Your mobile push notification subscriber list includes all users who are currently consenting to receive your flashy little push alerts.
The path to becoming a push subscriber depends on the platform your users are on. On iOS, subscription is a more active process, while Android users are subscribed to push notifications by default. We will go into more detail on this shortly.
When you understand the value of getting push notification subscribers, you need to consider the high-level benefits you can get by getting users to opt-in to this channel.
Why should you care about growing your subscriber list?
Higher subscriptions translate into measurable benefits for your app. Not getting users to sign up at an initial touchpoint or losing subscribers over time can affect your app’s engagement and retention metrics.
Losing subscribers also means that you are missing out on a direct communication channel that can serve multiple purposes throughout the user lifecycle.
In case you haven’t considered the value of growing your subscriber list, here are some of the top reasons why you should.
Leverage a Real-Time Channel:
Push notifications come front and center and can deliver real-time updates, transactional messages, reminders, and more. Users who are not subscribed will lose all this valuable information.
Implementing push as a channel and getting your users to subscribe leads to measurable leaps in retention. For example, the health and fitness app BetterMe increased app retention by 22% after implementing push notifications.
Enhance the App Experience:
Unlike more traditional communication channels like email, push notifications are seen faster and make it easier for users to return to your app with fewer clicks. Getting users to subscribe to Push creates a perfect mechanism to re-engage your app.
What Strategies Can You Use to Get Users to Opt-in to Notifications?
Evaluate Existing Opt-In Trends:
The first step you need to take before implementing a new strategy to get more push subscribers is to identify existing patterns in your subscription fees. Take some time to identify if your membership fees have changed over time. When considering changes to your membership fees, think about changes to both the ecosystem and your overall strategy.
Have you adopted the default native iOS prompt in the past? Have you ever played with the prior permission notice? How are you expressing the value of automatic updates at the first touchpoints in the user journey?
Compare Your Opt-In Rate to Industry Benchmarks:
Membership fees vary greatly depending on the industry you are working in. Take a look at what’s typical in your app category to understand how your subscription strategy is performing.
Travel apps, for example, tend to have higher engagement rates than finance apps. This is because more users can easily see the value of pushing for apps with a more obvious need for real-time messaging functionality. The barrier to convincing a user to stay subscribed to request updates from your food app is probably less than it would be to get an educational boost from your finance app.
Keep these industry benchmarks in mind as you seek to understand the success of your current strategy and what kinds of improvements to look for.
Use An In-App Pre Permission Prompt When Catering to iOS Users:
On iOS devices, your users will face Apple’s generic native prompt before subscribing to notifications. Unfortunately, most users say no to this request, because it doesn’t fully express the value that push notifications can provide and isn’t specific to your app’s use case.
To get around this lame and generic mechanism, we suggest that you use an in-app permission message to increase the chances that users will see the value in signing your messages.
You can only display Apple’s native permission prompt once, so creating an in-app permission prompt will help prepare users to accept native permission and improve the timing of their requests.
Ideally, pre-permission prompts should tell the user what types of notifications you intend to send and why they should register in the first place. The more context you provide, the better.
Be sure to display this pre-permission message at the ideal time, at a time when your users have seen the value of your product, and know how automated messages can improve their app experience. In other words, try to delay your ad for a moment when your users are in a positive mindset.
Is your boss more likely to respond positively to your PTO request on Monday morning or Friday afternoon? The same principle can be applied to your early warning strategy. You may trigger your prior permission request after a user levels up, completes a workout, or receives their first order.
If convincing users to accept your current approach was cumbersome, you might consider offering an additional incentive for them to agree to subscribe to the boost. Offering incentives is a proven psychological marketing tactic that not only gives users an extra reason to opt-in but also gives them an added purpose for re-engaging with your app.
Some examples of incentives you can offer include a discount on a user’s next purchase in your e-commerce app, additional in-game currency in your gaming app, or an extension of your free trial in your fitness app.
When they receive an additional benefit, your users will begin to increase affinity with your brand and view their app experience more favorably.