According to MIDIA research, more than 50 percent of smartphone users have push notifications enabled. That means that if you have a church app, you can reach more than half of your app users at any time, whether or not they’re actively using the app. You definitely should take advantage of this helpful feature when planning outreach and church communications.
But remember, you don’t want people to ignore your messages—or worse, cause them to turn off notifications altogether. The key to keeping people engaged is to make sure you don’t overuse this tool and to pay attention to the messages you send.
Here are five tips for writing push notifications that people will be happy to receive:
1. Watch for typos
You want your communications to be friendly, lighthearted, and professional. If your notifications have bad grammar or misspellings, it’s not going to make you look good. No one wants to see a notification that says:
“There are still a few tickets to the Christmas pagant available. Click here to reserve you’re pot now!”
Check and double-check your messages before you send them. Once they’re delivered, it’s too late to fix them.
2. Stimulate curiosity
If people feel like they’ve got all the information they needed from your notification, they’re less likely to click through. Think about ways to pique people’s interest. Just remember, you need to actually deliver on your promise. If they’re disappointed after they click on your notification, they’ll be less likely to do so again.
Instead of alerting them of a new blog post, try something like: “You won’t believe Pastor Mike’s third suggestion in today’s new blog post, “5 Tips for Beating Materialism.”
3. Be conversational
Sure, you want to be professional. Just don’t forget that your church is a community. If your notifications are too stuffy, it ends up feeling impersonal. You want people to feel like you’re talking to them—not at them.
Don’t just ask people to show up this Sunday, shoot for something informal and friendly, “You thought last Sunday’s sermon was awesome? You won’t want to miss tomorrow’s message. See you then!”
4. Issue invitations
Don’t just use push notifications to encourage people to do something for you. Think about ways they can be used to serve your congregation. Sometimes that means finding ways to make people feel included. If you’re a pastor who had a Tuesday morning cancelation, why not send out a push notification that says, “Pastor Mike will be at the Starbucks on Wabash from 10am–12pm on Tuesday, Dec. 6. If you’re in the area, stop by and have coffee with him!”
5. Find new ways to say old things
If you want to keep people engaged, predictability is your enemy. You can’t expect to send the same message all the time and keep people interested. Don’t send out a notification every Monday alerting people that you’ve uploaded your sermon video—do it sporadically. And don’t say things the same way every time.
Think of fresh and clever ways to word your reminders. People are less inclined to ignore your notifications when you keep them on their toes. So think about cool and novel ways to speak to your app users:
“‘I’m so glad I did that!’ is what you’ll probably say after you check out last Sunday’s sermon. Click to watch it now.”
Don’t miss out on this great tool
How many people do you know who don’t have their phone on them all the time? Not many, right? As long as they have your app, push notifications will allow you to message them whenever you want—and if you do it right, you can grab their attention and guide them toward specific actions. And push notifications empower you to do some cool things with your messaging.
If you don’t have a mobile app, what are you waiting for? There are a lot of excellent reasons to get a mobile app. Push notifications are just the cherry on the top. Don’t believe us? Talk to one of our experts and see for yourself.
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