Next-Gen Personalized Push Notifications

For college sports fans, push notifications can quickly get, well, pushy. The risk of over-messaging is a fine line. Yet, holding back can cause your fans’ engagement and app’s retention rates to dwindle.

Sending score alerts and stats is just the beginning for how you can leverage push notifications to better build and retain fan engagement. Here’s how to send personalized content that won’t break your fans’ loyalty.

Start Strong with New User Incentives

Fans must opt in to your app’s push notification, so it’s important to lead with content that creates value and excitement for your fans from the very start. To boost new fan engagement, consider using a fan contest to promote the repeated use of your app. You’ll drive new app downloads and provide an initial reason for fans to turn on your app’s alerts.

Beyond the initial download, map out a 30-day or 60-day content plan for what you’ll push to fans. You don’t want to spam new users, but you also don’t want your fans to forget they downloaded your app. Plan out different welcome notifications for different types of fans to keep them engaged with high-value content.

Ramp Up Interactions with Rich Notifications

Rich notifications go beyond simple text updates to include images, videos or clickable content. These types of notifications are highly interactive and can be used to preview content within your app. Notifications can be as simple as an image of the fan’s game day ticket with a link to your app’s ticketing page, a video link to game highlights or a submission option for a fan contest.

Rich notifications are a great way to repackage visual content you’re already sending out via email newsletters and your social media sites and enable you to link to longer-form content or app features.

Figure Out Fan Preferences

Personalizing content based on user profiles brings long-term fan engagement and knowing where and how your fans receive content is key. Do certain fans already use other sports apps or news sites to follow along on game day? If so, consider reducing or eliminating the number of push notifications that send overlapping content to avoid notification fatigue.

Better yet, send notifications that augment readily available information. If you know news sites will be picking up team announcements, send a rich notification that links to a related but exclusive resource, like an in-depth player interview, to differentiate what you’re offering to fans on their home screen.

Similarly, if your teams’ social media sites receive limited reach, coordinate contests and giveaways only through your app’s push notifications and use other channels to promote that your app contains exclusive content and downloads.

Sync Up Those Location Triggers

A growing number of college athletic departments are using geotargeting to send relevant offers to fans when they are near key locations. Combining push notifications with geolocation data provides a delivery method for fans that is highly relevant and actionable.

For instance, you could send fans who enter your venues a notification with a link to the concession ordering section in your app, and then notify them when their food is ready for pick up. Throw in a concession coupon in a rich notification to drive home the value of the content your app offers to fans. Linking back to your app’s functionalities while in relevant areas will increase engagement and streamline the game-day experience.

Embed In-App Notifications

Push notifications don’t have to clutter up your fans’ phone screens. Create multi-part engagement with alerts that relate to different sections of your app while in use. If a fan is viewing their tickets in your app, consider an in-app alert that notifies them of deals for game-day ticket holders or discounts on future games. For fans who subscribe to specific players and teams in your app, alert them to relevant team merchandise or news.

Today’s college sports fans need personalized content to remain engaged with their endless technology choices, including your teams’ app. Push notifications have evolved from annoying alerts into a targeted delivery method for fan content. Work notifications strategically into your content plans for different fan types to send timely information that will be too good to pass up.

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