Article

Asena Atilla Saunders
Asena Atilla Saunders 4 August 2017

6 Push Notification Strategies for Mobile Games

Push Notification is an extremely powerful tool offering real-time and tailor-made messaging that catches immediate attention to a desired action. When done effectively, push notifications increase user engagement, and now it has become the most important marketing tool for the mobile games industry.

Push Notification is an extremely powerful tool offering real-time and tailor-made messaging that catches immediate attention to a desired action. When done effectively, push notifications increase user engagement, and now it has become the most important marketing tool for the mobile games industry.

Yes, push notifications are effective however it is very important to understand that they can be annoying, too if you don’t approach your users with the right strategy. So let’s see some practices that will make the most out of your push notifications:

  1. Use the Right Metrics

Before starting to send push notifications, the first things you need to determine are your key performance indicators and choosing the right metrics to evaluate them. User engagement has a major role to identify how successful your game is; therefore you need to take into consideration some important marketing metrics to reach meaningful data.

Pocketgamer advises game developers to track the following KPIs:

  • Push Adoption: % of DAU (daily active users) that can receive a push. This is typically in the range of 40%-60% of your DAU
  • Push Reach: % of DAU that received a push. This percentage will vary based on how you target audience segments.
  • Push Effectiveness: % of DAU that received a push before opening. This can be up to 50% of your DAU for a well-designed, event driven game.

After determining right metrics for your game, you need to analyse these metrics for every push notification you sent. You need to measure effectiveness of your messages by looking at the activity of your players. How many game opens occured, how much time spent in the game, what in-game activities are completed right after your notification should all be analysed and your push notifications should be fine tuned.

  1. Ask for Opt-In Carefully

This might sound very simple, however if you think you have only one chance to get permission for push notifications (from your iOS users) you need to think carefully about your permission dialog and avoid a standard and generic communication.

As a matter of fact having a single opt-in and pushing out all types of messages is not an acceptable practise for games anymore. Different types of players want to be notified for different in game events. Giving them a preference centre might be good idea. Your players can customise what types of push messages they want to get, how often and when they want to receive them. Tagging users preferences along with their in-game behaviour will also give you better targeting options to increase loyalty across different types of users.

  1. Send Customised Messages to the Right Audience

Since one size doesn’t fit all, not every type of message will carry the same value to all players. In order to send the right messages to the right audience, Segmentation and Targeting is one of the best ways. Segmentation enables you to customise your approach to meet every customer group`s needs. Building the right segmentation groups will enable you to create push notifications that suit them: a win-win situation for both you and your players!

When you successfully segment your customers, the next step for personalised campaigns is targeting. Targeting enables you to treat your players like unique individuals and send them related messages to those individuals of the segments according to their behaviours, likes and attributes (demographic, lifestyle, geographic etc.).

Its in your hands to send the messages your players are craving for!

  1. Take the Right Time into Account

Your players can be all around the world. You don’t want to disturb them in the middle of the night or while they are working so you need to make sure your tımıng is perfect. Also every player has a particular play pattern such as playing on the way to work, during lunch breaks or while at home for a couple hours after dinner. They can uninstall your game just because of a poor timing strategy; therefore you need to be aware of your local user time zones in addition to the times when they are engagingwith your game the most.

  1. Deliver a Valuable and Meaningful Experience

Push notifications must always bring value to your users. You should give them good reasons to keep looking out for your messages such as offering them level-ups, rewards/ virtual goods for free or taking them somewhere useful in the game etc.

In addition to benefits, also notify them in the cases that you know they want to take an action like giving them the heads up in case they want to prevent an enemy attack.

 

  1. Test your Push Campaigns

Every time a push message is sent out, the first thing you need to check is whether it was effective or not. Always monitor and analyse your player responses and subject your campaigns to A/B testing to see the game open rates, how much time users spent in the game, which messages and time periods caused immediate game opens etc.

A key factor to consider here is checking the time between the push sent to the users and their first engagement with the game, in addition to the number of users who click on pushes to measure campaign success. Your users will act in several minutes or a few hours later. For example you can call it a good return if you can receive 10% of your DAUs starting their first session within 1 hour of a push notification.

Analytics will help you to compare different messages that affect user engagement and behaviour in your game and fully understand the impact of your push notifications.

Conclusion

Engagement starts with timely, relevant and personalised communications. And with Push notifications you can improve engagement with personalised content or re-engage with your players who haven’t visited your game for a while by delivering targeted, context-specific and meaningful messages in real-time. Your Push notification strategy can play a vital role improving your competitive edge and your long-term success.

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