of these mobile techniques, it is important to note this fact.

Now, Digital Diary will show you where to begin.

Push Notifications Or In-App Messages?

“Delivering the right message at the right time will encourage your app users to re-engage and use it — resulting in increased revenue and purchase frequency,” Vibes reports. 

Can’t decide which tactic? Here are the factors to consider to make your choice. The first being your customer.

Know your audience

Before sending any message to your audience, it is important to know who they are. There are several tools that enable you to research your consumer and how they use their phone and their apps. For example, GPS location services provide you vital information on where your consumer is and where they go. Start by asking yourselves a series of questions about your customer. As a minimum, here are the first three questions you should ask.

  • Are they frequent smart phone users?
  • Are they frequent app users?
  • Do they have push-notifications turned off?

What’s your end game?

Ask yourself what you hope to gain from using these tactics and how you are going to measure success.

Is the goal to drive more foot traffic to your store? Is the goal to increase web traffic? Is your goal to increase sales of the certain product?

Create unique content

Now that you know your goal and who you are talking to, you can create the right content to match the two together.

Here is a great example from Buzzfeed. This internet media company has taken the time to understand their younger audience, who appreciate a more fun interactive experience with brands they follow.

In this example, they are pushing the user to read the piece about the Cubs, so their goal is to push traffic to their page.

What a great example of creating unique content that takes into account the audience and the end goal of the business.

Timing is Everything

As stated above, some users find notifications to be annoying. So, take the time, to think about time. (Emphasis on the word time.)

A few golden rules for you:

  • Don’t send it when they’re asleep
  • Don’t send multiple messages at a time
  • Use location wisely

Cross-channel strategy wins

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Push notifications or in-app messaging should be used within a multi channel integrated marketing strategy.

What Are The Benefits Of Push Notifications and In-App Messaging?

Creates Unique Messages

One of the major benefits of these mobile marketing tactics is that you can tailor the message depending on the customer and the goal of your business.

Waze offers advertisers the ability to create unique messages based on the users’ location.

“To increase awareness of the new All Day Breakfast menu, McDonald’s created two ad units that were completely identical with the exception of one element, copy. Creative A read, “We’ve changed how you do breakfast,” while Creative B said, “When you want breakfast.” Using navigations and offer downloads as success metrics, Waze was able to attribute the better performance of Creative B to more concise copy. Continuing to test will teach McDonald’s how customers on-the-move prefer to receive and engage with their brand.” 

For more information about the Waze and Mcdonald’s case study, go to Waze.com.

Increases Conversion Rates

You can use push notifications to increase your conversion rate.

“Mobile push notifications can dramatically increase conversion rates, and According to Crazy Egg, those rates jump even further (from 2-3% to 6%) when the notifications are personalized,” Boomtrain reports. 

As per the example above, Mcdonalds used push notifications through the Waze app to sell All Day Breakfast.

Mcdonald’s used personalized creatives to increase their conversion rate.

The fact that Mcdonald’s is still a customer of Waze indicates that in-app messaging tactic worked.


The Millennium Alliance is pleased to announce that application for the Digital Marketing Transformation Assembly is now open, taking place on October 19-20, 2017 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT.

The rise of the mobile customer is changing the way marketing strategies are carried out. By integrating tools like push notifications, customer engagement is created in a unique, personalized way. As consumer behavior changes, CMO’s have no choice but to adapt to new tools in order to reach the desired audience. Finding new ways to market, and engage with a customer is crucial to the success of CMO’s.

The rise of apps and social media is proof that customers are receiving information in a mobile way, more than ever. This puts marketers in a position to shift their priorities to become mobile, putting an innovative foot forward into new strategies.

Join like minded professionals to discuss the latest marketing trends that effectively target customers and create an increased amount of customer engagement. Stay up to date with all the innovations that the marketing industry has adapted to by engaging in conversations with the leading business professionals in the marketing landscape.

The Digital Marketing Transformation Assembly will bring together North America’s most prominent digital marketing technology and business leaders from all major consumer-driven industries.

This is not just another “Digital Marketing” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. If you’re a CMO looking to stay one step ahead of the digital world, Apply for Millennium Membership today

Our agendas and attendee lists are for Millennium Members only. Apply today for access!

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