With the average mobile app losing 73% of new users within 48 hours of downloading, retention is the true growth engine for mobile apps—of which push notifications play an essential role.
Push notifications boost 90-day retention rates by as much as 180% compared to users who don’t receive them. These updates, reminders, announcements, and offers are like little hooks drawing users back into your app, keeping them engaged and interested.
The Perfect Push
The perfect push message inspires, entices, delights, and connects users to your brand, leading them towards long-term loyalty and retention.
But crafting every message to be engaging, useful, and experience-enhancing isn’t easy. Your copy needs to be interesting and persuasive enough to entice users to take action without being annoying.
And to stand out from the dozens of other notifications your users receive, you need to be creative and offer value at a single glance.
Sounds impossible, right?
Rest assured, with some simple copywriting tactics and a little creativity, it’s possible to create push notifications that continuously engage your users.
Here are the top six copywriting tips for writing perfect push notifications your users won’t want to ignore.
Make the Purpose Clear
Every notification you send should have a clear purpose and a persuasive call to action that tells users exactly what to do.
They should provide value to users: help them discover something new, feel good, learn important information, or accomplish something better, faster, or easier.
Approach your call-to-action copy as an invitation or enticement rather than a demand. Use words that elicit a positive emotion or sense of enthusiasm.
For example, swap a generic phrase like “Check out today’s deals” with “Designer deals at your fingertips” for a more unique message. Or instead of “Get your discount code,” try “Treat yourself.” Then analyze how this simple shift in language affects your open rates and campaign performance.
It’s a well-known fact in marketing that personalized messages perform better than those that are not.
Every push message a user receives should feel personal or, at the very least, relevant. The copy, imagery, delivery time, and offer should all feel tailored to the user.
This level of detail is where audience segmentation becomes an essential part of your messaging strategy. Group your app users based on who they are, what they want, and what they do (or don’t do) to automate 1:1 messaging that prompts users to act.
Compose your messages in a way that shows users how well you know them. Beyond including their first name, relate the message content to their purchasing history, browsing behavior, preferences, location, and in-app activities.
For example, segment your users based on their location and buying habits to create contextual offerings—“Hey Olivia. It’s pretty cold out there today. Warm up with 50% off your favorite drink. Caramel Latte, right?”
User profile and behavior data should play a big part in your push notification strategy.
Consider the Length of Your Message
A mobile home screen doesn’t offer a lot of real estate, so keep your message concise and to the point. Short and snappy push notifications between 20-90 characters achieve the highest click-through rates.
Use the active voice to give weight to your messages and avoid excessive florid copy. A user’s attention is a valuable commodity, and every second counts—they want to digest what your message is about and decide if it’s of value in a single glance.
Compel your users to act with thoughtfully written push notifications that give them no room to dither in the process. Take inspiration from these push notification power words linked to higher open rates across retail, travel, gaming, entertainment, and media:
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Before launching your campaign, test how the length of your message will translate on different users’ devices. And if you feel limited with text, enhance your message and convey more meaning using emojis, images, and animated GIFs.
A/B Test Your Copy
A/B test different versions of your message copy to hone in on what works for your particular mobile audience.
When tracking, testing, and optimizing, look beyond open rates. Getting people to open your app is only the first step—what are they doing once they’re in, and are they taking the action you want?
Your user base changes daily, and what works today may not work tomorrow. What’s effective for one user segment may not be for another. So, keep testing your copy to discover what works for your unique, evolving user base.
Keep It Conversational
The most engaging push notifications use a natural conversational tone that’s friendly and informal. Writing in the first person helps your message sound personal—as if it’s coming directly from you, the publisher.
For example, instead of “Candy Crush has free coins for you,” try “We have free coins for you.” This way, you’re not just a faceless company but a real person behind the message.
Don’t be afraid to inject some humor into your messages, too, provided it’s appropriate. A quirky or light-hearted greeting can help your brand stand out from all the others competing for the same audience’s attention.
Use Intrigue to Pique Attention
As humans, we hate not knowing the outcome of an interesting story. When we only receive some of the information, we naturally long to learn more. Use this to your advantage in your message copy.
Hook your users’ attention by creating intrigue that leaves them wanting to know more and compels them to keep reading.
Intrigue can be particularly powerful for retail and gaming apps.
Compose the Perfect Push Notification in Minutes
Great push notifications get noticed. And while they’re easy to create, they’re tricky to get right. But with quality copywriting that is concise, intriguing, and personalized, you can create messages your users will love.
Now that you know what the perfect push notification looks like, let one of our mobile messaging experts show you how to create personalized push campaigns in minutes and at scale.