Push Notifications vs. Email: What’s better for reaching customers?

SMS join customer loyalty

Your customers are smartphone users. What’s the best way to reach them on their phones? While email is increasingly opened up on mobile devices, and brands can communicate via text, it’s push notifications that drive the most engagement.

Merchants leverage technology to communicate with their customers in myriad ways — email, text, and social media are typical approaches for a digital-savvy marketer. However, as consumers become desensitized to brand outreach, there’s one method that continues to cut through the noise and drive transactions and engagement: push notifications. Sending relevant push notifications is a great way to drive engagement and delight with your customers. Read on to learn exactly how to use this highly lucrative communication channel.

Push Notifications — The Most Direct Form of Customer Communication

When consumers download your app, you’re given the opportunity to speak with them in a way that’s both direct and delightful: the almighty Push Notification!

Push notification

Rather than fighting for email inbox visibility, delight your customers with personalized, timely push notifications on their mobile phones. Marketers are

Not all push notifications are created equal. We took a look at 17 different types of push notifications. Examples include:

  • Transaction-triggered: a push notification sent to a customer immediately after s/he makes a purchase
  • Special offers: a push notification sent to customers with a special deal or promotion
  • Surveys: a push notification sent to customers asking them to provide feedback

The findings? Push notification open rates range between 47-80%.

Why are push notifications better than email? 

Industry standard email open rates hover anywhere between 20-25%, and are only decreasing. Brands continue to flood consumers’ inboxes with promotional, impersonal messages (“STOP BY TODAY! BUY THIS THING!”), and consumers are responding by filtering out the noise. That having been said, consumers still respond well to personalization: From Evergage:

  • 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience [Forrester]
  • Over 78% of consumers will only engage offers if they have been personalized to their previous engagements with the brand [Marketo]

Unsurprisingly, push notifications that convey information that’s relevant to consumers (purchase info, reward progress, personalized messages) are actually welcomed and appreciated by customers — they feel helpful, rather than invasive.

Here are the top three performing push notifications in our study – all registered an open rate ~80%:

  • Reward Notification: Thanx! You just saved $10 at <brand>! It’ll show up on your credit card statement in about two days.
  • VIP Notification: You’re a <brand> VIP! Open up Thanx to watch your card turn GOLD!
  • Relevant Reminder: You have a reward waiting for you at <brand>! Do you want to use it now?

What’s the common thread between all of these push notifications? Relevance. All of the above share the advantages of being timely, targeted, and helpful. To be successful, especially marketing to millennials or using mobile marketing, it’s crucial to convey information that’s useful to the consumer.

Consumers don’t want to be “marketed to.” They want to be communicated with. Authentic communication drives relationships, and those relationships could very well turn into long-term brand loyalty.

So… how should I start sending push notifications?

Push notifications are available to brands who have apps on their customers’ phones. At Thanx, our customers send push notifications to their customers automatically, using transaction data as well as personalization information. The messages are set up from within your Thanx dashboard, and get sent to customers at key moments:

-when they transact with you (tied to credit card activity)

-when they’re getting close to earning a reward

-when they’ve earned a reward or achieved VIP status (cha-ching!)

-when you create a special offer or deal (*available using Thanx’s broadcast feature)

Want to start sending your customers highly targeted, delightful push notifications? Schedule time to talk with us today:

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