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How your B2B firm can harness the power of push notifications

Last updated on February 23rd, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Mobile marketing is increasingly becoming an important aspect of any company’s overall marketing strategy. Most people are now checking their phones more than their computers in a given day. This is why companies are making their websites mobile responsive, upping their email marketing game to better suit the needs of mobile users. Another feature is also gaining favour: Push notifications are moving from the back to the front burner for many B2B businesses looking to harness the ubiquity of mobile.

Push notifications are the pop up messages or reminders via mobile apps. Push notifications can include reminders from fitness tracking apps, weekly planners, or even apps that can remind you a special sale is going on. Netflix, 1800Flowers, Poshmark, Circa and many others consistently and successfully use push notifications to directly engage with their target audience for more revenue, better customer retention, and consistent brand loyalty. But, there is definitely a balancing act when it comes to the right kind of messaging in push notifications.

According to KISSmetrics, a company well known for their marketing analytics dashboard, half of mobile users are spending the most time in native apps compared to mobile websites and social. A prime opportunity is ripe for businesses to be front and center with their target audience through push notifications.

But there are a few things to keep in mind with a mobile user and utilizing push notifications.

  • Like with any research for a new marketing initiative, a business will need to gather data. In this case, user engagement states, behaviors, and response data are all crucial in terms of mobile. What makes a mobile user click compared to a web user?
  • The message of the push notification needs to be user-centric, according to KISSmetrics. Put the user in the focus of the message to make them feel like they are actually being directly talked to instead of sending out a inhuman, “corporate” sounding push notification.
  • In that same vein, make the push notification feel personal to that target audience. The fashion app Poshmark will use trendy slang in their push notifications while 1800Flowers will be catering to a different audience.
  • Consistently test and tweak everything. According to data collected by KISSmetrics, the best time for push notifications tend to be at noon, a block between 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and again at 10 p.m.. But also test different messages and incentives as well.
  • Increase the personalization to prevent user churn. A new user shouldn’t be inundated with push notifications immediately and the message should change throughout the lifecycle when the user has become better acquainted with the app’s use and brand voice.

KISSmetrics discovered there are four types of users when it comes to push notifications: new, engaged, passerby, and dormant. All of them need different levels and types of messaging. New users can become engaged users with the right or even wrong type of notifications and frequency but each have their own goals that the business needs to outline in their own efforts.

  • New Users: gather information and inspire them to engage with the app. This is similar to new users on web landing pages when it comes to defining a target market or expanding reach with new leads.
  • Engaged Users: incentivize mobile conversions with sales, promotions, or free content. The user is already interested at this point but needs an extra push to become a loyal customer.
  • Passerby Users: re-introduce the value proposition of the app. The app is only used occasionally and this is a perfect opportunity to have the user fall back in love with it.
  • Dormant Users: inspire re-engagement with users that have seemed to stop using the app or ignore messages. This one can be tricky and will need trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t to bring back the user.

Push notifications and the data behind it also need to record any “user churn” that might be produced. Businesses need to be aware of the messaging they create and how it might make some users completely uninstall the app. While this is inevitable for any app, a company can lower the user churn by making push notification messaging a step-by-step process and then fine-tune it based on user experience.

Mobile usage is only going to continue to rise, both with apps and mobile commerce, and a B2B needs to be prepared with the latest ways to engage with their customers and potential audiences.

The full webinar KISSmetrics created on push notifications can be viewed online.


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Stephanie Medeiros
Stephanie Medeiros
Stephanie is currently a marketing manager and freelance writer specializing in technology trends, start-ups, and new business strategies that converge at creativity and technology.


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