February 27, 2019 | by Jon Fletcher

Proven strategies for high-value push notifications

See the results from our new white paper: Increasing publisher readership through Marfeel’s push notification framework

At Marfeel, we work by taking a microscopic view of every stage of the digital publishing process. Through research and experimentation, we examine and stress-test the technologies and strategies used by digital publishers—and developed in-house at Marfeel.

It’s our aim to see what readers respond to, what makes their experience better, and how publishers can leverage this to keep them on the page for longer. And, we’re committed to being transparent about our methods.

We recently applied this process to the question of push notifications and have published the results in our latest whitepaper: Increasing publisher readership through Marfeel’s push notification framework

What’s inside the whitepaper?

There are well-documented ways to improve the click-through rates of push notifications, but they don’t provide an overview of the value created for the publisher. So, we set out to identify the value of push notifications, at the strategy level, rather than the metrics of individual messages.

To enable us to measure this, we defined a new metric that measures value using established reader behavior compared with varying push strategies and the traffic generated from them.

SLTV – Subscriber Lifetime Value

Measuring SLTV allows us to see the total traffic, and then value, created by each push notification subscriber when using different strategies and different message styles. It is the first, all-encompassing metric that can be used to determine the net increase in readership, and therefore value, from a push notification strategy.

SLTV accounts for the natural degradation of reader engagement with push notifications over time. This is factored against the traffic generated and the active unsubscribe rate, providing an expected value generated by each user when a set strategy is applied.

This, in turn, gives us a benchmark to compare strategies, knowing the impact small changes will have on the final value returned to the publisher.

A new standard for digital publishers

SLTV then represents a new way to measure value, and give publishers a way to measure the efficacy of multiple strategies, using this value.

Rather than optimizing for vanity metrics, publishers are now given a complete overview of the value they can expect from each subscriber. It combines all key metrics, allowing for a simple view of the most effective strategies for higher value.

Setting up a framework for optimization

Once we established the SLTV metric, our push notification team ran a series of experiments to test the effect of varying push notification strategies on this value.

We used live messages, over 5 million in total, with a series of major publications in locations all over the world. Each strategy was compared with a control group, isolating the added value, or not, of each variable we tested.

We varied the frequency of messages and varied this against how engaged the reader was. We experimented with altering the creative elements of the message such as removing and adding images. We tested the delivery time of each message and send recommended content based on past user behavior.

These experiments led us to develop a framework for automated push notifications that has increased SLTV by up to 40%.

You can see the process behind measuring SLTV, as well as the data from the experiments we ran in the whitepaper. Download it now to discover how you can optimize push notifications for measurably higher readership.