EP27 Evergreen Automations That Will Diversify Your Marketing Strategy



Episode Summary:

Looking for a new channel to grow your lists, but don’t have a lot of time? Push is the channel for you.

On this episode of the Messenger Mastermind podcast we discuss a new channel that we have found considerable success in, Push Notifications. Yes the same Push notifications that Mobile apps send you can now send through your Mobile Responsive eCommerce site. Learn how we diversify our Marketing efforts through the channel and how we build automations to see incredible ROAS from the channel as well.

If you are responsible for your eCommerce company’s Email or Retention marketing this is the one for you.

Let us know what you think below 👇👇.


Episode Highlights:

  1. 1:00: An Overview of Push Notifications
  2. 3:10: How to get started with Push Notifications
  3. 6:09: The Incredible Returns you can get from Push
  4. 8:36: The High Returning Automations to set up
  5. 12:00: The other automations to configure in Push Owl
  6. 13:48: How to weave Push Notifications into your normal Marketing cadence
  7. 16:00: The Value of Diversifying your lists
  8. 18:30: Google is updating their ranking and why you need to update your site accordingly.
  9. 20:00: Our special offer for you!


Resources Mentioned:

Push Notifications Tool – Pushowl– Free Extended Trial for their Enterprise Plan

Episode Transcript:


Jeremy: Welcome to another week’s episode of The Messenger Mastermind Podcast. We’re really excited to bring you another great episode that we’ve been talking through for a while now, really trying to figure out how to weave it into the Messenger game and that is channel diversification through push notifications. I’m sure you’ve all experienced this on your phones but Mark, why don’t you quickly walk us through what push notifications are?


Mark: From a user standpoint, you’ve probably seen this while browsing the web. You see this little box that drops up from the top of the screen that asks you to accept or block a notification. If you’ve ever accepted those, what is going to happen is the company or person that’s going to be sending out a push notification will send you a broadcast of some sort. In the usually bottom right-hand corner of your computer you will see a little box that pops up and it will be a little promotion of some sort. Just the same, if you are on an Android phone, you will still see at the top through your notifications tab, you will see a notification pop up just like any other notifications tab. That will be the push notification. Unfortunately, at this time, it is not available for iPhones but all desktop, MacIntosh and Android phones all have the ability to receive push notifications.


Jeremy: Just like you download a mobile app, all the notifications that are sent through any mobile app, whether it’s on IOS or Android, even for those people still using Blackberry out there, those are all push notifications. Basically, what this allows you to do is through your mobile-responsive website, send those exact same type of messages. Unfortunately, Apple just hasn’t opened up IOS so we can send those messages to iPhones yet. Rumor mill has it that will be coming soon. We’re really excited for that. One other thing just to note on push notifications, it’s device specific so let’s say I go to constantlyvariedgear.com on my laptop and sign up for push notifications there. Then I go to constantlyvariedgear.com on my phone, I’d have to opt in on each device and each is considered unique. It’s not like email where when you sign up with your email, you get it on any device. Right now, through the way that the technology works is device specific. As we think about how to use that and how is the most effective, how did you guys get started on push notifications?


Ben: We use the campaign feature of our push notifications so we use it as a follow up message to email, similar to what you would send out for a sale or a promotion. We build the actual push notification itself similar to a message. You have to be short and to the point. They do allow you an image depending on what browser or what device you’re on. You can add a couple buttons to the link back to what you want and add some different CTA’s. Results that we’ve seen on some of our campaigns, we see anywhere from a 25% to 30% view rate. It’s not an open rate because it’s not an email, but a view rate. The click through can be anywhere from 3 ½% to 6% which is pretty good. We do have access to a lot of people and on a device where they’re ready to take action.


Mark: From a standpoint of a promotion or a new product release, we use this as a pretty good clean-up tool because we know that maybe someone’s not going to be on their desktop at a certain time or if they’re an iPhone user, they might not see this, so we use it usually the next day. If we roll out a new product or we have a promotion that’s going to stretch a couple of days, we use it on the tail-end of things just in case someone maybe previously saw it from one our other channels. This is just a really good reminder and that’s why Jeremy opened up this episode by saying that this is our diversification of our Messenger marketing.


Ben: One of the reasons why we use it as a clean-up tool instead of the initial release notice is because, like Jeremy said, it is device specific. We would rather use Messenger and email to reach somebody where we know the message is going to reach them no matter what device they are. A push notification is a good reminder to somebody who may have seen the initial message and is now on their device that they can take action on.


Jeremy: We had a slightly different but pretty similar strategy at Lumee where we would just stagger these maybe a half hour to an hour after our email campaign went out. Whoever built the email campaign would- because you have a character limit. It’s somewhere around 80 to 100 characters. We always just made it 60 to kind of match our subject lines of our emails. We would literally just emoji-fy our subject lines and then throw them into push notifications. It would basically be a slightly different but very similar version of our email that went out. What’s great about it is that it’s super lightweight so it’s virtually no more work to set it up for what you’re already building out in your email, whether that be Klaviyo, the few people that are still on Mailchimp, or any other email tool. You’ve basically created all the assets that you need so it’s so simple to set up. It just brings in the dollars. Push notifications are one of the cheaper channels to use in general. At Lumee, we used PushOwl which I think even at the most expensive, we were spending like maybe $100 a month. We were making 90 to 100 times that in revenue overall. If you look at it over the course of a year, because of just how effective the channel was at grabbing somebody’s attention. I mean, it’s either popping up in the top right corner of your desktop or on your phone. They probably did see a message in another channel, and it was that nice little nudge to bring them back to the site that maybe they opened the email or maybe they opened up a Messenger message that we sent them. This was a little like, “Hey, here’s another reminder” and those people that might have been fence-sitting were brought in. It was a great another touch for us.


Mark: For C.V.G., we also use PushOwl. It’s been really good for us just because like you said, how simplistic it really is. We’re only paying $57 a month and that fluctuates based on how many impressions you need. For instance, if $57 a month gets us 30,000 impressions a month, if we went up to 40,000 impressions that would be $76. You can kind of get an idea from that. The reason why, like Jeremy said, it really kills it on the ROAS is because the people that are going to opt in to a push notification are usually going to be your die-hards. They’re the people that want to hear that want to hear everything from you because when that push notification pops up and it says ‘accept’ or ‘block’ if you’re not like a really good customer, you’re just instantly- you’re not even going to read it, you’re just going to hit ‘block.’ If you’re going to be one of the top customers, a repeat customer, someone that wants to really hear everything that you have, those are going to be the people that opt in which makes the power of the push notification so powerful.


Ben: And like Jeremy said, it is really lightweight. A lot of the times, we use the same messaging that we’re using for a Messenger broadcast. The same creative that we might have sent. The buttons look very similar and go to the same thing, too. It’s just something to put in your deck and diversify.


Mark: I think we kind of just mostly talked about the broadcast here but probably one of the more effective parts and certainly easier parts, is the automation options. Jeremy, do you want to speak a little bit about what you guys did with Lumee on that?


Jeremy: This is actually my favorite part of this. Out of box, when you sign up for a PushOwl Pro account- I can’t speak to the other push notification tools- you get a couple pretty valuable things that once you configure the messages to go on the back end, PushOwl sets up everything automatically with your Shopify store. First, it just a simple welcome series. It’s like a Messenger when somebody signs up. We basically just copy and pasted subject lines. I think two out of our first three welcome series are email. “Hey, welcome to the brand” and then I think we sent them to a branded blog page or our ‘About Us’ page on the website. Just on that same kind of assumption that when someone for an email or through Messenger, they’re getting to know your brand so just welcome them. And then what absolutely crushed it for us from a revenue perspective was the abandoned cart flow. Literally, just taking the same three step abandoned cart flow that we had set up in our email, we actually condensed four steps down to three for push, and then staggered it around the email. So, if our first abandoned cart email saying, “Hey, you left something in your cart” went out an hour after someone abandoned, we set up a push notification for thirty minutes before to kind of prime the pump. Then we staggered our second notification to happen between emails one and two. We staggered the third notification to be between emails two and three. Just like we covered last week about how you guys use SMS and email to do your cross-sell post-purchase and you saw your numbers really lift because of that, we saw the exact same thing. Actually, by sending them in tandem, something at different play and slightly different times with most of the same messaging. I think I might of tweaked some of the copy a little bit over the year that we ran these. It just absolutely crushed. Our abandoned cart recovery rate went up. It made us a ton of revenue and it made the emails more effective. It was such a big return for us that I would say that if all you get out of this episode is configuring PushOwl and configuring the abandoned cart flow in there, and do nothing else, you’ll print money especially if your abandoned cart flow is set up well. Another cool feature that PushOwl has is that you can copy and paste what Shopify calls ‘shareable discount codes.’ Literally, in the abandoned cart series if you want to send someone a 10% off discount code for message #2, you can have the link that routes back to your store be one of those shareable discount codes. Discount codes automatically applied at checkout. You just recovered that customer. It’s loaded they click on the notification and are immediately routed back to your store to buy. It’s so simple. It’s so light-touch and it really is effective. The other flows that they have if you want to dig deeper, they have a ‘back in stock’ flow. I’m sure everyone is familiar with this. If not, set up your ‘back in stock’ flows for email as well. The customer can say, “Hey, I want to be notified when this product comes back in stock.” As soon as inventory is updated in our backend, we shoot out a message to them. They can click a button, get routed back to the exact product that they want to buy. Again, one touch moment. The last piece is price drops. I thought this was really cool, especially if you run sales frequently or your customers are super cost-conscious. There’s another thing where on our product details page, a customer can click one button say, “I want to be notified any time that the price of this product changes.” As soon as you update the price in the back of Shopify, boom, push notification goes out. One click, they are back to your product. They see what the price drop is because it’s all automated through PushOwl and you’re moving product.


Mark: These are all options listed under the automation section of PushOwl. Like Jeremy said, they simply work. The only thing that C.V.G. uses from PushOwl is the broadcast feature and the abandon cart feature. The abandon cart feature in less than a year has brought us almost 1000 recovered carts and we set that up. We did it once. I think it maybe took twenty minutes and I haven’t touched it since. It just keeps working.


Ben: That’s the definition of evergreen, man. It’s great stuff.


Jeremy: It’s those simple things that are big wins and then my kind of philosophy was go in, set up the automations, have the tool pay for itself-which I think it literally did in a week. We made enough to pay for the tool for the entire year in our first week of using PushOwl. Then we started including it in our weekly campaign. We have a marketing calendar. That marketing calendar has emails going out on whatever days throughout the week with content that’s promoting stuff on our blog and things that we find interesting. We have the product side and the promo side, and we cycled all those things through our email. We had this really complex program going and we would pick one content and one product or promo email every week. We would peel off the subject lines. Someone would go in, schedule out the push notification and have it work in tandem with email. Really, that became so successful for us across all of these channels. Email was what we would primarily focus on and built the schedule off of and then off of the email schedule, we wanted to send a Facebook Messenger message along with this email. We want to send a push notification along with this email. We want to send a SMS message along with that email. We would slightly customize the copy, make sure that it fit into the medium, and send it out. It did so well for us. It was maybe ten to fifteen minutes more of work. Build out the email, go to this other platform, build out push, send it all out, go to Messenger, send it out. The channel diversification, adding all of those things together was really such a big win for us because it’s kind of like a rising tide lifts all boats scenario where it’s very rare that you’re actually going to inundate customers. Worst case scenario is that they unsubscribe from a couple of the channels, but I mean, you guys already mentioned this, I don’t know that we ever saw a unsubscribe from push.


Mark: People do not unsubscribe from push notifications. They just don’t.


Ben: I know it’s a little early in the year to talk about this but when we start focusing on Q4 and things that separate us from other marketers, push notifications is one of the most valuable things that you can do when the ad budget starts to get really tight and more and more competitive on Facebook and Instagram. We talk about diversification and PushOwl is another one of those tools.


Mark: It’s just another list that you have at hand that’s more value in your business because you have more ways to contact your customers. 


Jeremy: There’s a couple values to the business for push notifications. Think about if a customer gives you their email, signs up through Facebook, gives you their phone number, and signs up through push notifications. I’m going to say they’re pretty interested in your business. I’m going to say there’s a lot of potential value there and neglecting any of those channels is neglecting additional revenue that you could be driving in. What I think is much more realistic though, than every single customer that you have signing up across all of those channels and being super active on your social media and looking and searching for you all the time on Google is they’re probably going to pick a couple. You’re going to see a lot of fragmentation along your customer base of 10% to 20% people are signed up for email and follow you on Instagram. Another 30% to 40% of people follow you on Facebook and Messenger. Another 10% are cut this way, that way, and the other way. It’s such a huge opportunity to find your customers in the channels that they want you to communicate through and to have the ability for them to opt in versus forcing everyone into one channel. Having the ability for them to say, “Hey, I don’t want to check my email anymore. I only want to read Facebook messages” or “I use Facebook messages for so many other things, I only want to look at push notifications and text messages” or “I can’t send any more text messages. I only want to see social media posts and Facebook group posts.” I think all of those things are super important. Obviously, it’s a ton of work for us. I think with a couple of these hacks and really leveraging the automations of the platforms themselves, it gives you a real opportunity to provide most of this value without doing so much heavy lifting that it can be inundating. 


The last thing that I really want to mention was Google released this new and interesting concept last summer in another change to their search engine algorithm that’s going to be pretty important moving forward. It essentially boils down to whatever your web property is that someone is searching for, if it’s a PWA or not will affect how high it shows up in the search rankings. PWA stands for Progressive Web App. It is turning your mobile responsive website as close to what we today consider a mobile app as possible. I don’t really want to get too deep into the weeds about what all that technically means. From a simple perspective, if you add push notifications to your mobile responsive website, it becomes a PWA. It’s something that is not at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but it will start to impact your organic search rankings. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Get another channel where you could be making 100 times in sales what it costs you to run the messages and just automatically be a part of the PWA community. 


It’s going to be really important for the long-term of your business and because of that, we have reached out to PushOwl. They are the best tool on Shopify that I’ve found, especially for Shopify Plus businesses. I can’t remember whether you guys told me about PushOwl, or I told you guys about PushOwl, but we’ve been super happy with them. I actually reached out to them this week and they want everyone on this podcast to sign up. They are offering an extended free trial of their Pro Business Account. We’re going to link the referral in the show notes. We’ll also have it on our website. If you go to the homepage, you’ll be able to find it. Set it up, spend the twenty minutes to at least set up the abandoned cart and check in on it later in the week, even two weeks. I think you are going to see such great results from that process, you’ll be thanking us. You’ll probably be coming back to listen to this episode again to really dig into the other automations and the campaigns. It’s something that is so light touch for everyone involved, you and your customer. It provides a lot of value to you and your customer. I think it’s a mistake to not do it today. I know I’m putting the full jets on which I really don’t like to do regularly but this is how strongly I feel about this. We’d love you guys to reach out in the Facebook group about what you’ve done and what’s been working well for you and what questions you have. We’ve been doing this for over a year now. I’ve been talking to a couple of heads of their teams for a while. They really want to know how they can also help other merchants send better push notifications. That’s what we’re here to do also. Reach out, let us know if you have any questions. We’re more than happy to help. I would love some really cool new tactics for us to deploy as well. Definitely sign up through the link. If you haven’t already started on PushOwl, get going. If you have already gotten going, check your data, see if there is any way to improve and really use this as another channel to get more of your business into other channels so you’re not dependent on one or two.