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. Or display an icon and a small piece of text that the user can then click to open up your community. In this article we take an in-depth look at why to use them and how.

Why Use Push Notifications?

The perceived value of a community to a 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 you invest 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 on a regular basis, is a good thing. It will assist in building a healthy online community.

The Gentle Reminder

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” in your browser or on your smartphone is often welcomed.

For you as a moderator, It would make sense then 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

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.

Push Notification Vs Emails

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.

How Effective They Are

MarketingLand shared the results of one recent study by Urban Airship, 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 browser-based notifications as well.

How to Enable Push Notifications in CMNTY Platform

For further detail on enabling push notifications, please visit our support page. Please remember that 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. Of course you can encourage your members to enable this feature. For example by sending them a nice newsletter explaining when and why you will send them notifications.

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

Engagement Booster

So, need quick insights or quick responses? Use push notifications to give your members a nudge. It can be as simple as typing a message, add 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 notifications using the CMNTY platform, refer to our support documentation.

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