No doubt, push notifications are a great way to drive more engaged traffic to news and media sites. These subtle alerts can target the right audience and ultimately unleash the power of the great content.
Of course, the content quality of the push notifications is crucial. But, the time when you deliver these alerts is just as important.
Yes, the wrong timing can completely sabotage your push efforts, even if your content and all other areas are built to perfection.
These are the suggested best times of the day, week, and season — all according to stats, facts, and figures. For the purpose of this analysis, we’ll use push notification reaction rate as the metric to measure successful interactions.
Time of day
According to Notix’s research, the best time of day to send push notifications is at the end of the day. From around 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., reaction rates hover between 5.4% and 5.7%. Then, at noon, there’s a jump that peaks at more than 7% at 1:00 p.m.
From there, reaction rates return to around 5%, where they remain until 7:00 p.m., when they climb to 6.8%. This is when the action begins.
Hourly, between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., push notification reaction rates hit 7.7%, 8.2%, 9.9%, and culminating at 10.4%. At midnight, reaction rates still stand at a tidy 8.4%, making this ideal for media and news sites.
There is a small caveat here for media and news sites as well: Push reaction rates for this type of content usually experience a spike between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
Days of the week
Tuesday and Sunday are the best days for push notification reaction rates, reaching 8.6% and 8.2% respectively.
Monday, Thursday, and Friday are tied for second place, with a solid 7.8% reaction rate.
And, even though they are the last in terms of performance, Wednesday and Saturday push notifications still receive attention 7.2% and 7.6% of the time, proving the influence of this type of ad.
Months of the year
How about the months of the year? Do these affect push notification rates? A closer look at Notix’s data reveals that yes, the month does, in fact, impact the performance of your push.
For example, July is usually the least profitable month for push notifications. Although users are on summer vacations and have more spare time, advertisers take a rest, too.
Things become much better closer to November. Besides being the Thanksgiving month in the United States, November is close to the winter holidays, so people are also more likely to find distractions to let time go by.
Funnily enough, June and January are the two months that register the least activity. Many businesses and schools return to action in January, so users are less likely to spend time on their devices. As for June, this is the beginning of the good weather season in a lot of places, so many people prefer to spend time outdoors or at the beach.
With the above in mind, events can alter this cycle in the news and media industries. Elections, natural disasters, and other geopolitical events can boost traffic at any time, so you need to stay tuned to the latest updates in order to keep subscribers informed.
A special note: urgent vs. important news
As a news or media publisher, your goal is to keep your subscribers informed of all major events that are relevant to their individual interests. To achieve this, you need to differentiate between urgent and important news.
Urgent news includes updates that your subscribers want to know about at all times such as major politics news and disasters.
Important news includes updates like sporting event cancellations and political news that has a light impact on daily life. Your subscribers care about these events, but it is not crucial to notify people about them immediately.
Best practices for media sites
Here are a few push notification tips and best practices for news sites that come directly from Notix’s team of experts.
The best solution is to get the most out of automation tools. Such an approach will save time and effort, and it is especially important for sites producing a lot of content daily — like news platforms. Let the automation do its job, and focus on content instead. Such tools include an RSS-to-push feature and automated pushes sent via a WordPress plugin
If you have enough time and human resources, you’re welcome to the Notix supply-side platform, where you can play with manual settings and build more advanced strategies. These include:
- Setting up A/B testing from the start and testing schedules along with content elements.
- After you have enough information, reviewing your metrics and adjusting your push schedule.
- Media sites about celebrities and similar news behave like entertainment platforms.
- Use images on your push notifications and analyse how your audience reacts to them.
- If you have high reaction rates but poor overall performance, try optimising your landing page content.
Overall, push notifications are a great way to drive more traffic, bring back users who love your content, and boost your engagement. The best part is that you can also use push notifications to enhance whatever monetisation mechanism you use on your site.
Just remember to identify the best times to reach your audience, adjust the frequency of your notifications, and ensure that all other essential elements are optimised to get the best results.