8 proven ways to spice up mobile app push notifications on Black Friday and beyond

Edwin Halim

Nov 25, 2019

8 proven ways to spice up mobile app push notifications on Black Friday and beyond Featured Image
Edwin Halim

Nov 25, 2019

The most anticipated shopping frenzy for almost every eCommerce retailerBlack Fridayhas arrived. As eCommerce retailers generate the highest proportion of their annual revenue during Black Friday, it is an unmissable opportunity to hit top marketing KPIs and maximize revenue from each and every visit. That’s why most retailers start preparations months before, running AB tests, creating segments and ideating creative campaigns. 

The continued prevalence of smartphone usage has incentivized retailers to invest in campaigns to both encourage new app downloads and the arguably trickier campaign initiative, to retain long term usage. And with footfall in brick-and-mortar stores continuing its downward trajectory, retailers are seeking ways to improve engagement on mobile apps. The impact of the rise of the mobile app is reflected in the numbers on Black Friday.

According to Retail Dive’s 2018 report, mobile transactions overtook desktop performance for the first time last year, with 68% of all traffic and 54% of all orders being placed on a smartphone. Another striking statistic by App Annie, the leading global provider of mobile market data, is that app usage skyrocketed and hit 2.2 billion hours during the 3 weeks of shopping – including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

So, if you are a shopping app marketer, make your app your marketing weapon and revenue machine this festive season. With the right strategies in place, app marketers can utilize huge opportunities – reengaging inactive users, converting non-paying users into buyers, and generating further revenue from existing loyal users.

Yes, that sounds lovely but how do we do it?

With the experience and know-how that we have gained, creating campaigns on our Mobile App Growth Platform with partners spanning numerous industries and top retailers, we have chosen our favourite proven mobile app strategies that you can use during the holiday shopping season.

Ready, set, go!

Table of Contents
  1. The Big R: Use Right Segment to Deliver the Right Message at the Right Time with the Right Technology

  2. 8 Proven Ways to Spice Up Mobile Push Notifications

  3. 600+ Top Global Brands Fuel Their Mobile App Growth with Insider

The Big R: Use Right Segment to Deliver the Right Message at the Right Time with the Right Technology

Push Notifications can be tricky. However, if used in a smart way, the impact can be impressive. If you want to achieve above-average open and conversion rates during Black Friday, it is time to attract your app users with personalized and rich push notification experiences. 

Right Segment…

Start segmenting your users based on their previous interactions with your app and only deliver the most relevant Black Friday offers to them. 

While blanket discount notifications are ok, you wouldn’t want to send a special baby stroller Black Friday offer to all users, for example. Use micro-segments, those who have visited new-born baby categories more than three times in the last month or have purchased crib or changing table in last week. 

Right Message…

The little things count. Make your users feel more engaged with your brand and let them know that their recommendations are bespoke by using their first name in the message. This little touch will help them feel like a valued customer and that your communications aren’t one size fits all.

Right Time…

Get the timing right. You’ve worked hard on your segmentation and messaging so don’t waste your hard work by sending your push notification at an irrelevant time. The very first analysis that you should take into consideration is app usage by both the day and the time of day to find out what best suits your users. Take a look at your stats and ask when are my users the most active? Going beyond your own data and benchmarking it against other Black Friday-specific data can help paint a more reliable picture for this time of year. Quick tip: during Black Friday 2018, average online sales were highest between 4pm and 5 pm.

Right Technology…

With the Insider Mobile Platform, you can consult the recorded history of users’ actions such as category visits, subcategory visits, product visits, products added to the cart and purchases, alongside user attributes such as name, location and email. According to our research in the market, these personalizations will result in at least 5% – 7% improvement in the performance of your push notifications.

8 Proven Ways to Spice Up Mobile Push Notifications

1. Use the Right Words

The best-performing push notifications should consist of exclusive deals for users during Black Friday. However, if your messaging doesn’t stand out from your competitors and the other brands vying for attention, your pushes can easily be lost in the overall Black Friday bombardment. Be creative and be sure to analyse the performance of your keywords.

The most frequently used keywords are: “Buy”, “now”, “top”, “deal”, “free”, “exclusive”, “for you”, “off” and “gift”.

Whereas, the best-performing keywords are: “until xxx”, “choose and pick”, “check out” and “the last call”.

2. Use Emojis

Emojis are great – they attract attention, contribute to the message or tone and enrich the display. As almost every smartphone user has a unique favorite selection of emojis, they are more likely to find a connection with the push notification and engage better with your message. Try using holiday-themed emojis in your message and enjoy an average 3% improvement in open rates.

3. Power of Scarcity and Last Minute

Black Friday has become a well established discount period over the last four years, particularly across the US and Europe and users now wait in eager anticipation for sales to drop. The increased number of online discounts has reduced the in-store frantic dashes to grab the best deals by hand but as an app marketer, you can replicate that same urgency mindset and add scarcity and last-minute campaigns to your Black Friday funnels.

Delivering timely pushes and including urgency strategies like low/out of stock-out messages can trigger your potential customers’ decision to make the final purchase. 

4. Recover Cart Abandonment

With hundreds of exclusive deals competing for customer’s attention, their purchase flow can be interrupted easily and they may leave the app without making a purchase, even if they have items in the cart.

Thanks to behavioral-based conversion pushes, your app can retarget users after 5 minutes, using a message which specifies not only that their products are waiting for them but also that the product may run out of stock if the purchase is not made soon.

The messages below would fit in with such a scenario:

Hey first_name! Your products are in the cart and are being purchased rapidly. Come back and use your coupon before stock runs out!

Tick… Tock… Tick… Tock… We are approaching the end of our stock! Come back and complete your purchase.

5. Show Scarcity in Product Details with Social Proof In-App Message

People are influenced by others’ approval and actions. At the core of the concept, many users are fearful of being left out or of missing an opportunity  or a great deal. It’s also a well established fact that we are comforted and reassured by social confirmation from our peers that something is desirable. 

That’s human psychology.

A smart marketer should redirect users to the purchase with wise moves. Showing scarcity in the product detail pages will speed up purchasing decisions. 

The following social proof in-app messages below have proven to be effective across industries: 

“152 visitors have used this Black Friday deal in the past 2 hours”

“42 visitors are looking at this hotel right now.” 

“Only 5 products left in stock.” 

“Only 3 hours left before this deal expires.”

6. Use Gamification to Boost Experience

Black Friday means super-exclusive discounts for every single user. But savvy mobile app marketers should target their extra special users who spend more than average on the app, and work to keep them engaged. One way to do this is by employing gamification actions during Black Friday and throughout the holiday season.

For example, if you are aiming to offer coupon codes to your users during Black Friday, add gaming dynamics to your message to capture leads and offer your coupon code. A fun and engaging Wheel of Fortune for users to spin can be really effective, you’ve made your user feel like a winner and made them feel extra special along the way. It also furthers the sense of urgency that we discussed earlier, as there’s an inference that a special prize coupon code is a short term deal rather than a longer term sale.

7. Optimize Omnichannel Shopping & Increase Traffic with Geofence Technology

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday mobile purchases continue to increase, there will always be consumers who prefer to head in store fore their Black Friday deals. Using the app data available to you to encourage customers to visit stores can help to create a more seamless experience and to ensure that your store is their number one destination on the high street. 

One way our partners that have both online and offline presence connect the dots between the two is with geofence technology. This tracks an app user’s GPS and when they are within close range of a store, it sends users a mobile push notifications to alert them of current Black Friday offers, enticing them to stop by and take advantage of the deal on their way home. During peak shopping days, in busy city centers, don’t forget to set a frequency cap to limit the number of times the same customer receives push notifications from your brand, ensuring fuss-free experiences throughout the holiday season.

8. Build and bridge seamless multi-channel customer journeys backed by AI

One of the most frustrating customer experiences is receiving out-of-touch messaging from brands who clearly don’t have the proper systems in place to track individual interests, behaviors, and activity and respond accordingly. Use Architect, Insider’s AI-powered Journey Builder to create highly relevant, contextualized and delightful customer journeys that convert, bridging various channels like mobile web, mobile app, advertising and more. Learn more about Architect, here.

600+ Top Global Brands Fuel Their Mobile App Growth with Insider

We work with 600+ leading brands worldwide, and we’ve learned heaps about the best use cases and proven mobile app campaigns along the way. Be a proactive mobile app marketer, start growing your user base, increase engagement, and drive your digital growth from acquisition to activation, retention, and revenue throughout the holidays season & beyond.

Interested in learning more about how Insider’s Mobile App Growth Platform can deliver for your business during the festive season and beyond? Drop us a line at info@useinsider.com or schedule a demo by visiting useinsider.com.

Insider has been named a leader on the Best Mobile Marketing Software Grid by G2Crowd for three consecutive quarters. Read our reviews on G2Crowd, here.

Learn more about Insider Mobile App Suite, here.

Edwin is oversees Insider's customer success team in Indonesia and the Philippines. He has 6+ years of experience in digital marketing, with a special focus on multichannel CRM strategy, growth hacking, and A/B testing. Before Insider, Edwin was a technology consultant at Accenture and co-founded his own Digital Agency.