Advanced Lessons in Push Notifications, Part 2


What makes message content great, and why is it so important?


Great message content will represent information that your users not only find valuable, but they will also be inspired to act on it, NOW.  Push notifications have this ability to stir immediate action from your user base, BUT only if the message content itself is both relevant to them, and compelling.


Well...How is GREAT content created then?

There are three elements to crafting great push notifications:

  1. Subject Matter---What to say
  2. Copy---How to say it
  3. Personalization---How to make it stick!


Many times I hear from golf courses that they are concerned about "bothering" their users with messages.  Don't be.  In last week's installment, we learned that we can segment our user base to the point that you can rest assured that if you are delivering great content, these are messages they want to receive---after all, they have opted into them!  


So, in deciding what your subject matter should be, let's concentrate on these two ingredients:

  • Set a goal:  Push notifications should always be written with a specific desired result in mind.  Ask and answer this question for yourself--"What is the end goal of this message?" before you begin crafting your content.  Some example goals for messages would be "filling your tee sheet for afternoons this week", "driving entries for an upcoming tournament", "alerting users to course condition alerts", and "creating more revenue for your F & B operation".
  • The Value Proposition:  Now that you have defined what you want to accomplish with the push, it is time to construct a message that prompts your users to fulfill your goal.  So, ask and answer this question for yourself:  "What will inspire the user to complete this action?", and highlight this proposition in your message.  For example, a users might be inspired to book a tee time if they knew they would be getting a complimentary soda and hot dog with their round, or if a favorite item was back in stock in the pro shop.



Great copy is an absolute "must-have" when it comes to push notifications.  You get a limited amount of characters to accomplish your goal.  The mobile experience is often an inherently intimate interaction.  You are reaching your users on their phones, in their pockets and purses, in their private space.  Yes, they have asked to hear from you, but let's not ruin this open invitation into their lives with less than Great messages.


I recommend following the 4 C's below:

  • Clarity:  There is no room for ambiguity in a message as short as a push notification has to be.  We must make sure your users clearly understand what is being said, what they should do next, and when they should do it.
  • Compelling:  Your push notification platform will enable your users the ability to "take action now", and the copy of your message MUST be compelling enough to inspire this mentality in them.
  • Concise:  Your push is limited to 120 characters on the lock screen of a user's phone, meaning every single character has to count!  Being brief, and Concise, is key.
  • Clever:  We can't stress this final "C" enough!  Clever copy is the best way to make your push meet your goal.  Win your users over with creative messages that reel them in and drive them to act now.

Here is an example of a 4-C'd push notification:  "You're so close, come Back. We miss you. Hot dog and soda on us with 18 holes. Click/Swipe this message to book NOW!"




As we mentioned above, Mobile is very personal, so your push notifications must make the users receiving them feel as though the message was meant just for them.  Alternatively, a message is disastrous when the user feels like he/she is one of 5,000 getting that same message from you.


One of the best ways to accomplish this personalization is to include something in your copy that points to who the recipients are.  In last weeks installment we talked about Custom ID's and setting up the "Who" of your user base.  For example, in the message above "You're so close", is your perfect way of targeting your "Local to X County" segment that you have put into your Custom ID's, sending this message to your locals to drive some golf right now.


Adding a layer of personalization is absolutely critical to GREAT content.  It requires some thought, some effort---but it also speaks to them, makes them feel appreciated, keeps them paying close and keen attention to your messages each time they hear that ball drop into the cup on their phones.  Personalization separates you from all of the other courses just running great specials on the big booking sites.  



Next, we will be talking about how to take this great content, and drive your user directly to performing the action you want, right from the lock screens of their phones. 


As always, if you have any questions about content, need some help or just some feedback on what you have written before you send it, or any general help at all, reach out to us now at or 858.437.9262.