Optimize Your Web Push Notification Messages for Better Results

Nov 7, 2018 10:56:00 AM / by Pushly Content Writer

Personalization is the key to successful engagement with web push notifications. Making your personalized messages both well-timed and relevant, keeps users both engaged and loyally subscribed. In this article you'll learn what users really want in terms of the type of messages they want to receive, what types of messages to send and when to send them.

What users really want

Your users don't want to be "sold to" although they are quite eager to buy with the right enticement. Mostly, your subscribers are looking for helpful, personalized messages that communicate you understand their wants and needs.

Your users wouldn't have subscribed unless they had an interest in your products or services. Return the favor by showing an interest in them. Create a personal connection with them, help them with their problems, and they'll be more than willing to pay for your products or services that help enhance their lives.



Top messages users want to receive most

A survey by Localytics research now found users were most open to receive the following three types of messages in push notifications:

  1. Special offers based on their preferences
  2. Breaking news alerts
  3. New content personalized to their preferences
  4. Special offers based on their location


Other web push notifications messages users want most

  • Messages of encouragement
  • Messages that help make their life easier or better
  • Helpful and appropriate messages based on their current location
  • Alerts that matter, such as: Alerts or events that directly affect them, alerts based on their current geolocation, Important breaking news, etc.
  • Messages that keep them updated when it's important, such as: "Your order is almost ready", "your order has shipped", "your subscription is about to expire", etc.
  • Messages that help them continue where they left off, such as: "Your profile (or membership) is incomplete, only two more steps", "you left items in your shopping cart", etc.
  • Discounts, deals, coupons, offers based on their preferences (things they want to buy – not things you want to "sell" them)
  • Rewards that have real value (are considered valuable to the user – not always or necessarily money or discounts)

Perfecting the art of the gentle nudge

While your first aim is to be as helpful as possible to your subscribers, ultimately – you have to sell products or services to remain in business. That said, it's a fine line to walk when it comes time to ask your subscribers to buy. Ask too often, and you become a pushy, sales-y annoyance. The best approach is to use your web push notifications to gently nudge your customers towards a purchase, done at the perfect time.


4 most common ways of nudging customers

When sending web push notifications, the following four actions are the most effective at driving customers towards making purchases:

  • Free downloads or free items
  • Discounts, coupons and sales
  • Limited-time offers
  • Other enticements (as related to your products or services; or non-related offers such as movie, concert, or amusement park tickets, etc.)


Examples of good timing with your web push notifications:

  • When a user has abandoned an item in their shopping cart.
  • When a user has made repeated visits to a specific product page.
  • After a user has downloaded a free item related to a specific product or group of products.
  • Offer a discount on accessories necessary for a specific product a customer has purchased.
  • Offer a discount to a customer who makes repeat purchases of a specific product and overdue or has declined in activity.


Download the Web Push Guide PDF

Keys for creating your message content

We've already discussed what type of messages your subscribers most like to receive. With that knowledge, the next important step is crafting your content in a way offers your subscribers personalized help, but also engages them enough to nudge them towards making those purchases that are vital for your business.


5 rules for "making" your content

  • Make it brief
  • Make it relevant
  • Make it direct, clear and concise
  • Make it enticing
  • Make a call-to-action


Making it brief:

Most push notification platforms only allow 120 characters maximum, and some will vary up or down. So you need to think in a shorter-than-twitter mindset when it comes to scribing your messages. The good news is… this brevity actually works to your advantage. People are more likely to read these brief messages that they can digest in a glance. These short messages also force you to get right to the point, and that also works in your favor.


Making it relevant:

Personalization is key when it comes to sending web push notifications. People don't want to be bothered with something that doesn't relate to them. The more you can personalize the message, the more your subscriber is likely to view it as helpful. Sending messages about things people aren't interested in is the quickest way to have them unsubscribe.


Making it direct, clear and concise:

The fact that you are limited in the amount of characters you can use in your message, means that you have little space to get your point across. Not only do you need to sum up your message in few words, but you need to make sure that brevity has not forced you into leaving details out that make the message confusing or vague.

It's a good practice to ask 2 or 3 other people to read your message before publishing it, to confirm that it will be clear to everyone. Use clear language that everyone is likely to understand. Avoid jargon on unless you know your audience is familiar with it and/or expects it.


Making it enticing:

Your next challenge is to take your brief and direct message and also make it entertaining, memorable and enticing. First, never lose sight of the fact that the message must also be relevant to who you are sending it to. If the message is aimed at a particular product, amp up the excitement about how that product will make the subscriber feel. People don't buy features, they buy benefits. Play up the joy, excitement and experience of owning the product, rather than technical details.

Catchy phrases or jokes can also capture your subscriber's attention. Just don't get caught up in making jokes only for humor's sake. Your priority is always making sure that your message is personalized in some way to the user.



Making a call-to-action

If the purpose of your message is to make your subscriber do something, then your message also needs to include a call-to-action to drive your user to either: click the link included in your message and go somewhere, call a telephone number, share on Facebook, or whatever it may be.

If you don't ask, you don't get. The key is a gentle nudge to get your subscriber to do something, while at the same time, not coming off as "pushy." If you have succeeded in the above step of making your message enticing, your subscriber will be quite eager to engage in your desired action.


  • Optimize your web push notifications by crafting personalized messages that are relevant and well-timed. These will produce better results for your marketing, while decreasing your opt-out rates.
  • The key to optimizing your messages is to understand what your users want and why they subscribed to you in the first place.
  • The top 3 web push notification messages users want to receive are: Special offers based on their preferences; breaking news alerts (or updates); and tied at third are new content personalized to their preferences and special offers based on their location.
  • Other types of messages users strongly prefer are: Messages that offer encouragement, solve their problems and make life easier, alerts that matter, keep them updated, help them continue where they left off, discounts, deals, coupons, offers based on their preferences and rewards that have real value to them.
  • Use caution not to over-message or over-hype sales, but rather gently nudge your subscribers toward purchases by first helping them by answering questions and solving their problems for free.
  • The four most effective ways of managing your customers towards making a purchase is by offering: Free downloads or free items; discounts, coupons and sales; limited-time offer; other offers related to your products or services, or non-related offers such as movie tickets or other such enticements.
  • How you craft your messages is crucial, and the five rules for creating your content are: Make it brief; make it relevant; make it direct, clear and concise; make it enticing; make a call to action.


What Pushly can do for you

You've just read about how to get better marketing results by giving your users what they want. Pushly can help you succeed by giving you the tools you need to take your marketing to the next level. Pushly has the tools you need to put marketing strategies such as those we've just covered into action.


Let Pushly help you get started using web push notifications as part of your marketing plan. Contact us and a member of our team will reach out to you and help get you well on your way to connecting with your audience on an entirely different level.

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Topics: Marketing, web push notification