How to effectively use push notifications in your employee app

Push notifications are a valuable business tool but when used incorrectly they can become a useless annoyance. So why are push notifications so great?


They increase involvement – By having short and quick lines of communication with your staff you keep them updated and involved with the company.


They are quick – If there has suddenly been a tube line closure and you need to alert staff so they can find alternative routes, then you need a way of urgently communicating to them before they set off on their journey. An email just won’t do as it takes an average of 6.5 hours to view an email as opposed to just 15 minutes to view push notifications, (ZipStripe research 2017).


They are great for non-desk workers – A lot of non-desk workers (83% to be exact) don’t even have a company email address, so every time you send out a communication they receive the message late or don’t receive it at all! It’s definitely not a viable option if you are serious about reaching non-desk employees.


How do you use them for the best results?

  • Set time frames – No one likes being interrupted when they are outside of work, so don’t do it with notifications. Set a time window to send notifications in work hours and then an hour before their start time and an hour after their finish time, for flexibility when you need to send urgent messages.
  • Make them targeted – This ensures that they are always kept relevant to the people who you are sending them to. You can do this by targeting messages to different locations or regions.
  • Create value – Think wisely before you hit the send button. Ask yourself, do employees really need to hear this and will they be at a disadvantage if they don’t hear this. If they will not be at that much of a loss then do not send it! You will only end up irritating people.
  • Make them timely – Think about times when staff are most likely to be with their devices and when they actually have time to read and pay attention. Lunch breaks or during commute hours are perfect; using these times will improve open rates significantly.
  • Make them concise – The aim of a notification is to catch your employees’ attention with a short message. If you start bulking them out with loads of text then they will lose their value and employees will avoid reading them. As a rule, keep it to 10 words or fewer, as it has been reported that messages with that amount have the highest open rate compared to messages with more words.
  • Make them actionable – Make it clear to the user what they should do next. With Oplift Engage you can select which action you would like from your notification. You can link to an article or news post in the platform, or link to an external link or app outside of Engage. 
  • Be conversational – Notifications are quite personal as they pop up on personal devices, make sure you work in line with this by keeping your tone casual and conversational. Avoid complex language, always imagine you are writing to a 10-year-old and communicate in the simplest way possible.
  • Create a sense of urgency – Of course, you want to keep it conversational but you still need to keep a sense of urgency so employees read them and take action. To do this set deadlines, use time-sensitive language such as ‘last chance’ or ‘Quickly read.’
  • Measure the results – Look at your open rates regularly and spot patterns of when they are or aren’t opened. This will help you fine-tune the kind you send to ensure maximum engagement!

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 26th July 2018