Categories: Developers / Mobile Apps


Push notifications are beloved by mobile app developers. They’re an effective way to draw users back into your app. With engagement rates of up to 40%, they’re one of the best re-engagement strategies around. But you can’t take push notifications for granted. Users have to authorize them, which means that if your notifications aren’t up to scratch, they can just turn them off. Remember that you’re not pushing to a device – you’re pushing to a person. Ask yourself: would you want to receive your own notifications?

Your mobile app push notifications shouldn’t force their way into users’ lives

Is your mobile app waking up your users?

Is your mobile app waking up your users?

Are your push notifications a bit like a crazy ex-partner who won’t take no for an answer? If your push notifications vibrate or come through in the wee hours of the morning, you’re doing it wrong. Unless your app is in the emergency services business, skip the vibration, or you’ll just be inviting uninstalls. Similarly, use your customer and analytics data to figure out when your users are going to be most receptive to notifications. Don’t bug them when they’re likely to be in a work meeting or driving to the office. And don’t go full spam on them. Limit the maximum number of notifications your users will receive within a certain timeframe so that they don’t get bombarded.

No one wants a one-size-fits-all push notification

If you want to keep your mobile app users happy, smart segmentation and behavior-based, tailored notifications are the way to go. Run a TV app? Don’t send your users notifications about shows they’ve never watched. Building a grocery app? Don’t send DINKS notifications about a sale on baby formula. Instead, personalize by user and by journey. If your user has read a certain news article or has favorited a bunch of different leather jackets, you know what their interests are. Act accordingly. Segment down to the user level and take into account past behavior, and you’ll boost your engagement by up to 3x.

Make your push notifications useful, interesting and relevant

Notifications can be segmented and properly timed and still be ignored. Why? They don’t add any value. Good push notifications have a purpose beyond just calling someone up to say hi. Consider transactional notifications, the ones that tell you that your airport gate has changed or that your parcel will arrive today. These are handy, because they have a real impact on the user’s daily experience.

Keep your push notifications clean.

Keep your push notifications clean.

Keep the push notification experience as clean as possible

We’re all short on time. Keep your notifications as brief as possible, and find a way to duplicate them within the mobile app. Banking apps, for example, often feature a log with notifications in case a user needs to check back and re-read. Pre-load any content that is going to be opened when the user engages with the notification to avoid delays. And automatically clear the that angry notification badge count so that users don’t have to figure out how to do it on their own.

Measuring the success of your mobile app’s push notifications

App opens and time to open are a positive measure of the success of your push notifications. But don’t overdo it. Users who get too many notifications or notifications that aren’t relevant to them may switch off their notifications or uninstall your app altogether.Striking the balance between keeping users engaged and turning them off is harder than it looks. Users tend to respond enthusiastically to notifications initially, which can tempt you to keep prompting them. But overwhelming them can get result in an uninstall. And once a user has uninstalled your app it’s almost impossible to get them back. Use your stats, and use them wisely.

Done well, push notifications can drive engagement and improve the user experience. Keep them relevant, timely and useful, and you’ll see app opens rather than uninstalls.



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