Content is king. A blood-thirsty king. Now feed him.
If recent marketing news has made one thing clear, it’s this: Mobile is non-negotiable.
A growing number of us are using mobile as our primary device for accessing the internet — over a quarter of us interact with our smartphones more than any other object, or human being, for that matter. And content, in kind, has to fit that format, whether we’re consuming it or discovering it for the first time.
Brands are starting to respond to that. Just last week, for instance, Google announced that non-mobile friendly pages will be ranking even lower next year.
Apps will be especially impacted most by this increasingly widespread mobile use. The push notifications we receive on our devices will play a vital role in the information we come across, and if we choose to consume it.
Many of us are already receiving information that way. In 2015, the average opt-in rate for push notifications was 49.8%. But those messages have to be optimized — otherwise, brands risk being ignored or forgotten.
Why is that, exactly, and how can it be avoided? Read on to discover the types of push notifications your users actually want to receive — and how each one will benefit both of you.
Once upon a time, I had an activity-tracking bracelet. It was connected by Bluetooth to my phone, where I could use an app to log workouts and meals.
One day, when I hadn’t worked out for a while as a result of having the flu, I received a push notification from the app.
“You haven’t been your active self lately,” it said. “Log a workout now.”
I can’t be the only one who would feel a little bit judged by a message like that, even if it was automated. I mean, was this app serious? I had the flu! No wonder health and fitness app have the lowest opt-in rate for push notifications — they shame their users.
That doesn’t have to be the case — nor is it, for every health and fitness app out there. There are some, like 12 Minute Athlete, that let users schedule their own workout reminders. (And if you’re sick, you don’t have to schedule any.) Then, when it does come time for your workout, you get a notification that encourages you, instead of making you feel guilty.
Source: 12 Minute Athlete
Most health and fitness apps are traditionally created with a somewhat shared goal: To help their users get better at doing something. And one of the most ineffective ways of doing that? Feeling bad about not doing it. In fact, research has shown that it’s self-compassion and forgiveness that make us correct negative behaviors — not guilt.
Consider giving your users the option of taking a break. That can be applied to a variety of app categories: Health and fitness, dating, or online shopping. Let them determine how long they want that hiatus to be — and feel free you set your own parameters for how long that can actually go on. Then, send a push notification to ask them if they’re ready to come back. That will remind them to launch the app, keeping them engaged after they’ve stepped away.
I’m one of those people who has to put everything in my calendar. But the one thing I never seem to remember scheduling is an online check-in for my flights.
That’s why I absolutely love it when airline apps remind me to check in 24 hours in advance — and maybe that’s one reason why travel and transportation apps have the highest push notification opt-in rate.
Many airlines notify passengers to check in via email, but let’s face it — with text messages outweighing email as the preferred method of communication by 23%, chances are that we’re looking at these quick notifications more than we’re checking our email.
JetBlue is one airline that does this particularly well. Like clockwork, I always receive a friendly little note on my screen — “Hey there. It’s time to check in for your flight” — exactly 24 hours before I’m scheduled to take off. It’s one less thing that I have to remember to do and, therefore, these particular notifications are adding value for me.
Ask yourself that question before you write copy for a push notification: How can we frame this in a way that creates value for the user? You’ll be glad you did — users who opt-in to push messages average three times more app launches than those who opt out.
When Localytics asked mobile users which type of push notifications they preferred the most, 34% responded with “a special offer based on my location” — the third most popular kind.
And why not? If you’re already out, you might as well treat yourself with that special discount, right?
Take this notification from Neoshop. It’s personalized on two levels — it includes the user’s first name, and it lets him know that there’s a shop location nearby where he can use some of the credits he’s accumulated.
Source: Business 2 Community
Knowing where your users are and responding in kind accomplishes two things: First, it lets them know that you’re paying attention. You’re not watching them in a Big-Brother-ish way — you’re looking out for them, and for opportunities around them.
Second, offering them something special based on that information can make your brand relatable — like a friend texting to say, “I’m in your neighborhood. Wanna get coffee?”
That’s another way to add value for your user. Instead of asking them to go out of their way to engage with you, you’re creating an opportunity when it’s convenient to them. That makes it easy for someone to find a reason to launch your app — and to remember that they have unused rewards.
There are also occasions when you might not be where you want to be — like a warm beach in the middle of winter, for example. And, there are times when a push notification can help you get there — like with a cheap airfare alert.
Kayak, a travel search site, allows its users to set their own notification criteria — based on destination, date, or popular places to travel — and receive an alert when the price for any of those trips drops below a point of their choosing.
There are few things that thrill me more than a good deal on airfare. And when it’s Kayak who lets me know about that deal, I associate that brand with my excitement.
And that makes sense — “a special offer based on my preferences” was the #1 preferred type of push notification in 2015. The reward is twofold: Not only are your users receiving information that’s perceived as a great deal, but it’s the result of something they were able to dictate. There’s a return on their investment in your app — and they got to call the shots on what that return would look like.
There are several verticals that could stand to benefit from this strategy. It’s the positive association I mentioned before that really stands out — just as it is with location-based alerts, these notifications send the message that your brand is looking out for its users. It’s as if the app is saying, “I know you mentioned that you were looking for one of these, so I picked it up for you.”
It’s thoughtful, right? And since 52% of us prefer gifts that are truly considerate in that way, it seems fitting that we would respond well to brands that behave accordingly.
So think about what’s really going to excite your users. Let your audience determine what they deem rewarding by letting them customize preferences. When you plan your push notifications, having that information will help craft the message that your app is going out of its way to benefit its users.
It might seem like we’re a bit overwhelmed with bad news these days — so much, in fact, that WNYC put together a Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook. As much as we like to stay informed, we also like the opportunity to tune some things out.
But what about the rest of what’s happening in the world — the stuff that we want to stay in the loop for? At risk of sounding cliché: There’s an app for that.
The Oregon Public Broadcasting app set a great example for how push notifications can be used for this kind of content distribution and promotion. “We’re not singularly a breaking news app,” said OPB’s Marketing Director, Paul Loofburrow, “but if there’s a public service announcement, we want to share that.”
Instead, the app uses push notifications to alert listeners to live broadcasts, encouraging them to tune in. And it works — after sending these alerts, OPB saw a 483% increase in users listening to a specific radio broadcast.
Source: Urban Airship
Medium, an online publishing platform, uses push notifications in a similar way. Users can receive an instant alert when someone they follow publishes a new post — and can decide if they want to Medium to select the top five posts of this kind, instead of receiving a notification every time something new is published. And if they want, users can also opt to receive notifications for stories that Medium recommends, based on their reading history.
Breaking News is another app that has quite a few content customization features. It lets users decide what they want brought to their attention, and when they want to hear about it. There’s an option to disable notifications for “major stories,” as well as a way to set “quiet time,” when no news alerts will be sent.
Source: Breaking News
But here’s where the real value comes in — the features that allow users to pick the topics they want to know about.
Source: Breaking News
That level of personalization is a tremendous asset to your audience. In fact, users are three times more likely to respond to a notification that directly affects them, as opposed to an alert that might have been sent to everybody.
Depending on what sort of information is shared by your app, a best practice could be to let users pick and choose what they want to know about. And, instead of only giving them the chance to turn off notifications completely, let them choose a time of day when they don’t want to be disturbed.
You’ve walked into a room with an intention. But then, something distracts you. The phone rings, someone’s shouting your name for your attention, and by the time that distraction has passed, you’ve forgotten why you walked into that room in the first place.
That scenario often plays out when we’re using apps. Let’s say I’m using a grocery delivery app to place an order, when someone sends me a text message. If leave the app to respond, I’m probably going to forget what I was doing before that message came in, and neglect to finish my order. That’s no surprise, since studies now reveal that we have a shorter attention span than most goldfish — largely due to smartphone use.
But Instacart is one app that helps me remember to finish a task. If I abandon my shopping cart without checking out, for example, it sends me this friendly reminder:
How convenient! Not only do I now remember that I need to order my groceries, but I don’t have to wait that long for them to be delivered, either.
This example goes back to the idea of making life easier for your users. But in this case, instead of being reminded of a specific, salient event — like a trip or flight somewhere — the app is helping me stay on top of my day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.
When you design your push notifications, keep two things in mind:
Answering those questions will help you prioritize the alerts you want to send to your users, and limit the amount of overload they perceive from your app.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the “hangry” phenomenon — an adjective that Dictionary.com defines as “irritable as a result of feeling hungry.”
When you combine the cultural pervasiveness of hangriness with the fact that more and more of us are ordering meals online (by 2020, it’s predicted that mobile ordering will be a $38 billion industry), the outcome is as follows: We really, really want to know when our food will arrive.
That’s why it’s smart for what Business Insider calls “aggregators” — platforms like GrubHub and Eat24 that allow users to order online from dozens of different outlets — to incorporate a live delivery update feature, to let us know when our food is on its way.
It’s important to note that we’re becoming a species of instant gratification — 43% of us think it’s unacceptable to take more than 10 minutes to respond to a text message, for example. And whether we like that direction or not, it’s important for businesses to adapt, especially in the mobile sector.
If your app requires your users to wait for something, ask yourself:
Those last two points stress the importance of striking the right balance with push notifications. Share just enough information so that your users aren’t left completely in the dark while they’re waiting. And if they need more details, make sure there’s an easy way for them to get in touch with you.
There are a few tools out there that can help you create and implement push notifications. A few of our favorites:
When it comes to creating push notifications, there’s an unspoken golden rule: Alert others as you would like to be alerted.
These notifications are absolutely crucial to your mobile marketing strategy — users that enable them are 171% more engaged with the app than those who don’t. But choose them wisely.
When in doubt, we find it’s helpful to use a checklist. So make sure your push notifications meet these basic criteria:
How do you use push notifications? Share it with us in the comments.
WOW, you’re in for something special on The School of Greatness today.
Years ago, when the podcast was still pretty new, I made an amazing friend, the one and only Glennon Doyle Melton.
She is the super popular blogger, author, and speaker behind the Momastery brand.
She changed my life by giving me the courage to share my own story of being raped as a kid.
So much healing and love has come into my life since then, and Glennon and I are still good friends.
She has been on her own journey over the past couple of years to live courageously in love.
I am so inspired by everything she has gone through and the work she does that changes lives everyday through sharing her story.
She just wrote a new book that releases this week called Love Warrior. It’s a must read for everyone.
We recorded this conversation a few months ago when she was in town and now I’m so excited to share it with you in Episode 376.
Glennon IS a love warrior. How are you going to love bigger today?
The post Become a Love Warrior In and Out of Marriage with Glennon Doyle Melton appeared first on Lewis Howes.
There’s a reason why we love TV courtroom dramas. Beyond the shocking objections and confessions, it seems like there’s constant screentime for strong, powerful arguments.
As marketers, that last part is especially exciting. Whether we know it or not, we are unabashed nerds for all things negotiation — and it’s a skill that all of us should master.
That could be why we’re drawn to a well-written, televised version of a compelling argument. We love seeing people making a case for what they believe in, and wish we could do it as well ourselves, like when we’re trying to negotiate a budget allocation or a project.
But with the right strategies and skills, you can learn to negotiate. It’s practical, valuable knowledge that can be applied almost anywhere — especially in the marketing realm.
When I speak with marketers, it seems like there’s always something that has to be negotiated. A lot of the time, it’s the allocation of resources — budget, new hires, or time.
There are other marketing-specific times when negotiation is necessary, though. Maybe you’re working out a co-marketing agreement. Or maybe you’re trying to make a case for your own ideas.
Regardless, being prepared for these conversations is key. A big part of that is confidence — after all, 19% of folks don’t negotiate because they’re afraid of looking too pushy. We get it. Negotiating is kind of scary, especially when you’re new to it.
But arriving to these discussions with the right expectations and information can make them a little less intimidating. We picked six techniques that can be applied in a broad range of negotiations — at work, or wherever else.
In the context of negotiation, there’s a big difference between focusing on interests and focusing on positions. While interests refer to an outcome that will benefit you, positions refer to your stance on a particular issue.
Co-marketing, as we noted above, is a place where this concept plays out quite a bit. Let’s say a small business is trying to partner with one that has a larger reach.
Those are the positions of each company: “You should partner with us,” versus “We don’t need you.”
That’s where the smaller company has to think about the underlying interests of the larger one and how they might, in fact, need each other.
“Larger companies may have a large reach, but what do they not have?” asks HubSpot’s Manager of Content Marketing Strategy, Lisa Toner. “Do they not have resources to create really great content for their audience?”
That could be an interest of the larger business: Gaining resources to create things like compelling design or apps. “It’s all about the pitch, and if you can offer an experience [your opponent] or their customers would welcome,” Toner says, “without them having to do the work.”
But determining these interests requires research and creativity, Toner says. And she’s not alone — in the book Negotiating Rationally, Max H. Bazerman and Margaret A. Neale note that “creative solutions can be found by redefining the conflict for each side, identifying their underlying interests, and brainstorming for a wide variety of potential solutions.”
So while your opponent might have a different position on the surface, you might actually have interests in common. Knowing what those are can help you frame the conversation in a way that sets you both up for success.
When you enter a negotiation, it’s valuable to have different scenarios and alternatives in mind. In business school, we were taught to frame these with an “If-Then Matrix”: A table with rows of “if”s — the things we wanted, but the opponent might say no to. Those were followed by columns of “then”s — the items that would become non-negotiable if the client refused the “if.”
Having options in mind can help to mitigate some of the fear that comes with negotiating. For one, it clarifies your priorities: A recent survey showed that 56% of women won’t negotiate a job offer because they don’t know what to ask for, which implies that a lot of people — male and female — haven’t considered what’s most important to them.
Maybe work-life balance matters more to you than salary. In that case, if your employer says no to your payment requirements, then flexible hours might become non-negotiable.
Do this with all of the “if”s that matter most to you. If flexible hours are also met with resistance, then what will your sticking points be?
And that’s where we also need to consider the BATNA — or, best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are for a negotiation, you might not reach an agreement. Then what?
You’ll need to know the answer to that question before you even enter the conversation — that’s your BATNA. In fact, have multiple alternatives in mind — the more options you have, the less likely you are to feel completely helpless if your negotiation results in a stalemate.
An “If-Then” matrix can be helpful here, too. Know which factors will be at play if you don’t reach an agreement, and what the implications will be for your customers, your company, your team, and yourself. Don’t focus on defeat — focus on what you can do, and the actionable items that come with it.
Remember: Negotiation isn’t an all-or-nothing process. Think about your interests, then determine your options based on the ones that are most important to you.
When it comes to negotiation, creativity is key.
In one study of MBA students, participants were divided into two groups for different workshops — one that focused on systematic problem solving, and the other on solutions that directed students to “have fun,” “refrain from criticizing your ideas,” and “look for new possibilities.”
Each group then had negotiate a budget allocation. The students that underwent the creative training — the one that emphasized unconventional ideas and outcomes — executed the task better than the one that went through a more traditional workshop.
Studies like that show the value of creativity in generating unique alternative solutions and possibilities, and that is a lesson that you should think about when creating your negotiation agenda. You see, if an agenda resembles an itemized list with strict topics like budget and personnel, it tends to put the focus on positions, like “I need 35% of the budget,” or “I need 10 employees reallocated to our team.” But it doesn’t address why those needs exist — the interests behind them.
To combat that, try to focus on more open-ended things like goals and concerns. In that case, you’re leading with the why — the underlying interests that are at the root of each side’s position.
Maybe your opponent is concerned that her team can’t handle its growing workload, and that’s why she wants to add 10 people. With that perspective, her interest isn’t really about personnel allocation, as much as it’s about preventing her employees from burning out. That opens the door to discussing more creative solutions.
I know what you’re thinking. “We know. Focus on interests. We get it!”
It’s true. Understanding your opponent’s priorities can more quickly uncover those underlying interests that I keep harping at. And yes — they’ll also help you align their interests with yours, and determine mutually beneficial outcomes.
But thinking about what matters most to your opponent can also give you an idea of what kind of questions he might ask. And you can prepare responses for those questions, gathering the data to support your answers in advance.
That will also help you figure out which questions you want to ask during the negotiation. When my colleague, Juliana Nicholson, was writing an ebook, she really wanted to include a certain organization as a case study. But they were hesitant to be featured, she said, because they were “very sensitive to how we framed them.”
At the same time, she told me, they “really wanted the exposure.” Knowing that was important to them helped Nicholson figure out the best questions to put them at ease, and gave them a sense of control in the process — questions like, “Can we use your real name and logo, so that we can link back to your site and drive traffic there?”
Notice how she cited a benefit in her question. She was asking for permission to do something — to use real identifiers of the organization, instead of a pseudonym — while immediately noting the positive outcomes of doing so.
And by posing it as a question, instead of stating it as a fact — “Doing X will result in Y” — Nicholson gave her opponent a sense of control over the process. Because she knew how much that mattered to them, she was able to phrase her questions in a way that addressed their interests in both control and exposure.
So don’t be afraid to relinquish a little bit of jurisdiction during a negotiation, especially when it comes to your opponent’s priorities.
When you enter a negotiation, you’ll want to set the stage for a positive, proactive discussion. It goes without saying, then, that you probably don’t want to offend your opponent.
But accidentally offending your counterparts might be easier than you’d expect, especially if you’re negotiating with international peers. And that’s becoming more and more likely in business. HubSpot, for example, has offices in five different countries — that definitely shapes the way we do business.
It wouldn’t hurt to brush up on the business etiquette of your opponent’s native country. Here are some categories to consider when preparing for an international negotiation.
In researching other cultures, I’ve learned that there are things I do naturally and unconsciously — like elaborately moving my arms when I talk — that would offend my colleagues in other countries. So in addition to doing my intellectual homework, I would have to physically prepare for a negotiation for my Chinese counterparts, and practice sitting still during a conversation.
My colleague, Leslie Ye, breaks down some do’s and don’ts on physical behavior in each country here.
In the U.S., we often joke about the discomfort of an awkward silence. So it makes sense that other cultures — like Japan — use silence with the “hope the other side will speak,” writes University of Hawaii Professor John Barkai, and end up revealing something valuable, for the sake of saying anything at all.
But instead of letting the silence get awkward, use it to reflect. And if you do decide to speak first, take advantage of the quiet to think carefully about what you’re going to say.
Being on time is one of those things that starkly varies according to country. Just look at this guide to international business etiquette from my colleague, Lindsay Kolowich — how many countries have punctuality listed as important?
It’s important to know when you’ll be expected to be on time, and when you can anticipate the opposite from your counterpart. In France, for example, “you’re considered ‘on time’ if you’re 10 minutes late,” writes Kolowich.
Knowing how each culture treats timeliness will help you plan for and keep your negotiation efficient — and leave out the element of surprise if your guests arrive later than the scheduled start time.
You are so totally prepared for this negotiation. Great! What about the people sitting next to you at the table?
Even if you’re the one doing all of the talking, prepare any colleagues who will be present for the negotiation. Transparency is crucial here — your team should be briefed on any information that might arise during the negotiation, and privy to the same cultural and behavioral context that you’ve researched.
When your team has information, it gives them the opportunity to add their own valuable insights. When we become deeply ingrained in an issue, it can be difficult to look at it objectively. So make sure your team is equipped with the same armory you have — their perspective of it is an asset.
When it comes to preparing for any meeting, there are a few basic things you can do to prepare your team that also apply here.
If you do all of these fabulous things to prepare — homework, research, introspection, and planning for less-than-desirable outcomes — then please, feel good about the conversation you’re about to have. We have a tendency to expect the worst (I know I do, anyway), and sometimes, numbers are the only thing that make us feel better.
So know this:
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Negotiating is kind of scary. But even if the worst case scenario actually plays out, by following these steps, you’ll be covered with a backup plan.
You’ve got this. And we’re always here to help as much as we can. Do you have a negotiation question, or story? Share it in the comments.
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Tony Robbins
There are two 2 types of pain.
The pain that poisons you and the pain that propels you.
Today for 5 Minute Friday, I want to cover how to overcome the kind of pain that poisons you.
These are simple tips, but they’ve made a huge difference in how I deal with pain.
What are you struggling with right now? I’d love to hear your thoughts after listening to Episode 375.
Which tip are you going to try?