The Psychology Behind Push Notifications

Posted on

March 12, 2021


Gregg Hammerman

"You've got mail!" No matter the generation, and even if they don't know where it came from, most people are pretty familiar with AOL's iconic three-word push to stay connected. From the moment the internet appeared, people want to get as much information as possible, as quickly as possible. This trend has evolved past the age of email and now takes a more targeted approach in the form of push notifications.

These notifications are short, (hopefully) attention-grabbing messages that are, well, pushed right to someone's phone. They can be an essential tool for keeping account holders at the forefront of a financial institution's (FI) latest news and offerings.

But why are those little red dots so tempting? Why are people so obsessed with not missing a notification? Let’s explore why push notifications are worth investing in, and how to create ones that account holders won’t want to miss.

The psychology of push notifications

At their core, push notifications are lock screen or pop-up messages from apps. Initially used by news and weather companies to keep consumers in the loop, push notifications can now deliver updates, reminders and even advertising to any mobile user who opts-in to the service.

A study on how effective these notices are found that frequent or even timed pushes increase content engagement. Regular push notifications encourage mobile phone users to use the app more. They are an excellent tool for increasing sign-ups by delivering messages and providing value consistently.

But why? Push notifications effectively get someone’s attention because they’re coming from the apps they've chosen for themselves. They have an interest in what the app offers, and the notifications provide regular updates that have the potential to offer more value to them. Plus, they compel people to constantly check their phones because the notifications trigger a FOMO reaction (a fear of missing out) in their brains.

The push notification means new information. More so, the push notification means new, important information, and people are always striving to capture that quickly. They don't want to be the last to know, so they automatically grab for their phones to ensure they don't miss out on a crucial update or a hot opportunity.

Information updates aside, people have also conditioned themselves to check their phones upon the mere chime of it. People now relate certain sounds to different things: new text messages, emails and app updates. With the simple auditory reminder, people are instantly motivated to pick up their phone and find out why they heard that sound.

Ultimately, push notifications keep people hooked on an app, grabbing their attention and making them want more.

Effectively push the notifications

The most effective push notifications are the ones that answer a simple question: Why? Why is the financial institution creating this message? Why do account holders or leads need this information right now?

Consumers have become oblivious to banner ads and other types of online advertisements. They’ve seen them for years. They have developed the ability to ignore them.

So, it’s crucial to create push notifications for account holders that have a personal message. These messages instantly capture the phone user’s attention, so make sure they’re promoting an action to keep that attention.

You want to add a captivating image that will immediately intrigue users. Keep your message short and sweet (similar to Tweets), and always include a CTA.

To make messages most effective, they should be short and sweet (similar to Tweets). Additionally, they should include:

  • A welcoming and eye-catching greeting
  • An image to add visual appeal
  • Custom messaging
  • The answer to the why—the purpose of the notification.
  • A call to action—a next step for users to take.

Use the Larky Nudge® engagement platform to trigger push notifications after an account holder completes a specific behavior. FIs can even target potential new account holders within a certain location surrounding the FI to provide contextually relevant suggestions at the right place and time.

Nudge account holders with the Larky Nudge®

Any financial institution with a mobile banking app can use the Larky Nudge® engagement platform. These push notifications empower FIs to connect with account holders in a way that more effectively captures their attention and provides more value.

Request a free, no-obligation demo today to learn more.

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