Push networks monetize traffic using a format of short notifications sent to subscribers on computers and mobile devices.
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Push notifications have stormed into the marketing world and been trending for several years. Everyone has heard of them but not everyone knows what pushes are and how they can be used for advertising campaigns. Even if you consider yourself a seasoned marketer who knows everything about affiliate marketing and traffic, you might find in this post some practical information to facilitate your campaigns.
Briefly: Push notifications are clickable pop-up messages or messages that are “pushed” to the user interface, whether mobile (you know, mobile devices currently rule the world) or desktop.
They serve as greeting messages for users who land on a website page. You’ve seen multiple times a pop-up (or an icon or even alert/media) message offering to receive notifications from the website. When users click “Agree”, they are added to the database, so the website can send them notifications. Push notifications usually contain a text (a brief informative message), an image (an attractive tool to get more attention), and a link (that sends subscribers to the landing page). Typically, notifications are sent by a third-party application.
First introduced in 2009, pushes are typically used for "bringing information to users’ attention". The content can be various, from chats, events’ reminder, subscribed topics to advertising. Today we’ll discuss the latter case.
While you’re seeking potential customers for an affiliate offer via other traffic sources, you can reach people in a single click. Push ads are sent directly to phones and computers — a sure-fire way to promote an affiliate offer and take the campaign to the new level.
Do pushes really work? Yes. In fact, they work pretty well: the average opt-in rate is around 53% (check more detailed statistics below), while the average opt-in for e-mail is only around 5%. Keeping in mind that the open rate of push notifications is from 3% up to 10%, together with a rather high opt-in rate, pushes definitely represent a powerful marketing instrument.
I guess it is clear why more and more marketers resort to push notifications for promoting affiliate offers.
The best thing about push notifications is that this technology is functional within almost any vertical; though, some verticals are doing particularly well. The traffic type and the traffic source play a key role in the success of the campaign.
In the very beginning push notifications were primarily used within the e-commerce industry to notify people about sales, special offers, discounts, and coupons. Eventually, push notifications covered all industries. As of now, it’s almost impossible to say what verticals work better with this traffic source, in most cases the efficiency depends on the offer, marketing strategy, and the quality of the push notifications. Pushes proved to be very effective across the following verticals (but not limited with them):
It’s high time to let numbers speak for themselves. Let’s see some statistics (source: Accengage) related to push notifications, their efficiency, and the best time to send them.
Below you see the opt-in rates in relation to the verticals. Analysts from Accengage discovered that finance vertical is the one for which users were more likely to enable push notifications. Travel and e-commerce occupied the second and third place respectively. Notice that on Android devices entertainment is ahead of e-commerce.
The average reaction rate is 7.8%, but as with opt-in rates, the reaction rate on Android devices is a bit higher than on iOS devices, 10.7% and 4.9% respectively. Interestingly, the highest reaction rate is on Tuesday (8.4%), followed by Sunday (8.1%). There is no breakdown by the operating system, but very likely, on Android devices, the rates are higher than on iOS devices. Anyway, this gives you an idea about scheduling your messages to get the best results.
Another interesting aspect is the time of the day. Quite logically, the reaction rate is much higher during lunchtime (say, a couple of hours) and in the evening, before bedtime, when users are having free time.
As you see from the chart below, there is no significant difference in opt-in rates between continents. As we’ve mentioned before, push notifications have become a global phenomenon, and GEO in this case doesn’t influence the opt-in rate noticeably.
See here, an average user (US) receives 46 push notifications per day (you can find the detailed report from CleverTap here). Sending five messages per week might enforce users to disable notifications. So, if you don’t want to lose half of your audience, to not overload users with pushes. Make your marketing channel useful for people, and you’ll see better opt-in and reaction rates.
Various strategies can be applied to improve reaction rates. The following factors can help in improving the reaction rates: a rich format, customized send time, emojis, and personalization. Though, some variants of personalization might work in two ways: "real activity"-based personalization might both increase the reaction rate and decrease it (especially for some demographic groups that don’t like their activity to be tracked).
Airship has published an interesting report on how top brands "use rich notifications to drive results". Based on the extended research data, the conclusion states that rich notifications can lead to an increase in open rates of up to 56%. The example of USA Today shows a growth of the open rate of 18% due to the use of rich format in 95% of all pushes. Another example: e-commerce retailer Dinda (Brazil) generated a 25% increase in the open rate using the combo of rich notifications, A/B testing, and segmentation.
VWO Engage reports the CTR of rich push notifications at 9.2% vs 6.9% for regular push notifications.
A word of advice: the perfect length of push notifications for different verticals varies considerably. As CleverTap reports, messages of 20-25 characters get the best results in e-commerce (coupons and offers) and education, while for health & beauty and traveling the ideal length of a push notification is around 90 characters.
VWO Engage provides the report demonstrating the inverse correlation between the number of push notifications and CTR. As you see from the image below, CTR peaks at two push notifications (in e-commerce and digital marketing — at a single push notification). With this data at your disposal, you can plan and tune your push notifications campaigns to achieve the best possible results.
Besides, there is an array of words that lead to a higher engagement rate. Well, this information can’t be taken as a directive, but you can consider some words of urgency (‘now’, ‘limited’, ‘today’, etc.), quality (such as ‘awesome’, ‘handpicked’ and ‘premium’), action (‘reserve’, ‘enjoy’, ‘explore’, ‘get free’) and friendly exclamations.
Another useful aspect that helps to improve CTR is the size of an image. Ok, people like seeing large images, which is particularly true for e-commerce offers. Yet, all verticals can benefit from this.
Traffic might be cheap and conversions rather high, but you still have to deal with the same challenge: you need to inspire users to take a specific action (yes, you want to get your commissions!).
Test always! I’ll never stop saying that testing is a must-be part of successful affiliate marketing. Some marketers begin testing creatives and landing pages via other traffic sources, later add push notifications for more detailed testing.
Ad Format: Push Notifications
Campaign period: July 10, 2019 – July 17, 2019
Affiliate Network: CrakRevenue
Offers: Adult Dating Smartlink — Multi-CPA — Responsive
Expenses: $1 448
Income: $6 164
Profit: $4 716
The marketer chose France because "there are really no surprises with Tier 1 GEOs". CPA model for the offer required people to register and leave their data.
Landing pages for the offer:
Typically, users had to enter personal details and verification code, which was sent to the provided e-mail. This step is used to prevent bots from registering. For this reason, the marketer created a prelander not to let bots get past (otherwise traffic wouldn’t be paid). So, here is the prelander:
This prelander served two purposes: a simple bot-check and audience segmentation by age (which also helps to make sure that traffic is relevant).
Creatives for push notifications:
The standard approach was applied: dating offer — images of pretty girls + short description.
Now, here you see the statistics that shocked (in a good sense) even the marketer:
The number of impressions is tremendous, 20% CTR is a very good indicator of the traffic quality. Note the difference in clicks for prelander and the landing page. It confirms that the filter on the prelander was practical and successful.
The traffic was really impressive and led to a profit of $4716 with ROI 325%.
Push notifications indeed save loads of time to generate traffic. SEO, building an e-mail database, managing social media pages, and communities to get some extra clicks is time-consuming, while push notifications allow getting traffic fast without ruining the budget.
Approaching Black Fridays, you can create related pushes referring people to your blog or an affiliate offer with discounts and deals; there is a snowing storm in the region – send a push notification offering a new app or a service.
Now you wonder where you can get push traffic from. As of now, there are many push notifications advertising networks that help in generating tons of push notification traffic.
There are push notifications advertising networks and ad network aggregators (DSP), for example, Mobidea Push. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, but for beginners, DSP might be a good choice. Experienced marketers might prefer working with push notification advertising networks for a specific target market. After a lapse of time, you’ll focus on cooperation with networks that ensure the best results. Some networks specialize in push notifications only, and some networks provide other ad formats too so that you have a chance to compare the performance and efficiency of your campaigns via different traffic sources.
While choosing a push notification ad network, you should pay attention to some specific built-in anti-fraud technologies and various targeting options, such as device and connection types, GEO, operating system, browser and language, user activity, and so on.
The most common pricing models: CPC and CPM. Traffic can cost as little as $0.003 per click. Networks offer detailed performance stats and real-time reporting. Some push notification advertising networks offer Smart CPC to reduce CPC without influencing conversions.
Traffic: Push Notifications
Affiliate Network: Soicos
Roman, the marketer, decided to test the microloan offer with a $2 payout.
Push notifications included a logo of the credit company Rapicredit; the banner displayed Colombian peso bills:
The rule of a thumb: localized creatives displaying national money, flags, or celebrities usually work pretty well.
The title says "Need cash today?"; description: "Apply now and get up to $350 000!"
Push notifications sent users directly to the landing page (with no prelanders):
There were three campaigns:
As you see, the campaign targeted mobile and high activity users proved to be the most efficient with ROI 257%:
As a result, there were 445 conversions with the payout $2, $890. With total expenses on campaigns $279, the profit was $611. Excellent results for the test.
To put it simply, let’s just specify the key advantages and disadvantages of using push notification in affiliate marketing.
Other advantages of push notifications include high CTR (particularly in comparison with e-mails, banners, and videos), instant delivery, and global reach (people all over the world are subscribed to pushes).
Push technology is not an expensive and very efficient method of advertising. Despite being a relatively new traffic source, push notifications have become very popular in the affiliate marketing industry. Obviously, there is no shortage of push notification advertising networks. Some recognizable ad tech brands joined the trend and offer push notification formats. It seems that push traffic will be gaining more popularity, so prices might increase. Grab your chance to try it earlier.
And do not forget, that trends for specific traffic sources or verticals come and go, but testing (testing various creatives and testing different traffic sources) is the all-time key to your success.