How to improve user engagement in publishing with push notifications?

Hot to improve user engagement in publishing

You work in the publishing industry. Your business is mostly based on the readers and their engagement. You make money because people want to read your texts. That’s how we can shortly describe the publishing industry. However, we all know that good texts aren’t enough to attract and retain readers. You need to work on that continually, and web push can be extremely helpful. How?

What are push notifications?

These are small, subscription-based messages that are displayed on the user’s device (either desktop or mobile). Typically, push notifications consist of:

  1. A short message (one, max two sentences)
  2. A logo or small graphic
  3. Big image
  4. A link or a CTA button

The goal is to reach the user in a quick and effective way with a small piece of information that might be interesting for them. Here’s an example of how a push notification in the publishing industry can look:

Push notification for publishers example
Push notification for publishers example.

Getting acquainted with such a message doesn’t take much time, and if the subject is interesting to a given person, it is likely they will click the link to find out more. According to PushPushGo case studies, well-tailored and personalized push notifications can have up to 25% CTR, which means that every fourth person who saw a specific notification, clicked the link/button. That’s a very good result, surpassing ads and newsletters.

How can the publishing industry utilize push notifications?

Put shortly, to stay in touch with readers. The goal is to encourage your readers (both potential and current) to visit your website more often, correct? To achieve this you can send manual campaigns or set up automation scenarios. Therefore, you can opt for push notifications that:

  • Inform your readers about new publications/articles. Here, personalization is crucial. If a given person usually reads the news and political news, informing them about a new cooking show isn’t the best idea.
  • Inform your readers about Breaking News. When every second counts, we recommend using Rocket Push – just copy and paste the link of the article and the content of notification is filled from the meta description of the page.
  • Encourage current readers to join the VIP club. Many online magazines use such clubs to promote premium content that’s not available to an ordinary reader. Many of your regular readers could be interested in joining such a club. You can use pushes to introduce them to such an opportunity.
  • Send reminders. Even the most loyal reader can simply forget about you from time to time. That’s why it’s so important to remind them about yourself through web push. You can send notifications to people who haven’t visited your website for at least a week and encourage them to drop by and read some of the latest pieces.
  • Promote special offers/events. Sometimes, you may want to organize a marketing campaign where, for example, you give temporary access to the premium section for free so that your readers can see for themselves whether it’s a good idea to join the VIP club. Use web push to inform every non-premium reader about the opportunity.
  • Send welcome/thank-you messages. Your readers want to be appreciated. They want to feel like they belong and are important to you. Send them short messages thanking them for visiting your website or subscribing to the newsletter. It’s the same story with welcome messages that could be displayed to every new subscriber (you can also use web push even to build a subscriber base from scratch!).

Take a look at this example of a web push automation scenario used to increase reader retention:

Push notification for publishers how it works
Push notification for publishers example.

As you can see, it’s a very simple scenario based on just one premise – reaching out to people who haven’t visited your website for at least a week. Such a scenario, provided you gather that kind of data, could be set up and launched within an hour. A piece of cake! Creating a push notification doesn’t differ that much from creating an email or text message. You don’t need any coding skills.

How to make push notifications effective?

Before you start, you have to tick one box – you have to gather data about your readers. The more you know, the better. Some of the crucial pieces of information that you ought to have comprise:

  • User interests (based on articles read and sections visited)
  • Last (or previous) visit(s)
  • Recently viewed articles/publications
  • Is a given person a premium content subscriber

This way, you can reach the right people with the right message. Remember, the secret of the effectiveness of web push lies in personalization. If you want to achieve a high CTR (click-through rate), you need to display notifications that are vital to your readers. Don’t send random articles to random people; this way, you will only get a spammer label. But when you know your readers and encourage them to read articles that you know should be interesting to them – that’s a different story.

When that’s done, you can concentrate on other elements that are necessary to drive interest and engagement:

  • Send notifications when people read. For example, many readers want to get acquainted with the latest news in the morning before they start working. That’s a good time to send that kind of information. Texts about your readers’ personal interests should be promoted in the afternoon when people are back from work and have some time for themselves.
  • Don’t flood readers with messages. Of course, you should stay in touch, but don’t go overboard. Sending too many messages will get you nothing but canceled subscriptions.
  • Write good copy. Push notifications are short. Therefore, they have to be concise and attractive. Write a good copy, add a relevant picture, and a well-thought-out CTA button, and you’ll see the results.
  • Target mobile devices. More than 85% of web push subscribers in publishing industry use mobile device to keep in touch with the site. Don’t forget to tailor your push notifications to smartphones as well. After all, many of your readers visit your website on a bus on their way home!

Do you want to know more? Join our online workshop!

Here, we showed you the basics of push notifications. But there’s more! Join us:

How to balance personalized experiences and effective monetization in publishing

20 October 2022, 3:00PM CEST 

This workshop is a project of two companies working in the publishing industry: Yieldbird and PushPushGo. During this event, you will discover how to use push notifications to drive customer engagement and improve monetization. The workshop will be hosted by

We hope to see you then! Book your place today

Bartłomiej Oprządek

Bartłomiej Oprządek

Regional Growth Director

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