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5 Little-Known but Essential Web Push and Facebook Messenger Notification Best Practices

by Jonathan Kennedy December 21, 2017

A guest article by the Simple Push App Team, a Shopify app designed to help you automate your marketing for Web Push and Facebook Messenger Notifications.

For marketing alone, store owners have A LOT to manage. They need to:

  1. Keep up with new eCommerce trends
  2. Decide between hundreds of similar apps on the app store that all promise to increase revenue
  3. Understand marketing best practices for countless different communication channels

While we can’t help you with all of those, we can try to summarize everything you need to know about the two hottest new marketing communication channels: Web Push Notifications and Facebook Messenger Notifications.

First off, if you don’t know what Web Push or Facebook Messenger Notifications are, you can read more about them here. TLDR: They’re new marketing channels that help further increase your store’s revenue and complement email marketing. They also have higher opt-in and click-through rates than email, which make them a crucial part of an effective multi-channel marketing campaign.

In case you were wondering just how effective incorporating channel is, multi-channel marketing campaign see a whopping 24% greater return on investment compared to single channel campaigns.

Since launch in March 2017, we’ve sent over 35 million Web Push Notifications and 5 million Facebook Messenger Notifications. Most importantly, we’ve helped our stores earn over $3 million in additional revenue.

Along the way, we’ve learned some insightful best practices around:

  1. Utilizing unique attributes of each channel to maximize effectiveness
  2. Marketing best practices for each channel and how they differ from email

Without further ado:

1. Make Sure To Only Trigger The Next Web Push Notification In A Series After The Previous One Is Received

When you send an email out to a list of subscribers, that email is instantaneously received by everyone. When you send out a Web Push Notification to a list of subscribers, that message is only received when a user opens up their browser from the original device they subscribed on.

The ability to schedule messages in a sequence (i.e. Abandoned Cart Notifications) based on when the last message is received is an absolutely critical feature of any Web Push Notification product for two reasons:

  1. It Prevents Spam and Unsubscribes - Let’s say you have a Web Push Notification series that schedules messages to send 1 hour, 3 hours, and 24 hours after a customer initially abandons their cart. If Fred (our imaginary customer) adds an item to their cart from his laptop on Friday and goes camping for the weekend, when he returns on Sunday and opens his laptop he’ll receive all 3 notifications from you at once!

  2. It Increase Effectiveness - Imagine the instant frustration Fred experiences being instantly bombarded with three notifications from you! This will unsurprisingly lead to a lower cart recovery rate. By scheduling subsequent notifications to send after each previous notification is received, you can intelligently space out your messages and increase conversion rates by up to 50%.

2. Don’t Lose Customer’s Carts When Sending Messages with Facebook Messenger

Let’s say you send a message on Facebook Messenger to Janice with a link to her cart full of Christmas gifts she spent countless hours picking out for her besties. If Janice was initially shopping from her phone and later clicks on that link in Facebook Messenger from her Desktop, none of her items will re-appear, leaving her frustrated and confused.

Since Shopify carts are stored on a specific device, you need a way to offer customers a way to restore their cart items via Facebook Messenger so they can avoid frustrating scenarios like Janice.

With a feature like our Facebook Persistent Cart, your customers will have a chance to get a cart link they can automatically launch on any device to reload their car items and even keep changes in sync automatically.

We found for our stores that over 25% of customers who add an item to their cart opt-in to use the Facebook Persistent Cart. It's one of our biggest customer pleasers, and unlike most persistent cart apps, it doesn’t require users to register for an account.

3. Embrace Multiple Marketing Automations - Not Just Abandoned Cart

Only around 8.7% of customers add an item to their cart, which means only a tiny portion of your subscriber base will receive any abandoned cart notifications.

It’s imperative to use additional marketing automation sequences to target the remaining 93.3% that are found at the top of the funnel.

Additional marketing automation flows to help reach a wider segment of subscribers include:

Welcome Series - A series of notifications sent whenever a customer first signs up. These are best used to help educate users on your brand and encourage connecting on social media channels.

Browse Abandonment - A series of notifications sent whenever a customer has not visited your site in X days. Use the browse abandonment to help entice user’s to return with a time-sensitive discount offer.

Order Updates - Customers often make additional purchases when checking the status of their current orders which is why sending order update notifications are extremely helpful in boosting sales! This also provides a great opportunity to follow-up discount offers or promotions.

4. Message Subscribers 2 to 3 Times A Week

After analyzing thousands of stores, we discovered the ones that sent 2 or 3 messages per week had significantly higher overall engagement and the conversation was the perfect number to minimize unsubscribes and maximize engagement.

Since Web Push Notifications and Facebook Messenger are less intrusive channels than email, it’s perfectly acceptable to send messages at a much higher frequency than email.

If you’re looking at any Web Push or Facebook Messenger app, be sure to account for higher message frequencies when estimating your costs. If an app charges based on unique messages sent or impressions - you should consider how these costs might scale if you have 50,000 subscribers and want to send out 8-12 messages per month. (Spoiler Alert: Your costs will skyrocket out of control)

We recommend this frequency with an important caveat that leads us into our final point:

5. Balance Retention vs Conversion Content In Your Messages

While we recommend sending at least 2 or 3 messages per week to Web Push and Facebook subscribers, we do not recommend blasting your subscribers with promotions at this frequency. In fact, we believe around 70% of all your content sent should be content marketing (aka non-promotional).

What’s content marketing you ask? It’s basically any type of message that informs, educates, or entertains the reader and does not explicitly promote a product. These messages are meant to help promote your brand and develop a stronger customer relationship. Examples include links to blog articles, Instagram posts, of instruction/informational videos.

When you send interesting, brand-related content along with your promotional content, you keep customers engaged for a lot longer. The longer they’re engaged, the more likely they are to purchase from your store in the future! Studies have shown time and again that building a long-term relationship with customers is a much more effective use of resources (7x According to Shopify's Blog) than acquiring new customers.

We include several templates with best practices for both types of messages:

If you liked what you read here, we recommend checking out Simple Push for free. We’re also happy to take any questions at help@streamlinedapps.com

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