10 Essential Push Notification Strategies

Push notifications are an integral part of every app marketing strategy with 42% mobile users opting to have receive notifications enabled on their devices.

What are push notifications?

Push notifications are messages sent directly to users’ devices. They appear outside apps on their lock screen. Push notifications can be sent by app owners to users who have the corresponding app installed on their devices. Every operating system has its own push notification service and specialties. For example, you can send short messages, play personalized tones or add a number badge to the app’s icon. You can also perform certain actions without having to open the app. Notifications keeps users interested and can be used to re-engage those who have had an app installed for a while but are not using it.  This is a great way increase app conversion rates and CLV. It this context is important to distinguish between push notifications and in-app messages. As the name in-app messages implies, in-app messages require that the user have their app open for them to receive. Push notifications are different, since they don’t need the user to have the app open. You can combine both for maximum efficiency: engage with push notifcations and inform with in-app messages. In this post, we’ll hightlight 10 strategies for optimal push notifications.

1. Avoid default permissions requests

Creating the most engaging and creative content for push notifications doesn’t help, if your users don’t agree to receive them. If you get users to accept Push notifications, 65% users will return to the app within 30 days. Therefore, it is crucial to persuade users to opt in.

Instead of sending out a request for default permissions to all users, it is better to establish a relationship first with each user. You must earn their trust and let them know that you take advantage of push notifications. You must also ask for permission in a timely manner to avoid users choosing not to receive push notifications. This depends on which app vertical you are working in. For example, ecommerce apps might ask for permission to allow users to track their purchases. This gives you an opportunity to demonstrate why push notifications are so valuable. In this scenario your users would see the product being shipped and the alerts brings this to your customers’ attention.

Note that iOS opt-in messages cannot be customized, however you can make your own splash screen to prime them. This is a great opportunity to share your most compelling creative work and explain why people should opt-in.

2. Actionable alerts

It is crucial for users to understand the purpose of a push notification. Not being able to clearly state why will have negative effects on engagement, retention rates, and the user experience. Make sure that you clearly tell the user what they need to do with actionable advice by your CTA (call-to-action).

Remember that your CTA is an invitation to take a specific action or to keep you updated on something. For instance, if your notification informs about a shipping date change, ask the user to confirm it or provide the user the ability to give feedback. In any case it sould be useful or interesting.

3. Personalize Push notifications

Not only is it important to know your push notifications are useful, but you must also identify what they bring value to each user. Personalized push notifications allow you to target the right users at the best time by location, frequency, delivery time, content type, and geographic information. This means that you need to segment your audience into user groups. Your CTA should address the user directly and include any other relevant details. If you’re reporting a delay in flight, you can include time and flight information. Or, include order numbers to update a user about their next delivery.

Personalizing notifications based on user lifecycles is also important. This involves identifying the times when users will most likely need push notifications to perform a desired action. Personalization is key if you want to engage users and keep them engaged longer.

4. Test CTA and CTV

A CTA tells users how to do a specific action. However, a call for value (CTV) shows users what they can get. Your CTA might be “Checkin now” for a travel app, or “Add to watchlist” to in entertainment app. A call to value could be: “Get your summer look with 20% discount on all products.” This is important because it will depend on the audience you are targeting and what their preferences are. The purpose of your push notifications may affect the results. A CTV is not going to help when a user is notified that their flight is delayed.

5. Push notifications should be used sparingly

Getting a push notification is similar to being touched on the shoulder. You need to have something interesting, relevant, and important to say. Otherwise your users will get annoyed. This can include turning off push notifications or uninstalling your app. Track how many users interact with your push notifications and adopt the amount of push notifications you send.

6. Limited-Time Offers

By offering limited-time deals, you can encourage users to complete your CTV. This type of offer is valuable to users and makes it clear why you send a notification. It gives the user the chance to get the benefit before it’s too late. You must determine what you can offer users to make them happy and then test get the best results.

7. Notify users about app updates

Push notifications can be used to notify users about app updates. This can be useful for any user who doesn’t have automatic update enabled. It ensures that your users get the best possible user experience. Be sure to inform users about the latest update and detail any improvements or benefits they won’t get if they don’t upgrade.

8. Help users stay focused on their goals

An area where push notifications can be used to help users to achieve their personal goals are fitness and wellness apps. Users can create a routine and not have to set individual alarms for different actions, notifications take care of this. As app owner you get increased retention and better app usage.

9. Use power words in your creativity

Your writing must be concise and clear for notifications to appear on the user’s lock screen. Although this can seem restrictive, you have the opportunity to improve your creative with images or other rich media. Power words are also important to include in push notifications.

10. Measure results of push notification engagement

Your push notification campaigns, just like every other part of your marketing strategy, should be monitored and optimized over time. KPIs can be set that are linked to company goals such as customer engagements. The campaign measurement can then been analyzed to determine how your mobile notification strategy could be improved. To find out how users respond to your notifications, you can request feedback from them.

Push notifications remain a highly effective marketing tool, increasing app retention by between 3-10 times and can trigger in-app purchases for 48% of users.

Want to learn more about push notifications and how you can implement them for your business? Contact us and follow us on or blog app.

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