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6 Min Read

An Uncomplicated Guide To Push Notifications For Gaming Websites

Akhilesh Mohanan
Marketing Intern at PushCrew

The war between consoles and the PC master race has prevailed for long in the gaming universe. However, out of the 1.8 billion gamers in the world, 1.2 billion play on PC. Not to be partial or anything, but the numbers say it all.

If you have been paying close attention to these numbers, you would have noticed that approximately 18% of the world’s population uses their computers to play games on a regular basis. So how can you tap into this audience to increase traffic on your gaming website? A few years back I would’ve said email, but not anymore. Now, we have a much better alternative, Push Notifications.

So you have this cool new online gaming community page that you know will be a game changer. But no matter how many promo offers and gift packs you send, you are not getting enough traffic. The prognosis could be devastating if not taken seriously and your website could slowly fade into oblivion. To prevent such blows, you need to keep your readers and customers engaged, and make them return to your website.

You may already be sending out discounts and bonuses, but the question remains, do they know that you are giving out all these offers?

Promo emails usually end up in spam folders. Even if they do manage to grab user attention, it’ll probably be too late as the offer might have already expired. Push Notifications can fit snugly into that communication gap you’ve got. So, how can you strike a balance between unlimited power and great responsibility, aka the perfect push notification strategy?

1. Your Plan of Action

The first and probably the only marginally difficult task you have to do is creating an apt push notification plan. This is where you find out the who, why and when parts of your strategy.

The Who: Figuring out your audience is key while sending out push notifications. In this case, we can confirm that your audience will be the gaming community – hardcore as well as casual gamers. Once you have that part figured out, you can create content catering to them. You could even start using images, language, colors, all that would attract the attention of that specific segment, in your push notifications.

The Why: Finding out the objective for sending push notifications is crucial, because as this objective changes, your style of push notification must change. So, figure out if you are sending out notifications to increase traffic, to make people aware, or to gain more revenue.

The When: As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, timing is KEY. Your open rates largely depend on the time you send out push notifications. This usually differs from industry to industry. So put in time to research and experiment on the perfect timing which gives you good click rates. We were quite curious about these and did some research of our own. Check out the State of Web Push Notifications to know more about it.

2. The Opt-In Trigger and Welcome Message

Now that you know your target audience, how they use your website, what their interests are etc, it’s time to build a subscriber base for your push notifications. The Opt-in trigger plays an important part in convincing the reader that they are attaining some form of value by subscribing to your push notifications. Thus your trigger message must be persuasive and must clearly communicate your value proposition. It must also be made clear that the reader can unsubscribe from receiving the push notifications very easily at any time.

Anatomy of an opt in request

Another important aspect of the Opt-in trigger is its timing. DO NOT trigger the Opt-in as soon as the user lands on your page. Wait for them to look around your website. The best places to trigger an Opt-in would be pages on your website where the user finds some value such as pages offering download links or special discount pages.

After a user subscribes to your notifications, don’t just leave them. Acknowledge that you are happy to have them on board by sending a warm welcome message. This can have a really huge impact on the lifetime of your subscriber.

3. The Notification Content

It all comes down to this. The push notification message that you write must be clear, crisp, and communicate your message properly. Whether it is an offer, a discount or even some news, it should be to the point, not around the bush. If you are aiming for more click rates, make sure you communicate to the subscriber that they will receive a reward or something of value for taking the time to click on the notification.

Pro Tip: Personalize. Sending personalized notifications according to the interests of each segment increases the probability of you getting 2X click rates. For example, you could segment your readers based on the genre of games they play like FPS or RPG. Then send separate notifications to these different segments.

4. Visuals Matter

A basic rule of thumb is, if you want to catch a reader’s attention, you must use images in your push notifications. It is wrong to assume that your reader will get interested in your notification, as soon as some text pops out from the side of their screen. So, make sure you use images in your push notifications. The next step is to decide what type of images to use. Some push notification services like PushCrew provide their users the option of adding images in two styles. The first one is the simple thumbnail that you see with standard push notifications. This is more of an attention grabber.

The second option is the Big Image feature available in PushCrew. With the big image feature, you can now add a much larger image to your push notifications. This is useful when you would want to convey some message through the image. For example, if you want to show off the cool new cover for NFS Payback while giving a discount for pre-orders, the Big Image feature is all you need to catch the reader’s eye.

Push notification best practices for gaming websites

5. Actions in Push Notifications

It is generally believed that the number of user actions possible with push notifications is limited to just one click. But now you have the option to add up to two CTA buttons to your notification. This means you can link up to three landing pages in one message. Ergo, as you ask the subscriber to buy that game, you can also provide another button to check out the reviews of the game.

Push notification CTA for Gaming

Now you have all that is necessary to design your kick ass push notification strategy. Go for it, but make sure you get to know your audience first and keep them happy. Peace out.✌️

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Shanaz from VWO

Hi, I am Shanaz from the VWO Research Desk.

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