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How News and Media Houses Are Using Messenger Push Notifications

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How News and Media Houses Are Using Messenger Push Notifications

“Social media's history is not yet written, and its effects are not neutral.”

- Christopher Cox, former Chief Product Officer at Facebook


There are opportunities but also fears inside this brave new world of digital publishing. What duopoly is offering media houses for their quality journalism is plain dark. But then you get the ease of distributing news content with them. All you do is copy, paste, post, and that’s it. That’s all it takes to enter your user’s news feed on Facebook.

But here’s a quick question → Going by the fact that 2.4 billion users are active on Facebook and 74% of them are logging in every day, could you tell me what your engagement stats look like? Not very convincing, I guess.

Marketing on Facebook’s News Feed has entered an unbreakable curse with its ever-changing algorithms. To tell you how acute it has become → Avg. CTR for Facebook ads in Q1 2019 was 1.33%. Yes, ads not a regular post. Ads that have their sure shot ways of showing up on your target audience's newsfeed. So, would it be fair to expect groundbreaking engagement on a regular post while receiving slivers on the ones we pay for?

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder at Facebook, recently reshared a post on Facebook and witnessed an engagement rate as low as 0.05%. In a space where the platforms have stopped being true to the founders themselves, a better engagement platform was bound to arrive.

Why Leverage Messenger Push Notifications?

Messenger push notifications are the alert-styled messages that are received by a user inside its messenger inbox. These notifications are like that scholar first cousin, your parents loved comparing you with, of web push notifications that offer numerous add-on benefits to it. To highlight a few:

  • Longer shelf-life for the real-time news updates - You can deliver event updates right inside the messenger inbox of your audience. This gives a longer shelf to the push alerts that users can engage with whenever they want.
  • Enables two-way communication - You get to interact with your audience via a private in-chat experience of the messenger. Unlike browser push notifications, where it was just the brand doing all the talking, messenger push enables user participation which reinforces the meaningful two-way communication.
  • Multimedia experience - Since the notifications are received directly in the inbox, multiple media formats (like text, videos, .gif, etc) can be used in a notification.
  • 15X CTRs of Facebook Newsfeed Ads - You read that right. Where Facebook Newsfeed Ads get you an average CTR of less than 2%, messenger push notifications are stuffing the marketing reports with CTRs as high as 83%, with 30% being an average. 
  • Alternative To Web Push Notifications On iOS - Despite being the first OS to introduce push notifications, Apple has yet not implemented web push notifications on iOS. A result of this is publishers losing out on engagement via push notifications. Messenger push notifications offer a workaround to publishers willing to grab exciting CTRs for those 900 million active iPhone users.

Keeping the basic push notification features like personalization capability (first_name, geography, gender, etc) and real-time event updates as are, here are the seven use cases that can make the lives of editors a lot simpler.

7 Use-Cases That Editors Can’t Get Enough Of

Subscription Abandonment


You were figuring out the best way to get more newsletter subscribers and here’s what one of the marketing experts suggested - create a kickass landing page. So, you made one. Only to realize that instead of filling the form, 68% of the users are abandoning it (with 81% abandonment happening right at the beginning). Marketers refer to it as subscription abandonment. 

Subscription abandonment is insanely important to pay attention to and address. In fact, with so many people filling out the forms and never completing them, it has become the most crucial step of conversion optimization.

Media houses need to realize that subscription abandonment is a common problem. And one that can be solved. No, ads are not the answer to everything (please get your reflexes right). I am talking about remarketing to users with messenger push notifications.

When someone abandons a form asking for their personal information, a personalized messenger push notifications that says - “Hey! You were sooo close to our premium insights” makes so much more sense and takes so much less $s. So why delay it any further? It gets you 15X of the Facebook Newsfeed Ads CTRs after all.

Subscription Abandonment

Incomplete Read

Scrolling and abandoning

How about we take a minute to digest this?

40% of the visitors that land on your news pages do not read after the first fold. Let me say that again for you - 40% out of the total 57% users that showed interest in your news, left. If you’re a news company, it'll make you skip a beat as you already know how difficult it is to land on that 57% in the first place.

But that’s what the publishing reality today is, right? Also, since you’ve made it this far in the article. I must say I’m flattered _/\_

By the way, if there’s something else requiring your immediate attention and you feel like leaving (please don’t*), just so you know - this article could have been sent right inside your messenger inbox. Since the messages would lie right next to the ones your best friend just sent, there’s no point doubting the notification visibility. Here’s how it would look like:

Incomplete Read

Snippet Abandonment

You know what hurts more than users leaving your news pages right after the first fold? Users not landing on the news page at all. Yes, I’m referring to that “Read More” button that expands the snippet to a full-fledged content page. A button that users feel too reluctant to click nowadays. 

Messenger push notifications can act as a perfect rescuer for snippet abandonment. All you do is send out a messenger notification to the entire user base highlighting why they must consume this news. Here’s what you can expect it to look like:

Snippet Abandonment

New Content Alert

It took a month-long research to put the report together. You finally were able to connect the dots leading to a major political scam. Each and every sentence was crafted carefully because this piece… oh boy, this piece is going to make a dent. So, after hundreds of re-edits and thousands of paraphrasing, you finally hit “Publish”.

And guess what, nothing of the sort happens.

It’s been a week already. There are no comments, no social sharing, no nothing. You look at the data and tell yourself what a glorious waste all that time and effort you put into this content piece have become. 


You simply start sending out timely and personalized messenger push notifications right after hitting that “publish” button. The channel being so nascent gets you all the exciting CTRs and the content quality being so high makes it go viral. Sounds promising, how about we give it a try?

New Content Alert

Watched a video on mute

We have talked about the incomplete read. But an incomplete video or a video watched on mute is also worth addressing when it comes to messenger marketing. Here’s what CMI thinks the problem is:

  • Readers can’t stay focused.
  • We live in the age of skimming.
  • I’m busy. You’re busy.

So is there a way to resolve each of the three pain-points and land on a single solution that targets them all? 

How about we take the engagement route? How about we do it on a platform other than your website? We read at the beginning of the article that messenger push notifications, unlike all other channels, offers a multimedia experience to a user. What this means is that a user will be able to receive videos, .gif, etc mounted right on top of a messenger push notification. 

Emails and web push have never envied messenger push notifications this bad before. And, here’s what it will look like:

Watched a video on mute

Tab Abandonment

So you got a call last night, another bushfire in this dreadful climate change has hit the planet. None of the local news sites have covered it so far. There have been numerous news updates trending on your homepage and boom… user left the tab.

Making things worse are the stats reporting that thousands of users did the same - landed on the homepage but didn’t consume any news. 

Isn’t this just enough to send your editorial team into a deep-deep depression?

The solution lies a click away if you pick messenger push notifications. All you need to do is summarize the event and send it over to your messenger audience. Here’s a similarly summarized solution for you:

Tab Abandonment

Daily/Weekly Digest

Just when you thought the channel could not get any better.

You don’t just get to engage the readers that abandoned the website, the page, or the snippet. You get to reach the engaged ones and turn them into loyal readers. Just select the best performing content pieces of the day/week and push it as a messenger notification. 

Readers will get to consume your most premium content (in case they haven’t already) and you get to have another shot at getting more eyeballs on the newspage. Now that’s a win-win scenario we built a solution for.

Daily Digest

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Neha Tanwer
Neha Tanwer
Neha is a Product Marketer @iZooto who works with a single focus of helping publishers grow faster and better. Coming from the lap of Himalayas, she is a theatre artist, who loves dropping gears to travel the mountains. When not in office, she can be found roaming in the streets of Delhi finding next good cafeteria to eat at.

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