feature

Today’s consumers expect brands to reach them with relevant, valuable messages and brand experiences—and feel frustrated when that expectation isn’t met. For marketers to meet these needs, there’s a push feature that they should seriously consider leveraging: Push notification action buttons.

It’s been over a decade since the push notifications first burst onto the scene, making it possible for marketers to directly reach their mobile audience with brief, attention-getting messages. And in that time, we’ve watched this channel—known for its simplicity and urgency—become increasingly versatile with the introduction of rich push, Push Stories, and other more advanced features.

Today’s consumers expect brands to reach them with relevant, valuable messages and brand experiences—and feel frustrated when that expectation isn’t met. For marketers looking to ensure that their push campaigns feel more like interactive conversations with the customers they’re messaging, there’s a push feature that they should seriously consider leveraging: Push notification action buttons.

What Are Push Notification Action Buttons?

This is a case where the name is actually pretty self-explanatory: Push notification action buttons are literal buttons that can be added to the push notifications you send in order to allow recipients to take action on the messages they receive.

These buttons make it easier for users to engage with your brand directly within the push notifications they’re sent. Instead of having to tap the push in question, open your app, and then take an action, push notification action buttons make it possible for customers to interact with up to four distinct buttons, creating a more seamless, more interactive messaging experience.

What Are the Benefits of Push Notification Action Buttons?

Push notification action buttons are powerful because they give your users options.

Think of it this way: A traditional button-less push notification is like a lecture, where one person stands in front of a large group and gives all of them information—it’s a one-way share of information and it has its place. But a message that includes push action buttons is more like a seminar, where there’s a real, two-way discussion between different participants.

By allowing recipients to respond to the messages you send in a more nuanced way, they aren’t just learning about your brand’s product updates and promotions; they’re also responding to your message, providing valuable feedback that goes far beyond just clicking open an app or website. And because today’s consumers expect to have their voices heard by brands—rather than just being talked at— it's more important than ever to engage in this kind of conversation if you want your business to be successful.

Another benefit? Today’s consumers are always on the go. They’re busy. They’re multi-tasking. And chances are, that wherever they are and whatever they are doing, they have their cell phone close by. As a result, any marketing messaging channel should be able to reach and engage users efficiently and effectively on the platforms and channels they prefer.

Push notification action buttons make it possible for your users to reduce the amount of time they need to spend to take action on the pushes you send—for instance, sharing via social media with a single tap, instead of a multi-step process—and make it possible to save content for later or snooze a given notification right from their notification center, allowing them to customize their experience and engage with your message and its contents when the time is right for them. That sort of thoughtful, “human” messaging experience is exactly the kind of thing that supports successful long-term customer/brand relationships.

How Can My Brand Leverage Push Notification Action Buttons in Our Marketing Strategy?

To effectively use push notification action buttons in your outreach, make sure you’re being thoughtful about when and how you’re deploying them. Not every push you send will benefit from the addition of action buttons, and you should only include them when they add real value for the people receiving the message. But in situations where there are multiple follow-up options that your users can take, allowing them to easily select their prefered option—all without having to open an app or website—can be a powerful way to help them interact with your brand on their own terms.

Here’s what that can look like:

1. Re-Welcome Users With Open Arms

We’ve all been there: A user downloads our awesome new app… and then does nothing. For days. Re-engage those customers with a push notification that includes action buttons that can drive them to different parts of your app or allow them to re-start the onboarding flow. That way, users can signal what they’re most interested in—or make it clear that they don’t intend to use your app after all, allowing you to focus on more persuadable new users.

2. Encourage Loyal Customers to Boost Their Social Media Engagement

Maybe you have a dedicated group of users who love your app and login multiple times every day. Why not leverage that loyalty and engagement by nudging them to start interacting with your brand more frequently on social media? With push notification action buttons, you can easily drive them to their prefered social media platform and boost your social followers and engagement without requiring them to navigate to your app.

3. Send Interactive Reminders and Other Transactional Outreach

For brands sending reminder and time-sensitive transactional messages—thing delivery or travel and hospitality brands—push notification action buttons represent a clear opportunity to gather more information about user preferences and provide a more useful, more interactive experience. For instance, an airline could potentially send a push notification letting you know that your flight is available for check-in, then provide action buttons allowing each recipient to check in immediately, snooze the reminder, or to indicate that they intend to check in at the airport.

Anything Else?

Push action buttons provide marketers with a powerful and flexible medium with which to interact with users. From starting a conversation to increasing engagement to growing sales, this real-time marketing feature can be a real game-changer...but only if you’re thoughtful in how you leverage it. The key to using push action buttons successfully is mapping out a strategy that keeps consumers engaged throughout the user life cycle, but without overwhelming them with buttons they’re not likely to click.

To learn more about the ins and outs of push notifications and how this channel can work for you, check out our guide to the essentials of push notifications.