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Best practices for sending push notifications
Best practices for sending push notifications

Advice and ideas for sending great push notifications that drive action and engagement

Updated over a week ago

Push notifications are your greatest source of power when it comes to communicating effectively with your clients.

You can send push notifications directly to everyone who's subscribed on your app or website. You get their eyes on exactly what you want, when you want. Without paying a penny. How amazing is that?

You have so much unbridled potential you almost have to rein it in... Here are some best practices for sending push notifications without being too pushy.

Best practices and top tips

Promote new listings you've added

We like to be in the know, and it's somehow cooler if we're the first to know. Give your app users some exciting or exclusive news and they'll be all over it! Send a push notification from a listing and prompt riders to check it out.

Use emojis

One of the easiest ways to grab attention and make a message feel more personal is by chucking in a few emojis. They're known to improve open rates by 20%! 😯 But try not get too emotional, consider these examples below, which one do you prefer?

Use Chapi

Chapi is your AI 'stablemate' capable of crafting some of the punchiest and quickest push notifications ever. Chapi automatically includes appropriate emojis and hashtags for your target audience so you don't have to worry about it 😃

Give a call-to-action

By clearly telling riders what you expect them to do, they'll intuitively take action. Use prompts such as, "March lessons are available, don't miss out and book your spot now." This creates urgency and gives an incentive to book a lesson now rather than later when they might forget. These types of push notifications receive very high engagement.

Include a URL

Take riders to a specific place when they open the notification by adding a Target URL.

This works really well if you've given a call-to-action that needs riders to do something as soon as they see the message. It makes it even easier for them to take the desired action with just one tap.

The awesome thing about URLs is that they can literally go anywhere. You can use a URL for a YouTube video, Facebook post, or your own website. As soon as riders tap the message, they'll be taken straight there.

Make an announcement

You can also make an announcement that doesn't require any action, you simply want to make riders aware of something. The key difference here is that they don't need to open, click, or engage with this push notification, but they'll still get value from your app by staying informed. Some good examples are:

  • "Working Hunter has moved to Ring 2 tomorrow."

  • "Our arenas are getting groomed and will be closed next week."

  • "We've pushed the start time to 10:00am on Saturday."

  • "Lessons have been cancelled today."

Find the right balance

Keep your message short and sweet and don’t ping people multiple times a day. This can harm your notification subscribers as some riders may choose to opt-out if they're finding notifications are too frequent. Start by sending no more than 1 notification per day and no more than 5 per week.

But... don't forget to send push notifications completely! For people to keep receiving your push notifications after they've subscribed, it's very important that you send regular notifications (at least 2 per week). If you don't send any notifications, users might be subscribed but their device will no longer allow notifications to be received (unless they unsubscribe and resubscribe).

Be conversational

You're sending your notification to people, right? So you can talk to them like you would talk to a person. In fact, this reinforces your relationship with the client and can make them more receptive to receiving push notifications from you, keeping your subscribe rate up. Equestrians have a lot in common and you can share inside jokes that are very relatable, like this clanger:

  • "WHOA this rain needs to stop! Our first class is still going ahead at 8am tomorrow so giddy-up bright and early."

Send at the right time

Sending push notifications at the right time can improve open rates by 40%! Think about when you are most active on your mobile and more likely to catch up on news, or do little tasks. You might've noticed popular times when you receive the most entries, bookings or engagements on a social post. Use those same times to schedule your notifications.

As a general rule of thumb, the best times are between 7-9, morning and night.

Offer a coupon or discount code

We all love shaving some pennies off a price, so another nice notification is one including a special offer. For example, you could send a 10% discount code to be used on any bookings for today only. This will simply sweeten the deal for those riders who were thinking of making a booking, and give them the last bit of encouragement they needed. And for those riders who weren’t considering making a booking, an extra discount will get them to think about it!

Include an image

We know a picture is worth a thousand words and this is super helpful when space is limited. Try adding an image to your push notification to offer a preview of what they'll find, or to capture attention and increase engagement.

Send relevant information

Remember that ALL your subscribed users will receive the notification, so try to make messages relevant to a broad audience and not specific to one person or a small group. For example, sending a notification that entries are open for your next event is great because this will be of interest to many riders. However, sending a notification that a group lesson has been cancelled will only be of interest to a handful of riders and could be confusing for everyone else.

Show appreciation for your subscribers

No one likes to be bombarded with messages trying to sell something all the time. It's fine to advertise once in a while (especially if it meets the above criteria). But a push notification saying “Thanks for being a part of our community” or “Thanks to everyone who supported our event last weekend” can go a long way and show riders that you do care! You could also mark a special time of the year by wishing them "Happy new year" or "Have a great bank holiday!"

Get feedback

If you're not sure, ask! Get feedback from your riders and find out what they'd like to see more of, or what you could improve on. You can collect this feedback easily with a customer satisfaction survey using Hoofpick Biz (and link straight to it in the Target URL field 😉)

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