What is a Push Notification?

Push notifications are messages which can be sent directly to a user’s mobile device, and which appears on screen, or in the top section of a mobile device. A push notification can only be sent by an app publisher if you have their app installed on your phone, but if you have installed the app and have enabled push notifications, they can be sent by the app publisher at any time. They can be sent without the app requiring the user’s contact information. However, the app must first ask the user for permission first in order to send them. Today’s push notifications are a lot smarter than they were when Apple first rolled them out in iOS 3.0. In their most recent version, a push notification can play a personalized notification tone, send you a short message or put a numbered badge over the app’s icon, or enable you to complete an action without ever having to open the app. Each OS has their own type of push notification service, including Apple’s iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, and Fire OS.

Why are Push Notifications Important?

Push notifications are very effective at helping users stay engaged with an app or re-engaging with an app they haven’t opened in a while. This is particularly useful because re-engaged users have significantly higher in-app conversion rates and lower acquisition costs than new users. Because you can receive pushes while you’re browsing in-app or even when your device is locked, this makes them a great way to convey messages of urgency, such as breaking news, current traffic conditions, or limited-time offers.

Different Types of Push Notifications

  • Banner notifications: these are short messages that pop up and disappear. They can contain the beginning of a message (in the case of a chat app), or contain alerts for events like sales, sports scores, or flight check-ins.
  • Badge notifications: this type of notification looks like a little red badge applied to the app’s icon, usually with a number (to alert you, for example, of unread messages or new podcasts on your device).
  • Alerts: unlike push notifications, alerts stay on screen until you manually delete them.

When personalized in terms of content and timezone, push messages receive a high open and click-through rate (CTR) and can be one of the most effective ways for mobile apps to reach out to their user base. However, their interruptive nature means that there’s a fine line between keeping users engaged and annoying them outright.

For example, a push message that informs you of a traffic jam near your house just before you’re about to head out to work in the morning is a helpful message, whereas a message about traffic in a foreign city, or a message sent at 4:00 AM, or in a language you cannot read isn’t nearly as welcome. If the messages are perceived as an unwanted distraction, this may motivate the user to head into their settings (there are different settings for iOS and Android devices) and turn off notifications for that app.

What are Some Good Practices for Writing Push Notifications?

  • Keep it snappy, short and sweet.
  • Personalize the content for the user – including language, time and content.
  • Use the language of a call to action (or CTA) to encourage the user’s next step.
  • Be judicious when you decide what’s push-worthy. Do they need this info right now?
  • Include push notifications in your attribution solution and optimize for best results.

Reference: “Adjust,” Retrieved – 23 April 2018