Using the Four C’s of Effective Writing in Your Push Notifications

Relevant, well-written push notifications can transform user engagement in an instant. Yet, writing a push notification is no easy task; it requires thoughtful calculation. You have only about 100 characters and a few seconds to speak to your audience—not to mention competition from other apps for a user’s attention, time and interest.

So how can you make your push notifications better?

It starts with segmenting your audience. Broadcast messages—or generic messages broadcast to your entire audience—might work for breaking news; but when you have a loyalty or e-commerce app, your messages must be personal. This post is about writing effective messaging, so I don’t want to go in to much detail on the data, but as you start to craft personalized messages, it’s incredibly important. The more you understand about your users—their behaviors, interests, and preferences—the more personal and engaging your push notifications can be.

Next, when you’re ready to write, think about what you want to accomplish. Some messages encourage a user to take a specific action—like completing a purchase or onboarding task—while others are designed to keep users active, deliver relevant content, or share timely information. Once you understand what you want the message to accomplish, you can begin writing.

A good marketing message is often simple, but is carefully designed to drive a specific action or make an impression. And interestingly, brands that stick to copywriting fundamentals are often most successful. Robert Bly, one of the most prolific copywriters in the US, developed a system—the 4Cs of Effective Writing—and this is one of the most straightforward places to start. Effective marketing messages, Bly suggests, are:

Push notifications might be 100 characters or less, but that doesn’t make them easy to write. You only have your users’ attention for a short window. And with that few seconds you can either inspire action or miss an opportunity. Lucky for you, with access to good data and careful use of the 4C’s, you are well on your way to mutually beneficial mobile customer engagement.