Marketing / Digital Marketing

How to write push notifications that increase conversions

Laura Dolan

Nov 22, 2019 · 6 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

how to write push notifications

If you own a smartphone, you definitely know what push notifications are. They’re those pop-up alerts on your lock screen that you get depending on which apps you have push notifications set up for.

Some are more informative than others. For instance, if you have CNN’s app loaded on your phone, you’ll receive notifications any time there’s breaking news. If you’ve signed up to receive special offers from Red Lobster, it’ll send you a notification letting you know when its Endless Shrimp specials are going on. Have an app for RetailMeNot? Be on the lookout for some awesome savings.

Push notifications are the perfect calls-to-action (CTA) that grab the attention of your audience whether they’re currently looking at their phone, or playing catch-up when they finally get around to scrolling through their alerts.

But have you ever thought about what goes in to writing the best push notification copy? The content has to be original, fresh, and compelling. Here are some ways to ensure you receive the greatest amount of opens and conversions on your push notifications.

Make ‘em laugh

Sending a push notification that’s intended to be humorous should also follow the protocol that’s associated with comedy: timing. Knowing just what to say and when to say it requires skill.

Take CNN’s MONEYSTREAM app, for example. Its way of pushing a link to a news story is appealing to the increasingly antisocial way we’re wanting to receive our food orders sans having to interact with a human, or leave a tip. It’s direct and doesn’t give too much away up-front so it merely piques the curiosity of the readers, compelling them to click the link to your story and increasing your site’s traffic.

Send app updates

Most of the time, app updates are available through your smartphone’s app store and you will see which ones are due for updates only when you open it. However, some apps will give you a heads up that a new version is available and what the benefits are so you know what to expect before you update. If it’s a shopping app, be transparent about the company’s latest improvements, offers and discounts. This will encourage your audience to open your app after the update is complete to explore what’s new.

Make lives easier

The idea behind apps is to create convenience. Amazon is a great example of that. Instead of wondering what the status of your order is or when your package will be delivered, Amazon sends you push notifications along the way divulging the status of your package from the time it’s shipped to the time it’s delivered. The push notification below is not only informative, but Amazon had some fun integrating some Star Wars humor into the mix, reflecting not only the status of their order, but what their item actually was in the instance that multiple items were purchased at once. Creating this kind of dependability definitely creates repeat customers, as they know they can rely on your business to keep them informed.

Send reminders

If you run a business where your customers use your app to shop, push notifications are a great way to tell them about certain items they have looked at that have gone on sale. Moreover, if your customers have abandoned their shopping cart for whatever reason, a push notification is the perfect friendly reminder that they still haven’t completed their order. And to sweeten the deal, give them a no-strings-attached discount or waive their delivery fee. Create a sense of urgency that will incentivize them to go back and make their purchase and possibly buy more items while they’re in there.

Location, location, location

GPS is your friend. You can send push notifications to customers who are in the vicinity of your business with geolocation trackers in your app. If your customers have their geolocation settings active and don’t mind being “followed” by local businesses encouraging them to come shop or eat, this is a great way to drum up sales. You can merely suggest that they take a break from their errands and come check out the latest promotion you have going on. It also doesn’t hurt to throw a quick review on there.

Travel add-ons

If you run a travel business or agency, push notifications are a great opportunity to remind travelers what else they would need before their trip. Flight booked? Great. Do you need a hotel? How about a rental car? Will you be needing travel insurance? If you have contracts with different hotels or rental car companies that will give you a kickback for referring customers, there’s no better way than to send a friendly notification reminding them they can just go back to where they booked their trip and get everything else they need taken care of in 1 place.

Events and holidays

Writing push notification copy is the easiest when it revolves around certain holidays and events throughout the year. You can create certain themes around what will prompt your customers to come into your store or visit your website. Encourage them to take advantage of sales for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.

Appeal to the procrastinators in your audience by providing the convenient option of buying something online at the last minute and still being able to come in and pick it up before closing, putting it on layaway so to speak. You’d be surprised how effective this can be on last-minute shoppers.

There’s no limit as to what you can do with push notifications. They appeal to an audience that wants to be constantly stimulated and informed. Providing the audience with convenient info right at their fingertips, literally, enhances your business’ opportunity to increase conversions and put you in a comfortable spot.


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