Feature In Focus: Push Notifications

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


First introduced by Apple more than a decade ago, push notifications – the technology that allows brands to communicate directly with customers in the palm of their hand – is still one of the most powerful tools in any digital marketers toolkit.

Used cleverly and with users permission, push notifications allow clear, compelling and direct access to your users with unparalleled visibility, which is exactly the reason we’re discussing it in this, Liquid Barcodes first ever “Feature in Focus” article.  We’re discussing when, why and how to use this feature, with advice on best practice for best results. We’re also highlighting the latest evolution of the technology known as “rich push notifications” – an enhanced format that includes your message, an image, and now link to further information either within your app, or anywhere else online. So whether you want to use emojis to add personality, or simply link to essential legal details, push notifications continue to offer loyalty marketers increasingly powerful ways to engage with users. 

Some of the world’s leading convenience brands are using push notifications as part of their marketing mix

Benefits of Push Notifications

With so many media messages competing for consumer’s attention, there is no doubt that their mobile phone is one screen that will never be missed or ignored by customers. Relevant and engaging content is welcome when:

  1. The content sent is personalised to the recipient’s interests such as key categories. Some customers might love health food offers, others might prefer treats or recipes. 
  2. As the brand knows which store(s) the customer frequents, they only see communications that are available to them locally.
  3. By knowing your customer, you can send them content in their preferred language.   
  4. Push notifications are generally seen immediately after they’re sent, so the content can be enjoyed immediately.

Perhaps even more importantly, as users can opt out of receiving messages at any time, they feel in control of what they receive. Brands of course understand that the power has shifted to their users, so they plan and filter their messages for relevance, engagement and consumer benefit before they are sent, to ensure a truly win-win communication. 

Within the Liquid Barcodes loyalty marketing platform, our push notification feature is also automatically set to ensure that your marketing messages are only sent during daylight hours (in the customer’s time zone), ensuring members are never unintentionally disturbed at night time. 

Use Cases 

As marketing communication tools have evolved, brands have plenty of opportunities and reasons to communicate, so it remains important to identify and prioritise the use cases that deliver the most mutually beneficial impact. A brand that pushes too many messages will not keep the trust of its customers.

Programme Engagement

By joining your loyalty programme, consumers are confirming their interest in engaging and there are plenty of great ways to delight them:

Life Cycle Communications

  1. A welcome message to thank them for joining. This may include an instant reward such as a free coffee or cold drink. 
  2. Communications can then be sent at regular and relevant intervals – for example twenty-four hours after joining, three days later etc. Programme features can be gradually introduced and explained over time – for example sending gift coupons so that members “refer a friend” to also join the programme and both benefit instantly. 
  3. Communications can be scheduled when the member reaches a new tier, earns a new reward, or even when they are CLOSE to earning their next reward.
  4. This channel is also perfect to re-engage lapsed customers with relevant offers – such as a great discount to re-subscribe to a car-wash package. We’ve seen superb response rates for these targeted, timely campaigns, with measurable improvements in the lifetime value of your customer base.  
  5. Personal communications such as birthday messages (with or without a gift/reward) are delightful for customers to receive. So often, they are asked for this personal information by brands who are keen to understand the demographic profile of their customers and yet many forget to use it when the day comes. A person’s birthday is a once-a-year opportunity to really show you’re listening and genuinely value that person.

All of these “opportunities to communicate” can be evaluated, planned and delivered effortlessly in advance store by store, ensuring you’re automatically engaging with members consistently. This leaves your team free to send additional exciting content to relevant segments of customers on a more tactical basis when new campaigns or games are launched. 

Service & Support:

  1. Perhaps the most important use of push notifications is to ensure members have up-to-date information on new and important services that you introduce. These include any new services such as pre-order and pre-pay, delivery or collection as well as improved hygiene processes or policies. 
  2. Push notifications are also perfect for brands who want to measure their performance either tactically (for a particular promotion) or strategically across multiple stores and seasons. Push notifications are a key feature used regularly by brands on our loyalty marketing platform to identify delighted customers (advocates) from simply satisfied ones. Advocates are an important community to connect with as customers increasingly rely on friends and family to recommend which brands and products they can trust over time. Push notifications are a perfect way to measure your net promoter score quickly and efficiently

Even before Covid19 changed the world so dramatically, push notifications were a powerful tool to drive awareness and stay relevant to customers. Industry research on push notifications had already proven that “Apps that sends one or more push notifications a day have 90-day app retention rates that are 3 times higher on iOS and 10 times higher on Android than apps that send none.”

Since Covid19, this relevance has only intensified, with customers needing more information and reassurance, resulting in app open rates hitting the highest open rates seen in 4 years. 

If you’re not already using push notifications to their full potential, please check out the push notifications information page on our website or contact us for specific coaching and support on this powerful feature.

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2 Priority, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group (UAE), as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards and host of the “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast.



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