So, you’ve developed a great app; how do you make sure your shoppers keep using it? Helping users go from install to engage isn’t easy, and it takes some serious focus around mobile marketing to get it right. Kahuna is a mobile marketing automation company that powers personalized push notifications and in-app messages so you can deliver unique, valuable mobile messages to every user. We asked Adam Marchick, Co-Founder and CEO of Kahuna, how marketers are using push notifications to increase mobile engagement and improve the app experience. Read on to learn how you can use personalized push notifications to delight your users and drive brand loyalty and revenue.

1. What is the role of push in a successful omni-channel marketing strategy?

Mobile is changing everything; shoppers behave differently on mobile than on web. These are vastly different channels, and they should be aligned with one another in your omni-channel marketing strategy.

Making sure your app delights your users is a high-stakes game. People are solidifying their preferences for the best apps, and your mobile communications must be strategic and personalized to win their allegiance. Personalized push notifications that add real value to your users’ lives are the best way to ensure that your app comes out on top in the exciting future of mobile.

Push notifications are a great way to contact users in real-time to drive app engagement and brand awareness. Think about fitting push into your omni-channel marketing efforts by asking yourself, “What do users want to learn about? What information are they actively seeking, and how can we provide it to them via push?” Think about how push notifications can contribute to a cohesive, integrated customer experience.

2. How does Kahuna help e-commerce companies with their push notifications?

Here at Kahuna, our goal is to help you become the brand that your mobile customers want to hear from. We believe that every message you send should inspire customer delight, and deliver increased engagement and revenue. Mobile is just too important to be ignored or approached haphazardly. Push notifications can be an extremely impactful way to grow your mobile business, but they require a level of sophistication to protect the customer experience.

First, it is important to have a holistic view of your mobile customer, so that every person receives the right message at the right time for them. For example, e-commerce companies need to understand how their customers are interacting with their brand on web, mobile web, and native app – a customer who is frequently purchasing on web should not receive a “we miss you” notification through the app. Alternatively, customers who browse items on web or mobile web would benefit from receiving a push notification about those specific items. Equally important is understanding how your customers engage with your brand across devices. The majority of app users own both a smartphone and a tablet, and it is critical that brands message their mobile customer accordingly. This is a core tenant of Kahuna, as we track user behavior across multiple devices, as well as across web, mobile web, and native apps.

Also, it is critical that there be a built-in way for marketers to understand what’s working and iterate based on these insights. Equally important is the ability to make changes with dependence on engineering effort. The Kahuna system is built to be fully owned and operated by the marketer, so brands can experiment and optimize within minutes, not days.

And finally, make sure you know the ROI of every push notification that you send. How much revenue is coming from each campaign? How many registrations or social shares? In order to be successful, marketers need push campaign reporting that is honest and actionable – this is something we are very focused on providing using the Kahuna platform.

3. What makes a successful push notification strategy?

A successful push notification strategy starts with understanding your shoppers at the person level, across platforms, channels, and devices. Once you have a full picture of each of your users, you can message them in the right way at the right time.

Mobile is special because you can communicate with your customers in real-time, so you need to make sure you’re having unique and personalized conversations with every shopper to engage them in the moment. Send users push messages that refer to their specific engagement state and leverage recency, affinity, and context to get the best response. Every user should receive a message that is unique to them to incite personal interest and engagement in the app.

4. How can push notifications (done right) increase mobile revenue? What are the potential pitfalls and how can they be avoided?

A great push can perform five times better than a great email. The average email click-through rate for retail and e-commerce companies is hovering around 3%.* Many of the e-commerce and retail companies that we work with are seeing push notifications drive well over 15% re-engagement. Purchase rates are regularly seen above 5% – much higher than any other channel.

Mobile is all about convenience. Push notifications remind users about the value of your brand, and streamline the path from passion to purchase. By adding in extra data layers to your push strategy, you can be sure that every push notification is super relevant and contextual to each individual. For example, if you send a user a push notification about an item they have already viewed, they are much more likely to revisit the application and purchase this item.

Push notifications can also reduce cart abandonment. With Kahuna Conversion Campaigns, for example, marketers can set an automatic message trigger when users add an item to their cart but do not complete the purchase. Within minutes, hours or days after the cart abandonment, shoppers will receive a push notification encouraging them to complete their purchase. Purchase uplift using this strategy has been as high as 18-33%.

However, not all push notifications are created equally. Right now, push is like the Wild Wild West; there are very few rules and best practices. Because of this, push frequently feels like spam. Today’s users expect highly personalized communication, and are bothered when they receive blast notifications. In addition, when push notifications aren’t sent to each user at the right time, it can be very disrupting. Push done wrong can do a lot more harm than good, driving push opt-outs or app uninstalls.

5. Can you give an example of companies who have seen success?

Karmaloop’s daily deals app PLNDR has seen amazing success sending their users personalized push notifications with Kahuna.

PLNDR sends personalized push notifications that are relevant and valuable to their mobile shoppers. They still do daily deal pushes, but have added on multiple layers of personalization to speak to exactly what users have expressed interest in. With this added layer of targeting, they have seen a huge increase in engagement and revenue, with some messages achieving over a 20% engagement rate. In addition, PLNDR has benefited from push campaigns resulting in 4% purchase rate on mobile.

PLNDR is also using push notifications to increase cart fulfillment. By setting up automatic triggers for when a user has added an item to cart but not completed the purchase yet, they are able to drive traffic back to their mobile app in unprecedented ways. These notifications have resulted in an 18% uplift in mobile purchases, as every user receives a personalized message about the specific item waiting for them in their digital shopping cart.

A comprehensive mobile marketing strategy will enhance the app experience. When push notifications are done right, they can foster customer delight and drive engagement and revenue. However, when push is done wrong, you risk spamming your shoppers and hurting brand loyalty. Retail and e-commerce companies need a great app and the communication tools to affect customer behavior. Marketers can change mobile conversion; they just need the right tools and insights to do so. If you send personal, relevant push notifications that people want to receive, you can start delighting your users and increasing mobile revenue.

*http://mailchimp.com/resources/research/email-marketing-benchmarks/

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