Browser Push Notifications: An Effective Way To Engage Community Members

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Push notifications let your community platform extend beyond the browser. They are an incredibly powerful way to engage with the user. They can do simple things, such as alert the user to an important event, display an icon and a small piece of text that the user can then click to open up your community.

The perceived value of a community to a community member is directly proportional to the amount of time and energy the member invests in engaging with that community. The inverse also holds true. The less time and energy invested in engaging with a specific community, the less value the individual feels that they are getting from that community.

So, anything that a community builder can do to remind their members to come back and engage with their community on a regular basis, is a good thing. It will assist in building a healthy online community.

Why Use Push Notifications?

The challenge is that we’re all increasingly busy, stressed, and preoccupied with various work and personal priorities. Even if initially we got huge value from being an active member of the community, sometimes life just gets in the way. We forget to log in to check in with the communities that we’re a part of. So, a gentle reminder on a user’s smartphone of what’s happening in the community is often welcome.

It would make sense then, as a community manager, to do as much as you can to remind your members of the value and benefits that your community can provide. Give them reasons to come back and interact with the community often.

Related Post: Absolute Do’s for Online Community Management

Push notification vs email

Perhaps you’re wondering, why not just send another email? Let’s face it… many of us are over email, and our inboxes are flooded daily. So much that there are complete guides on how to get down to inbox zero.

With the rise of mobile internet users and a continual decline in email open rates, push notifications provide community managers with a new and different channel to get their messages heard. 80% of all internet users own smartphones. So using a communication channel that delivers relevant and timely messages directly into the hands of your community members makes sense.

By now many of us are familiar with mobile applications to show us the up-to-the-minute news. Or, an app sending us updates via pushed notifications. These notifications are a great feature that let us stay connected and never miss a thing. You can keep your community users informed by sending a notification message with the push notifications user service!

How Effective Are Push Notifications

MarketingLand shared the results of one recent study that showed significant engagement as a result of targeted push messages:

The Urban Airship study analyzed almost 4 billion push notifications across 1,000 apps, categorized into a range of industry segments and verticals. Overall it found that “highly targeted push messages drive 293 percent more response on average than broadcast messages.”

What if you could get 293% more engagement with your messages to your community members? What might that do for increasing the value of your community to your members?

Related reading: Push notifications are more effective than you think

Browser-Based Push User Notifications

New developments with HTML5 also make it possible to send a push message: browser-based notifications that do not require an app!  Our latest release of CMNTY Platform is fully equipped with this feature. Allowing you to keep your members engaged and informed not just with email reminders, but with push, browser-based notifications as well. Y

ou can make use of this service in times you want to send notification messages to browser users on e.g. mobile devices as Samsung, Windows and much more! We are releasing this feature natively for Chrome and FireFox users, and will be updating our software to support Safari, IE, and other browsers soon! Currently, this is not supported by Apple/iOS browsers. But, stay tuned! We may introduce it sooner than you think! Maybe we already have… check our support page to stay up-to-date!

How Enable Push Notifications in CMNTY

You can send short, push notifications to the members of your CMNTY Platform. Push notifications go directly to member devices (desktop or mobile) and can be used for a variety of purposes. You can, for example, remind them to participate in a new challenge. Members will only receive push notifications if they have enabled push notifications for their browser on the device that they are using.

Push notifications are turned off by default in all browsers. If members use multiple browsers and/or devices, they need to make sure that they update settings in each of their browsers and/or devices. Community managers will receive all push notifications by default once they enabled the settings on their devices.  For further detail on enabling push notifications, please visit our support page.

Increase Engagement

Need quick insights or quick responses? Just send out push notifications messages to any push user to nudge your members to visit your platform right away! It’s as simple as adding a message, a link to the platform, and choosing whether you want your notification to go to your entire community or only to certain user groups.  Members who use Chrome or Firefox browsers on their phones can also receive the notifications on their mobile devices! To learn more about sending push notifications using the CMNTY platform, refer to our support documentation.

Related Post: Community Engagement – Effective Ways to Keep Members Inspired

Best Practices

As with any emerging technology, there are pros and cons of using the tool and you’ll need to strike a good balance between keeping community members informed and annoying them with unwanted notifications. As Ritesh Garg, product manager at MoEngage, shared on Quora:

“Push notifications are a double-edged sword. Sure, they look beautiful, are brilliant for marketers and get users back to your website (mobile as well as desktop web). But, there is a high chance anyone could end up abusing this channel.” 

Ritesh recommends the following tips for preventing push notification channel abuse:

  • Segmenting Customers: Nothing is worse than sending a blast of notifications. Your website visits will increase but you will soon see people unsubscribing from your push notifications.
  • Personalizing Messaging: Your customers will love you if you tell them you know them, their preferences and you are being relevant to them.
  • Collecting Usage Data:  This will help you in achieving the above two objectives.
  • Using Triggered Messaging: Time your notifications by triggering them after your customer did an action. You are then setting the context as well as increasing your relevance.

Setting It Up Push Notifications

For those of you already using CMNTY platform, follow the setup instructions above to enable push notifications for your community.

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