• Marketing
  • By: Tijana Ostojic
  • 6 min read
  • 01 Jun 2020

Email vs. Push notifications: Which Will Get Your Message Across

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Email vs. Push notifications: Which Will Get Your Message Across

Having a great product or service is a prerequisite to success. We are all well aware of that. But, how do we let the world know what we have to offer? Marketers across the globe will agree in unison that the trick lies in the effective and carefully planned placement of your products/services to the market.

This notion appears to be easy enough. If, however, we scratch below the digital surface of the world we live in today, it’s easy to notice that the days of direct mail are long gone. Thus, the question arises, doesn’t the same hold true for the email campaigns? With the constant threat of being bombarded with the promotional emails, or at the worst fearing their email will be sold to third parties, people nowadays are less inclined to share their email addresses.

Sure, they might subscribe to a newsletter to get a free ebook, but how can we be certain that the given email address is the real one, and not just an email they use for situations like these? Or perhaps a fake one? That is not to say that the email campaigns are totally out of the picture, but there might be another way to reach your audiences. Enter the scene: push notifications.

What are Push Notifications?

Push notifications are the pop-up messages that appear on your mobile device or desktop. The key difference between push notifications and other messaging channels is being able to reach your subscribers regardless of where they are.

This means that the push notification will appear in full to the subscriber - either as a banner if their phone is locked or as a pop-up notification while they are using their phone or computer. The subscriber doesn’t need to take any further action to read the message, unlike with the other messaging platforms like email and Facebook Messenger where the user has to open the application to read the message.

Thanks to this unique ability, through push notifications brands, can connect with their target audiences and not be looked over. A bonus feature: push notifications don’t demand you to optimize for desktop and mobile separately.

The Key Difference Between Email and Push Notifications

Let’s see, at first, you might be inclined to think that push notifications are more or less the same as email. In fact, they might appear as just another messaging channel you’ll use in order to reach your target audience. While push notifications are indeed a messaging channel, these don’t have the same function as email. Yes, the intention of both is to get your message across, but you cannot apply the same strategy to both. Otherwise, you’ll risk losing your audience.

1. Push notifications immediately engage users

Since they are immediately delivered to your device, push notifications are more convenient for people to engage with the content. Think about it this way: if you want to notify your subscribers of a flash sale (a time-sensitive matter), email campaigns might prove to be inefficient since people are not always checking their emails at all times. In fact, they might skip reading yet another promo email. Thus the ROI will be lower than you have initially expected.

However, if you send a push notification telling your subscribers that there’s a flash sale going on, even if they are currently not using their device, the message will be visible to the subscribers as soon as they pick up their device.

2. Push notifications deliver a limited amount of information

Push notifications are devised for short pieces of information, like notifying your subscribers about the sale, new updates, newsworthy or anything that requires a timely response. That being said, unless you are willing to lose your subscribers, you shouldn’t use push notifications to tell that you have published a new blog post - leave that for social media platforms and emails.

3. Push notifications receive a higher click-through-rates

Due to their immediate reach and rather short and to the point message, push notifications generate higher click through rates than emails. You can also target a specific segment of your audience. And as personalization matters a lot, regardless of the messaging channel, make sure you tailor your messages according to the segments of your audience. In apps, you can collect info such as Past purchases, location, tastes and interests, app activity, and time in-app.

4. Push notifications don’t require special design

A great thing about push notifications is that they don’t require much work when it comes to design. In fact, you need to make sure that you create a cleverly worded message, link it up to a specific product or place in your app or website page and include a multimedia piece (a.k.a. Rich push notification) if you want to. And your message is ready to be sent!

5. You can’t sell, buy or transfer push subscribers

Being encrypted with a code, subscribers are in control of their subscription. This means that if you don’t want to receive messages from a website or an app, you are free to unsubscribe and no one will be able to contact you again. As easy as that!

Are Push Notifications More Effective for Your Business?

Here’s the thing: Yes, push notifications can be more effective in getting a message across, but you need both email marketing and push notifications as a part of your marketing strategy. It is important to remember that push notifications deliver relatively short pieces of information. The type of content you deliver through this channel is more intimate and highly personalized in comparison to emails. That is not to say that emails carry less worth, to the contrary, but you need to remember that they are used to deliver different types of content.

With push notifications, you’ll be aiming at delivering timely messages regarding sales, product promotions, relevant news, etc. Again, these will be short messages, most likely including CTA, prompting the user to click on the message.

By contrast, you’ll use emails to reach your audience with longer pieces of content and confer opinions, share the newest blog posts, and so on. Subscribers expect these messages to be less personal. However, there are higher chances that they won’t open them.

Both of these methods are equally important and should be carefully planned.

To Wrap Up

As a marketer, one of the most difficult challenges you face is deciding upon the most effective digital channel through which you’ll get the message across to your audiences. We are all aware that our attention span has shrunk over the years, therefore successfully captivating your target groups is getting harder and harder. For that reason, marketers opt for multiple channels in order to engage their audiences and make sure to get across the brand’s message.

Push notifications are great for reaching your audiences instantly and engaging them immediately. But remember, these short pieces of information are highly personalized and reserved for short and effective communication such as an awesome flash sale, so do not abuse them!

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