Over the top, or OTT, streaming in the media industry has experienced explosive growth over the last few years. Now, 56% of US households prefer to consume their media content on digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Roku over traditional cable television services. This number will only continue to grow in the years to come as consumers crave more relevant content and have less patience for traditional marketing.

However, this also means that marketers need to be smarter to be heard through the clutter of this saturated landscape. Standard, traditional marketing strategies are not going to cut it anymore. We all know customers are fickle and will change service if they get a better offer, therefore you need to develop your customer relationships to inspire loyalty to your brand. One effective way of doing this is through relevant micro-targeted messaging, particularly push notifications.

Push notifications are the ultimate way to reach out to your customers. But 96% of standard push notifications are often ignored with little thought and an almost subconscious swipe to the right. With properly targeted, personal push notification campaigns you can increase engagement with your push notifications by, on average, 8 times. That’s 8 times more engagement which means more retention, more conversion, and more ROI.

Here are three best practices for push notification campaigns in OTT streaming services.

One: Drive Subscriptions

As subscriptions are the key to profitability, your messaging must support the drive to convert as many users as possible from a free trialists to fully paid subscribers.

But doing this can be a delicate process. Trial management is essential, and push notifications play a major role here. During this time it is crucial to fully demonstrate your service’s value so that users trust you enough to sign up for a subscription. So if they haven’t engaged with one of your key selling points, be it a cool feature or exclusive content, let them know about it.

Strategically timed messaging for expiring trials to encourage full subscriptions both through the OTT platform, and on mobile, using deep-links bring the user right to the sign up page. A/B test subscription package offers to optimize the process, and implement the one that brings in results for you.

Two: Nudge for Engagement

Nudging your users can be a great tool to and increase engagement with your app, but only if you use it correctly. Nudge theory is a concept in behavioral science which argues that positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions are effective in influencing the behavior of your users.

The key is using behavioral data to target your customers with relevant nudges. For example: the user has watched Game of Thrones Season 7, have previously searched for Game of Thrones Season 8, and have been inactive for the past week.

Other examples of a gentle nudge to your users could be to remind them that they still have content left to consume (“you’ve only got 3 episodes of Fawlty Towers left to watch”), content soon to be released, or an upsell to reduce advertising content. After all, who wants to see an ad right before ned Stark loses his head (spoiler alert).

Three: Timing Is Everything

While good engagement campaigns have to be personalized and relevant to drive conversion, delivering a message at the perfect time really produces exceptional engagement.

Let’s say, for example, that your OTT service showcases pay-per-view live sports events and you’ve segmented users that have historically purchased a boxing event. You can schedule a rich push notification campaign at least two hours before the live event, encouraging user segments to purchase the live stream.

Alternatively, you can send out a push notification based on real-time events during the ongoing match itself. This creates excitement in the moment, and adds to the immersive quality of your streaming device, and the sports viewing experience.