Opt-in marketing isn’t new. In fact, it goes as far back as magazines, catalogs, and newspapers. Anything you willingly subscribe to is a form of opt-in marketing.
Email was the first major game changer for opt-in marketing, and still remains the most popular form for marketers—but the landscape is quickly growing larger. Marketers now have more opt-in tools available, including: social media, messaging apps, and owned apps.
When talking about opt-in marketing it’s important to realize who your audience is. In short: they’re your loyalists. In terms of the sales funnel, they’re near the bottom or completely through it. Many of them have already made a purchase, and plan on making more in the future.
These are your biggest fans, and they need to be thanked. Messaging and offerings for opt-in channels should reflect that; giving the best incentives to your most loyal customers and keeping them coming back for more. They have invited your brand into their lives, respect and reward that trust.
Today’s marketing landscape revolves heavily around mobile marketing, as time spent on desktops is being traded in for time on smartphones. There are many ways to gain access to this holy grail of marketing, but they’re all structured under the king of mobile marketing: push notifications.
1) How effective are push notifications?
In a word, very. 52% of smartphone users enable push messaging on their phones—oh and by the way, 64% of Americans have a smartphone. That number continues to grow every day.
Couple that statistic with an incredible 40% clickthrough rate and you have marketing nirvana. It sounds too good to be true, and in a way, it is. 78% of people say they will immediately disable the notifications from a source if they are unhappy with the notifications they receive, so push notifications are clearly high risk / high reward.
2) Why are push notifications so effective?
Push notifications are an intimate marketing tool. What I mean by that is push notifications go straight to the consumer’s most intimate device: their mobile phone.
The benefits of this relationship are already measurable:
3) How can your brand use push notifications?
Most people think that the only way to take advantage of push notifications is to create your own app, but this simply isn’t true. There are a couple ways to leverage them without investing resources into a mobile app.
Yes, email marketing can take the form of a push notification. Odds are your customer will see the subject line in a push notification format before they see it in their inbox, so stronger CTA’s and more creative language will make for more effective email subjects.
Social media platforms send push notifications if their users have opted into them. Each platform sends them for different reasons. For example Instagram will send them when someone likes or comments on one of your photos, when someone mentions you in a comment, or when your photo or video makes the Popular page. By playing within platform guidelines brands can grab customers’ attention with a push notification.
Messaging Apps AKA Dark Social
Messaging apps thrive on notifications, so they’re a natural place for a brand to use them without investing in an app. I’ve written before on the benefits of using messaging apps for marketing purposes, and I’m still a strong believer. It doesn’t take many resources to begin experimenting with them, and as a less spammy alternative to email marketing they’re certainly worth a try.
Owned apps are, of course, the most customizable way to send push notifications. All the other methods require you to work within the constraints laid out for you by the platform you are executing through: only your own app will allow you to dictate all aspects of the push notification experience.
Investing the resources into your own app will allow you to take full control over your push notification marketing and create the most engaging and enticing experience for your loyal customers. The real challenge is creating an app with enough value for customers to install it.
By properly using opt-in marketing channels in conjunction with each other, it’s possible to smoothly glide your loyal customers from on step in the purchase process to the next—and they’ll love you for it. Using intimate marketing tools will help keep your loyal customers loyal, and the more times a consumer purchases from a brand the more likely they will purchase from that brand again the next time.
Next week I will be exploring when and why a business should invest in their own app. I’ll even tell you why we haven’t invested in an app; so follow our Twitter to stay notified.