5 copywriting hacks to ace your mobile game’s push notifications



Editor’s note: This article was originally published by Adjust. You can read the original version here

Since the average mobile app loses 73% of new users within 48 hours of the initial download, customer retention is the real growth driver for mobile apps. Push notifications are an essential part of the user retention puzzle. These updates, reminders, and special offers are like little hooks that pull users back into your app.

Push notifications increase the 90-day retention rate by 23% compared to users who deactivate them. Push notifications are a useful tool for:

  • Improving brand awareness and engagement
  • Converting inactive users to habitual users
  • Improving the user experience
  • Advertising products and special offers

…but only if you use them properly.

Writing useful push notifications is a real challenge. You need to be creative enough to stand out from the dozens of notifications users receive – and convincing enough to persuade them to act—all in about 150 characters.

These best practices are your ticket to writing messages that engage and engage mobile users.

Tips on writing texts for push permissions for mobile applications that convert

Make it actionable

Each notification you send must have a clear purpose. They should help users feel good, discover something new, learn valuable information, or reach something faster, better, and easier.

Nevertheless, people must be told exactly what to do. You could have the best written, most visually appealing push notifications ever created — but without a compelling call to action (CTA), your efforts will be wasted.

How do you write an effective Push Notification CTA?

Think of it as an invitation, not an order. Use colorful verbs that evoke a positive emotion or enthusiasm. And think of how it will play on the mobile medium. “Look at today’s offers!” is a good CTA, but “designer deals at your fingertips” is even better. You must also consider the user segment: Bargain shoppers are more likely to respond to “Get Your Discount Code”. In contrast, luxury shoppers are more likely to respond to “Treat yourself!

Personalize everything

Why should THIS user be interested in your message? What behaviors or attributes make your push campaign relevant?

Every aspect of the push notification should be personalized: not just copy, but also delivery time, message frequency, user location, level of in-app activity, product or content types, and more.

This is where segmentation becomes an essential part of your push notification strategy. By grouping users by who they are and what they do (or don’t do) in your app, you can tailor your push copy to specific people to send messages that resonate.

Consider a call to value

A call to value works on the same principle as a CTA – the user is asked to act – but instead of telling them what to do, you tell them what they will get.

Here is a typical push notification with a CTA in bold:

“Preview for Avengers: Endgame now on sale! Buy your tickets now.

Here is the same CTA that was written as a call to the value:

See Avengers: Endgame spoiler-free! Advance performances begin Wednesday at midnight.”

The difference may seem subtle, but each approach has a place in different phases of your relationship with users.

You can focus on value calls if your primary goal is to prove your app’s usefulness to a new user. Towards the end of a campaign, use a more direct call to action.

Use the first person

Mobile is a personal medium. Use the first-person perspective to make push messages read like a personal message.

Instead of “Listen to the latest tracks from your favorite artists, [FIRSTNAME]”, try “We have curated a hip hop playlist just for you, [FIRSTNAME]”.

Using “we”, your app is positioned as a friend and not as a faceless company – helping the user to have an affinity for it.

Be concise

Lock screens don’t offer much space, keep your copy short and sweet.

Push notifications with 20-90 characters have the highest click rates. Remember that you can enhance your message with images, rich media, and emoticons.

Make every character count with these ​push notification power words​, which are linked to higher open rates across retail, delivery, travel, entertainment, and media apps:

  • “New” (because humans are hardwired to seek out novelty)
  • “Save” (because who doesn’t love feeling like a savvy shopper?)
  • “Limited” (because Ooh! This offer won’t be around forever)
  • “Exclusive” (because we all want to feel special)

Look beyond open rates

When tracking, testing, and optimizing push direction copy, you need to look beyond the open rates. Bringing people to open your app is only the first step – what do they do once they’re inside? Do they pay attention to what you’re saying? Are they coming back to your app?

Your user base changes every day (literally!), and what works today may not work tomorrow. What’s effective for one user segment probably won’t be for another.

Test new strategies to work out what works for your individual, evolving user base.

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