Push Notification Copywriting: How To Entice, Not Annoy, Your Users

For brands, push notifications are a valuable marketing channel. New products, special discounts, email signups, and more can be pushed to your prospective customers as they browse your website.

For your users, on the other hand, push notifications can be downright annoying. There’s nothing quite as irritating as an intrusive window that pops up when you least expect it. A poorly-crafted push notification repels customers, losing you potential sales in the process.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Through good copywriting, it’s possible to create a push notification that engages your user and compels them to act. Read on to discover how to write a push notification that doesn’t annoy your user, but entices them.

The best push notifications engage your user, not repel them. Find out 7 ways to ensure you never miss to engage users here.

Respect your user — be honest and unequivocal

Push notifications are, by definition, intrusive. They are designed to grab your user’s attention while they’re navigating your website — that’s their purpose. But this also means they can irritate your prospective users too.

Honesty counteracts this effect. Being open and candid about the content of your push notification creates an equal footing between you and your user.

Your user’s attention is a precious thing, and it should be respected. Studies show that you have 1/20th of a second in which to reassure users that they can trust you. You should, therefore, create notifications that are utterly honest and open.

Don’t cloak your desired action in euphemism or doublespeak. Make it clear to your users what your push notification is about, and highlight any caveats or required information, such as email addresses, clearly.

Make the most of user attention and be concise

The best push notifications are short and snappy.

Users don’t want to have to trawl through reams of irrelevant copy to find the one sentence that matters. Their attention is a valuable commodity and every second counts.

Consequently, you should avoid meandering or excessively florid copy. Keep it tight and be direct. The Hemingway Editor is a useful tool for testing this — it flags any meandering sentences to help you keep yours tight.

While your call-to-action (CTA) should always be direct, the copy leading up to it should be just as commanding. Use the active voice to give weight to you your messages. Your push notifications should compel your user to act, giving them no room to dither in the process.

Keep it conversational

The best push notifications are those that feel friendly and informal. A conversational tone feels natural and approachable, keeping users engaged from the off.

Avoid cold, brusque, or accusatory language e.g. “you’re terrible at marketing!”. While it might be intended to be edgy or cutesy, this actually repels users, annoying them rather than enticing them to stay on the page.

Use genuine phrases such as “hey there” or “excuse me” — this negates the robotic, impersonal feel of push notifications and gives it a human feel.

And don’t be afraid to inject a little humor into your copy too. If someone receives a push notification that makes them smile, it’ll land a lot better than one that doesn’t. A quirky greeting, a self-deprecating joke, or simply an interesting fact is enough to soften your notification’s impact and entice your users.

Embrace personalization and segmentation

Personalization is a powerful thing. It creates marketing that feels unique and tailored to the customer, with greater success as a result.

Emails with personalized subject lines (“Hey Alice, we’ve got a deal for you!”) are up to 26% more likely to be opened than those without. Personalized emails see better results, and the same applies to your push notifications too.

But this goes beyond simply including someone’s name in your notification. Segment your users into different groups to deliver push notifications that are both personal and relevant.

For example, you could segment your users based on their location and deliver tailored messages related to this e.g. “It’s sunny in New York! Why not treat yourself to something from our new summer apparel collection?”

Little additions like this are simple but effective. They make the user feel unique, giving value and relevance to your notification as a result.

Use intrigue to pique attention — then reel them in

To truly entice your users, always leave them wanting more.

As humans, we hate not knowing the full picture. When we’re only given part of a message, we automatically yearn to know more — intrigue is a powerful thing.

Intrigue is a crucial element for copywriting, especially in ecommerce. It compels your audience to read on, engaging them with your message on a deeper level.

Open with an intriguing statistic or fact that piques the user’s interest, but doesn’t state it. This compels your audience to keep reading, enticing them into your notification rather than annoying them. Push notifications are a good way to hook your audience’s attention and compel them to act. While they’re easy to create, they’re also tricky to get right. But with strong copywriting that is honest and concise but intriguing and personalized, you can create push notifications that your users will love.

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