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Write Better Push Notifications that Grab Interest

Amie Parnaby
15/05/2023
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How to Write Better Push Notifications that Grab Interest

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Do you remember the last time you click on a push notification? It could be a sales offering from your favorite shop or a new marketing email notification. 

Whatever the case, we don’t pay attention to all push notifications. It takes a carefully crafted message to capture the user’s interest and motivate them to take action. 

Especially with the average smartphone user receiving 46 app push notifications daily, you need to craft a message that stands out in a sea of notifications to drive engagement.  

So here are quick tips and tricks to improve your notification game. 

What is a push notification?

Push notifications are short messages designed to catch the user’s attention and prompt them to take a desired action, such as opening an app or visiting a website. 

You often see them popping up on a mobile device or computer screen by an app or website when it is not actively used. The message can be anything from news updates, promotional offers, reminders, or even alerts for an appointment schedule.

Given that they can appear at any time, push notifications are a popular marketing tactic for businesses to engage and stay on top of the mind of their users. 

Still, you must have a compelling message to engage audiences to succeed with push notifications.

6 tips for writing effective push notifications

1. Write clear and actionable notifications

Push notifications must be clear and actionable to ensure your users understand what action they need to take and why it matters. 

This means using short, concise sentences. Use specific details to convey your message. Be straight to the point and avoid confusing your users with complex sentences or jargon. 

For example, instead of saying, “New products are available,” tell your users to “Shop our new line of products now.”

You directly engage users to visit your site to check out the new products by using active voice and actionable words in your push notifications. 

Naturally, this also means prioritizing clarity in your push notification over catchy or clickbait titles as you want users to not only stop at the click.

2. Personalize the message

We market to people, not devices. Personalizing your push notifications can create targeted messages that are more likely to resonate with users.

One simple trick is to insert their name, like “Hey [NAME], we’ve got a special offer just for you!” But a better way to do this is through creating behavioral-based notifications.

People only pay attention to the information they care about, and apps can quickly know what by tracking their on-app behavior.

Let’s say you are an app selling accessories. You can track what jewelry styles your users are browsing to curate personalized recommendations. Or send them a push notification with a deep link that takes them directly to the product or checkout section within the app when an item on their wishlist is on promotion.

These messages provide more exclusive value, will naturally boost engagement, and inspire users to act.

If anything, personalization is an essential strategy for effective writing, as receiving too many generic or meaningless push messages can be annoying to users, which will lead them to unsubscribe from them.

3. Keep it short and sweet

You might think this basic copywriting tip sounds like common sense, but you will be surprised how many marketers do the opposite.

Most people nowadays have a short attention span and are likely to ignore or dismiss long notifications. Keeping push notifications short and concise ensures audiences will read and understand the message quickly. 

Additionally, mobile and desktop screens are limited in size. When the text of your notification is too long, the text will be cut off. Here’s a quick breakdown of the push notification character limit for multiple devices and platforms. 

DevicePush titlePush message 
Android65 240
iOS178
Desktop (Windows 11)70141
Desktop (macOS)256

As a result, we recommend following an ideal character limit of about 48 characters for the title and message body of no more than 120 characters to avoid your message being truncated on any device or browser type. 

4. Create a sense of urgency

Triggering urgency in your marketing copy is a proven way to drive sales, but you want to use language that builds urgency without being pushy or aggressive.

For example, instead of telling users, “You wouldn’t want to miss out on our sale,” say “Limited time offer – shop now before it’s gone.” Here are more words you can use:

  • Deadline 
  • Reminder
  • Final chance
  • Last call
  • Immediately

Be careful not to overuse these types of words or angles, as it can lead to a sense of urgency fatigue and cause users to tune out your notifications altogether.

You can also be tactful and appeal to the feeling of urgency by speaking to the emotion to boost engagement and conversion.

5. Send timely push notifications

Push notifications are an interruptive form of marketing, but they don’t have to be. Sending push notifications on the proper day and time can easily win them over. 

The key to getting the timing right is relevance and context. You want the notifications to be helpful to the user, which can be done based on the user’s behavior or preference. 

For example, a timely push notification can be sent to a user who has recently abandoned their online shopping cart. A timely push can be sent to users based on their location, giving them a personalized recommendation for local attractions or restaurants. 


To send timely push notifications, businesses often use data analytics and machine learning algorithms to analyze their user behavior and predict what notifications are suitable.

6. Measure push performance and optimize

Tracking and optimization are also crucial to improving your push notification performance. It can be done by A/B tracking and determining if emojis or images are effective.

However, open rates don’t tell the whole story when it comes to notifications, you need to monitor customers’ behavior and engagement rates. 

The ultimate goal of a notification is to drive action. So define the behaviors and timeframes that will stem from your notification to get better insights on the performance rate. 

Conclusion

An excellent push notification is three things: timely, personal, and actionable. So use these tips to break through the noise and drive better engagement.


Guest Author Bio: Adela Belin

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope of making a difference in people’s lives and contributing to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

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